Another January job that I haven’t done for a couple of years is an audit of subscriptions and monthly outgoings. There are some things you can’t change, for example your council tax bill or TV licence but a lot of the regular payments you make can be negotiated, swapped or indeed cancelled.
Start by making a list, here are some ideas to get you started.
Insurance: home, car, phone…
Broadband and/or TV: Sky, Virgin, Netflix…
Mobile phone contract
Health: gym, organic food box…
Travel: season ticket
Newspapers and magazines
Utilities: electricity, gas…
Music: Spotify, Apple music…
Other: Amazon Prime, Audible, Lottery tickets, digital storage, website…
Next, split them into two simple categories: cancel and negotiate.
List at all the services you want to keep but could swap or negotiate down. There are many services you can use online to find the best deals. I always start with Money Saving Expert. At the time of writing their latest post is about New Year Bill Busting so for more detailed advice on this section hop over there.
What I’m really focusing on this year is cancellations. I have more than one TV service? Do I really need them all? Maybe not. How often do I actually read the newspaper or magazines I subscribe to? Answer: not as often as I pay for them. I often look at the newspaper section in the supermarket but I never buy one because I have a subscription but the time I get home I’ve got distracted and don’t read it online. I’ve therefore decided to cancel my subscription and simply purchase a copy when I want to spend time reading it. Also, this means I can easily mix it up and change which paper I read – a good idea for someone who works as a publicist! If I find I really miss it I can easily re-subscribe and, if I leave it long enough, I might get a discount.
Another monthly outgoing is this website. Last year I didn’t use it enough to justify the cost. This year I’m setting myself some targets but if I’m not meeting them by the summer I will reconsider.
We have already reconciled our two music accounts into one joint Spotify account. However, I’m going to keep a close eye on whether we actually need two separate profiles. Perhaps I can put up with more 90s rock in my recommends list for £5 back in my bank account each month.
I’m also going to cancel my sewing magazine subscription. When I got back into sewing a couple of years ago I really enjoyed having two magazines each month but now my shelves are overflowing with mags and free patterns and I feel I’ve got out of them what I need. So I’m cancelling that but again, if I miss it I can go back or try a different one for a while.
I’ve been going to a lovely Pilates class for a couple of years. However, it’s on a day and time that is often inconvenient so despite paying upfront I frequently miss a class due to work commitments or sheer exhaustion at the end of the day. Instead, I’ve signed up to an online yoga class Movement for Modern Life which is just under £66 for the year with a referral code. A huge saving on a £12 per week class. If you’d like a code get in touch.
Finally, I’m going to consider our organic veg box. We went down from one per week to one per fortnight because we weren’t getting through it all. Might I be better to simply put that cash towards organic as part of our regular supermarket shop?
Let me know what you’ve been cancelling. Have you missed it? What have you put the money towards instead?