Cancel a Subscription

About This Week's Action

I've been feeling guilty for about 6 months now. Every month, my credit card statement arrives billing me for both Netflix and Hulu Plus. I signed up for Hulu Plus because I had a free 3 month subscription and had planned on canceling it. But, every month another 30 days goes by and I haven't canceled it. I then try to tell myself it's only $7.99 so it's not a big deal. The brain does amazing things trying to make us feel better for actions we know we shouldn't have taken.

To top off this guilt, just yesterday, a box of PG Tips tea arrived from Amazon Subscribe & Save. (It's my favorite tea and you can only buy it online or abroad.) I got 2 boxes of 240 tea bags even though I still have at least 6 months worth in my cupboard. I hadn't changed my Subscribe & Save subscription settings.

So, this week's action is as much about me as it is about you. I followed all the steps in this post and will now have a few hundred dollars more each year because of it. And even better, I won't have any guilt when I look at my credit card statement next month.

Why Cancel Your Subscriptions

You'll Save Money When you cancel your subscriptions you save money. End of story.

You'll Be Freer to Do What You Want Every subscription you have weighs you down. It's one more thing that keeps you tied to your job and your residence. It means that just to go on vacation for a week you have to put something on hold. Instead, cut this chords and free yourself to do what you want. Start by getting rid of subscriptions you don't use frequently enough. Maybe it's a gym membership, Netflix, or magazine. Next, cut ties with even those you do use. For instance, go month to month with your cell phone contract. When you do this, you'll be more able to do what you want, when you want.

How Long Does This Action Take?

It will take you no more than 10 minutes to figure out which subscription to cancel. And it will take less than 10 minutes to cancel your subscription/membership.

How to Cancel a Subscription

1. Review Your Credit Card Statement

Find or download last month's credit card statement(s). Print it out. (Seriously, this makes a difference.) Now highlight everything that is a recurring monthly charge. Now, go through and circle the charges for items/services that you aren't using more than 1 time each week. You probably don't need these items or services.

If you've used Amazon Subscribe and Save before, I recommend that you also check to see if you have any shipments upcoming that you don't need.

2. Google

Whatever the monthly charge is just Google "[name of service] how to cancel". Find the most relevant page for instructions with how to cancel. If you can't easily find it, pull up the phone number of the company and call and ask.

3. Cancel It

Now, just simply take 5 minutes to 1) log in to your account and hit cancel or 2) call the company and tell them to cancel. Ignore their speech trying to get you to cancel and just say "finances are tight and I don't want this service anymore." Even if they try to give you a few months for free, cancel anyway. While they are giving you the spiel, imagine the ideal vacation that you'll be 1 step closer to taking after canceling the membership.

Commit

You can read this post and say to yourself, "I won't forget to cancel." But chances are you'll get too busy. And next month your credit card bill will show up with that same recurring charge for something you didn't use. Instead of just telling yourself that you will do this, if you don't have time to take action immediately, sign up to get a reminder.

When you register for free here, you'll get an email reminder 2 times during the week reminding you to actually stop what you're doing, take 10 minutes (or less) and cancel a subscription/membership you don't need.

What subscriptions do you have that you aren't using? How much will you save a year by canceling?

Photo credit: Jonas_Foyn