The Basics Behind Streaming Services | WaterStone Bank

Streaming services are everywhere these days. From Netflix to Hulu and Disney Plus to YouTube Premium, you can mix and match streaming platforms for access to all your favorite series, movies and live sporting events. For many people, streaming services offer an enticing alternative to cable.

But soon enough, the cost of these subscriptions can sneak up on you. When you start combining services, it’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars a year (or more) on subscriptions.

Is it worth buying into the online streaming craze? For some people, the answer is yes—but that doesn’t mean you should subscribe to every service available. Here are a few ways to keep your streaming subscription costs in check.

Limit your subscriptions.

It can be tempting to sign up for all of the popular streaming services, especially when certain content is only available from certain platforms.

But if you’re on a budget, you can’t possibly subscribe to everything. Give yourself a limit: maybe it’s one streaming subscription, or maybe it’s three. Whatever you decide, commit to only using that number of services at a given time. If you sign up for something new, cancel a subscription you don’t use as frequently.

Go comparison shopping to find the best options.

Choose streaming services that offer the most bang for their buck.

Each platform offers something a little different: Some deliver both live and on-demand content. Others cater to movie buffs and sports fans. There are lots of options to choose from, and many offer a mix of content catered to adults and kids alike.

Do your research to determine which platforms you’ll use the most; don’t end up paying for a subscription that only offers one show you enjoy.

Be careful with free trials.

Taking advantage of a free trial of a streaming service to check out a popular new show? Proceed with caution.

If you don’t plan on keeping your subscription after the trial ends, set a reminder to cancel the subscription before your credit card gets charged. Otherwise, you could end up paying for something you don’t really want. If you don’t keep a close eye on your statements, you could go months before realizing it.

Take stock of your subscriptions on a regular basis.

The programming on each streaming service changes regularly. Every month or two, ask yourself if you’re getting the most from each of your subscriptions. How often do you use each one? If the answer for any platform is “rarely” or “never,” it’s time to cancel and pocket the savings. You can always resubscribe if you change your mind later.

Once you’ve settled on the streaming services you’re interested in, don’t forget about the convenient tools within Digital Banking (like CardSync, and Bill Pay) to make managing your subscriptions and paying your bills a breeze!

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