A quick question. 

How often do you check your bank statement? 

Do you open and read every email?

I ask you because if you’re not regularly checking your bank statements and emails – it could be costing you hundreds of pounds.

Look I know – when money is tight one of the last things we want to do is look at a bank statement that just tells us that we have no money or that we are overdrawn – again.

I include emails because these days in order to save paper, banks prefer to send notification of your bank statement via email and then you can check your account online.

So let’s pick a typical example. The gym membership. You know that membership that many of us decide to sign up for at the beginning of the year when we’ve made that new year’s resolution to lose weight or get fitter.

I have to confess that I’ve joined the gym on numerous occasions. Started off really motivated and before long I’m finding any excuse under the sun why I can’t get to the gym.

Now the problem is of course that whilst I’m making these excuses, months are going by and my money is coming out of my account and into the gym’s pocket. The gym doesn’t mind that I’m not showing up because they’re still getting paid.

This is an obvious example. Since being diagnosed with viral meningitis and my regular flare ups leading to months of fatigue. I’ve probably not had good use of the gym. However, I’ve been known to continue to allow payments from my account believing that the pain of the money coming out each month would be enough to motivate me into action. When you’re paying over £30 per month that is a pretty expensive motivator.


Of course there are other types of subscriptions that we might pay for.

TV services – Netflix, Prime Video, NowTV, Sky etc


Streaming music and audiobooks – Audible, Spotify

Apps – basic service for free – pay a subscription to go pro – eg. MyFitnessPal

Meal services – Hello Fresh, Simply Cook


Credit reports


What about when you sign up for a free trial? 

You enter your card details and you’re told that money will not be taken from your account until the end of the trial period. You are told that if you don’t want the service all  you have to do is cancel before the renewal date.

I’m going to repeat that – all you have to do is cancel before the renewal date?


And there’s where the problem lies.

Have you been caught out by this? The problem is that the system is created so that you can set it up and forget – and you do literally forget.

I’ve definitely been caught by this on more than one occasion. I now make sure that if I sign up for a free trial I go to my diary – find the renewal date, count a few days back and write in – cancel subscription for …

The thing is there are many people out there paying subscriptions for services they forgot they had purely because they signed up for a free trial, or were using a service, stopped using it and forgot to cancel the subscription.

You could be one of those people. If you don’t check your bank statements or look at those company emails that always seem to be making a new offer – so you become blind to them and delete – they could contain information about an ongoing subscription. Or which has happened to me before notifying me that my annual – yes eek, annual subscription has just been renewed for another year. It’s those annual ones that catch you every time.


So let’s talk about canceling those subscriptions for services you no longer use.

I want you to go through your bank statement – I know, it may be painful, but you really must go through your bank statements for at least the past year – I want you to catch those pesky annual subscriptions that have been keeping their heads under the radar.

Remember to check any online accounts you may have such as Paypal. Also those apps on your phone – check your Itunes account.

I want you to do the same with your emails.

Review those subscriptions. Do you really need that service right now? You may wish to pause a service whilst you build up your emergency fund and then reinstate it later.

Whilst I was building up an emergency fund I had to say no to Charities. I felt bad at the time but it was important that I had some financial security for myself before I could then support anything or anyone else. I do now have a monthly subscription being paid to one of my favourite charities.