finance

"Last night I went through my finances, and what I found was humiliating."

Hi.

If you’re the sort of person who gets really mad about other people’s incompetence at life, this is a warning that you should probably move along.

You’re not going to… like this. You’re going to start yelling and explaining to everyone in your immediate vicinity that THIS IS WHY MILLENNIALS CAN’T AFFORD HOUSES. “They have no sense of responsibility!” you will shout. “They’re financially illiterate, lazy and unable to effectively function in the real world.”

Yes, well, I agree. But to be honest, after recent events, I’m not in the mood to be yelled at so pls, if you’re here to shame me, go… elsewhere.

Ahem.

So, recently, I came to a startling realisation:

I have, like, no money.

When I login into my banking app, the figure is worryingly low. I pay for things like rent, food, parking fines, etc, but I don't have a particularly extravagant lifestyle. I don't go to fancy restaurants, I don't buy expensive clothes, I don't go to pricey events and I don't have a mortgage or a baby or a business.

So where is... literally all my money?

Mathematically, it doesn't make sense. I should have some money, I'm sure. But unfortunately I have a rare condition that prevents me from looking at my transaction history because it makes me feel physically/emotionally unwell. Such a shame.

Last night, however, I decided to confront my illness. It was time to go through my bank statements and work out why but also what but also how.

I got comfortable, logged on to my online banking, and oh HOLY NO.

As I went through a year's worth of transactions, a trend began to emerge: Subscriptions. More specifically, subscriptions for things I did not know I was subscribed to and/or didn't know existed.

At first, it looked like small amounts. A few dollars here and there. But one streaming service I've never actually used was $25 a month. WHAT.

Being the responsible adult I am, I decided to write down all the weird things I was subscribed to and simply unsubscribe. I feel like that's what Scott Pape would tell me to do. He'd probably also tell me to burn all my cards and also my laptop and hand over control of my finances to the nearest adult. But Scott, pls. I'm more than capable of dealing with my problems and setting out a fresh slate.

As I began to write down my subscriptions, I was... appalled.

Why were there so many? Why had no one... told me?

Of course, to unsubscribe from my problems, I needed to remember what email and password I had used, which was a mission in and of itself.

As a side note, one of the logins used my university email address. I GRADUATED FROM UNI FIVE YEARS AGO.

Here are just some of the companies I've been selflessly donating to for the last I can't think about how long:

Amazon

WHAT. I don't remember ever signing up for this. I've never purchased anything on Amazon and I'm not even 100 per cent sure what it is.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kim Kardashian West's... website?

She... she does not need my money. She has... enough.

As a disclaimer, I definitely signed up to this one for a work story and then never thought to cancel my subscription. Because surely Kim Kardashian wouldn't just keep taking my money? Surely.

Audible

Nope...no idea.

Jib Jab

One time I made a video of my mum dancing like an elf. I've been paying for it for three years.

It turns out when you try to cancel subscriptions, they often ask you why you're cancelling. They're disappointed to lose such a loyal customer who always paid on time and never used their services. Why are you cancelling, sweetie? Is there something we can do to better improve your customer experience?

Errr, I'm cancelling because I've been paying you for no reason for longer than I can remember and WHY DID YOU NEVER REMIND ME. THAT SEEMS SUPER MANIPULATIVE.

When my sister asked why I was hunched over my computer with such a profound look of terror on my face, I explained what had happened. "I sign up for a free trial and they just start charging me and never stop," I explained, hoping for sympathy.

How could this have happened?

"Umm yeah, that's literally their business model," she replied, as though I was a dumb dumb. This - from someone who paid for a gym membership for 12 months without going.

I'm now unsubscribed from eight companies who have routinely been taking money out of my account. Some were just small amounts, but it turns out small amounts are too much when you have no money.

I have just a few questions in the wake of my horrifying realisation:

  1. Why am I like this?
  2. How is this legal? (I just definitely agreed to all the terms and conditions that's how).
  3. Why am I like this?

Whatever. New day, new me.

I hope Kim Kardashian appreciated my donations to her cause.

For more from Clare Stephens, you can follow her on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Cleanse yourself of me and watch Scott Pape's financial advice for women. 

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???