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With the cost of living on the steady rise, a lot of us are looking for simple ways to cut costs in our everyday spending. If you’re on the hunt for some simple money saving tips to kickstart the new year, we’ve got just the thing.

Whether it’s a gym membership, streaming service, toilet paper delivery, or a wine club – we’re never short of subscription options. In our busy lives, it can be very easy to lose track of what’s getting direct debited from our own accounts.

If you’re looking for ways to save money in 2023, you might be surprised by how much you can save by checking in on (and saying goodbye to) your subscriptions and memberships.

Take stock of your subscriptions 

This might sound obvious but start by making a list of all the subscriptions and memberships that get direct debited from your accounts. To do this, check your account statements and transaction history from the last 12 months and add up the grand total that goes towards subscriptions – either monthly or annually.

Once you know this amount, use our Budget Tracker to see just how much of your income is dedicated to covering your subscriptions. If you’re unpleasantly surprised by this amount, we’ve got some steps you can take to balance your budget.

Cull your subscriptions

Now for the hard part – sacrificing a subscription or two for the greater good of your wallet. 

Take a long, hard look at your subscriptions and evaluate which of them you actually use. There’s a good chance that if you can’t remember the last time you used your Kayo subscription, it’s not worth the $25 a month (that’s $300 a year!). 

If you’re not ready to commit to a full unsubscribe, instead, rotate through your subscriptions based on when you’re most likely to use them. A great example of this is rostering your streaming services based on which shows you’re interested in. In December, you might commit to Netflix based on their excellent selection of Christmas movies – but come January, turn your attention to Binge to catch up on the latest series of Real Housewives.

Explore the cheaper plan

Streaming services often offer cheaper plans in exchange for displayed ads or less screens to share.
Take a Netflix subscription for example that offers a basic plan for $7 per month which includes ads, totalling $84 annually. Compare this to their standard ad-free plan which costs $17 per month, adding up to $204 annually. If you can cope with the ads, you could be looking at a saving of $120 per year by opting for the cheaper plan. 

Share your account

Because sharing is caring (and cost effective) - why not get your family, friends, or housemates in on the action and split one subscription plan between multiple households? 
Most streaming services offer plans where you can watch two to four screens per plan and use different profiles for each household. 

The same goes with goods subscriptions (like coffee and toilet paper) which can be easily split, physically and financially. 

Take advantage of free trials

You’ll find that most subscription services (like gyms and streaming services) will offer subsidised or free trials. Take advantage of these introduction offers to save money and work out which service is right for you.

Most services will ask for your billing details so that your free trial seamlessly rolls into a paid subscription post the trial period. If the free trial is all that you’re after - remember to cancel your subscription before the first billing date (we recommend setting calendar alerts for this). 

Pay for the annual subscription

It may sound counter-intuitive to be spending more upfront to save money – but most subscription services offer significant discounts with their annual subscription fee.

Disney+ for example costs $13.99 per month, or $139.99 for an entire year. That’s a saving of $27.90 a year – or in other terms, a handful of extra coffees you could treat yourself to. 

The content in this article is up-to-date at the time of publication on 22 December 2022.

Budget tracker

You can use our budget tracker to see just how much of your income is dedicated to covering your subscriptions.

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