Last month as I completed our monthly expense review I noticed that our monthly entertainment subscriptions had gotten a little out of hand. I noticed that we were now paying for Netflix, Spotify, Prime, and Apple TV (almost $50 a month). I was a little stunned at how normal these expenses had become and decided to do something. If you are in a similar situation as us and want to do something about it then keep reading.
I don’t believe our story or situation is unique. We started out with good intentions and just one subscription service, but then slowly but surely over time more services magically appeared.
Maybe like us you added a new one because another service had a new TV show you wanted to watch……
Maybe you forgot to cancel it after the free trial…..
Maybe you hated the Spotify ads…..
Maybe you got into the habit of having all these convenient entertaining options at your finger tips…..
Whatever the reason your subscriptions (like ours) have slowly multiplied over time and now you’re quietly paying for more entertainment than you need.
So what now. Well I’ve decided to apply the scream test method to our subscriptions in order to cut them down significantly and save ourselves $500 a year.
What is the ‘Scream Test’?
I work in IT and a scream test is a term and method we use to determine if a service, function, system etc is still in use, and it’s importance. Typically scream tests are applied when no-one will take ownership of the service, function or system in question. If no-one takes ownership then no-one is able to make a decision on it’s importance, and whether it’s still required. You would be surprised at how often things such as servers are kept running without anyone using them. Scream tests are not something to be taken lightly in an IT setting, and if you would like to learn more about them take a look here.
How do you do a subscription ‘Scream Test’?
Well in very simple terms you quietly remove the subscription service, and wait for the screams from your family.
Obviously if I was applying this method to my work this explanation is overly simplified, but in terms of the context of applying it to my subscriptions this explanation suits this application perfectly.
Why am I trialling the ‘Scream Test’ method?
Well I’m 100% sure my household isn’t utilising all it’s subscriptions, and so the scream test will quickly determine what we are using and more importantly what we aren’t using.
I also don’t want to own the decision to keep/cancel the subscriptions. I have enough on my plate in terms of making decisions so for me a scream test feels like a nicer way to determine which subscriptions we should keep.
What if they ‘Scream’?
I expect my family to scream with at least one subscription, and for that reason we will keep one subscription at a time. If someone in the family wants to try another service then we can cancel our current subscription and switch.
It’s just $500 a year, who cares?
Well I do care, especially when I know that we are paying for something that we aren’t utilising. There is nothing worse in my mind than paying for something you aren’t using, and that’s why I think doing a subscription scream test in your household is a good idea.
Let me know in the comments how your subscription scream tests go or how you are keeping your subscription costs down.
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