Review Recurring Expenses Regularly

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by Elle Martinez · 12 comments

As we heading into the last trimester in a couple of weeks, we’re now looking at our finances a little bit closer. We’ve both noticed while we’re doing well on saving, we’re spending a bit more day to day with our checking account.

Last week I looked at 2 reoccurring expenses to see if we still wanted to keep them around. One of them made the cut, but the other had to go.

Examining Our Monthly Subscriptions

Star Trek Online

I’m a Star Trek fan so when I saw the description for the game; I knew that I had to sign up for the game:

In this massively multiplayer online game from Cryptic Studios, players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship. Or they can become a Klingon Warlord and expand the Empire to the far reaches of the galaxy.

I’ve played the game off and on and it is a lot of fun. for those not familiar with some online games there is a monthly fee associated with game. Depending on how frequently you pay, you can get a small discount.

Right now the subscription prices in the US are:

  • Monthly @ $14.99
  • 3 Months for $41.97 ($13.99/month)
  • 6 Months for $77.94 ($12.99/month)
  • Lifetime Subscription for $299.99

After looking at my gaming habits and considering how little time I’ll have in the next few months, I decided to cancel my subscription for now. I’m not crazy about this, but I would be happier having that money redirected to one of our financial goals for the year.

I’ll look into this again later when I have a better idea of what my schedule will be like. Maybe I’ll wait to save up for a lifetime subscription or maybe I’ll decide that it’s not worth it. We’ll see how that turns out.

Netflix

We’ve cut back to just broadcast for our cable and we supplement our entertainment selection with Netflix. We use the PS3 and my laptop to watch our movies and I have to say the service has been great.

We had a trial for 2 DVDs at a time plus streaming, but we decided to downgrade a notch to save money and keep our Netflix. So far it has worked really well for us. Right now, here are prices for the subscriptions:

  • Unlimited Streaming(No DVDs) – $7.99/month
  • 1 DVD out at a time w/ unlimited streaming – $9.99/month
  • 2 DVDs out at a time w/ unlimited streaming – $13.99/month
  • 3 DVDs out at a time w/ unlimited streaming – $16.99/month
  • 4 DVDs out at a time w/ unlimited streaming – $23.99/month

We get a lot of value from it and saved quite a bit of money since we’ve cut back on going out to the movie theater. A movie has to be really exciting for us to want to spend the money to see it opening weekend.

We’ve also invited friends over for movie night, so we still get to hang with others while savings some money. After reviewing the costs with the savings we have by reducing our cable bill, we’ll continue with our Netflix subscription.

Thoughts on Recurring Bills

How about you? How often do you review your recurring bills and subscriptions? Where have you spent money and where have you cut costs?

Photo Credit: Jayson Ignacio

About Elle Martinez
Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

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  • Beckey

    I’ve recently done this too. We are definitely keeping the Netflix account active but I’ve decided to cancel my WoW and Rift accounts. I’m just not playing it at all lately. I’m at 5 months now, so I know its just going to get to the point that I don’t feel comfortable sitting in front of my computer at home.

    • Elle

      It was kind of sad to drop STO, but necessary. I play in cycles – active for a month or so, then it’ll be a while before I come. I can always come back to it, which is nice.

  • http://www.financialsamurai.com Financial Samurai

    Guess I only got the cable and iphone bill which is recurring… well also the gym bill. The gym bill is what I fight about the most mentally… and I plan on dropping one ($135/month!) and keeping the other.

    • Elle

      I know for some people having the gym membership motivates them to keep to their goals while others just skip and still pay. Only you know what’s best.

  • http://www.boomerandecho.com Echo

    As your habits change it’s a good idea to review these recurring costs from time to time. Especially with a baby on the way, like you said you may not have time to enjoy gaming or watching Netflix as much.

    I’m thinking of making a change to our satellite TV programming, since I’m finding that we just aren’t watching that much TV anymore besides a few weekly shows that we enjoy. Is it worth having the satellite and a wide range of channels when we don’t even view them all?

    The problem is that cable companies are smart and bundle the channels together, so if we want to get rid of 1 set of channels I’ll probably lose some that I actually like. Maybe I’ll just switch to Netflix…

    • Elle

      Cable is tricky- we had all these channels, but we really only watched some network TV and 2 other channels. The main problem was our schedule. I prefer Netflix where we can follow a show at our leisure at a convenient night for us.

  • http://www.krantcents.com krantcents

    I periodically check all my expenses to see if they still make sense. For example, we changed our shopping for household items to Target for almost all.

  • http://www.promptretirement.com Ravi Gupta

    I haven’t taken a look at my recurring bills, then again as a student it’s one massive bill after another. That being said I try to keep my bills down by spending on only what I need. So far my only recurring bill is hosting at $5 /month. Lucky me.

    -Ravi Gupta

  • http://optionsdude.com/ optionsdude

    Thanks for reminding me. This is something that I will typically review once per year right around the start of summer. I will look at insurance costs to see if I can adjust deductibles as well as review other large periodic expenses to see what I can modify or cut out entirely.

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