We seemingly have great plans and good intentions when we sign up for monthly billed memberships. However, most times these memberships are not leveraged much less used. Frequently they are repeatedly charged with the intent of us using them to improve our health, career, network, physique, etc. Instead, they are a waste of money and can keep us in debt. In the coming days review any memberships you have that could be cut. Then move that money to paying off debt, emergency savings or investments.
- Professional Memberships including LinkedIn Premium – Are you truly active or leveraging these memberships? Are you just using the memberships as a resume filler? There are other manners to make connections and find jobs through unused memberships. Use basic LinkedIn to stay connected. Utilize the blog feature to exhibit your expertise in a specific area. As for professional memberships, join non-profit boards that align with your beliefs to network. Leverage Facebook and LinkedIn groups to connect with other professionals in your field as well as to obtain and share information.
- Health Memberships – *sigh* Yes health is very important. I know the mantra “New Year New You” is on your lips as you aim to lose weight, get that keg to a 6-pack and complete your first marathon. Slow your roll! Instead get DVDs, apps (i.e. MyFitnessPal), pedometer and an accountability partner. Utilize free workout shows on cable TV or YouTube. Several community centers offer free fitness classes and workout equipment. This includes not only gym memberships but yoga, spin and Pilates memberships too.
- Bargain Shopping – I know Sam’s and Amazon Prime are GREAT! But do you find you are ordering MORE than usual from Amazon because you bought the Prime account? Did you realize you can’t buy in bulk but 3-4 times a year because you don’t have the space or consume as quickly as you thought. Well don’t renew these memberships! Instead, use your library, discount stores and coupons to buy items. Do you believe you didn’t spent more on Amazon Prime than previous years? Check your bank account and your Amazon account and compare. I’ll wait while you check because you will *gasp* in total shock.
Companies utilize very good marketing tools that are very successful to get us to buy memberships. Don’t feel bad. Instead feel EMPOWERED because you can now change all of this. I can relate. That massage membership will be ended in January 2016. I actually use my gym membership and I opted NOT to do a Pilates membership. I simply pay as I go. It may seem more expensive to pay as you go. But only you can determine the true cost by either committing to using these memberships or not. Be purposeful on how and why you are getting these memberships. More importantly understand the COST to cancel the memberships.
Happy New Financial Year!