Goodbye, Netflix – unsubscribing and saving money

22nd September 2016

Goodbye, Netflix - unsubscribing and saving money

It wasn’t until the beginning of September that I signed up for a Netflix account. Tyrone used to have one, but eventually cancelled his subscription and got Amazon Prime.

But then I decided to jump on the Stranger Things bandwagon and I wanted to watch the latest series of Orange is the New Black. So knowing that I would qualify for a month of free usage as new customer, I joined.

Now that free month is coming to an end. I binged watched Stranger Things in three days, I’ve almost finished OITNB and Tyrone and I even managed to finish rewatching Gavin and Stacey (series 1 to 2 were on Prime, and 3 was on Netflix?) and cram in a whole load of Louis Theroux documentaries. And I didn’t watch any films on there because their movie selection resembles that of the rack of DVDs in Poundland; I’ve never even heard of half of them!

But I’m just not sure I need it anymore.

Or at least, not right now.

I’m going to cancel my subscription and maybe start it back up again next summer when the new series of my favourite shows are out.

Anyway, thinking about cancelling Netflix got me thinking about subscriptions and memberships, and how much money we end up wasting on them.

We get roped in by their oh so tempting introductory offers, which are all good and well as long as you remember to cancel after the first month. And if you do forget, or just can’t be bothered because of the “what if…” excuse then you are just throwing money down the train.

For instance, if you choose the most expensive package that works out at over £100 a year. And I can’t help but think I could invest that £100 into something better; especially considering I’m buying a car.

That’s the thing with subscription services and monthly memberships, isn’t it? You think to yourself “Oh, it’s only £XX a month…” but it soon adds up.

I’ve upgraded to Spotify premium a few times. Sometimes they had offers where you can get three months for the price of one, which is very reasonable given how much I use it at work. But I always forget when the three months is up and I ended up stuck with it for another month at full price. I can deal with the adverts. If I’m working hard then I don’t even noticed they’re playing.

Saying that though, I once just paid the £9.99 fee for a single month because every bloody advert was for the Jungle Book and it was so off putting when listening at work. In that situation, it was money well spent.

I’ve also subscribed to Graze a number of times because you get your first box free. And if you change your card/address you can sign up with another email address and get another free one. But you didn’t hear that from me. 😉 Then I forget to unsubscribe, and forget to update my preferences, so end up paying £3.99 for a box of overpriced food I don’t even want nor like.

But I’m not going to forget about Netflix. The last day of the free month trial is in my diary and I will cancel it. And I will get Orange is the New Black finished before this deadline.

Do you have any monthly subscriptions/memberships that you pay for? Do you get your moneys worth, or is it money you could be saving?

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  1. I signed up for audible for a free book…two years later I was still shelling out £8 a month and had a backlog of unused credits and unlistened to books. Thankfully audible has a wonderful pause membership option so you can take a break. I wish more companies did that. I agree that these small purchases add up. I don’t subscribe to magazines anymore for that reason and I’ll never get Netflix or prime…

  2. With subscriptions it might be hard to keep track. I have some subscriptions that I use and they are worth the money spent on them, like National Trust and English Heritage because the entrance fee are expensive and only on the trip to Hadrian’s Wall we’ve saved up half of the fee for the EH one. I bought yesterday a membership to National Art Pass, I hope I will use it, I have plans to visit 2 museums in the next couple of months anyway.

  3. The only current monthly subscription is our gym membership which I’m actually about to cancel because we don’t go anymore. 😛 Plus, I can workout at home for free if I choose to do so. We use Netflix and Hulu, but we mooch both of those off other people haha! My mother in law lets us use her Netflix and my sister lets us use her Hulu. I wouldn’t pay for Hulu on my own because there is only one or two shows I watch on there, but we would pay for Netflix because we use it a lot. There’s actually a lot of movies we like to watch on Netflix, but we mostly watch TV shows. But I’m also excited about all the Disney movies that are going to be on there soon!

    • Holly

      I can’t really afford to go to the gym at the moment so I’m working out from home. I would love to join one some day but I’d definitely want to get my moneys worth.

      Haha, we have family members with Sky TV so we can watch via their accounts but we don’t have to pay a penny!

      I’ve heard that US Netflix is much better than the British one. Apparently there is more variety.

  4. Nick gifted me a Spotify subscription a while back. I really liked it but then we moved to Apple Music. Both are good, and sometimes there aren’t songs on one service, but are on the other, and vice versa. And I know I have a lot of unusual, rare, independent music that will never be on those services, so I vow to keep the mp3 copies. 😉 I am usually a bit hesitant to sign up for subscriptions unless I know I will use the service.

    On occasion I have participated in free trials for some coding websites (to learn some JavaScript) but I want to be able to make full use of the 30 days (or however long it is), so I only activate it when I know I will have time to touch it every day. Unfortunately I just don’t want to pay, haha.

    I know that with Netflix and other television subscriptions, I will never be sucked in. I don’t watch a lot of television, if any, and I don’t have any shows that I want to watch. When I move out, I don’t even think I will bother having free TV. 😛 As for movies, I usually buy movies when I want to watch them.

    Overall, it only makes sense for me to buy a subscription if I am going to use the product/service right then and there, and for a continuous period of time. Otherwise, if possible, I will just buy one month. Or I will just not go for it.

    • Holly

      I would like to try Apple Music. I’ve had a lot of problems with Spotify crashing so I’m wondering if Apple Music is any better. Although I think I will have to start buying CDs again because my new car only has a CD player.

      I don’t think it’s worth paying to learn to code, especially when there are great resources for learning that are free. Tyrone has recently bought a JavaScript course so it will be interesting to see what he thinks of that.

      To be honest we really don’t watch a lot of TV. In the evenings we tend to play games or read. I don’t even know why I bother paying for a TV license!

  5. Cat

    I try not to have too many subscription services because I’m not sure if I use them all enough to get my money’s worth. The only subscription box I do right now is Blue Apron, and I’ve canceled Netflix before in the past. I got back on it for the Marvel series that they have though! I’m currently watching a couple series, and then Luke Cage is about to release. I guess I’m on Netflix for a little longer 🙂

    The other streaming subscription I have is Crunchyroll, and I definitely make use of that. I watch it almost on a daily basis, and it gets me discounts in their store. I used to let subscription services run, even during times when I weren’t using them as much. I try to keep an eye on those now and cancel when needed!

    • Holly

      I think Netflix goes through phases. Sometimes they’ve got some great stuff, other times it’s just not worth the money.

      It definitely worth keeping an eye on subscriptions and stop those that you aren’t using.

  6. Kat

    I know what you mean about subscriptions. I signed up to Hello Fresh as I got a free box from my friend, but cancelled straight after as it was 30 odd quid a box for 3 meals for two people. Even though the meals were good I can nearly do a full weeks shop for that. Netflix is one thing we definitely get our money’s worth from, we’ve watched so much stuff on it and it must be used a few times a week so I don’t think we’d get rid of that unless it went massively downhill

    • Holly

      Woah, I didn’t realise Hello Fresh was so expensive. I don’t even spend £30 on a weeks worth of food for two people!

      I think Netflix is good if you can get your moneys worth. I’m pretty sure I’ll be signing up again next summer to catch up with everything I’ve missed!

  7. Netflix is about the same cost as a Internet plan here in India, so i prefer not subscribing to it and finding other means for watching the shows I want to watch.
    I want to subscribe to OwlCrate but Rs 1000 for a book and a few goodies feels too exuberant right now when I don’t earn.
    For even learning something online like on Coursera and Codecademy I prefer to learn the course than get the certification and thus save money! 😀

    • Holly

      I wish an internet plan was as cheap as Netflix here in the UK!

      I’ve never heard of OwlCrate. Websites like Coursera and Codecademy have such great resources I don’t think there is any need to pay extra.

  8. Amy

    I could never end my Netflix subscription! We watch everything on Netflix or DVD! I love not having to sit through adverts, and it’s so cheap. Plus, there’s a lot of TV programmes that I love on there.

    I understand about subscriptions though. They really do add up. I was tempted by Graze, but they wouldn’t accept Yorkshire bank cards when I signed-up, so I just ended up getting the free one, then being told I needed to change my payment details. And, to be honest, I’m glad that happened, because those tiny boxes are not worth the money!

    Netflix is the only thing I’m subscribed to. I’m always tempted by boxes like Loot Crate, but I know I’ll just end up with a bunch of stuff I don’t want. I’d much rather spend the money on things I choose!

  9. We do a shared account with friends for Netflix and Apple Music, so that help cut our costs down. We previously had Hulu Plus as well, but stop subscribing after we installed Kodi 😛 These subscription services do add up so we try to be mindful and only subscribe to the necessary ones!