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In this episode, one woman shows us how she's potentially saving thousands per year by cutting out several recurring subscription services. If you're looking for other ways to save, click here:

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Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Video narration by Heather Mingo

Video by Grace Lee

Based on an article by Marissa Gallerani

The Financial Diet site:

This video is brought to you by Wealthsimple, powerful financial tools to help you grow and manage your money.

This year, in addition to cleaning out my physical house, I've been focusing on cleaning out my digital life. Like most millennials, I pay for many subscriptions on a monthly basis.

I examined my current subscriptions and realized I had too many. The vast majority did not add value to my life so I decided to go ahead and cancel most of my subscriptions and keep more of my money in the bank. Here are the five subscriptions that I left behind in 2019 and how much money I'm saving this year by canceling them.

Number one, Peak. Peak is enough to train your brain through various types of logic, word, and problem solving games. I heard about Peak from co-workers and thought it sounded like a great idea.

Who doesn't want a little brain training? I also have Alzheimer's in my family so I figured this was a great way to keep my brain in shape while practicing logic and problem solving skills. While there is a free version of the app, I decided to pay for the premium version to get access to all of the games in the app.

Peak became an aspirational purchase rather than a logical one. I could have either stayed with the free version of Peak or used the free Sudoku app on my phone. Amount saved yearly, $11.99.

Number two, Rinse. This is the one cancellation that will actively impact my life. I don't have a washer or dryer in my apartment and have to use a laundromat if I want clean clothes.

I tried Rinse's laundry service after receiving a flyer in the mail and, at the beginning, enjoyed it. They came and picked up my laundry and three days later returned it to me clean. I did the analysis of how much time and money I was spending at the laundromat versus how much Rinse cost and decided to go for the $59 monthly subscription.

I have my laundry done twice a month. And everything that fit in the bag was washed. While my experience with it started out well, the service deteriorated over time.

In my last two months, something has gone wrong with every single order. Though not having a laundry service meant that I had to return to doing my own laundry, i was fine with paying 2.75 per load and getting my clothes clean when I needed them. Amount saved monthly, $59.

Amount saved yearly, $708. Number three. Harvard Bookstore First Signed Edition Club.

In the fall of 2016, I joined the Harvard Bookstore Signed First Edition Club. Despite the name, the Harvard Bookstore is not part of Harvard University. It's an independent bookstore.

Their signed first edition club gets you a first edition of a recently published book signed by the author. Through this program, I supported a local business and expanded my reading horizons. Three years and 40 books later, I decided to cancel my subscription.

While I adore books, this decision came from logistical constraints. I only have so much space in my apartment. My to be read list is already years long and I don't need any more unread books cluttering my house when there are still so many left to be read.

In addition, this subscription was a gateway drug for me. Whenever I went to the bookstore to pick up my monthly book, I always bought more. It was becoming a compulsion.

At this point, I have decided that if I want one of the upcoming signed books, I will simply go into the store and buy it. I don't regret joining this subscription as I read books I would have never considered otherwise. But it was sadly time to end it.

Amount saved monthly, $30 to $35. Amount saved yearly, $360 to $420. Number four.

The New York Times. I have been a longtime subscriber to The New York Times. I've only read the digital version and have negotiated my monthly rate down over time.

While I still believe in the importance of journalism and the fourth estate, I have decided to cancel my subscription. I barely read the articles. And the only time I opened it daily was to play spelling bee.

Others have written more elegantly about the constant onslaught of news and its impact on the psyche. And I can say it has definitely impacted mine. My mood is worsened by reading the news constantly.

And having the New York Times for their spelling bee game or their election night coverage are not valid reasons to keep the app. Amount saved monthly, $15. Amount saved yearly, $300.

Number five, Sanctuary. This astrology app is free, providing standard daily horoscopes. But if you want to have a personal reading with an astrologer then you need to subscribe.

I signed up with a few questions in mind. And for $21.74, I got one 15 minute reading per month. After a couple of months, I realized I just don't have that many questions about astrology and was effectively paying for nothing.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had turned these readings into mini therapy sessions about how I should direct my life. I already pay for therapy so there's no need to pay twice. I cancelled the paid version of Sanctuary after using my last available monthly reading.

Amount saved monthly, $21.74. Amount saved yearly, $260.88. After reviewing and cancelling my current subscriptions, I stand to save myself at a minimum of $125 per month or $1,652 a year.

That is a lot of money I could be spending elsewhere. And I already have some thoughts about how to use it. Instead of spending money on individual subscriptions, I could invest it, put it into a savings account for an upcoming vacation, or put it towards my student loans. $125 a month would be better spent in any of these places than on subscriptions I'm no longer going to use.

However, there are still a few subscriptions that add value to my life. While I did decide to cancel the majority of my subscriptions, I decided to keep Vanity Fair magazine and the Fit Body app. The Fit Body app takes the place of a meal plan and gym.

And Vanity Fair is only a once a month commitment. Without the extra expenses of subscriptions I don't need, I can enjoy these two that I am keeping. How you spend your money is one that has implications throughout your life.

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