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Experts suggest taking stock of how much your monthly subscriptions really cost before the end of the year

Expert advice: Update your subscriptions
Expert advice: Update your subscriptions 02:28

NEW YORK -- The so-called "subscription economy" has people paying recurring fees for various services, like entertainment apps or news sites. 

Experts say the end of the year is the time to check on how much you're actually spending. 

America is consumed by monthly subscriptions, with many wondering -- how much is too much?

"It's getting a little out of hand. I subscribe to -- I'm not even sure," Melville resident Dave Perry told CBS New York's John Dias. 

"It becomes ridiculous," Huntington resident Diana DeRosa said. "You start to add the numbers together and, before you know, you're up to $100."

According to C&R Research, an average American spends $219 a month on subscription services. 

Experts believe the reason behind the craze is that people like convenience and selection. Businesses are now capitalizing on that, making more money over time with subscriptions. 

"Were we better off before all these subscriptions took over?" Dias asked Paul Oster, president of Better Qualified. 

"We are much worse off at this point in time," Oster replied." The country is drowning in debt. We really have to take a step back and look at these subscriptions."

Oster said subscriptions could even hurt your credit score. 

"If you're carrying credit card debt and you're not paying it off every month, these subscriptions are going to increase your utilization ratio," he said. "That is the second biggest factor in your credit score."

He said subscriptions that cost less than $20 a month are much more likely to go uncancelled, and marketing professionals use that in their favor.

"The real problem is people don't scour their credit card statements the way they should," said Oster.

Experts say, at least once a month, check all financial statements. Figure out how much you're willing to spend on subscriptions, all up all the services, and rank them based on importance. Then, start canceling the ones you don't need or use. 

"Make a rule that any new one you want to add, something would need to come out," Courtney Alev, consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma, told Dias. "Being able to take stock over what you have, and then reflect on what joy or value it brings into your life can really help you draw that line."

And, help you save money.

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