Kristin Bartlow

Financial Advisor, Managing Director

Creating customized financial plans and managing investment portfolios for Bay Area families, entrepreneurs and retirees.


February 20, 2024
Kristin Bartlow

Is It Time to Hit ‘Unsubscribe’? How to Grow Your Savings, Without Sacrificing Your Lifestyle

In my opinion, few things are more frustrating than discovering someone’s stolen your credit card number. Yet, that’s where I found myself just a few months ago, as I discovered my latest credit card bill was riddled with fraudulent charges. I canceled the card immediately, disputed the charges, and my credit card company issued a new card—all in all, the fraudster’s mess was cleaned up pretty quickly.

As with any new credit card number, I did have to go through the time-consuming process of updating every autopay bill and subscription with my new number. But as I began updating payments, I realized it’s been ages since I reviewed my subscriptions and accounts and, frankly, there were some I didn’t even know I was paying for (hello Apple TV+?). It took some fraudulent credit card charges for me to really stop and take stock of what I was paying for each month.

As a result of this experience, I removed unnecessary and unused accounts, which totaled around $280 a month. Multiplied over a year, that’s $3,360 in extra discretionary surplus —and money that could be better spent padding my savings accounts.

I wanted to share with you a few ways you can use the “unsubscribe” button to free up more of your cash flow and redirect those funds toward more impactful things that you will enjoy at some point!

How to Say Goodbye to Unused Subscriptions

It can feel like a daunting process because one needs to cancel each subscription individually, however, trust me, it doesn’t take very much time and most of it can be done on your laptop while binge-watching your favorite show. You will rarely need to speak with a customer service representative.

But the first step in letting go is auditing your bank statements and understanding what, exactly, you’re paying. Go back through to the beginning of the year (or over the last 12 months) to identify recurring charges. These may include monthly subscriptions (gym memberships, Netflix, subscription boxes, etc.) as well as yearly charges (Amazon Prime, grocery delivery services, digital publications, etc.)

This process is easy enough but beware—companies love to “bundle” subscriptions together (think Hulu & DisneyPlus, Apple Music and Apple TV+, etc.) While they’re advertised as a way to save you money, if you aren’t aware you have these additional services, you’re paying for more than you’re actually using.
Remove Billing Information
First and foremost, go to each platform you wish to unsubscribe from and remove your billing information (such as your credit card number). When the next payment period comes, the service won’t be able to charge you, and they’ll reach out to you for payment. This is your opportunity to cut ties (especially if you had trouble running through their cancellation process on your own).

Remember: Just because you delete an app or service from your phone doesn’t mean the payments will stop.

Track Free Trials

If you like checking out new services by taking full advantage of their free trials, set a reminder on your calendar for when the free trial period ends. Most companies require credit card information to access the platform, and they’ll start charging it automatically after the free period has ended.

Download a Tracking App

Yes, there is an app for that! Subscription-tracking apps are becoming more popular, as people (like me!) struggle to keep a close eye on their automatic payments. Apps like Rocket Money will even negotiate subscription payments on your behalf if you’d like to maintain certain subscriptions but want to pay a lower price.

Taking Simple Steps to Grow Your Savings in 2024 & Beyond

I know I’m not the first person to forget about a subscription or two, and hopefully, you’ve found this reminder to check your recurring expenses helpful. How can anyone argue that spending an hour and saving $3,360 per year isn’t worth it?

Redirecting just a few extra hundred bucks each month will help you get closer to your savings goal for a trip you’ve been dreaming about or boost your retirement income in the future

If you’re ready to learn more about cash flow management and hone in on your long-term goals, don’t hesitate to book a call with our team today.



Financial Advisor, Managing Director

Kristin is a long-time resident of the Bay Area and has helped hundreds of clients achieve the financial futures they dreamed of. As an experienced financial planner, Kristin speaks the complex language of equity compensation, charitable giving and tax liabilities. She’s devoted to her client base of families and individuals in their 30s, 40s and 50s, knowing that the decisions they make now will have a deep impact on the future they want.



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