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Save money on your monthly subscriptions by taking these steps

Extra time spent at home over the last few years has led to an increase in costs from subscription services for many.

INDIANAPOLIS — We've spent a lot of time at home the past two years.

That might have meant saving money on trips and spending more on subscriptions, ranging from music and streaming services to food or pet supplies.

But that convenience comes at a cost.

Kimberly Palmer with NerdWallet said it can get out of hand if we don't pay attention.

"The reality is people don't necessarily need them or even appreciate them anymore. But we forget to unsubscribe," Palmer said.

In 2019, Amazon Prime was $119 a year. This year, it's $139.

During that same time frame, FabFitFun boxes went up in price, from $179 to $200 a year, and Netflix standard, the middle package, went from $155 a year to $185 a year.

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"The challenge is that when you sign up for a lot of different services, the cost really adds up. And you might not even be taking full advantage of each one," Palmer said.

Palmer's advice? Comb through your bills and pull the plug on all of them at once to see what ones you miss. Don't forget the subscriptions you pay for annually or once every six months.

"There's actually two apps that can do this work for you, if you're just really overwhelmed. One is called Truebill and one is called TrackMySubs. And basically you sign up to have them do the work of figuring out what you've subscribed for," Palmer said. "In some cases, they'll even go ahead and cancel for you. But they do keep a portion of your savings."

Once you've figured out what services you want back, there are a few ways to save money.

First, pay in full once a year.

If you pay for Amazon Prime annually, it's $139. Pay month-to-month and it is $180. This is often the case with other services.

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Next, bundle.

Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN is $13.99 per month if you get all three.

If you're a student, a Spotify, Hulu and Showtime combination is $4.99 a month.

The Apple One bundle includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and more. The individual plan is $14.95 a month for an individual. 

If you have a high school- or college-aged kid, ask them to cover one of the family memberships.

That way, everyone's wants and needs carry more weight. 

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