How to utilize streaming services to work for your budget

How to make streaming services work for your budget

How to utilize streaming services to work for your budget

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There are so many streaming services, they cost as much as cable together. It’s time to utilize them better to work for your budget.

You don’t need every single streaming service that is out there. There are so many platforms now that they’re going to burn a hole in your pocket. The good news is you’re not stuck in contracts with them, and it’s time to use that to your advantage.

It doesn’t mean you have to miss out on content. It just means that you have to time things a little better. You don’t need to watch everything right away!

Which streaming services will you use all the time?

There are some streaming platforms that I want access to all the time. I use them on a daily basis—and not just for work. My Amazon Prime* account is the one I pay yearly for and I won’t cancel. I use it for far more than Prime Video, and when I do use Prime Video, I’m pretty much watching someone on that each night.

Another I keep is Disney+. The children use that all the time, and I’ll watch something on it at least once a week because of the Hulu content that heads to Disney Star in Canada. So, it makes sense for me to keep it.

Netflix has been one that I’ve kept, but it’s one that I’ve also been on the fence about canceling now and then. I don’t use it that much, but the kids do. The kids would easily move to something else though if they wanted.

So, go through your streaming platforms and see which ones you use all the time and which ones you end up forgetting about.

MORE: 5 budgeting myths holding you back from financial freedom

Sign up for a short space of time

There are no contracts involved with streaming services. You sign up for a month and then you can cancel. The problem is a lot of people don’t cancel, and this I show streaming platforms get your money for nothing.

I’ve done this with a lot of platforms. During February and March, I sign up for DAZN for the Six Nations rugby games. I like DAZN because you can give a 30 day cancellation notice instead of paying for two whole months when I only need six weeks of coverage. I end up spending less.

When A Discovery of Witches was on, I signed up for Shudder to watch that. Then I canceled the subscription each time the season came to an end. I’ve done it with a few other smaller streamers as well, and most recently with Crave. I will sign back up for Crave in June for House of the Dragon* and then I’ll cancel again after that’s done unless there’s something else that I want to watch.

The whole point of these streamers with no contracts is that you can sign up and cancel. That’s the way you’re meant to use them to make sure they work for your budget.

Utilize the free trials

Most streaming services will offer free trials. It’s time to take advantage of them. For example, I was able to sign up to Shudder for the first season of A Discovery of Witches*. I waited for the whole season to be available and then used the 7-day free trial to watch the whole season. I didn’t have to pay anything. For the second season, it was on Sundance Now as well, so I utilized that free trial when the whole season was out. For the third season? I made use of AMC+ since the series also went there.

A Discovery of Witches was useful with it being on multiple platforms. That’s not always the case, but getting one season for nothing is great. And if you wait for a few seasons, you can make use of the 7-day free trials well and watch a lot of content for absolutely nothing. And yes, you can sign up with different email addresses to further the benefit.

Do make the most of any offers you get through your bank accounts or credit cards as well. I’ve got an offer to use Apple TV+* for three months for free with one of my credit cards. Guess what I’ll be using soon!

MORE: It’s time to track your subscriptions

How do you make the most of streaming services? What tricks have you learned with subscriptions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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