Survey: 84% of Americans unaware of how much they spend on subscription services

84% of Americans think they spend less on subscription services monthly than they actually do – and usually by a huge margin.

Photo: Lucas Favre

Research from Waterstone Group shows that 84% of Americans think they spend less on subscription services monthly than they actually do – and usually by a huge margin.

The company studied the budgets of 2,500 Americans, with “21 categories of subscription service,” including: “mobile phone service,” “WiFi at home,” “TV/movie services” and “Amazon Prime.” It’s also important to note that they only analyzed data from people who paid for the applications.

How much people think they spend on subscription services

The breakdown shows that most people spend more than they think, but a slim six percent surveyed had estimates that were spot-on.

How much people actually spend on them each month

More than 75% of Americans subscribe to each of the top three categories, with the total of all three being roughly $170 monthly. Conversely, just three percent subscribe to “wellness apps.”

Waterstone noted that “respondents were allowed to select the closest amount to what they pay per month, in $10 increments. So, if someone pays $8.99 per month for an app, they selected $10.”

The average amount of money that people spend on 21 types of subscription services is $237.33 per month. But when respondents had 10 seconds to guess how much money they fork over monthly for these products, they said $79.74 on average — a far cry from more than $200. Their second predictions (made in 30 seconds) were an average of $111.61 monthly, which isn’t much closer, either.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.