Turns Out 35% of Us are Paying for Subscriptions We Don’t Know We Have

How many recurring charges have you got rolling around on your bank statement?

It could be more than you think, according to a new poll from CreditCards.com.

The site polled 1,002 U.S. adults and found 35% had unknowingly enrolled in an account that automatically pulled payments. Think: a TV streaming service, a magazine subscription or a gym membership.

You might be thinking, “But that’s illegal.”

You’re right. Companies can’t trick people into paying for services or products they don’t want, thanks to federal laws. However, many skirt this rule by offering “negative option” offers, the report says.

A negative option offer requires consumers to go back into their account and cancel a subscription or service to avoid recurring charges.

Which brings up another point: 42% of respondents described the process of turning off these recurring charges as difficult.

Here’s an Easy Way to Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions

Get a personal finance advocate, no human required.

Sign up for a free app like Clarity Money.

Connect all your existing bank accounts, credit cards, you name it. (It’s safe.) Then, it’ll track where your money’s been funneling away.

It’ll break down your expenses by category, so you can see if you’ve been spending too much at restaurants, for example.

Perhaps the best part, though, is Clarity will call out your recurring subscriptions — and even cancel them for you. Got an old dating account? Still paying for your subscription to that magazine you never read anymore? What about the dusty gym membership?

All these show up, and you can see how much you’ve been spending each year. If you’re not a fan, click “cancel,” and it helps you easily cancel subscriptions.

If you want to see which subscriptions you have lingering, go ahead and sign up for Clarity Money for free.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.