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Many smartphone users rely on digital subscriptions as a source for entertainment, physical fitness and connecting with others. You can sign up for most streaming services, exercise clubs or dating apps in a matter of minutes — or seconds — and they conveniently charge you monthly or annually.
But those automatic payments can add up to a hefty bill. The average consumer spends $219 a month on subscription services, according to a recent survey by C+R Research, a Chicago-based market research firm. Though each subscription probably seemed like a good idea when you signed up, you might now be paying for some that you no longer use. You could review your credit card statement and cancel them one by one — but a time-saving alternative is a subscription-trimming app that helps manage them. These six subscription management tools can help you save money and time.
Rocket Money is an app that monitors your credit card or bank statement, and it allows you to view and manage your subscriptions from a single dashboard. You can choose to cancel subscriptions on your own, or Rocket Money can do it for you if you’re signed up for its paid service.
You can also choose to pay for other Rocket Money services, such as a subscription cancellation concierge, real-time account balance updates and unlimited budgeting categories.
Cost: The app is free to use, but if you want to have Rocket Money cancel subscriptions on your behalf, you’ll need to sign up for a premium subscription option, which costs $3-$12 a month.
Availability: Google Play (4.4 stars), Apple App Store (4.4 stars)
The PocketGuard budgeting app can be connected to your bank account, credit cards, loans and investments. It uses these to provide a snapshot of your income and expenses that can be viewed as a pie chart. You can also view a list of your bills and subscriptions, which can be used to identify and cancel any memberships you’re no longer using.
Another feature the app offers is a calculation of how much money you have left over after your monthly bills are paid, which can help you stick to your budget and save money.
Cost: Use of the app is free to view your credit card or bank account transactions. Additional features are available for a price, such as the ability to set savings goals and create unlimited budget categories. Paid memberships are available at $7.99 a month, $34.99 a year and $79.99 for a lifetime.
Availability: Google Play (3.7 stars), Apple App Store (4.7 stars)
Mint is a personal finance and budgeting app that allows you to view and monitor your credit cards, loans and investments. It can alert you when your subscription prices go up and identify ones you don’t use. A paid version available to Apple users lets you cancel subscriptions directly from the app.
With the basic version of the app, you can also track spending, create custom budgets, receive bill reminders and calculate your net worth. You’ll also have free access to your credit score and credit monitoring through TransUnion.
Cost: Many of Mint’s offerings cost nothing, and there is a premium option available to Apple users for $4.99 a month with no ads and a subscription cancellation service.
Availability: Google Play (4.3 stars), Apple App Store (4.8 stars)
Unlike many other subscription management tools that offer various additional budgeting features, Bobby’s sole purpose is to keep track of your recurring subscription costs. You can choose from popular subscription services, or add custom ones — and the prices of popular ones automatically show up in the app. You can make the list easier to read by setting the color of each item, as well as ordering the items any way you like. The app can also remind you when a bill is due.
Bobby doesn’t yet offer a version for Android users.
Cost: You’ll have access to a limited number of subscription listings for free. A 99-cent in-app purchase unlocks unlimited listings.
Availability: Apple App Store (4.1 stars)
Subby is an Android app that lists your subscriptions, the associated monthly charges and what credit card is billed for each one. You can add an unlimited number of subscriptions to the list. The app lists a grand total of your monthly charges, and you can have it alert you when bills are due. You can back up your subscriptions to the cloud using a Google Drive account.
Cost: Free, but you’ll have to put up with display ads. An ad-free version costs $2.99.
Availability: Google Play (4.2 stars)
While it’s not an app but a web-based service, Trim looks through your bank or credit card records to find recurring subscription charges, and it can then cancel any unused subscriptions for you. It can also be used to negotiate lower utility bills on your behalf and find better deals on insurance.
The way Trim works is users either upload a photo of a bill or connect their bank account or credit card. Trim then reviews the charges and provides users with savings recommendations. According to Trim’s website, it has negotiated more than 800,000 bills for its users.
Cost: Trim doesn’t charge you for canceling your subscriptions, but does charge a lump sum of 15 percent of the amount the service saves you annually for successful bill negotiation. (You won’t be charged anything if no savings are generated.)
Availability: Trim isn’t available through Google Play or the Apple App Store. You can sign up using Google or Facebook logins, or you can enroll on the Trim website with an email address.
You downloaded an app to manage your subscriptions, now what?
Once you’ve chosen the best app or service for you and signed up for it, get a clear, complete picture of your monthly subscriptions by making sure all of them are listed in the app. Decide whether you want to take advantage of any add-on features for a fee, such as the ability to have the service cancel subscriptions for you. Review your list periodically to make sure new subscriptions are added, and to determine if there are any subscriptions you no longer use.
An app that provides a comprehensive list of your digital subscriptions can help make you aware of any that you’re no longer using, and it can save you the time of combing through your bank or credit card statements. Many are user-friendly and available free of charge, while some come with additional money management features for a nominal fee.