3 ways to track subscription payments, to take better control of your money

Bianca Davino, originally published on Pedestrian.TV
It’s easy to throw your bank details around the internet pretty haphazardly. We don’t blame you. Considering you might’ve used your bank details through different websites, there could be a whole wealth of subscriptions charging you that you may have forgotten about, or didn’t even realise were happening. So, here are a few banking no-brainers to help you track how much cash you’re shelling out each month – because these things add up. This article was originally published on Pedestrian TV Australia.
Pedestrian.TV logo Bianca Davino, originally published on Pedestrian.TV

Really suss your bank statement

It’s natural that in the wake of Covid-19, we’ve all become a little more suss about where our money is going – and that’s a good thing. When you’ve got a better sense of where your money is actually going and at what rate, it makes it way easier to budget and recognise when you might have that little extra to play with. We’re not saying you should throw away anything that may be beneficial to you, but giving your list of subscriptions a bit of a Marie Kondo treatment could save you heaps each month, even if you feel like you’re copping a bargain on an $8/m fee. We know it might be a dream-haunting task, but please, schedule in regular check-ups with your bank statement. Whether it’s fortnightly or monthly, you’ll be able to visualise where all of those random and not-so-random direct debits are going.

Between gym memberships, streaming subscriptions, your phone bill and more, you’ll probably recognise that a good chunk of your paycheck is being spent on things you didn’t even hit the ‘pay now’ button for. So, do some hard thinking and really assess what you do and don’t need.

Instead of forking out $4.99 a month for extra cloud storage, take the time to delete a few videos or, switch to a basic membership on your favourite streaming service and cut off others from logging in on their devices. If you’re absolutely hell-bent on keeping your Creative Cloud subscription in the hopes of becoming a graphic design master or just want to stay organised, create a separate account for your direct debit payments and divide these costs by four, so debits come out in instalments rather than bigger hits.

Companies make it so simple to sign up for their services nowadays, and it’s even easier to forget you’re still signed up – but getting on top of these payments is a real power move.

Restrict in-app purchases

I know it seems like an obvious mistake to make, but in-app purchases are so easy to get sucked into. Generally, this happens with any app that’ll help you with organisation, meditation or health-tracking in order to utilise their full services.

Since this is all connected to your Apple ID or Google Play account, your Face-ID recognition could have you signing up to an $18/month calendar app that provides you with astrological affirmations daily that you barely use. Head to your settings and switch to always requiring password entry before signing up to any apps to create a barrier before ducking into your wallet.

These in-app purchases are also usually a little trickier to get out of, even if you’ve deleted the app – because they’re connected to your Apple ID that’s had your bank details forever. So, do a little extra digging around about how to cancel if you’re serious about saving.

Set debit notifications on your banking app

Watching your money disappear into the ether in real-time can either be calming or nauseating. But, the best way to keep track of your outgoing cash is to set up notifications every time an outgoing transaction is made. It literally implants the idea of spending into your psyche constantly, keeping you in the know of what’s happening in your bank account all the time.

Bankwest can literally alert you straight away if any payments are made. If you see anything else happening on the sly that you want to be sorted ASAP, you can also freeze your card via the app, and get in contact through their 24/7 messaging service, to help you get to the bottom of things sooner rather than later.

Heaps of subscription services will also hike up their prices without even letting you know, so if you want to suss whether Netflix has tried to pull the wool over your eyes in real-time, transaction notifications are the best way to go.

Speaking of Netflix, when you make a payment to particular services, it will automatically link your card details to the service for future payments. It’s called card connections, and you can view it through the Bankwest App.

Keep reading

Check out the other articles that are part of this content partnership below, or see our range of other handy guides.

Learn how to pick up habits that can help you save more.

Find out which of your bills you might be able to negotiate, and how to do it successfully.

Learn how to save, no matter how your account’s looking.

Find out how to manage your money the moment it hits your account.

Learn some handy tips that could help bump your tax return.

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The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL / Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this article.