Cutting Back Just a Few Subscriptions Can Save You a Bunch of Money Each Year

Before you know it, you'll have saved an extra mortgage payment or two. Or have enough to splurge on a hot vacation in the winter.

Good morning friends!

I came into this Thursday evening ready to encourage you sign up for GST/HST as soon as you start thinking about turning your side hobby into something more.

But that's going to be next week, if I can muster a newsletter on the week of an exam. 

Instead, I've gone through a week-long "look-myself-in-the-mirror" reality check when it comes to a few small monthly purchases, and I've attempted to take a hacking stick to the credit card bill. 

Here are a few of takeaways from the week that was.

Cutting Back Just a Few Subscriptions Can Save You a Bunch of Money Each Year

I'm in the middle of a subscription-detox right now. App subscriptions, notebook subscriptions, meal subscriptions, gym subscriptions — you name the category, subscriptions are on the chopping block in the Ginter Household.

What's interesting is it's not the smallest subscriptions that have tapped my nerves — app subscriptions in particular have made it through the Danger Zone, as $15 or $20 a year for an app I use each and every day is generally worth keeping in my life.

Instead, it's the expensive monthly subscriptions that are on the chopping block.

For instance, I was convinced I needed 300 MBPS download/300 MBPS upload speeds when fiber optic internet rolled through our neighbourhood. I jumped aboard one of the promo-plans available at the time and justified the $115/month internet bill through a combination of “being able to write it off” and a slicing of my prior television bill.

But this week, I downgraded our internet speeds to 150 down/150 up for $70/month. That's $45 (plus tax) of savings in a month, or $540 a year. I'm curious to see if we'll feel even a sliver of the slower speeds.

I have eliminated one specific piece of software that cost $20/month. I've been able to offload the same workflow onto 2 separate apps which will cost a combined total of $80 for the year. That's another $160 of savings in the next 12 months.

These are but two examples of a thousand different things that could be cut, trimmed, or scaled back, and I've found $700 of extra cash flow in the next 12 months. A few more, to get your blood flowing:

  • Downgrade the cell phone bill from 15GB of fast data to 10GB of fast data. ($5-$10/month = $60-$120/year)

  • Cancel your personal Microsoft Office subscription and use the one provided by your employer. ($10/month = $120/year)

  • Cut the television bill right out of your life and stream television instead. ($50/month = $600/year)

  • Eliminate one of Netflix, Disney+, Crave, or Amazon Prime. ($15/month = $180/year)

  • Cancel the personal trainer and buy a Peloton. ($200/month - $175/month = $25/month = $300/year)

That list has $1,320 of extra cash flow in the next 12 months, potentially. And honestly, very few of them will have any major impact on your life.

I haven't touched food choice changes, alcohol consumption changes, transportation changes, clothing changes — you name it, in nearly every facet of life, there is likely $5 per month you can scale back and feel at the end of the year.

It's a bit facetious, writing up a newsletter about saving a few bucks here and there while in the midst of a nation-wide lockdown where local business owners are struggling to keep the lights on. Given the situation, perhaps you want to cut some of the extra dollars out of your life when this lockdown subsides.

But don't forget the power of just a few small changes in your personal cash flow. A few dollars here and a few dollars there each month will result in an extra mortgage payment by the end of the year.

"Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." — William Lowndes (1652-1724)


Thank you, dear reader, as always, for your weekly attention. With all that is, having a chance to settle into an email inbox or two is about as social as it gets in my life. Conversing with real human beings has become an absolute cherry on top of the cake.

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Have a great week ahead. Stay safe and healthy.

JG