(BBB) – As consumers add more and more subscriptions to their budget, keeping track of the payments and reducing costs can get tricky. Many people are turning to subscription management apps to help.
How to Use Subscription Management Apps Wisely
- Be careful whom you trust with your data. Subscription management apps help consumers identify the subscriptions they are paying for, find subscriptions that can be canceled, and remember when payments are taken from their bank account. To do all this, apps need to access your financial records. Most apps are trustworthy, but avoid the risk of identity theft by reading the fine print carefully. This includes reviewing the app’s privacy policies before you allow access to your bank account and other financial data.
- Think about the features you need. Some apps simply keep track of subscriptions and payment dates that you enter manually, while others automatically identify your subscriptions. Still others offer a plethora of extra features, such as budgeting tools or investment opportunities. Figure out which features you are interested in using and then compare several apps to find one that fits your financial goals.
- Think carefully about paid services. Before you download a paid subscription management app, think about how much money you expect to save. If you end up paying more for the app than you save, look for a cheaper option or sign up for a free service.
- Watch out for free trial offer scams. Free trial offer scams offer “free” services and products that will later be charged to your account – a fact which is usually buried in small print. Don’t be fooled by tricksters. In addition, U.S. News & World Report reminds consumers that even legitimate apps that are free at sign-up “may charge for additional upgrades or services.” Make sure you are doing business with a trustworthy company and you understand all the charges before you sign up.
- Use strong passwords. Since subscription management apps have access to some of your most sensitive financial information, make sure you use strong passwords to protect your data.
- Do your own subscription audit. It is more work, but if you aren’t convinced a subscription management app is the solution to keeping your expenses under control, you can track them all down on your own. The Washington Post recommends checking your current subscriptions on your mobile device, reviewing your credit card and bank statements, consolidating cloud storage, and comparison-shopping streaming and delivery services.