To give you an idea of how you could forget your subscriptions consider this study. The survey on 2,500 participants found that on average, an American spends about $237 monthly on subscription services. The amount is quite high but it’s the number of people who weren’t aware of their spending that was alarming: 2100 of the people surveyed underestimated their payments; some with as much as $400.
How to Cancel Forgotten Subscriptions
Do you have any idea about how much you are spending on subscriptions? The truth is you are probably paying way more than you think. It’s hard to keep track of all the sneaky subscriptions and the automatic billing systems don’t make things easier either. Let’s look at how to go about canceling different categories of common subscriptions.
#1 Smart-Phone/Device Subscriptions
It’s easier to forget subscriptions made via phone apps. These are subscriptions from devices through the Play Store or iOS App Store. The good thing about these subscriptions is that Google and Apple keep a record of payments from your account(s).
Android: Tap the ‘Play Store’ icon on your device. On the top left corner tap on the ‘Menu’ (3 horizontal line icon). This will take you to a screen from which you can choose the specific ‘Account’ that you are concerned about. Tap on ‘Subscriptions’ to view a list of all services that you paying for. From here you can cancel any service that you no longer need. Check Google support for more on this.
Apple: Open ‘Settings’ and choose your name to land on the ‘iTunes & App Store’. Tap your ‘Apple ID’ link followed by ‘View Apple ID’ then ‘Subscriptions’. From this screen open the subscription in question and tap ‘Cancel Subscription’. Note that once you cancel, the subscription stops after the current billing cycle. For more on how to manage subscriptions on various iOS devices, visit Apple support.
#2 Email and Manual Subscriptions
Not all subscriptions originate from app stores. It’s easy to find some forgotten subscriptions that you may have made ages ago on your computer. The same goes for subscriptions filled-in manually at the mall, street, fairs, etc. It’s possible the subscription notifications come as spam mail (let’s be honest, you never read those).
The best approach is to search through your emails for any subscriptions. Cancel the subscriptions by emailing the service providers. If this proves elusive then go through your bank statements going back for 12 months. Look out for regular subscriptions that you forgot or are fraudulent. Cancel them via corresponding websites or by emailing the respective companies.
Is There an Easier way of Cancelling Subscriptions?
Having to go through bank records that may or may not contain subscriptions doesn’t sound interesting at all. Subscriptions made on smart devices are even harder to keep track of; your kids can tap on a new one or make in-app purchases every now and then. So is there an easy way to this? Yes, there is…
#3 Use Subscription-Tracking Tools
These are apps and online tools that track your financial spending on a real-time basis. They work by going through your bank records and providing you with a list of services that are being charged to your account(s).
Truebill is an app that tracks all subscriptions from Netflix to Club memberships. It also gives an analysis of percentage changes on the amounts charged for each item. All you have to do is tap cancel on the subscription that you want to opt-out of.
Trim works similarly but it’s an online tool and the cancellation is done via text.
Empower is an app that follows the same script. It shows you the amounts spent on each service and account balances e.g. Bank balances, Amazon, Uber, AT&T Wireless, etc. With this info, it becomes easy to reach out and cancel specific subscriptions or even renegotiate.
It’s easy to have fraudulent and unwanted subscriptions eating away at your finances. With the onset of automated payment systems, the problem becomes compounded. Go through your bills and bank statements to weed out these payments. You can also use the ‘Cancel Subscription’ option on smart devices. A much easier approach is by using online tools and apps to monitor and cancel unwanted subscriptions.
Managing Your Finances When Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Tips)
It is never ideal for a person to live paycheck to paycheck. And if the idea of living paycheck to paycheck sounds stressful, imagine actually living life this way. Many people who don’t have a high-paying job have to find a way to live comfortably, and learning to manage your finances is a great start.
Managing your finances may seem like a difficult task when you live paycheck to paycheck, but there are things you can do to ensure your success.
Create a budget
When you have a limited income and live paycheck to paycheck, it is important for you to create a budget. The reason being you can successfully manage your finances when you keep a close eye on your income and expenses. Additionally, you can cut out unnecessary expenses and have some extra cash.
Use the half method
The half method requires you to pay bills in two separate payments rather than one lump sum. For example, if your cell-phone bill is $100, rather than pay the full balance on the due date, you can pay $50 with one paycheck before the due date, and the last $50 with another paycheck on or around the due date. With each check, you will then have $50 to save or spend.
Pay the minimum balance
If you have credit cards, consider paying at least the minimum balance when the bill comes due. It may be tempting to just not pay it, but ignoring your credit card payment will only result in you owing more money and damaging your credit score. Between the additional amount you could pay in interest and late fees, it makes sense to just pay the minimum balance and keep your account in good standing. Of course, if you can comfortably pay the full balance, that is always an option.
Renegotiate your bills
Renegotiating your bills doesn’t mean you have to eliminate the expense but find a more affordable option for you. For example, you may be able to reduce your auto insurance payment by a few dollars if you change coverage or inquire about discounts. If you have both internet and cable, perhaps you could change the plan or discuss the possibility of a more reasonable price for your budget with your provider. Maybe even dropping cable and using online streaming services is an appealing option.
Put your savings on auto
Just because you live paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t mean you can’t save. Even if it is a small amount that you are putting away every payday, over time it will add up. Whether you are building an emergency fund in preparation for the unexpected or just saving for life, you can put your savings on auto and select an amount to automatically be withdrawn from your checking and deposited into your savings.
Why managing your finances is necessary
So, why is managing your finances necessary? Poor management of your finances will do more harm than good. In fact, if you don’t properly manage your finances, you could end up spending more money than necessary and even damage your credit score. And when your credit score is poor, you will have a difficult time getting approved for credit cards, loans, and even an apartment.
When you think about the issues that can arise when you don’t have a handle on your finances, you may think twice about your situation and what you can do to change it. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, you may feel helpless, but you have options. And with all of the financial troubles you could face leading to more stress, it could easily be avoided if you take the time to manage your finances.
Made poor financial decisions in the past that negatively impacted your credit? We can help! Contact Credit Absolute today for a free consultation.
Tips to Help Manage & Maintain a Good Credit Utilization Rate
When you think of your credit score, you may not consider how this number is calculated or how your actions play a role. Simply put, every credit score is made up of certain criteria, and each criteria can cause an increase or decrease in credit score. With credit utilization being one of the things that can impact your score, it may be time to learn how to manage your credit utilization.
In order to successfully manage your credit utilization rate, you’ll need to understand what it is and how it can negatively or positively impact your life.
What is credit utilization rate and how is it calculated?
Credit utilization rate is a number used to compare the amount of debt you owe to the amount of credit you have available. By dividing the amount of credit that you use by the amount of credit available, you can determine your credit utilization rate. The more of your available credit you use the higher your credit utilization rate.
For example, if you have several credit cards, one with a credit limit of $500, one with a credit limit of $200, and another with a credit limit of $300, your total available revolving credit amount is $1,000. If you use $400 of the $1,000 of available credit, your credit utilization rate will be 40%. Whereas if you were to use $100 of your available credit, your credit utilization rate would be 10%.
Why does your credit utilization rate matter?
Credit utilization is one of the many factors that can affect your credit score. It actually makes up 30% of your FICO credit score, which means it is one of the most important factors that influence your credit score. Depending on the number, creditors and lenders may or may not approve your application. This is because your credit utilization rate is another way for creditors and lenders to measure your ability to manage your finances.
If you have $2,000 of revolving credit available to you between one or multiple credit cards, in order to keep your credit utilization at or below 30%, you’ll want to use no more than $600 if you don’t want to see your credit score drop significantly.
Managing your credit utilization
Since your credit utilization rate accounts for 30% of your credit score, you want to pay close attention to this number to ensure it doesn’t start to negatively impact your score. This is especially true when you want to improve your score to increase your chances of being approved for things that require good credit such as applying for a home loan or apartment.
You can successfully manage your credit utilization rate by:
- Increasing your credit card limit
- Paying your credit balance in full instead of just the minimum balance
- Keeping credit accounts open even when there is little to no use
- Pay down debts
- Actively monitor your credit usage
Keep in mind that the goal of managing your credit utilization rate is to keep it at 30% or less. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely stop accessing your revolving credit, but you want to do so responsibly if you don’t want to see your credit score suffer.
For credit repair assistance and financial advice, contact Credit Absolute today for a free consultation!
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