I have a spreadsheet for tracking all subscriptions but I’m thinking of using a non-subscription app to track them. I want to include all subscriptions, which I define as including cell phone bills, all monthly bills for entertainment (excluding basic internet access), food services, apps, etc.
A WSJ article titled: “The Real Reason You’re Paying for So Many Subscriptions” got me to thinking that I want to make sure that I have captured all of my subscriptions and have a good way to keep on top of them.
For the 5 you have?
Speadsheet really is the best way. It’s not something you need to check often, apps are overkill.
I use Subtrack and find it works well. A single purchase gets you the app for Mac, iPhone and iPad. You can optionally be notified before a subscription payment, and Subtrack supports widgets, which can be handy for seeing what’s coming down the pike.
p.s. I sometimes create deferred/due actions in OmniFocus along the lines of “Consider cancelling subscription to x.”
Another happy Subtrack user here.
Subtrack it’s what I use too! It handles great subs in different currencies and it can provide a monthly average cost.
I have a budget in Excel. It lists my pay at the top, my wife’s pay, and then bills down the side.
At the bottom I have a separate little section that tracks subscriptions, their renewal dates, costs, and when the payment comes out. Works well enough.
That’s what I do, and then I add them all up (as well as other regular big expenses) and divide it by 12 and then tuck away that much every month into a separate savings account.
I once did a spreadsheet that made it all fancy like the apps, with categories, average amounts, history tracking, etc. and realized that was neat for about 5 minutes and not really very helpful. Not begrudging anyone who uses an app, but the only thing a spreadsheet can’t do is the notifications, which I don’t need because they all email when it’s renewal time anyway.
My recommendation is Outgoings. Why? Because I have put my mortgage in that app and I pay it in advance. Outgoings allows me to mark them paid so that they don’t appear in this month’s bills.
I use an OmniFocus project. Each subscription is a line-item with the cost and a renewal review date. I use defer dates but can see them all if needed. I like this because a couple of subscriptions involve negotiations or more research steps, and I can express those as 1-4 subtasks leading up. The simpler ones get an instant spacebar to complete or a ctrl+cmd+space “cancel ABC” with a flag.
For your use case, likely just a spreadsheet.
What are you using for home budgeting? Maybe you could just add a date to whatever you’re using there to keep an eye on it.
I’m a happy Banktivity user.
I use a table within Apple Notes. It works great for me. I track all subscriptions (magazines, apps, TV/movie services, etc). I’ve tried an app called Subtrack, but it doesn’t work with my brain.
In my table I have a column for Cost, Frequency (Annual, Monthly, etc), Renewal Date, Notes). It’s a pinned note that I review frequently. If the subscription isnt from the Apple App Store (that I always cancel after subscribing), I put a task in Things 3 a day or two prior to renewal to decide whether to renew.
I’ve created a database in Notion to track subscriptions. And you can get a free version of Notion.
But you can already use Numbers for free without the hassle of learning how to use Notion.
That’s true. But I already use and like Notion. If you don’t already use Notion, then maybe Numbers is a better choice.
I was just being facetious. I know a lot of people really like Notion (especially if they have a YouTube channel), but I have tried it a couple of times (last time after MPU had someone who loves it on and talked about it uses), and always fail to get past the learning curve to find the “wow” factor.
Spreadsheet. Numbers. Free and easy to use.
For subscriptions that auto-renew (without warning) I put the renewal dates in OmniFocus, although just using Calendar would do as well.
I have been experimenting with Subtrack a while back, but it’s way too buggy for me:
- Push notifications come a day earlier than configured (and at a different time)
- Items disappear because they get automatically marked as paid on the day they are due, making it impossible to track late items
Therefore, I’m grudgingly keeping track of subscriptions in Chronicle, which I used before. Grudgingly, because it’s buggy as well (but less), as it has an issue with the decimal separator (English
. versus European
,), resulting in losing all numbers behind that separator. I have reported this to the developer a few times, but it’s too hard for him to fix this?!
This is what I do, but I’m also tracking all my expenses on lengthy Excel files and do a yearly review so I usually catch stuff there too.