Subscriptions are big business, and whilst the traditional annual subscriptions for magazines and publications are still going strong, there are plenty of other services out there these days too. However, despite readily available subscription offers, thousands of us just aren’t getting the most out of them, wasting hundreds of pounds each year on unused subscriptions. But there are plenty of free subscriptions on the market, so here’s how to make the most of them, using them wisely to not only benefit your life, but also save you money.
Assessing Your Needs
So many of us get lured into offers for free subscriptions, with deals such as offering a month’s free trial or more, but before you get giddy with excitement at the money you won’t be spending it’s worth taking some time to assess if you will actually even use the service or products on offer. Like all human beings, we’re drawn to freebies, but evaluating how much of the free service you will benefit from right from the outset will mean you’re actually subscribing to a useful and beneficial services, rather than just because it’s free.
Limit Your Subscriptions
Another way to ensure you’re getting the most from your free subscriptions is to limit the number you have at any one time. There’s only so many hours in the day, so be realistic about what you can fit in and what will be the realistic benefits to you. Can you really go to the gym for 2 hours, read an entire magazine, and watch all the episodes of The Sopranos on demand between going to work, socialising with friends and eating your meals? If you have too many free subscriptions at once, you may find that you don’t take full advantage of each one, so limiting the number you opt in for each month can make all the difference.
Managing Your Free Subscriptions
Of course, we all want to take advantage of a free service, so they definitely aren’t to be avoided, but in order to ensure you don’t get caught out and signed into a long-term contract with a provider, you’ll be wise to keep a good track of all your free subscriptions as well. Whether you set up a visual reminder on your desk calendar at work or a reminder in your phone, make sure you note the date the free subscription starts and ends. That way you can then take full advantage of the free offer, but will also remember to cancel the subscription once it’s time to start paying for it. Retailers like Amazon offer free-trials for services like Amazon Prime, but in order to sign up you’ll have to hand over your card details, and if you don’t remember to cancel it, you’ll end up paying for it automatically, which can be a costly mistake to make.
Check the Terms & Conditions
As mentioned above, most free subscriptions have a limited time period and whilst some do automatically alert you that your free trial is coming to an end and ask you if you want to continue subscribing for a fee, many of them don’t. They simply rely on the fact that you will forget to cancel and will automatically renew the subscription, which depending on the Terms & Conditions of the contract can be a rolling monthly contract of a longer-term one.
With Christmas around the corner, it’s also worth noting that there will be plenty of free offers around, particularly gym’s offering free trial subscription deals in the lead up and aftermath of Christmas. Whilst these are a great way to get into shape, just be sure to fully analyse the T&Cs and save yourself paying out a monthly fee for the next year or more.