How to Avoid Overspending on Streaming Services

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated January 28, 2021

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Money Saving Tips
May 7, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Streaming services can make it easy and inexpensive to access huge libraries of music, television shows, and movies. In some cases, though, you can end up spending more money than you mean to. Follow these four tips to avoid overspending on streaming services.

Most streaming services give you free trials so you can experience them before spending any money. Hulu and Netflix, for example, give you a month to decide whether you want to subscribe. Sign up for free trials so you can decide which options match your interests.

If you don’t want to pay for a service, make sure you cancel before the end of your free trial. Most sites ask for your credit card information when you sign up. If you don’t cancel, then they will automatically charge your card for the next month.

Are you paying for streaming service memberships that you never use? Review your credit card statement closely to find memberships that you don’t want anymore.

Just because you used a membership a few years ago doesn’t mean that you use it now. If you have services that you forgot about, cancel them. Otherwise they’re just costing you money every month.

Hulu and Amazon Prime Video will let you add channels like Showtime and HBO. Unless you pay close attention to your memberships, you may have signed up for extra channels on multiple platforms.

Compare the shows and movies offered by the streaming services you have. If you find a lot of duplicate content, then you may want to drop one of the memberships.

Unless you have a smart TV, you probably need a device that can stream content from your computer network to your entertainment system.

These days, you have plenty of options, including:

Each device has unique characteristics that you should compare before you make a purchase. The Nvidia Shield, for instance, works great for gamers. If you want a budget option, you might prefer a Roku Streaming Stick+.

Look at the costs and features that you get from popular streaming devices. You won’t know which one fits your family’s budget and entertainment preferences until you explore your options.

People have more entertainment options than ever. As more companies debut streaming services, the prices can add up. With a little planning, though, you can access the entertainment you love while saving money.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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