How to find and cancel unwanted subscriptions

4 min Read Published: 13 Apr 2022

how to cancel your unwanted subscriptions

Over 1.2 million subscriptions have been cancelled since the summer of 2021 as consumers try to regain control of their everyday spending, according to Lloyds Bank. Almost half of the subscriptions cancelled were TV, film and music streaming services.

According to the bank, 17.6% of cancellations were marketplace (e.g eBay) subscriptions and a further 7.6% were gym and fitness memberships. The findings, gathered from its in-app subscription management tool, suggest that consumers may be cutting back on their household spending due to the recent increase in living costs. The results are a stark contrast to the 70% increase in subscription sign-ups between January 2020 and March 2021.

In this article, we take a look at how you can check what subscriptions you are paying for and how you can cancel them. We also look at how you can take hold of your everyday spending by setting up a budget and tips to save money on your household bills.

How to find unwanted subscriptions

With the cost of living increasing, now may be a good time to evaluate your spending and see if there are any areas where you can cut back costs. There are a variety of apps now available that connect to your bank accounts and highlight any unwanted or wasteful subscriptions. Check if your bank has an in-app subscription management tool that allows you to easily view and cancel the subscriptions in just a few clicks. If it doesn't, you could use an external budgeting app to highlight your subscription payments. We go into more detail as to how these apps work below.

Emma

The mobile budgeting app Emma is a great way to connect your bank accounts in one place and can be used to highlight any recurring payments. Within the app, you can see any active and inactive subscriptions across all of your bank accounts and there is also the option to manage the subscriptions. Here you can find out how to amend or remove the subscription from the list within the app. This allows you to keep track of any regular payments and highlights any duplicate subscriptions you may have. You can then choose to cancel any duplicate subscriptions and continue to monitor your recurring payments within the budgeting app.

The Emma budgeting app is free to download and use and can also be used to create and set budgets to manage your money effectively.

For more information on the Emma budgeting app and how it works, read our independent Emma app review.

Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard, like Emma, is another budgeting app that is free to download and use and can be used to budget and manage your finances. As you can connect all of your bank accounts, Money Dashboard categorises your spending and therefore allows you to track your regular payments. Keeping track of your payments allows you to notice any repeat subscriptions and cancel services that you no longer need.

For more information on Money Dashboard and how it works read our independent Money Dashboard review.

App-only banks

If you bank with an app-only bank such as Monzo or Starling Bank you can make use of the handy budgeting features within the apps. The banking apps track your spending and categorise your transactions so you can see where you are spending your money each month. Starling Bank highlights recurring payments such as direct debits, standing orders and subscriptions within the scheduled payments section of the app. Here you can cancel the recurring payments and see any previous transactions. Monzo allows you to do the same within the payments section of its app.

How to cancel unwanted subscriptions

The budgeting apps mentioned above help you to highlight any recurring payments and subscriptions you have but if you have multiple subscriptions being paid each month, you may be wondering how you can cancel the payments. If you have a banking app, it is likely that you will be able to cancel the subscriptions within the app on your phone. Some app-only banks also allow you to manage subscriptions within the payment sections of your banking app. For other subscription services, you may have to contact the provider directly to cancel your subscription. We explain some of the ways you can do this below, but ensure you are adhering to any T&Cs that you agreed to when signing up for the service.

How to cancel TV streaming services

  • Netflix - Netflix can be cancelled at any time within the 'Membership & Billing' section of your account. If you are signed up to Netflix via Sky, you will need to contact Sky to cancel your subscription.
  • Amazon Prime - If you pay for your Amazon Prime subscription monthly this can be cancelled at any time via the Amazon website. If you paid for your subscription annually this can only be cancelled within the first three days, after this if you cancel it means the subscription won't renew the following year.
  • DisneyPlus - Disney+ can be cancelled within the Profile and Account section in Disney+. If you are billed for Disney+ via Apple or Google you will need to cancel the subscription via 'Settings' and 'Subscriptions' on an iPhone and via 'My subscriptions in your Google account.

How to cancel music streaming services

  • Spotify - Spotify can be cancelled by logging in to your Spotify account and changing your plan. Here you can choose to cancel your Premium Spotify subscription which will leave your Spotify account but means you will now get ads when listening to music.
  • Apple Music - Apple Music can be cancelled via 'Settings' and 'Subscriptions' on your iPhone.

How to save money on your household bills

One of the easiest ways to save on your household bills is by setting up a budget. Creating a budget allows you to keep track of your everyday spending and cut back on things that you may have been overspending on. Creating a budget can be hard for the first time and we have a handy FREE budgeting spreadsheet to help you get started. There are also a lot of handy apps that can help you to track your spending and we summarise some of the best in our article, 'The best budgeting apps in the UK'. We also share some tips on how to create a budget in the following video.

How to budget for beginners

Once you have created a budget you may be able to save more money each month by cutting back on the cost of your household bills. We share ways that you can save on your essential spending such as your mortgage, energy and food bills in our article, "How to save money on your household bills".