MILLIONS looking to cut costs after Christmas can save hundreds of pounds a year in minutes – by ditching direct debits for services they never use.
A few quick clicks will cancel pointless payments.
Unused services include the likes of video streaming such as Amazon Prime, priority supermarket delivery slots, gym memberships, food delivery subscriptions and old insurance policies.
If you still use these things occasionally, it often works out cheaper to pay per use rather than monthly.
We waste on average £468 by not keeping an eye on our direct debits, a Natwest study found.
One customer admitted blowing more than £500 by not cancelling an unused gym membership and phone insurance policy.
John told moneysavingexpert. com: “I moved two years ago but still paid my old gym £330 a year. I also had a £10-a-month phone insurance plan, although the phone was too old to be worth the insurance. I’ve now cancelled both.”
Moneysavingexpert.com said: “Many waste money on services they never use, which is even more significant amid Covid.
“Whether it’s gyms, Amazon Prime or pay TV, do cut down direct debits.”
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NatWest, which found £25billion is wasted every year on neglected monthly payments, said: “A simple first step to take control of your money is to cancel payments for things you no longer use.
“Two in five of us leave it six months between reviewing direct debits, while 2.5million people admit never checking them.”
Take Sun Money’s direct debit MOT and rev up your finances.
TV and streaming
SHOPPERS will have signed up for Amazon Prime to get free delivery as well as video streaming.
But you can ditch the £79 annual cost and still get free delivery on orders over £20 fulfilled by Amazon.
Netflix costs £72 to £168 a year, Sky £300 to £696 a year. At those prices, enjoy Freeview instead.
SAVE: £72 to £696 per year
CUSTOMERS who pigged out on Deliveroo’s £7.99-a-month delivery pass over the festive period can save by axing it.
Only orders over £10 qualify for free delivery, so customers making smaller orders do not save.
SAVE: £96 per year
LOW-cost chain PureGym costs up to £300 a year, while upmarket gyms can be more than double that.
But you can exercise outdoors free, with apps such as Strava logging work-outs and checking your progress.
SAVE: £300 to £800 per year
Supermarket delivery slots
IN the festive period, parents dashed to pay for store delivery passes to get priority booking for Christmas slots, including Tesco’s £7.99-a-month Delivery Saver and Ocado’s £8.99-a-month Smart Pass.
If you shop on the go or are an irregular customer, you can save by cancelling your pass and paying per delivery.
SAVE: £96 to £108 per year
GET rid of insurance policies for products which have significantly reduced in value or you no longer own.
Premiums covering old mobile phones and ageing washing machines can be the source of those mystery payments of around £10 a month on your bank statement.
SAVE: Up to £120 per year
And don’t forget
CINEMAS have fewer new films to show so monthly passes are worse value.
Maybe you could also scrap little-used website and magazine subscriptions, and fee-paying bank accounts.
SAVE: Up to £300 per year
Decide what to cancel
THINK “Do I get value from this payment?” If not, ditch it.
If unsure how much you use a service, the SmartBill app tracks recurring payments you do not use enough and helps you cancel them.
The Revolut finance app also has a helpful Subscriptions section to keep tabs on your repeat fees.
How to cancel payments
FIRST, contact the supplier and ask to cancel. You may need to give notice, pay a cancellation fee or agree to pay until the end of your contract.
If you pay annually, some firms offer pro-rata refunds for unused months.
Secondly, on your online banking direct debits and standing orders page, click to cancel. Or call your bank.
Notflix and Stopify
SAVVY Sam Eversden sets diary reminders to cancel little-used direct debits – after accidentally paying for lockdown fitness and magazine subscriptions he no longer needed.
Sam, 43, a communications manager and dad of two, says he and wife Hannah, 40, and their two boys, four and six, barely use their Netflix and Spotify services either.
Sam, of Uxbridge, North West London, said: “I got a boxing app and a Marvel comics subscription totalling £130 per year during lockdown, but realised payments were still going out despite stopping using them.”