Your monthly subscription services are costing you more than you think

It can be easy to disregard those monthly charges that are automatically debited out of your account each month — a little too easy, apparently. A recent study conducted by Waterstone, a Chicago-based consulting firm, proved that on average, Americans underestimate how much they spend on their Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify subscriptions and more each month.

This information may inspire you to take a closer look at your monthly subscription service totals because, chances are, you’re spending much more than you thought.

The study looked at the budgets of 2,500 families across America and examined 21 different subscription categories, ranging from WiFi to meal kit services. Based on their analysis, they found that 84 percent of those surveyed underestimated how much they spent on these types of subscriptions each month. When making an educated guess about how much they’re were spending each month, estimates averaged about $111 each month. But a much closer investigation of their bills revealed that they were actually spending $237 per month, on average.


So, it turns out people are actually paying double what they initially thought. In fact — only 6 percent of people were pretty much on target with their estimates.

If this has you reaching for your bank statement, we can’t say we blame you. If you haven’t taken a look to see how much you’re spending on your favorite services, now might be the perfect time to reevaluate.

Here are just a few things to consider when looking at your monthly bills:

Rethink Gym Memberships

If you’re not making the most of your gym membership, you may want to cut those costs and exercise outdoors or at home. Well Kept Wallet has a great list of requirements you should consider for a gym membership. If your gym doesn’t live up to the price you spend per month — go a cheaper route.

gym photo
Getty Images | Guido De Bortoli

Cancel Magazine And Newspaper Subscriptions

Do you have piles and piles of magazines you never read lying around? Make sure you’re not paying a monthly price for those subscriptions. Same thing for those websites you may or may not be reading from your iPad. This could save you big in the long run, The Simple Dollar points out.


Consider Your Entertainment Consumption

While the Waterstone study did note that most people are happy with their monthly subscriptions, no matter how much it cost them, if you’re not using Hulu as much as Netflix, or you’re spending more time watching Amazon Prime options than cable, cut down on what you don’t need. Trimming the fat, so to speak, and eliminating the music, TV and entertainment services you don’t actually use often might be a great way to get your budget back on track.


There’s plenty of ways you can rearrange your subscription services to make them work for your lifestyle and wallet!

So, who else is going to take a long, hard look at where their money’s really going?