How to Manage Subscription Overload

Conquering the Subscription Avalanche: A Comprehensive Guide

With the proliferation of subscription services across various industries, from Netflix’s video streaming to ZipCar’s automobile rentals and Maple’s online medical consultations, it’s easy to find ourselves drowning in a sea of subscription-based models. The allure of endless music on Spotify or a constant supply of fresh ingredients from Goodfood can be irresistible. However, the convenience and variety of subscriptions can lead to a costly overload if not managed properly.

The Subscription Economy: A Paradigm Shift


As reported by eminent business analysts the “Subscription Economy” is on the rise, with businesses and consumers alike embracing this new model. For consumers, subscriptions offer affordable and personalized access to a variety of services and content. For businesses, subscriptions ensure a steady cash flow and foster extended customer relationships.

The growing trend of cable cutting, car shedding and a shift from “ownership” to “access” are indicative of the growing popularity of subscription models. However, it’s essential to be prepared and ensure your budget can accommodate these subscriptions.

1. Conducting a Subscription Audit

Identifying the extent of your subscription clutter is the first step towards managing it. A subscription audit involves reviewing your bank statements, emails, and subscription websites to ascertain three key points:


  • The number of subscriptions you have.
  • The cost of each subscription.
  • The frequency of each payment.
  • Having a clear picture of your current subscription landscape is crucial before proceeding to the next step.


2. Monitoring Subscription Usage

Do you regularly use all your subscriptions? Are you making the most out of your Netflix or Fab Fit Fun subscriptions? Tracking your usage over a few months will provide an objective view of the value you’re getting from each subscription.

Make a habit of documenting each time you utilize a subscription service. If a subscription has remained unused for months, it might be time to reconsider its worth.

3. Unsubscribing from Unused Services

Once you have a clear picture of your subscription usage, it’s time to decide which services to unsubscribe from. Considerations should include:


  • Subscriptions that are seldom or never used.
  • Subscriptions that overlap with others.
  • Subscriptions that are too expensive to justify their value.


One approach is to unsubscribe from all services, creating a clean slate. If you find certain services were essential or frequently used, you can always resubscribe. Alternatively, consider canceling specific subscriptions, creating a rotation schedule, or adjusting to a lower frequency.

Canceling Subscriptions: A How-To Guide

Unsure how to unsubscribe? Here are some tips for Android and Apple users:


Apple Users:
Manage and cancel subscriptions through your Apple ID. Go to Settings > iTunes > App Store, view your Apple ID, and find subscriptions. Here you can manage your subscriptions, either canceling or altering them. This can also be done on your computer through iTunes.

Android Users:
The Play Store menu leads you to your account where subscriptions can be managed. You can update or cancel any subscriptions on your phone or through the Play Store web portal.

4. Adding New Subscriptions

Over time, you may want to add new subscriptions. To avoid falling back into subscription overload, set a limit on the total amount you’re willing to spend on subscriptions. Any new subscriptions should replace an existing one to maintain your budget.

5. Regularly Re-evaluating Your Subscriptions

Just like any decluttering task, managing subscriptions is an ongoing process. Regularly assess the usefulness and value of each subscription, and keep your list updated. Setting a regular schedule for re-evaluation — quarterly, semi-annually, or annually — will help you stay on top of your subscriptions.

Subscription services are here to stay, and it’s critical to understand their challenges. By creating a strategy that works for you, managing subscription overload can become a thing of the past.

Have you developed strategies to manage subscription overload? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Twitter or join our community on Facebook.

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