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Your Monthly Subscription Services Are Costing A Lot More Than You Budgeted For, Experts Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – From meal preparation kits to shared bike rentals, more and more people are signing up for subscription services.

But recent studies show most people aren't saving money – they're actually spending much more than they budgeted for.

"I have Xfinity, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Prime Video, and I've subscribed on Apple Music," one New Yorker said.

"How much do you estimate that costs?" CBS2's Natalie Duddridge asked.

"Probably a lot!"

Streaming Apps
There's an increasing number of streaming services from Netflix and Hulu, to Amazon and Google Play. (Credit: CBS2)

Owen Burr is like thousands of Americans, using subscriptions services on her phone for everything from movies to meals.

A 2018 survey found Americans spent an average of $237.33 per month on subscriptions, including cell phone service.

On CBS This Morning, Wall Street Journal technology columnist Joanna Stern said most users underestimate how much they're spending.

Watch Joanna Stern's full interview here

"No longer are we paying for that 99-cent app. We're paying for these subscriptions, a monthly, recurring fee to the companies."

Everything from countless TV and video streaming services from Netlix, Hulu, to HBO, to music memberships like Apple.

People are even using clothing services like Rent the Runway and meditation apps like Mindspace – who all charge monthly.

What does this all mean? Buyer beware.

"I got charged $30 this morning for some Face Tune app," Katie Koncar said.

"My advice is you do an audit of your subscriptions. Go through credit card bills, emails. Go old fashioned, put it on paper. Do you use these things?" Joanna Stern recommended.

If you don't use some services, canceling them is as simple as going into your phone settings and clicking unsubscribe.

Surveys show consumers are spending nearly 200 percent more on subscription services than they originally estimated.


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