Uncontrolled subscription services costing Australians hundreds per year
Forgotten or ignored subscriptions are draining almost $500 per year out of individual bank accounts as Australians increasingly feel overwhelmed and unable to keep track of their regular spending.
As many as 47 per cent of Australians admit to subscribing to a service they don't use, while 6 per cent say they have three or more subscriptions going to waste, according to research released by YouGov Australia.
The average monthly spend on unused subscriptions is $40.66, the data shows, which is equal to an annual drain of $487.92.
The problem for many Australians is said to be the difficultly in keeping track of what they have signed up to, with 40 per cent they are not able to stay on top of their subscriptions.
Almost 90 per cent of Australians were shown to have signed up to some form of subscription, including internet, mobile phone and video-on-demand services, to which 38 per cent of respondents were signed up.
And, with a large number of businesses now switching to subscription models, consumers can expect more problems ahead when it comes to sign-ups, according to Graham Cooke, Insights Manager at Finder.
"Not only TV and music subscription services, but fitness subscriptions such as ClassPass, meal delivery services such as Marley Spoon and even software licenses now often renew automatically," Mr Cooke said.
"Often, it is the services that renew less often that are more problematic - as people can forget about them. Annual subscription for apps tend to be one of the worst."
Mr Cooke added that younger Australians were particularly at risk, with the YouGov data showing 23 per cent of millennials have five or more subscriptions running at once.
"Ten dollars per month may not seem like a lot, but these services can quickly add up," Mr Cooke said. "One way to keep on top of your subscription is to closely examine your monthly credit card bill and bank statement, and make sure all subscriptions that are coming out regularly are things you're actually using."
And while plugging a $40-per-month hole in most budgets will be seen as a top priority, the financial outlook held by Australians is improving, according to CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman.
"Mortgage rates are at 50-year lows and sentiment is improving... the wealth effect is feeding through into the near-term desire to spend," Mr Felsman said.
"Household are in good shape, feeling okay... but people aren't swinging from the rafters."
Spending hesitation is, however, seen in new car sales, which slumped 10.1 per cent in the year to August and hit an eight-year low as Australians put off buying a new car amid economic concerns and high petrol prices.
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