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Can you save money by subscription ‘super-switching’?

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Rotating subscriptions such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney, instead of using all of them simultaneously, could save households hundreds of pounds a year.

Households running six of the most popular streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, YouTube Premium, Apple One and Paramount Plus – spend £995 a year, calculations by AJ Bell’s low-cost investing app Dodl reveal.

But by rotating subscriptions (paid on a monthly rolling basis) and running just one at a time, giving customers access to each service for two months of the year, streamers could cut the cost to just £166. That’s a saving of £829.

AJ Bell said the ‘super-switcher’ principle applied to both individuals and family households. It calculated that an individual with the same six subscriptions could save £649 using the same technique.

The investment platform worked out that even those with just a handful of subscriptions could save hundreds by cutting down. Someone with three streaming subscriptions – Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney – could save £280 a year by using just one of them every other month. A family could save £330 doing the same.

Calculations from the Dodl app showed that an £829 annual saving could grow to nearly £11,000 in a decade assuming a 5% return on investment each year.

Emma Keywood, head of planning at AJ Bell’s Dodl, said: “We’ve all been guilty of signing up to a subscription and then not using it, or signing up to a free trial and forgetting to cancel it. On top of that, during the pandemic lots of us added more and more streaming services, which we’re now realising are costing us a lot each month.

“You might not think that saving £8 or £9 a month will help with your budget, but these figures highlight how becoming a subscription super-switcher can actually make a big difference to your household finances.

“Some people might need to use the savings to plug their budget elsewhere, helping offset the impact of rising living costs. But if you can afford to save the money it is possible to build up a sizeable pot of money over time.

“Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to getting to grips with money, budgeting and building a financial plan for the future. Managing your subscriptions effectively could be a stepping-stone to developing a much clearer plan of all your incomings and outgoings, which is the foundation of developing a long-term plan that allows you to focus on investing for the future.”