This money mistake cost me hundreds last year

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Signing up for auto-renewing subscriptions came at a high price.


Key points

  • I signed up for several free trials and forgot to cancel.
  • They were charged to a credit card that I don’t use as often, so I didn’t check my statements regularly.
  • As a result, I spent hundreds of dollars unnecessarily.

Last year, I accidentally spent over $100 on purchases I didn’t mean to make. This happened for a simple reason, and that is because I fell for a common trick that marketers implement.

This is how I wasted hundreds of dollars

The mistake I made was simple. I signed up for free trials of several different services. And I actually did this in an attempt to save money.

First, I opted for a DashPass trial because I was able to save on a delivery fee by doing so when I ordered food. I also signed up for a free trial learning app for my son as well as a free trial of HBO Max because I wanted to watch a movie that I would have had to rent or was available on HBO with a free trial subscription. .

However, the problem was that I signed up for these apps and then forgot to cancel before my credit card was charged. The trial subscription was later converted to a permanent subscription. I had no intention of staying with any of them, mainly because we rarely order food, rarely watch TV, and rarely allow my son to use his tablet because he worries us about too much screen time.

Unfortunately, I signed up for HBO through Hulu and signed into the other apps through my Apple account, which was linked to a credit card I don’t use often. And since I don’t charge much on the card and have it set up for auto pay, it was about six months before I logged into the account and saw what was going on and realized I had been unnecessarily paying $10 a month or more for each of these unwanted subscriptions that you were no longer using.

The total costs weren’t huge, but they were over $100 in wasted money over time, for services that didn’t really add any value to my life.

This is how I will avoid this in the future

After realizing my mistake, I quickly canceled these unwanted subscriptions and made a plan to avoid it in the future.

First, before I sign up for a free trial, I’ll carefully consider whether it’s worth the hassle and risk of forgetting to cancel. I would have been much better off, for example, if I had only paid $3.99 to rent the movie and been done with it instead of trying to save a few bucks and ending up costing myself in the second.

Second, if I sign up for a test like this, I’ll immediately put on my calendar the date it needs to be canceled so I don’t forget it again. And third, I will better review my credit card statement in the future, even if I don’t use the card regularly.

The reality is that free trials like this are offered, in part, because many people forget about the fact that they signed up and end up paying for the service for months or even years. Sometimes they can be worth taking advantage of if doing so saves you a good deal or if you’re really interested in giving the service a try to see if it’s worth it.

But, before you sign up, be aware of the potential risk that you could end up paying for months if you’re not careful, and take steps to avoid making the mistake I did.

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