Weekend Projects

Plug This Silent Money Drain and Save Money All Year

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

You know what really puts a damper on all your efforts to stick to a budget and save money? Seeing a chunk of change go out of your account for a subscription you not only never use, but forgot you even had. This weekend we’re going to find those lurking subscriptions, re-evaluate which are necessary, and save a bundle of cash from leaking away.

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Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This Weekend’s Assignment:

Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.

Rather than realizing you have a subscription you really should cancel when you see a charge on your statement or when a box shows up on your doorstep, compile a list of all your current subscriptions. Here’s a run-down of how to find lists you’re on and subscriptions you’re paying for:

1. Cut down on junk mail and email

While not subscriptions per se, recurring credit card offers, regularly delivered catalogs, and the incessant stream of email offers are not an unavoidable fact of life. Paring down on what you receive will save you from decision-fatigue as you sort through both physical and digital mail and will cut down drastically on the amount of paper you have to deal with. See this post for how to get yourself off mailing lists and email subscriptions.

2. Disable app subscriptions

These charges may be only a few dollars a month, but added up and over time, they can make a difference. To find out which apps you’re paying for regularly, manage your subscriptions on iPhone or go here to explore your Google Play subscriptions for Android.

3. Comb through your statements

Ideally, you don’t have too many different credit card or account statements to examine. Going through them is one way to spot recurring monthly charges. Yearly subscription charges might be more difficult to spot. Of course, there are tools that can help you do this. Trim connects to your cards and will give you a list of regular monthly and yearly payments. Truebill offers a similar service.

One by one, go through your list of subscriptions and, for the most impact, approach them from the perspective of planning to cancel each one except the ones you really use.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.