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Save money cancelling unwanted subscriptions.

We've all done it signed up for an online service, movie streaming or gym membership. You may have even signed up for a free 'trial' period on the basis that you would cancel before you have to pay.  Yet 4 in 10 Brits remain paying for services they simply don't use.  At the start of the year we cancelled a movie pass subscription pass C had (that we really weren't using) and saved almost £200 a year. 

Likely culprits
These are the services which are the greatest pitfalls and have the most underused subscriptions. 
  • Gym memberships
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Credit Reports
  • TV streaming
  • Music streaming
  • Donations
  • Weight-loss
  • Subscription boxes
  • Delivery services
  • 'deals' subscriptions 
  • Insurance 
However, you don't have to let subscriptions be a drain on your bank account. Follow these simple steps to help re-organise your finances and clear out the clutter. 

1. Know your Direct Debits and Standing Orders.
This is relatively simple to find if you do online banking (there should be a tab for you to see what direct debits and standing orders you currently have set up). If you still have paper statements then the task is a bit more time consuming but you will see on the statement that the type of payment is show and this will denote if its a DD or SO. Make a note of what it is for, how much it is and how often.

2. Asses your bank statements.
There may also be regular payments coming out of your account that are no by DD or SO but are by authorised card payment (or paypal). It is useful to look to the last 12 months of statements as there may be amounts paid less frequently (i.e. annually). Basically keen an eye out for regular payments of the same amount the the same company. Again make a note of what it is for, how much payments are and how often they occur. 

3. Determine which subscriptions you want to cancel.
Not all of the subscriptions you will want to cancel, but now you have a list of everything so you can start to assess the situation. Think about how many times you have used the service since you last paid. Is it a necessity? It is still useful?  Is it value for money (it may be worth thinking about cost per use)? Also it is good to consider how much you could save by cancelling a subscription.  Use the Money Advice Service quick cash calculator to find our how much you could save. 

4. Cancel what you don't need
So you know which subscriptions you want to cancel. You may wish to write down the subscription renewal date in your diary if you want to wait until just before renewal to cancel. However, this leaves you susceptible to forgetting and also sometimes there are notice periods as well. If it is being paid by Direct Debit or Standing Order then simply phone up or write to your bank to cancel that. However, if payment is being directly made from your card then you must tell the company taking the payments, preferably in writing, and give a copy of this to your bank or card issuer.

How much have you saved money by cancelling subscriptions?


  1. We paid for Zune for months because we couldn't figure out how to cancel it; we even tried cancelling the credit card but that didn't work either. Finally the CC was able to get a a good phone number but it took forever to cancel it--a teen's account, she didn't use the email address any more, didn't know the passwords, etc.

  2. I once signed up to Utility Warehouse as a distributor to try to make money selling energy services (I've tried just about every side job going)! I ended up not doing anything on this but paid a membership fee unnecessarily for a couple of years before I got around to cancelling it! It was around £3.50 per month, but it adds up!

  3. I would definitely add looking at yearly subscriptions. Sometimes we forget about the BarkBox for fido because we don't pay it monthly, but yearly. These can sneak up on us!

  4. I just cancelled a magazine subscription as I was not really interested anymore but it was on a rolling 6 month contract. Saved myself £50 a year.