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How to Manage & Keep Track of Your App Subscription Costs

Written by Jessica Steer
We’re living in a golden age of entertainment. An increasing amount of streaming services (including recent entrants Disney+ and Apple TV+) are competing for our attention and dollars with platforms that offer seemingly limitless amounts of content, from movies and TV shows to music and video games. It can be overwhelming. But while limitless entertainment doesn’t feel like a bad problem to have, there is a downside...   
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    With more and more subscription services, you may be losing track of how much is getting deducted from your bank account and/or credit card each month. Remember the term “cord-cutting”? It was supposed to mean freeing ourselves from cable TV’s price-gouging shackles. But now we’re getting locked into multiple streaming contracts and losing track of those mounting costs. 

    How much are you paying for streaming subscriptions?

    Netflix for $16.49 per month, Amazon Prime for $9.99 per month, Disney+ for $11.99 per month, TSN for $19.99 per month, Spotify for $9.99 per month... so how much is all this costing you? Well, if you used this moderate list as an example, and we’re missing some big players like Crave TV and on-demand in Google Play or Apple Store, you’re paying over $66 per month—close to $800 a year! 

    Top streaming platforms in Canada (as of 2022)


    $16.49 - $20.99/mo. 

    Amazon Prime




    Apple TV+


    Crave TV

    $9.99 - $19.99/mo.

    Sportsnet Now

    $14.99/mo. – $34.99/mo.



    YouTube Premium 




    If it feels like your subscription services are getting out of hand, and putting too much of a dent into your entertainment budget, then it might be time to get a clearer overview of what your streaming costs are adding up to and cancelling the subscriptions that don't deliver value. Over at Marketwatch, they’ve created a subscription calculator to provide the long-view of how much you’re paying, depending on variables like the number years you subscribe.

    This metric also offers a “true” cost, which factors in opportunity costs, meaning not just what you spent but if you had invested the money instead. Not always meaningful but it provides an interesting financial snapshot. Be warned all figures are in US dollars.

    Ways to keep your streaming spend in check

    Now if you’re considering pulling the reins back on your streaming budget, there are a few apps that can help you with this endeavour: 

    Trim – As the name suggests, the Trim app focuses on saving you money on subscriptions by analyzing your accounts to find recurring subscriptions, then determining where you can save. Trim also has the functional ability to cancel subscriptions and even negotiate bills directly with service providers on the user’s behalf. 

    Truebill – This money-saving app is somewhat similar to Mint, YNAB, or Wally in that it gives you a complete picture of your finances. It connects to your banking accounts and lets you see all your finances, including managing monthly subscriptions in one place. It has similar features like cancellation, optimization and price increase alerts.

    It should be mentioned that while all these apps are free and promise to help and you save money, your data is key and what they are after. Read the fine print, as these companies will want to share your data with advertisers and other outside parties. If you are linking your bank accounts and credit card, be sure the app has bank-level security with 256-bit SSL encryption and read-only access.  

    Once you've got a clear line of sight on all your app subscriptions and cancelled the ones you don't need, look into opening a family account with the subscriptions you want to keep. Talk to your friends, family members, and/or housemates about splitting the costs of these services.

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