'Subscription creep': How much it's costing you and how to stop it

Today, subscriptions are ubiquitous. From streaming services to gym memberships and movie subscriptions, the monthly costs can sneak up on you, a phenomenon consumer experts call "subscription creep." 

Given the multitude of options accessible to consumers, managing the escalating expenses can seem daunting. Whether you initiated a subscription with the intention of regular use only to forget about it entirely several months later, here are some strategies for keeping tabs on all those surplus subscriptions.

How much Americans spend on subscription services

On average, US adults spend $91 monthly on subscription services, as revealed by a recent CNET survey. Additionally, nearly half of all respondents admitted to signing up for a free trial of a paid subscription and then forgetting to cancel it down the line.

Respondents to the CNET survey disclosed their methods of managing subscription services and identified the ones they regularly pay for, shedding light on the phenomenon known as "subscription creep." This trend has left consumers inundated with bills for services, some of which they may not even need or want.

Noteworthy were the disparities across generations in subscription management practices. Millennials and Gen Z adults emerged as the most forgetful cohorts, with 65% and 59% of respondents, respectively, admitting to having overlooked canceling a trial subscription on at least one occasion.

Moreover, Millennials top the charts for monthly subscription expenses, spending an average of $119 per month.

Despite being unmanageable for some, nearly three out of five consumers reported actively managing their subscription costs.

The best strategies for managing subscriptions 

CNET identifies key strategies employed by consumers: vigilance for deals or cheaper alternatives (31%), starting and stopping subscriptions as necessary (24%), and utilizing subscription bundling (17%).

Managing or canceling subscriptions can often feel like a tedious task. To simplify the process, here are five valuable resources or websites to assist you:

  1. Rocket Money (formerly Truebill) - Offers subscription management service to track, monitor, and cancel subscriptions.
  2. AskTrim.com - Provides subscription monitoring service via text messages to identify and cancel unused subscriptions.
  3. PocketGuard - App for users to track recurring expenses, set budget goals, and manage subscriptions.
  4. Chase Saved Account Manager - Specifically designed for Chase credit card users to monitor and manage subscriptions.
  5. Eno®—Capital One® Assistant - Designed for Capital One credit card users, assisting in subscription management and cancellation.

Don't forget about your phone's app store subscriptions

To manage subscriptions conveniently, utilize your smartphone's App Store, available for both iPhone and Android devices. Most subscriptions paid via your smartphone are stored there. Here's how to review subscriptions on your smartphone:

For iPhone users:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap your name at the top
  3. Select Subscriptions
  4. Cancel any active subscriptions associated with your iPhone if desired.

On an Android: 

  1. Open the Google Play Store 
  2. Tap your profile icon at the top right
  3. Tap Payments and subscriptions
  4. Select Subscriptions to see if there are any you can cancel 

 FOX News contributed to this story.