Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Prime, Spotify…These Extras Add Up!

Most of us are, obviously, on a budget. And statistics show that we all have LESS extra spending money than we did 24 months ago.  But you wouldn’t know it!  We all tend to think of extras like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and things like dating services, WiFi, and Hulu as “just a few bucks a month” so we opt in without a second thought.

But.  How much is that all REALLY costing us?  I was shocked!  Like most of you, I think about these things as MONTHLY expenses. And if you ask most Americans how much we spend on extras each month, most of us say it adds up to about $115.  The TRUTH, however, is more like $237!  Wow.  Big diff.

Netflix, if you think about it annually as opposed to monthly, is about $200. Spotify is about twice that, or $400 a year. It all, as the saying goes, adds up.

And here’s the kicker:  Most of us consumers are “happily hooked” on most of our subscriptions, particularly Amazon Prime (which recently raised the price to $119 a year), cable TV, and music streaming services such as Spotify (according to a recent report by  Chicago-based consulting firm, Waterstone Management Group).

And yet, American households  have less slack in their budgets than ever before, according to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Household spending has risen 25 percent or more in the past two decades, even adjusting for inflation, yet incomes have not kept pace, the study said.

In addition, one-quarter of Americans, or roughly 55 million people, have nothing saved in an emergency fund. And shoring up some of that unnecessary spending and making it add up is pretty easy to do.

For example, scaling down to basic cable from premium could save $100 a month. Investing that $1,200 a year at 7 percent interest would amount to $17,308 in savings in 10 years. And that’s a nice beginning to a little retirement nest egg!

Something to think about, eh?

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