Subscriptions and their impact on Household Budgets

Subscription expenses are what you pay when you subscribe to a product or service for a fixed period, such as one year.

What are the different types of subscriptions?

  • Magazines: Many people take the annual subscription of magazines such as Esquire, Men's Health, FHM, MCN Sport, etc. Different magazines have different rates. An annual subscription of Vogue or GQ magazine costs around £47.88. The yearly subscription of PlayStation magazine costs around £89.40. Digital subscriptions of magazines cost lower than print editions. For example, digital subscription of the same PlayStation magazine costs £39.99 a year.
  • Newspapers: Among the famous ones, i Newspapers costs £45 a year, Financial Times costs £130 for three months, and Independent costs £25 for one month. Similar to magazines, digital editions of newspapers tend to be less expensive. For instance, the Independent is available digitally at only £2.99 every week or roughly £11.96 every month, which is nearly half the price of the print edition.
  • Games: For people who are into gaming, there are different monthly or yearly subscription options. EA Games has a subscription-based gaming service named EA Access, specifically for Xbox One. Under this service, you can pay a fixed cost of $4.99 a month and get access to all major Xbox One games. Likewise, PlayStation offers PlayStation Plus, which provides two games each month at £5.49 every month.
  • Software: You need to pay subscription fees for computers software. The cost of an annual subscription of Microsoft Office 365 is £64 per year, and of BitDefender antivirus is £55 per year.
  • Gymnasium: Gym subscription can cost anywhere between £15 to £60 per month. A high-end, luxury gym with facilities such as swimming pool will cost higher, whereas a basic gym will cost lower.
  • DVDs/CDs: If you are a film and TV enthusiast, you may opt for a monthly subscription service, where you get unlimited movies and TV shows DVDs at a fixed fee. Lovefilm, the number one DVD rental provider in the UK, charges £7.95 each month for unlimited discs every month.
  • Online movies: Along with CDs/DVDs subscription, movie buffs may also opt for online streaming services. Amazon Prime Instant Video charges £5.99 each month and NetFlix charges £6.99 every month.
  • Grocery delivery: Tesco offers a Delivery Saver subscription. Under this plan, you can save on grocery delivery expenses. If you subscribe to an annual plan of £60 you can get delivery of grocery every day without any delivery charges. More than 200,000 users have opted for this program.
  • Restaurant or food: An example of food subscription is a deal offered by Gourmet Society. You can pay an annual subscription fee of £69.95 per member and get up to 50% off on meals at more than 6,500 restaurants.
  • Assorted products: Services such as Birchbox and Flowbox deliver assorted products at a fixed subscription fee every month. For £10, a month or £90 per year, Birchbox sends a box containing six beauty, grooming and lifestyle products each month. Flowbox provides a box of healthy and natural products at between £9.95-17.95 each month.
  • Other subscriptions: Some other examples of subscription includes National Geographic kids, which is video versions of topics in the NG kids magazine, at £26.00 per year. You can also subscribe for razor handle and razor blades. King of Shaves offers a subscription plan where it provides one handle plus four cartridges for between £2.99-5.99 each month.

How do subscription expenses affect your household budget?

Depending on your choice, subscription expenses can go as high as £100 each month. Therefore, you need to go only for essential subscriptions and periodically review if the subscription is giving your money's worth.

You can use our household budget calculator to see how subscription expenses impact your overall household finances.