Do you know how much you’re paying for subscriptions every month? According to a 2018 report from West Monroe Partners, you probably don’t. And, even if you think you do, chances are you’re underestimating it—along with 84% of all Americans.

The actual average is $237 per month (which means you could easily be paying more.)

You could read the full article on the Wall Street Journal, but you’d have to buy a subscription. Right now, that’s $1 for the first two months. And then, if you forget to cancel it, $19.50 per month after that. (At least, as of the moment we’re writing this article.)

Oh, the irony.

Why do Americans have so many subscriptions?

Before we blame Amazon for starting the whole thing, let’s take a step back and look at cloud services as a whole. What are they, and why are we willing to pay so much for them?

Cloud services are really a combination of content and services that “live” in the cloud. They need the internet to operate, but we love them because they’re bigger and more powerful than anything we could afford to buy outright.

Like Netflix, which paid $15.3 billion in licensing fees in 2019 alone. 

Not exactly pocket change.

None of us could afford to buy all that content for our home collection, let alone fund the production of those original movies and series. But we can afford to subscribe to Netflix, with the right to watch as much of it as we want for just a few bucks each month.

When you think about it, that’s a pretty fantastic deal. 

Welcome to the digital age

Before the invention of the internet, with its purely digital products & services, we lived in a market of things. People bought books and movies off a physical shelf. And, okay, we still do, but the digital versions tend to be cheaper. Not to mention more convenient.

Today, you can buy a book on your phone in the middle of the night without getting out of bed. But that’s just one book. Instead, if you wanted, you could pay a subscription service one low monthly fee for access to a ginormous library of books. Or audiobooks, for that matter.

(Want to save yourself those Kindle Unlimited and Audible subscription fees? Try a free library app like Libby or Hoopla. Yes, libraries are still a thing.)

Books, movies, apps, security systems, streaming television, shaving clubs … wait, shaving clubs? How are razor blades a cloud service?

Good catch. They aren’t. But once you get used to paying for so many things on a monthly basis, it’s not much of a leap for a non-digital company to jump on the bandwagon.

Pretty soon you’re paying automatically for all that stuff every single month. It’s no wonder you start to lose track of it—to the tune of $237 per month for the average American.

Getting those subscriptions under control

The trick to staying on top of those subscriptions is actually pretty simple, but first you have to find them.

You could check every transaction in your bank account over the last 12 months—yes, 12 months, to make sure you find all your annual subscriptions. And then you could go through your credit card statements too. 

Or, if your eyes are glazing over at the thought of all that, you could let Simplifi find them for you.

In the main menu, tap Spending Plan. Then, tap Bills and Subscriptions. To see a list of those recurring bills and subscriptions, tap Manage Recurring Bills. (If you’ve ignored any recurring bills in the past, slide Show Ignored over to the right to see those too.)

Scroll through them to see what you might not be using anymore, and cancel them to save yourself some bucks.

But, wait, isn’t Simplifi a subscription?

It sure is. We like to think it’s one of the most useful ones you can have. 

It might not be as cool as Netflix (arguable), but when has Netflix ever helped you remember to pay your electric bill on time? Or reminded you about that subscription game you never play anymore? Plenty of our subscribers tell us they’re saving money every month, just because they started using the app. 

They’ve stopped paying late fees thanks to that Bills & Subscriptions organizer. Their Spending Watchlists helped them cut back on unnecessary spending. And they’re finally setting money aside every month for their Savings Goals.

If you’re already using Simplifi, check out that Subscriptions panel and see what you can save. If you’re not, you can try it risk-free for 30 days. 

Finally, a subscription you don’t have to worry about remembering.