How to save hundreds a year by avoiding subscription ‘Set and Regret’



  • Australians are saving more than $600 each year by cutting back on subscription services
  • Many ‘set and forget’ streaming and subscription services roll over from a free trial period onto a paid plan automatically
  • Australians can avoid ‘Set and Regret’ with a quick and simple digital clean-up of their ongoing direct debits and subscription services with help from their bank

Australians are avoiding ‘Set and Regret’ and already making savings worth more than $600 each year by better managing their spending on streaming and subscription services.

As living costs continue to rise, new NAB data has revealed Australians are becoming more ‘considered consumers’, prioritising spending based on what they value and making cutbacks elsewhere.

Around 30% of Australians have made cutbacks on subscription TV and music streaming services and other subscriptions such as ‘all in one’ apps and deliveries, saving an average $52 each month or $624 each year.

NAB Personal Banking Executive Kylie Young said the cost of each subscription service or direct debit purchase could seem relatively small but, together, they all add up.

“Signing up to a new streaming service to take advantage of a free trial period can be great, but when you ‘set and forget’ it’s just as easy to ‘set and regret’,” Ms Young said.

“Many of these services let you turn them on and off easily so, just like you might put a gym membership on hold if you’re overseas, if you’re away from home or trying to save money, you can pause or stop them.

“Regularly checking what you’re signed up to can also help you work out if you’re getting the best value, whether there is a cheaper plan available or an option to split the cost with a partner or housemate.

“Keeping track of your subscriptions and direct debits can seem overwhelming, but new digital tools from your bank can automatically categorise the costs for you so you can check them quickly and easily.”

NAB has recently launched a new Spending feature across its app and internet banking that automatically categorises transaction data so you can see all of your subscriptions or other spending such as health and fitness, food and drink, entertainment and travel without needing to trawl through statements.

NAB provides these services by enhancing the transaction data of its over three million digital customers to deliver personalised spending insights that help customers better manage their money.

In just four months, more than half a million NAB customers have used the new Spending feature to get deeper insights into their finances and about 3.4 million customers are logging in to NAB Internet Banking and the NAB app daily.

“Australians are staying on top of their financial situation and are more engaged with their money than they’ve been for a long time which, in the current environment, is great to see,” Ms Young said.


The details

  • Data collected from NAB Q2 2023 Consumer Sentiment Survey of around 2,000 Australians.
  • Younger Australians aged 18-29 years old were more willing to cut back on subscription streaming services (41%), compared to the average Australian (30%).
  • $52 per month in savings is the equivalent of cancelling the basic plan on five streaming subscription services.

Customers, banking & finance


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