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5 Clever Subscription Hacks To Help You Save Money

In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, and skyrocketing inflation, many of us are looking to tighten our purse strings and subscriptions are a good way to start. Entertainment and streaming services including Spotify or Netflix aren’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean that we have to entirely do away with them – we just have to come up with ways to maximise our dollar.

Here are 5 clever subscription hacks to help you save money, while still enjoying your usual entertainment.

How much are my subscriptions costing me?

The amazing thing about living in this digital era is that many goods are available on a subscription model. From groceries, personal training regimens, meals, to even pet food, you can easily subscribe to these services. While subscriptions don’t come cheap, they are not that expensive either – right? While $20 a month may seem like white noise on your credit card statement, they tend to add up to a significant amount.

To illustrate our point, this is probably what your subscriptions are costing you annually:

SubscriptionMonthly Fee (SGD)
Annual Cost (SGD)
The Straits Times (Digital individual access)$9.90$118.80
Spotify (Individual)$9.90$118.80
Netflix (Basic)$12.98$155.76
Amazon Prime$2.99$35.88
Pandapro$14.99$179.88
F45 membership$244 to $276
$2,928 to $3,312
Total annual cost:
$3,537.12 to $3,921.12

To keep up with all your monthly subscriptions, you would have unknowingly spent a whopping $3,537.12 to $3,921.12 in a year – equivalent to some working adults’ monthly salary! Of course, we are not saying that you should cut out all your subscriptions, but there are ways you can stretch your dollar and channel your savings into investments instead.

Here are some our top tips:

1.   Pay annually rather than monthly

Did you know that switching to annual subscriptions can really pay off?

This usually costs less per month compared to paying 12 times in a year, and is definitely worth considering. However, you have to be sure that you really want a full year of subscription to that particular service.

If your desired subscription service does have an annual payment plan, the amount of savings can really add up. For instance, the monthly subscription for a Dropbox account is priced at US$11.99. However, a yearly subscription would only cost you US$119.88, which works  out to be US$9.99 a month.

For streaming services such as Disney+, the monthly fee would be S$11.98. Switching to an annual subscription of S$119.98 would allow you to save 15% in a year.

Of course, you will also have to make sure that you are able to fork out this amount in a lump sum before you commit to such subscription models.

2.   Make use of free trials

Many subscription services offer you a free trial. These include services such as Apple Music, Apple TV, Spotify, and YouTube Premium. This means that you can enjoy a month-long free trial without paying. Of course, you will usually have to be a new user to give their free trial a shot. Additionally, remember to make note of the date of the trial period so you can cancel the subscription before the service charges you for the next month.

3.   Research and compare prices

Similar to shopping for a physical product, researching and comparing prices for your subscription service can also help you save money in the long run.

For instance, picking one streaming service can help you cut down costs.

SubscriptionMonthly Fee (SGD)Trial Period
AppleOne (which includes Apple TV)$16.95
3 months free when you purchase an Apple device
Netflix$12.981 month free
Disney+$11.98
No longer applicable
HBO Go$13.98/ month or $29.98/ 3 months
No longer applicable

If you’re an audiophile, opt for just one music service that best suits your needs.

SubscriptionMonthly Fee (SGD)Trial Period
Apple Music$9.983 months free
KKBOX$9.901 month free
Spotify$9.901 month free

Remember that some services allow you to sign up for a free trial before you commit, so you won’t end up wasting money paying for a subscription that does not suit what you are looking for. For those without free trials, consider paying for a month of subscription to test the waters first, then cancel at any time.

4.   Use free alternatives

Entertainment doesn’t always have to come with a price tag. If you love consuming video content but want to cut down on your reliance on Netflix, why not try out free alternatives? From dramas to comedies, YouTube offers hours of free content  to choose from. . You can even try to #supportlocal and give MeWatch a try – with free access to local on-demand dramas, sports, news, entertainment, and LIVE programmes.

5.   Make use of your company’s resources

Depending on the scale of your company, chances are that you may already have access to some subscription services you personally use.

For instance, if you are an employee of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), you might have free access to The Straits Times. This means that you don’t have to fork out anything to bypass the paywalls, and can enjoy the subscription services for leisure reading and work research purposes.

Figure out if it’s really worth the money, or make the switch

The cost of entertainment is usually where your money disappears. Unless you have the habit of checking your monthly bank statement, you could be paying more than you realise. Over time, these monthly subscriptions could contribute to a significant amount of spending, which could be put to better use.

What are some of your subscription saving tips and tricks? Share them with us at ask@plannerbee.co!

1 thoughts on “5 Clever Subscription Hacks To Help You Save Money

  1. Adeline says:

    You can download the NLB app and access press reader to get complimentary access to the publications. For local newspaper, you will need to be connected to the Wireless@SGx network at any library. Meanwhile, you can read news from other online sources.

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