Personal Finance Feb 11, 2021 04:00 AM EST

Top 3 Proven Money Tips: Netflix, Spotify, HBO and Other Streaming Sites

By Erika Dickinson

Netflix (Ken Ishii/Getty Images)

With the relentless COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to engage in more screen time - and the many streaming apps these days to entertain and educate themselves, subcription costs can make up a big chunk of our monthly bills. The question is, isn't it possible to lessen the costs of streaming? Can't we binge watch, access new songs, and devour audiobooks and read e-books on a budget? 

Most of the apps may not have irrational monthly fees, but if you have more than one or two of these entertainment streaming apps, the costs are likely to pile up. In a time of saving, here are three methods you can consider to save money on streaming. 

1. Know Which Ones You Are Truly Using

The first tip is a no-brainer. If you are not using an app that much, then it might be time to unsubscribe, regardless of how little you think the monthly fee is. Know which one you are actually using religiously. Stop maintaining apps you only use when you are in the bathroom or while waiting for something.

It is undeniably nice to have a variety of streaming options to choose from when settling into your couch for the night, or to waste a few hours you do not know what to do with while staying at home, but it really does not make sense to pay for services you aren't using, no matter how small the fee is.  If you use Netflix to binge watch more compared to HBO, then let HBO go. You might even be surprised to see that some shows on one streaming app is already available on the other.  

READ MORE: Uber Barely Survived 2020, Mixed Q4 Performance Shows

2. Rotate Similar Subscription Services 

Remember this: It's not as if you can watch everything at once. At one point, some shows in one app might be more interesting than the other. The thing is, there is no reason to stick it out with just one, forever. 

So why not rotate your use of them? It's not that hard to cancel and resubscribe! 

"A lot more people are planning their binge watching to save money," said Michael Timmermann, the founder of savings blog Michael Saves.

"They watch Netflix for two months then put it on pause, then go to HBO Max to catch up on movies, then a couple months later switch to Hulu," he explained further.

Again, take advantage of the fact that it is actually very easy to cancel out a subscription. There's no pain in hitting that cancel button and no embarassment to go through.

"People get stuck in a mentality of being tied to a contract, but streaming services typically don't have a contract, so when you go through the review process, you can cancel,"  Michael Timmermann, reminded. 

Also, if you can share an account with your family instead of individually subscribing to a streaming service, then do so. It is offered for this purpose - so you can save. 

3. Check out Promos and Tie-Ups with Your Internet Connection Providers

It is highly likely that internet connection providers would have tie-ups with these streaming giants. After all, they fuel each other's businesses. If there are promos, never be shy to take advantage of them. One penny saved can accumulate! 

Or check out if your credit card providers also offer rewards and promos. Most of them do, offering several percentages cashbacks on select US streaming subscriptions, as reported by CNN. Use them and save!  

READ MORE: Facebook Overpaid Billions in Penalties to Protect CEO Mark Zuckerberg?

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