MSE News

Over 1.2 million subscription payments cancelled as people feel the squeeze of the cost of living crisis, according to Lloyds Bank

Over 1.2 million subscription payments cancelled as people feel the squeeze of the cost of living crisis, according to Lloyds Bank

Over 1.2 million subscription payments have been cancelled since the summer of last year as people feel the squeeze of the cost of living crisis, research from Lloyds Bank shows.

Of the 1.2 million subscriptions cancelled over the period, streaming services for TV, film and music, such as Netflix and Spotify, made up nearly half (47.1%) of items dropped. Marketplace subscriptions – such as eBay, where people buy or sell goods online – were also cancelled in large numbers, with 17.6% axed since June last year.

Gym memberships and other exercise-related subscriptions made up 7.6% of other contracts ditched.

Lloyds said this is in stark contrast to two years ago when subscription payments increased by 70% between January 2020 and March 2021.

If you're struggling to pay bills, we've a new cost of living crisis survival guide, with 90+ ways to cut back. Alternatively, if you're struggling to pay your energy bills too, we've launched a Heat the Human, not the Home guide to help people who saw their bills increase from 1 April. 

Here's the full list of subscription items dropped since the summer of last year

Subscription services cancelled by Lloyds Bank customers since June 2021

Subscription category

As a % of those cancelled

Media streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Spotify, Prime)

47.1%

Marketplace subscriptions (e.g. Depop, eBay)

17.6%

Memberships (e.g. weight management clubs, gyms)

7.6%

Computer software (e.g. Microsoft Office)

7.1%

Financial services (e.g. Experian, Equifax)

3.8%

Gaming (e.g. Playstation, Xbox)

2.9%

Telecommunications (e.g. SIM only plans)

2.6%

Subscription boxes (e.g. Ocado, wine subscriptions)

2.1%

Other (anything that doesn't fit into the above)

9.2%

How to stop cash leaking from your bank account with a direct debit audit

Become a Cancellation Hero by unearthing every regular payment going out of your bank account and asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I use it? Ask yourself if you actually use what you're paying for. Be ruthless. Many people think they use a magazine subscription when they actually only glance through one in five copies.

  2. Is it worth it? To help, work out the real cost per use. For example, use a £50 a month gym membership three times a week and you're effectively paying just over £4 a time. Yet go three times a year and you're paying £200 for each workout.

  3. Is it available for less elsewhere? Of course, being a Cancellation Hero is primarily about cancelling unnecessary regular payments altogether. But if you don't want to cancel, see if it's available for less elsewhere. You're likely to make the most savings by switching gym membership, broadband, phone, TV and magazine subscriptions. 

But before you cancel any direct debits and standing orders, ALWAYS check to make sure you're out of contract - because cancelling in contract may result in heft exit fees. Check with the company concerned in case you're in contract or need to give notice to cancel. See our Direct Debit Cancellations guide for full details. 

Also check for recurring payments linked to your credit card

Recurring payments - also known as a 'continuous payment authority' - are slightly different to direct debits and standing orders as these are where the company asks for the long number on your credit or debit card rather than your bank details.

They're a little more complicated, as you'll need to either tell a company or your bank/card provider to cancel them. See our Recurring Payments guide for more info. 

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!