Can These Four Subscription Services Help Save You Money?

Subscription services have become part of our daily lives from food, clothes, music, the movies we watch, and soon the cars we drive. Subscription services are designed to give individuals access to goods or services they would not outrightly be able to afford. However, do you really save money with subscription services and is it better to own than subscribe?

Entertainment Subscriptions: Streaming vs. Satellite TV

Online video streaming has become synonymous with subscription services. However, the pandemic took it to new heights with shows like Bridgeton on one of the leading subscription services (Netflix). Since the launch of Netflix in 1999, we have seen an influx of other streaming services in the UK with the latest being Paramount +. With today’s variety of streaming services, how do they compare to the traditional satellite providers (i.e. Sky and Virgin Media)?

Netflix: Netflix currently offers three pricing plans, each of which have a monthly payment:  Basic: £6.99 (Good video quality in SD (480p). Standard: £10.99 (Great video quality in Full HD (1080p). Premium: £15.99 (Their best video quality in Ultra HD (4K) and HDR. All Netflix shows can be watched on any phone, tablet, computer or TV.)

Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime is the online retailer’s paid-for subscription service. Its main draw is that its members get free next-day delivery on thousands of eligible items. It also includes a range of other services including the popular Prime Video service, featuring exclusive hit shows like Fleabag and The Grand Tour. Amazon Prime currently costs £7.99 a month in the UK. An annual subscription costs £79, saving you £16.88 over the year.

Satellite TV: While satellite TV companies like Sky and Virgin Media prices vary depending on when you live you can expect to pay between £26 to £150 per month for TV, internet, and telephone package. If you are a new customer, expect to pay a set-up fee of £49.99 and most contracts have a minimum term of 18 months.

Netflix Streaming Subscription

The Verdict: The newer streaming subscription services will save you a substantial amount of money compared with the traditional satellite TV providers.

Music Subscriptions: Streaming vs. Purchase

The pioneer of music streaming was a peer-to-peer website called Napster back in 1999. Students used the online service to share MP3 files of songs for free. Prior to this phenomenon, if you wanted to listen to music you had to purchase the CD or wait for it to play on the radio.

Fast forward 6 years after the birth and death of Napster comes Spotify, the leading Music streaming subscriptions service that is now enjoyed by millions of users across the globe. However is this new music streaming subscription worth it compared to purchasing your own CD?

Spotify Premium: This £9.99 per month plan is ad-free and allows up to 50 million songs and playlists. You can also discover new music and podcast series which have become a must-have as part of music streaming.

Amazon Music Premium: For £9.99 per month, you can access Amazon Music premium or £8.99 as a Prime Member. Amazon Music premium offers unlimited access to over 90 million songs vs 2 million offered by Amazon Music Prime.

Apple Music: This starts as low as £4.99 to £15.99 per month and allows up to 90 million songs and 30,000 playlists.

Buying Music: Buying new or popular digital singles off iTunes or Amazon typically costs $1.29 per song.  Even artists are now selling their music direct from their websites. The Digital album price for Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE album is $9.99 to download but the CD, which releases several weeks after the digital album is selling for $12.98.

Spotify Subscription Service

The Verdict: Stick with music streaming subscription services to save money. You can budget to purchase vinyl music from your favourite artists as a piece of art.

Shaving Kits vs. Buying Your Own Razors

grüum Precision 6 Starter Kit: You can buy a starter kit priced at £2.50, which includes five ultra-thin platinum-coated blades, plus precision trimmer for hard-to-navigate areas.

Harry’s Razors: You can buy a trial set for £14, which includes Razor handle, 1x razor head, foaming shave gel, and travel blade cover. After trial, new blades are £1.75 each and sent by post in packs of 8 or how often you shave

Dollar Shave Club: You can buy a starter pack priced at £4, which includes 4 razor cartridges and 1 razor handle. Razor refills arrive 1 month later priced at £8 per month. You have the option to add or remove products and adjust how often you get your boxes

Shop-bought razors: We found the Gillette Fusion5 Men’s Razor Blade Refills, 8 Pack at boots for £21.49.

Shaving kits

The Verdict: Get the razor subscription. While there may be offers on the shop-bought razors you will still pay less by having the blades delivered as a subscription.

Coffee Subscriptions

Do you drink more than one cup of coffee a day? For some people, the daily coffee fix is a religion and the quality of the beans used to make the coffee is just as important. So is the coffee bean box subscription, the latest coffee chain subscription worth it?

Pret Coffee Subscription: For £25 a month with your first month’s half price, you can enjoy up to 150 barista-made drinks a month- that’s up to 5 cups of coffee to meet your daily fix. If you are not working from home or in cities where there is a Pret shop then it’s worth considering this subscription.

Pact Coffee: Offers a subscription service that delivers freshly roasted speciality coffee. This is priced from £7.95 per bag up to £10.95 and each back is expected to last up to 6 weeks or 2 months depending on how many cups you take a day.

Shop-bought coffee: Coffee jars purchased in shops range in sizes and prices. A 100g coffee jar costs £2.60 and this can make up to 55 cups of coffee. Assuming you drink 1 cup of coffee a day this will last you almost 2 months.

Coffee Subscription

The Verdict: If you are an occasional coffee drinker then shop-bought coffee saves you more money than the bean box or Pret coffee subscription. However, where quality is a must, then the bean box subscription offered by the likes of Pact Coffee is a no-brainer.

Tips

Before you sign up for any subscription services, here a few things to consider:

  1. Opt for free trial: Almost every subscription service has a free trial. if you are likely to forget, you can use services like ScribePay to pay, manage and track all your subscriptions. Leave the worries of forgetting to cancel and enjoy the variety of subscription services on offer.
  2. Is this in your budget? As pointed out earlier there is a subscription for everything, and because of the free trials you can easily be lured into subscribing for a service you don’t need and have the budget for. So always look at the price after the trial ends and make sure you can afford the service based on your income.
  3. Start with the cheapest option: Unsure if you will really need the service? start with the cheapest priced plan to get a feel of the product or service. This will save you money as you test out the subscription service and find the right level of service/price plan to meet your needs.
  4. Still using this three months later?  Over £300 is lost every year in forgotten subscriptions. Using a service like Scribepay, you can leave your worries about forgetting to cancel when you no longer need or want the service. We will send you reminders when the subscription payments are due, that way you never forget even though the merchant does not send you an invoice.

Ready to “subscribe”?

Find the right subscription and pay with your ScribePay Virtual card. The smart way to track, manage and pay for subscription services. No more forgotten free trials, missed payments or unwanted charges. Welcome to the future of digital payments!

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