It's money down the drain!
A leaky faucet can be insidious thing. A barely noticeable drip, drip, drip easily falls below our awareness. Yet running hour after hour, day after day, it can siphon away a huge amount of water and lead to a massive surprise water bill. And worse, the water is pointlessly gone without ever being used!
Monthly payments can be like that dripping faucet. Seemingly insignificant expenses can easily fall below the radar as we automatically pay them and go about our busy lives. And when these expenses are for stuff we don't really use, well... that's just a stupid waste!
In this article I'm going to challenge you to think about one category of monthly expenses that can easily get out of control if you don't consciously manage it. I'm talking about streaming services. And like the water from that dripping faucet, the dollars spent on that unused (or underused) streaming service is gone forever, leaving you with nothing to show for having spent them! Consider this from Lifewire.com:
"The average person who uses streaming services subscribes to between five and seven services. You know the ones: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, Discovery+, Paramount+, Peacock, HBO Max, and others."
So let's say you are limiting yourself to five of these. The basic, ad-free versions of five of the services above could get you a monthly bill of around $65. Subscribe to all nine of the services listed and you'll be paying well over $100/month with fees. Add this to your cable bill (Why are you still buying cable!?! Can't you use an antenna?? That's a topic for another day...) and your internet bill and WOW -- that can add up to some very big bucks spent on content!
Seriously: Step back and ask yourself: Do you actually use every one of your streaming services every day? ... every week? Do your payments stop when you're not using a service? Have you really "dug deep" into the catalogs of any of your services to see what shows you're paying for, but not watching? If any of these questions make you uncomfortable, then you're ready for a more disciplined, strategic approach to your streaming.
A Four-Step Strategy for Taking Control of Your Media Streaming
At our house we have a rule: Subscribe to no more than three paid streaming services at one time. This rule isn't all that hard to live with if you're willing to be a bit strategic about your choices. We add and drop services frequently. And we also supplement the paid ones with a couple of excellent free services from our local library (Kanopy & Hoopla). The bottom line: Our current total streaming bill is under $25/month! And we still have WAY MORE stuff to watch on these services than we have time available!
(At the moment, our subscriptions are with Hulu, Acorn TV and PBS Passport. But these are all subject to swapping out for Netflix, etc. at any time.)
Here's how you can implement this money-saving streaming strategy.