Many people don’t like app subscriptions, but it provides a way to test these apps long-term.

When I see a potential tool that I’ll likely use long-term, after the initial trial, I subscribe to its monthly plan, and I keep testing it for 2-4 months. While the initial testing phase is happening, I create a new category in my budget and save money for the yearly subscription plan. Usually, annual subscriptions are cheaper than paying every month for a year, so it makes sense to subscribe to them with an app that I will use for a long time.

When I conclude my testing and decide that I’m going to use the app, I’ll have the yearly subscription price already collected in my budget. This way, I can switch my monthly subscription to the annual plan without any problem. I also keep saving money each month for next year’s payment. I use YNAB for keeping a budget which makes this process easier with its Targets feature.

If I decide that I’m not going to use the app, I cancel my monthly subscription, and I move the money I saved for the yearly plan into a different budget category.

By using this system, although I’m going to pay more for the subscription in the first 2-4 months during the testing phase, in the long-term, I’ll save money because I’ll subscribe to apps and services that I actually use.