How much is Netflix really costing you?

Have you counted how many monthly subscriptions you have? You might be surprised how much they add up to.

Maybe you have a gym subscription, Netflix, Lightbox, Spotify, and iCloud storage. Add in a magazine subscription, New Zealand Herald Premium, or a health box delivered, and you could easily be up to several hundred dollars a month. Or a lot more. 

The cheapest Netflix subscription (for one device) is $11.99 a month. That’s nearly $150 a year.

Do a health check

A quick ‘health check’ of your subscriptions every six months or so is a good idea to find out how much you’re paying, and work out if you still need them.

This is a common discovery in online finance forums, where people find payments still being paid for by their credit card that they thought they’d cancelled months ago.

If you sign up for a free trial, you often have to ‘opt out’ manually to stop additional charges.

For food subscription boxes like Hello Fresh or My Food Bag, you have to check in every week to cancel, until you close your account. It can be hard to remember to cancel every week, and a few people I know have had additional deliveries they didn’t want.

Be scam savvy

Checking your subscriptions regularly is also a good way to check for scams. A few of us at work have been stung by fraudulent transactions that appear as “itunes.com/B” on our debit cards. None of us have iTunes accounts. Monitoring your accounts can be really useful.

Do you use them?

Once you’ve looked at all your monthly subscriptions and made a list of them, think about how much value you’re getting from them. If you’re watching Netflix all the time, that’s good value. But maybe you haven’t been to the gym in a year or so, and that money is just going down the drain.

If you cut a few subscriptions that are in the ‘nice to have’ box, rather than essentials, you could direct the money elsewhere. Maybe add it to your first home deposit, or buy shares for the long term. You might get more bang for your buck.

If you cancel a few subscriptions, you might not miss them. Give it a go, you can always restart in a few months if you regret it. But you might forget about them, or find something better to spend your money on.

Looking for other ways to save money?

  • Your supermarket shop. Watching what you spend at the supermarket can save you hundreds, if not thousands every year. Meal prep, have a shopping list and meal planner, and look for cheaper swaps to budget brands.
  • Your coffee spend. Cutting back on bought coffees can really help!
  • Your unused gym membership. How much does that unused gym membership cost you?
  • Work lunches. Taking leftovers to work for lunch could save you $10 to $20 every day. Every Sunday, cook a meal that can be frozen into lunch portions for the week. There are thousands of delicious, budget friendly recipes online.


Information correct as at July 2021. Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer and manager of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. Click here for our Product Disclosure Statement. Any advice is given by Pie Funds Management Limited, and is general only. It relates only to the specific financial products mentioned and does not account for personal circumstances or financial goals. Please see a financial adviser for tailored advice. You may have to pay product or other fees if you act on any advice. As manager of the Scheme we receive monthly fees that are determined by your balance and whether you are 13 years or over. We will benefit financially if you invest in our products. We manage any conflicts of interest via an internal compliance framework designed to ensure we meet our duties to you. For information about the advice we can provide, our duties and complaint process and how disputes can be resolved, visit www.junofunds.co.nz. All content is correct at time of publication date, unless otherwise indicated. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Returns can be negative as well as positive and returns over different periods may vary. Please let us know if you would like a hard copy of this disclosure information.