04-07-2014 09:00 AM
Content provided courtesy of USAA.
Gaming, video-streaming, satellite radio, commercial-free music, news apps: Millions of us enjoy these subscription services and barely notice their automatic monthly charges to our credit card bills. But if you add up their total and multiply them for a year, you’re talking about hundreds of dollars in payments. Follow these tips to help boost your savings without sacrificing your viewing or listening pleasure.
Look at your monthly credit card statement line by line.
Don’t just look at the “amount due” on your monthly bill. Always examine all of the charges line by line. You may be surprised by what you find. Did you get overcharged for a service? Did you sign up for a free trial subscription for an app a while back but forget to cancel it before the annual or monthly charges started kicking in? Don’t let any charges slip through the cracks.
Reduce the video overlap
So many streaming services, so little time. If you subscribe to more than one, it’s probably overkill. For example, the videos available on Amazon Prime® and Netflix® often overlap, so paying for both can be redundant. If you’ve got a DVR attached to your TV or an “on-demand” viewing option on your cable or satellite, you don’t necessarily need HuluTM in order to catch new network programming at your convenience. And episodes of HBO’s most popular series are eventually available for less money on DVD and iTunes®, if you don’t mind waiting a few months.
Satellite radio programming? There are apps for that.
Yes, satellite radio is amazing. But if you have a smartphone or tablet that connects to your vehicle’s stereo with Bluetooth®, you may not need it. A huge variety of sports, news, weather and music options are at your fingertips through free streaming apps, including Pandora Radio®, ESPN Radio® and NPR News®.