Subscriptions are available today for everything from multivitamins to movies, and their cost can quickly add up.
In 2021, consumers spent an average of $273 a month on subscriptions, according to a report from digital consulting firm West Monroe. That’s $3,276 a year and more than three times as much as survey respondents initially thought they spent on these services.
It’s easy to sign up for a subscription and then forget about it. To avoid this costly mistake, consider using one of the following apps to track subscription expenses. Some will even cancel unneeded subscriptions for you.
— Mint Premium.
Of course, you don’t need a special app to manage subscriptions. Many banking apps — such as Chase Mobile — make it easy to monitor recurring payments, and a paper calendar is a time-tested tool for tracking upcoming bills. However, these digital tools may offer additional features not available elsewhere.
Keep reading for a look at what each app offers.
Cost: Free for the basic app, $3 to $12 per month for premium services. For successful bill negotiation, Truebill keeps 40% of the amount saved.
Features: Truebill was launched in 2015 to help people reduce their monthly bills. Now owned by Rocket Companies, the app has expanded to include subscription management, budgeting tools and spending insights.
“I’ve been using Truebill for the last six months and am very happy with it,” says Jenny Kincaid Julian, CEO and founder of Kincaid Public Relations & Connections. So far, the app has saved her nearly $175 on her SiriusXM subscription as well as reduced her AT&T bill. “In addition, I found two subscriptions just the other day that I was unaware I still had,” she says.
Once you’ve linked Truebill to your financial accounts, it will automatically identify subscriptions and other recurring bills. If there are any subscriptions you no longer want or need, Truebill can help cancel them.
[SEE: 10 Best Budget Apps.]
Cost: Free for most services. For successful bill negotiation, Trim keeps 15% of the annual amount saved.
Features: Like Truebill, Trim makes it easy to identify and cancel subscription services. However, it does not have mobile apps and is instead accessed via web browsers. Users can create an account using Facebook, Google or their email address.
Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert and contributor at U.S. News, says parents may find Trim useful to identify subscriptions their children may have activated. “This happened to me before I realized I had to add parental controls (to an account),” she says. “We were paying for a Noggin subscription within our Prime Subscription for an unnecessary $7.99 per month.”
After signing up for Trim, users have access to a personal dashboard that can be used to manage subscriptions, negotiate bills and automate savings.
Cost: $4.99 per month.
Features: Many people are familiar with the free budgeting app Mint. It can be linked to multiple bank accounts and credit cards to review spending across categories. However, for Mint’s subscription cancellation service, you’ll have to upgrade to Mint Premium.
Currently only available for iOS devices, Mint Premium will cancel unneeded subscriptions, and the company says users save an average of $90 a year with the service. Other features that come with the paid app are spending projections and money spotlights, which allow users to see how their spending compares to others.
Cost: Free for the basic app, PocketGuard Plus costs $7.99 per month, $34.99 per year or a $79.99 one-time purchase for lifetime access.
Features: PocketGuard is just one of a number of free budgeting apps that can be used to track subscription expenses.
“The best overall subscription tracker is Truebill, but I like PocketGuard,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure, an SEO marketing services company. While Truebill makes it easy to cancel subscriptions, “PocketGuard gives me more than that because it also organizes expenses and subscriptions with tabs and graphs,” he says.
Financial accounts can be linked to PocketGuard, and subscription charges can be tagged as recurring bills. Then, the app can predict when bills will come due and use that information to help keep your budget balanced.
Cost: Free, upgrades cost $0.99 to $2.99 and include unlimited subscriptions, filters and other features.
Features: For those who aren’t comfortable linking their bank accounts to an app, Bobby may be an ideal subscription tracker. It allows users to manually input their subscriptions, including the monthly price and billing date.
Bobby supports multiple currencies and makes it easy to see your monthly subscription spending. It will also send payment reminders. In addition to being an affordable option, Bobby’s clean interface makes it easy to read and use. But you’ll need an iOS device to use Bobby since it’s only in the Apple App Store right now.
[Read: The Best Free Budgeting Tools.]
Cost: Free basic version, pro version is $2.99.
Features: If you have an Android device, Subby offers a service that is comparable to Bobby. Users can manually enter an unlimited number of subscriptions for free and be notified of upcoming bill dates. It will also total your subscription expenses by month or year. A pro version of the app includes a widget and automatic back-ups to Google Drive.
Subby is only available for Android devices but be aware that there exists a different app by the same name in the Apple App Store. That app offers a way to split subscription costs among friends and family.
Track My Subs
Cost: Free to track 10 subscriptions, paid plans range from $5 per month for 20 subscriptions to $15 per month for unlimited subscriptions.
Features: Marketed to small businesses, Track My Subs is a website that can be used by consumers as well. Rather than a mobile app, it’s a browser-based platform that allows users to enter their subscriptions, the cost and due date. Multiple currencies are supported, and monthly bills can be converted to your home currency.
Track My Subs allows people to categorize their subscriptions as they see fit, and its calendar view provides a color coded way to track payment dates. When it comes to spending, Track My Subs offers easy-to-read graphs of your subscription costs.
The Bottom Line
Subscriptions may be a bigger part of your budget than you think, and apps offer one way to rein in costs. However, they are best used in combination with other money-savings strategies.
“Before signing up for a new service, always check to see if there are additional savings first,” Woroch says. “In fact, you may even consider cancelling a current service in favor of a deal offered through … a competitor to keep your subscriptions even cheaper.” She notes websites such as CouponFollow often offer discounts on subscriptions such as Hulu, HelloFresh and Birch Box.
Once you’ve gotten a good deal on your subscription, the apps above can help you keep tabs on it. But don’t overlook the fact that some of these apps have their own subscription costs attached. Make sure the app offers enough value before you add one more monthly expense to your budget.
More from U.S. News
Update 05/18/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.