How much is Netflix really costing you?

Have you counted how many monthly subscriptions you have? You might be surprised how much they add up to.

Maybe you have a gym subscription, Netflix, Lightbox, Spotify, and iCloud storage. Add in a magazine subscription, New Zealand Herald Premium, or a health box delivered, and you could easily be up to several hundred dollars a month. Or a lot more. 

The cheapest Netflix subscription (for one device) is $11.99 a month. That’s nearly $150 a year.

Do a health check

A quick ‘health check’ of your subscriptions every six months or so is a good idea to find out how much you’re paying, and work out if you still need them.

This is a common discovery in online finance forums, where people find payments still being paid for by their credit card that they thought they’d cancelled months ago.

If you sign up for a free trial, you often have to ‘opt out’ manually to stop additional charges.

For food subscription boxes like Hello Fresh or My Food Bag, you have to check in every week to cancel, until you close your account. It can be hard to remember to cancel every week, and a few people I know have had additional deliveries they didn’t want.

Be scam savvy

Checking your subscriptions regularly is also a good way to check for scams. A few of us at work have been stung by fraudulent transactions that appear as “itunes.com/B” on our debit cards. None of us have iTunes accounts. Monitoring your accounts can be really useful.

Do you use them?

Once you’ve looked at all your monthly subscriptions and made a list of them, think about how much value you’re getting from them. If you’re watching Netflix all the time, that’s good value. But maybe you haven’t been to the gym in a year or so, and that money is just going down the drain.

If you cut a few subscriptions that are in the ‘nice to have’ box, rather than essentials, you could direct the money elsewhere. Maybe add it to your first home deposit, or buy shares for the long term. You might get more bang for your buck.

If you cancel a few subscriptions, you might not miss them. Give it a go, you can always restart in a few months if you regret it. But you might forget about them, or find something better to spend your money on.

Looking for other ways to save money?

  • Your supermarket shop. Watching what you spend at the supermarket can save you hundreds, if not thousands every year. Meal prep, have a shopping list and meal planner, and look for cheaper swaps to budget brands.
  • Your coffee spend. Cutting back on bought coffees can really help!
  • Your unused gym membership. How much does that unused gym membership cost you?
  • Work lunches. Taking leftovers to work for lunch could save you $10 to $20 every day. Every Sunday, cook a meal that can be frozen into lunch portions for the week. There are thousands of delicious, budget friendly recipes online.

Published 18 March 2020

Story by Claire Connell, JUNO

Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. You can read our Product Disclosure Statement here.This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. It does not constitute financial advice. We recommend you speak with an independent financial adviser.