Each month, you probably pony up some money for much-needed subscriptions. You need your music for your morning commute, so you fork over regular funds for Spotify/Pandora/Apple Music. And ever since you cut the cord like many Americans, you need a means to binge-consume media, so there’s the monthly Hulu/Netflix/HBO GO fee. And once a year you throw 99 bucks Amazon’s way because you just cannot be bothered with getting that dog top hat in three to five business days.
These are the staple subscriptions in the modern age. But an issue arises that might not have been a problem with the magazine/newspaper subscriptions of old—how can you keep track of every subscription if you have no physical evidence of it? As it turns out, plenty of Americans are paying for services regularly without even knowing it.
A new study from CreditCards.com surveyed 1,000 adults about their spending habits and found out that 35 percent of Americans make automatic payments completely unawares. This may apply to that gym membership you forgot about or that meal delivery service that’s still being delivered to your former apartment where the current inhabitants are enjoying a feast. If you’ve gifted a subscription service, these fees can multiply exponentially.
Forty eight percent of the poll participants said that the unknown charges stemmed from free trials that were never canceled, then transitioned into regular payments. It may not seem like much initially, but those monthly fees really do add up.
Now, we know giving up Netflix can be tough, even for a week. But if you’ve realized that maybe you haven’t been using it in months, maybe it’s time to scale back—or head to Blockbuster, they still exist in some places, after all.