Winter 2023

How expensive are your habits?

This new year make time to review your regular payments such as subscription services – you may be spending more than you think.

Many content providers for example – from Netflix and Disney+ to Spotify – have increased monthly fees over the past year. However it’s not just entertainment platforms looking to lock consumers into regular payment  plans. There are now subscription services for podcasts, audio books, online newspapers, wine deliveries, make-your-own meal boxes and pet food supplies — to name but a few.

Research suggests the average person spends £39 per month on subscriptions, though many will pay  significantly more. Collectively, this means UK households spend £1.6bn a month on such services. Yet not everyone is getting value for money, with one in ten claiming they don’t use some services at all.

It’s not hard to see how this happens. Providers often have low-cost or free introductory offers — knowing many of us forget to unsubscribe within the cancellation period. And while the cost of any single subscription may look modest, once you’re paying for a few, the costs quickly mount.

A regular review of how often you use these services can pay. There is generally no contract, so it’s easy to cancel payments for subscriptions that are just not working for you.

If it’s a service you do use regularly, check whether you can ‘downgrade’ your payment plan.  Streaming services, for example, often have cheaper options with advertisements. Family plans can also be cost effective if more than one person in your household pays for the same platform.  Don’t forget to double check subscriptions that charge annual fees, rather than monthly payments, which can be easy to overlook.

Once you’ve saved money from raking through regular subscriptions, conduct a more thorough audit of your finances by looking at other regular bills: from gas and electricity contracts to home and car insurance – savings can often be made by switching to better priced deals.

In this issue:

A guaranteed income for life

Why wills matter

Autumn Statement outcomes

Alternative to deposits

Footsie at 40

New takes on retirement planning

News in brief