As one of my projects last week, I decided to take a look at how many subscription services my household has and just how much they cost. The results were eye-opening, yet reassuring.

I was surprised by the number of services we’re subscribed to, but pleased to see we are using them and nearly all are on the cheapest plans. I did find I was paying $10 more a month than necessary for cellphone service. I use a prepaid cellular plan and found the company lowered the price of my service tier while leaving my account to pay the previously higher price. I fixed that pretty quick and saved myself $120 a year.

Savings like that is one of the biggest reasons you should review your monthly and annual bills and subscriptions, especially if you’re on automatic payments (which companies push by offering an even lower price).

Here’s another suggestion: If you’re regularly using a service that offers an annual option, take it. Yes, you’ll pay more upfront, but I guarantee you’ll save money in the long run. Do the math. Here’s an example: A monthly subscription to PlayStation Plus — a necessity to play PlayStation games online — costs $9.99 plus tax, whereas an annual subscription is half the cost at $59.99 plus tax. Not all savings will be that large, but hey, saving is saving. I had one service with an annual option that I was still paying monthly for. When I switched to the yearly plan, my savings was just $4.

Reviewing my subscriptions also gave me an opportunity to justify why I have them. I asked myself, are we regularly using this service? Is this subscription saving me money? In most instances, the answer was yes. Our gaming subscriptions are huge money-savers. If I were to buy just one new video game per month — that’s roughly two video games per person per year in my house — it would cost me more than $780 a year. Our gaming services come at less than half that cost.

And I have two newspaper subscriptions, one to a national newspaper and one to a community newspaper I used to work at. Although I don’t check their websites regularly or agree with every opinion they print, I feel it’s important to support American journalism. So, I do.

All told, the monthly cost of our subscriptions combined is less than half our last cable bill when we cut the cord in 2007. That is mind-blowing.

Now is a good time to review your subscriptions and to find savings. You can use tax return money to fund annual subscriptions and ultimately save money. While you’re at it, consider a subscription to The Paris News. You’ll be supporting local jobs and a fundamental right of the American people for less than $1 per edition (about 46 cents a day if you include 24/7 website access).

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6960 or klark.byrd@theparisnews.com.

Managing Editor

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News and the editor of Paris Life Magazine. He resides in Paris with his wife, Krystle, and their three children, Charlie, Annalise and Willow.

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