How to Save Money by Ditching All Your Digital Subscriptions (Temporarily)

Ten dollars here, six dollars there. Those cheap subscriptions you have—Netflix, Hulu Plus, whatever—add up. Chances are there are quite a few you don't use, or you've forgotten you have altogether.

Here's a relatively painless, easy tip. Take inventory. Go through all the things you subscribe to that cost you $10 or so/month that aren't on a contract. Unsubscribe from all of them. You'll probably be surprised how much those inexpensive recurring charges amount to, and how much you save without them. How many services do you need to stream TV shows, anyway?

Give yourself a chance to live without Hulu, Netflix, whatever. Add them back as you need them. You don't, mostly. Doing my own personal inventory, I realize I have a lot of subscriptions I shouldn't be paying for. Like, when the hell did I subscribe to NextIssue? I don't remember the last time I used it to read magazines. Ever since I disconnected Netflix from my TV, I've been forgetting I even have it. I also have DVR and HBO Go, which is downright excessive.

Different people get caught in different dead money swamps, and it's easy to totally forget you even have some subscriptions. Maybe you have a bunch of recurring comic book subscriptions that pile up and never get read. Or maybe it's a Newsstand apps, just issues and issues and issues of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair and Wired and Sports Illustrated, never opened, never downloaded, forgotten until the next 12-month billing cycle comes up. Or it could be something as simple as never, ever going to the gym, and needing to come to terms with that instead of blowing hundreds of dollars on a pang of guilt ever night around 6:30PM.

Personally, I have a New York Times weekender subscription to the print edition that I can assure you I forget to read at least half the time. And do you reaaaaaally need an ad-free Pandora? It would probably be hard to live without Spotify, and that or Rdio might or whatever music service you use might be something you don't bother trying to do without, but there are plenty of free means to get streaming music—just look how much you can find on Soundcloud or YouTube.

You just might be in the same boat. If you are, think about doing this. It's a pain, but it'll end up saving you money, and keeping a little clutter out of your life.