Review your direct debits, subscriptions and memberships

Review your direct debits, subscriptions and memberships

We try (each year) to sit down and go through the following direct debits, subscriptions and memberships to see which can be cancelled or reduced, it’s a sure-fire way to keep on top of your spending and your future self with thank you for doing it.

Just remember if you’re within a contract for any of these, cancelling the direct debit doesn’t cancel that contract and you could be on the hook for payment even if you cancel the payment! If you’re unsure speak with the company to check contract length and your rights to cancel. If you’re still within the contract you might be able to get out of it though (see below).

The most common payments are normally for:

  • Charity Payments
  • Gym Membership
  • Insurance Policies
  • Website Subscriptions (YouTube Premium / OnlyFans etc)
  • Extended Warranties
  • Free trials for services that then charge
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • TV Channel Subscriptions
  • Dating Apps
  • Software / App subscriptions (e.g. meditation app charges £50 a year)
  • Club memberships (e.g. car/golf)

There are 4 types of payments you can cancel:

The first two are very easy to cancel but as above you need to check if you’re within your rights to do so, the third can be tricky to spot

  1. Direct Debits
  2. Standing Orders
  3. Recurring Payments (normally these are payments on your bank card that the details have been saved via the company and they take the payment in the future) – Check with the company first but failing that a chargeback request (via your card issuer)
  4. App Store subscriptions (e.g. Apple iOS or Google Android)

Seeing if you can cancel

Most of the above won’t require a contract or a minimum period to inform the company but some will, the ones that everyone thinks of is gym memberships, these are notorious for minimum contract periods but all is not lost if you cannot cancel immediately:

  1. Check your paperwork/account to see what it says or if it gives you the simple option of cancelling
  2. Contact the company to see what can be done, if you’re in difficult financial circumstances then they may (and probably will) try and further help out by cancelling it early or waiving some (or all) fees to cancel.
  3. If a company says there is a cancellation charge for terminating early, consider how desperate you are to cancel, paying this fee will still likely be cheaper than paying out for the next few months.
  4. If it’s a recurring payment then these companies are legally required to cancel the payment, although that doesn’t mean they’re legally required to refund you.

I have a charge and I’m not sure where it’s from

This is fairly common, companies using different payment companies have different wording for what will display on your bank statement, the best technique is to simply Google search it and it likely will come up, failing that speak with your bank/card issuer who might be able to help.

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Important things to remember with everything we post:

  • If you earn over your personal allowance (currently £12,500 a year) HMRC need to get their % cut (even if the money is in cash or from another country)
  • If you’re working for yourself / earning an income on the side you need to let HMRC know – There are numerous benefits but also some drawbacks
  • You need to always ensure whatever you’re doing is legal and not hurting anyone else – be careful and always think twice
  • Some income streams may require you to have DBS check, licence, insurance or qualifications before you can start to profit from it, do your research.
  • Be careful that any additional income doesn’t compromise your studies or main income/job
  • If you work for a company check your contract, if you don’t inform them you’re working on other side projects outside of work they may have grounds to ownership on this work

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