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How to Track and Manage Your Paid Subscriptions

Cord cutting has long been touted as the answer to costly monthly cable bills. Don’t pay for channels you never watch; just stream your favorite shows online.

That was the dream, but TV and cable execs have caught on. If you want all that prestige TV has to offer—Stranger Things on Netflix, The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Video, Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access, The Mandalorian on Disney+, and countless other UK, Danish, Australian, and Korean dramas you never knew you needed in your life—things get expensive pretty fast.

Then there’s the music you listen to, the workouts you stream, the comics you read, and the video games you play. Every piece of content you could consume has its own subscription service that will bill you on a monthly (or yearly) basis. So that begs the question: Are you paying attention? Unless you meticulously examine your credit card statement each month, a small bump in price on your favorite streaming service—or a free trial automatically converting into a paid subscription—is easy to miss.

Mastercard now has a policy requiring merchants to get a cardholder’s approval at the end of a trial before they start billing, but that’s just for free trials. There are apps and websites that will notify you when a service hikes prices and help you cancel any services you’re not using. Many also provide financial aid services. You may even be able to manage your subscriptions directly from the App Store or Google Play store on your phone. Here’s how to get started.

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