While the world slowly re-opens for business, many cautious people are still living under lockdown rules. Stuck at home with not much else to do, you may naturally spend more time on the couch than ever before.
There’s never been a better time to be a couch potato, what with all the ways to stream premium content straight to your screen whenever you want. But there may be consequences to binge-watching your way through your queue.
With your eyes glued to the screen, you may miss these three signs you’re spending too much on streaming subscriptions.
1. You’re Always Short on Cash
Multiple streaming subscriptions may be cheap on their own, but they pack a wallop to your budget once you add them together. In fact, the average person spends $237.33 on subscription services each month.
That can be a lot to handle if your earnings took a hit this pandemic. You may even need to sneak cash away from your savings to cover these bills. But what will you do if an emergency happens and you need those savings?
If it’s a small, unexpected expense like an auto repair or medical bill, a line of credit may be an option in an emergency.
Unlike installment loans, a line of credit is a revolving account. This means your account won’t close once you pay off your balance. Instead, you may have extra cash on standby for the next emergency, provided you always make full and timely payments to your line of credit.
While a line of credit is a convenient stopgap for savings in a pinch, it doesn’t replace the need for an emergency fund entirely. You should review your budget to determine how many streaming subscriptions you can have without jeopardising your emergency fund.
2. You Have Every Streaming Service
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu may be the big names of the streaming industry, but they’re hardly the only companies offering a streaming catalogue. Today, there are hundreds of streaming services available for your viewing pleasure.
Thanks to copyright laws, video libraries vary from service to service. Some even offer niche titles for specific genres like Shudder or BroadwayHD. And that’s how they get you — the promise of premium content you can’t get anywhere else.
One or two subscriptions may fit your budget, but it’s harder to justify eight, nine, or ten accounts when money is tight.
If you have several subscriptions, it’s time to edit your list. Review their catalogues to determine which ones offer the best libraries for the least amount of money.
3. You Aren’t Watching Anything
Nowadays, almost everyone has a Netflix account. You probably won’t think twice about paying this bill, even if you’ve only watched one Netflix Original this whole lockdown.
If you end up watching cable or downloading movies more often than logging into your account, it’s time to reconsider your subscription. The annual cost of keeping this account “just in case” may be more than you can afford.
Your love of TV and movies doesn’t have to stop just so you can save money, but your viewing pleasure shouldn’t come at a cost to your finances either. Take the time to evaluate your habits and adjust your budget. With a little work, you’ll be able to balance viewing with saving.