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Parents and their two children watching TV together at home.
Americans weigh in on the value of monthly expenses like cable and video streaming
posted in: Financial Wellness
by Steve Fast

Getting your money’s worth with subscriptions

Every budget needs a review now and then.

Taking a regular look at one’s expenses can reveal some simple ways to “trim the fat” and keep more money in your pocket. When you’re looking over those withdrawals perhaps the best question to ask is “do I get what I pay for?”

Membership and subscription services can take up a good chunk of a personal budget. The expenditures reoccur every month, but does the value match the price tag?

The COUNTRY Financial® Security Index survey examined how Americans evaluate the worth of regular expenditures. From TV-related services to gym memberships, respondents weighed in on the use and relative benefit of subscription services.

How are you watching?

Of those surveyed, the most common subscription was cable or satellite television. The numbers show that 65 percent of Americans say they subscribe to cable/satellite TV. About a third of that group (31 percent) didn’t find the cable/satellite expense worth the cost.

Less common were subscribers to streaming television services such as Netflix® or Hulu®, but those who did subscribe reflected satisfaction with the cost. A large majority (95 percent) of video streaming subscribers were happy with the value of their service. 

Infographic - Are Subscriptions Services Worth the Cost?

Another service that respondents found valuable were premium membership programs such as Amazon Prime® and Costco®. Ninety-five percent of those who paid for premium those programs found their membership worth the money.

Beyond couch surfing and shopping, the monthly expense that showed the highest marks of value was gym membership. Eighty-eight percent of gym-goers rated their workout place as worth what they paid.

Where to cut?

Evaluating the subscriptions you’re paying for is a good practice when reviewing the budget. If you’re finding a lot of value with your favorite monthly subscription service you’re inclined to keep paying each month. But where does that expense rate in your list of financial priorities?

A good place to start in determining if budget pruning is needed would be a personal financial audit. Here are some questions worth asking to help start a self-evaluation: 

  • What are your monthly recurring bills and for how much?

  • Am I living within my means?

  • What loans or payments can I most easily pay off?

  • What kind of additional payment can I easily make to reduce debt?

  • Which subscription services/monthly payments can I most easily cut?

Taking a look at the personal value that’s generated by those expenditures might reflect
some other ways to save a little cash here and there.

Instead of a pricy night out maybe the frugal decision is a night of binge watching.
After all, you’re paying for a subscription, using it or not.


COUNTRY Financial® is not affiliated with and does not endorse the third party services mentioned in this article. Conversely the third parties mentioned in this article have not endorsed, sponsored, or are in no way affiliated with COUNTRY Financial.

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