Managing Shared Subscriptions and Automatic Payments

updated on 19 March 2022

(3 minutes)

As we mentioned in a previous article, 53% of Gen Z missed paying a bill in the last 12 months. Of course, one way to avoid missing payments is to set up autopay. This is easy to do for various subscription services but is also regularly an option for regular monthly bills like rent and electricity. 

However, while setting up autopay makes it easy to “remember” to pay bills (the money is taken out of your account whether you actually remember it or not), it also makes it easy to forget when and how much money is actually on its way out. No one wants to be down to their last $30, in need of a tank of gas, when that balance is suddenly knocked down to $0.01 due to a forgotten Craft Coffee subscription. The process becomes even more complex if you are sharing subscriptions and bills with roommates. Unfortunately, even making the payment manually doesn’t fix the issue, but there are ways to help plan ahead.

Top Subscriptions 

According to Visual Capitalist, the most popular streaming subscriptions are:

  • Netflix (204 million subscribers)
  • Amazon Prime Video (150 million subscribers)
  • Spotify (144 million subscribers)

While those are a few of the most popular streaming subscriptions, these days, almost anything is available via subscription! This includes media like the examples above, online orders, charitable donations, or even subscription boxes like Hello Fresh or Bark Box. You can even subscribe and save on monthly mail-order crickets for your house gecko. 

The key, however, is to find a way to balance the convenience of subscriptions and autopay with your ability to track your finances and handle P2P payments with roommates for shared expenses. Remember that those P2P payments, like either getting paid back by a friend or paying your roommates, are part of your cash flow too.

Managing Subscriptions is a Team Sport 

Chase bank recently released the following survey results about recurring payments:

  • 60% of survey respondents had forgotten about at least one recurring payment
  • 71% of respondents estimated they waste more than $50 each month on expenses that are no longer needed
  • 78% of respondents had at least one recurring monthly charge on their cards
  • 55% of respondents admitting not knowing how much is taken out of their accounts each month in the form of recurring payments

Now imagine how much more dysfunctional this all becomes when roommates are involved since having roommates often means others pay the bill and ask you to pay them back at some point. Or maybe you don’t need to imagine…

Keeping track of subscriptions and autopayments becomes a team sport when expenses are shared. Not only do you need to track what’s coming out of your account automatically, but you need to know how much you owe your roommates for the bills they handle, and you need to make sure that they, in turn, pay you for their share of the Craft Coffee subscription.

Autopay and Autosplit

Autopay simplifies the bill pay process for making sure bills are paid on time, but you also need visibility into your automatic payments to make sure you have money for what you need. By using an app like WellPaid, you can effortlessly track your personal spending, including automatic payments made by you or your roommates. Even better, WellPaid also lets you automate bill splitting so you can settle up for living expenses and plan for getting paid back on a schedule. 

Additionally, since not too long ago we also had to pick which bills to pay, like our friend above looking for gas, WellPaid sends out weekly or monthly bill summaries to help you keep track of upcoming bills and your cash flow.  Hopefully, with some easy-to-use planning, we can help prevent some tough decisions in advance (or at least give you some more time in advance). 

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