Keeping track of subscriptions in a single category...

What's the best way to organize and manage a "website subscription" category where the sum of the total planned monthly expense is made up of multiple subscriptions.  In the past, I've had a Hulu category, a Netflix category, etc., but having a single subscriptions category would seem to make sense.  Or, would it just make sense to create a group and then fill that group with individual subscriptions, if I want to keep it granular for reporting purposes.

One reason I can think of is to easily separate business subscriptions from personal subscriptions for tax reporting. 

Advice?

13replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I’m following this because I’m also curious about how others are doing it. Currently I’ve got a “TV” category for Netflix, D+ etc, and a “software subscription” category for Spotify, YNAB, antivirus etc. in both there are different pay cycles, monthly and yearly on different dates. My thinking has been that after a year or so my monthly average spend would be more or less correct and until then I can WAM anything larger, but if you don’t have lots of room in your budget this would be a little scary. 
     

    I don’t like having one category for each subscription, that would make the budget too granular and messy. This could be solved by grouping them all into one category group and collapsing it so I don’t have to see them all, but I want to separate TV and software in my budget, so that would mean two separate groups… 

    so yes; no real advice but looking forward to hearing others thoughts on this! 

    Like 1
  • I have two categories - one for monthly subscriptions which are personal eg. Netflix, Car Share, Meetup and another for monthly subscriptions for my small business eg. Software, Websites etc (for various reasons the business doesn't have a separate budget).  These categories sits in my Monthly Bills category, just like Electricity, Phone, Internet etc. and most months its exactly the same except for a couple of dollars on exchange rates. 

    I keep annual or less frequent subscriptions / renewals in another category group called True Expenses - Annual+  Most of these are larger hence it makes sense to me to budget for them separately.  I move the individual categories back to the bottom of the list once one is paid 

    I find this method works really well - the right mix of detail for me anyway. 

    Like 2
    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 3 wk ago
    • 7
    • Reported - view

    I'm in the camp of keeping every subscription in a separate category for 2 reasons:

    1. I think the awareness of the number and amount of subscriptions you have is important to judge whether or not you should continue with a subscription. Priorities change, but subscriptions are automatic and you should be proactive about them.

    2. When subscription amounts change, it's a bit simpler to verify the correct amount and update.

    Like 7
    • nolesrule I use this approach too - I figure it has to be worth adding to my list of subscriptions if I'm going to be willing to subscribe. 😅It's a way of holding myself accountable.

      Like 1
      • Tulip OHare
      • Eating a lot of peaches
      • tulip_ohare
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I heard this deep… I know deep down I’ve got too many streaming services, and by grouping them all into TV I didn’t keep myself accountable. I’m going to change this. Too messy budget = actual mess in life! 

      Like 1
      • DosBoss57
      • Sky_Blue_Drum.14
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I agree with this method also....maybe a little more entries but way less confusing in the long run

      Like
    • nolesrule Thanks for sharing this. I was debating what to do and was using an hybrid mode for the last years (larger subscription with their own Category, one "Online Subscriptions" category for many smaller ones).

      I just created all these categories and reassign the older transaction accordingly. I feel it is much clearer now! 

      Like
  • I do the same as nolesrule  and for the exact same reasons. Subscriptions are in a separate master category, with each subscription getting their own category. I can at a glance see how much we're spending monthly on subscriptions, and the awareness helps remind me to ask occasionally, "Do I still need this subscription?" I also separate computer/tech subscriptions (ie, YNAB, dropbox, etc.)  from media/entertainment subscriptions (Netflix, Disney+, etc). 

    Like 2
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Tugboat I too like to separate out the services from entertainment subscriptions. Though I did end up grouping my streaming subscriptions together into a single category because I decided that I am willing to spend $X on streaming services, but the composition of those services is changeable - Netflix is pretty much a given, but with a lot of the streamers, I'm only interested in a small slice of their content so I pay for a month (I've exhausted the free trials for most of the services), then switch to a new one.

      Like 1
    • jenmas I hadn’t thought of having a predetermined amount to spend on subscriptions and then allowing them to be interchangeable. I really like that idea. 

      Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Tugboat Some of the streamers are pretty niche so even though the unit cost is more to go month to month on them, I get more value by saying this month I want Peacock Plus so I can watch Girls Five Evah and This is Lady Parts, but I've been meaning to watch Pennyworth so next month I'll get Epix, and when in doubt, Discovery Plus is bound to have something I'm interested in.

      Like 1
  • There have been multiple conversations about this historically. This one may or may not be useful to you.

    https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/y727d8

    Like
  • I have one main subscription category, but I tag all of my subscriptions with the yellow flag. This helps me see what is reoccurring when I look at upcoming transactions and identifies them when they appear in the budget. It works well for me.

    Like
Like Follow
  • 2 wk agoLast active
  • 13Replies
  • 177Views
  • 11 Following