Can't Live Without Netflix? Save Some Money & Time With These Hacks!
 
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Can't Live Without Netflix? Save Some Money & Time With These Hacks!

Jacqueline Yan
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Maybe I’m getting too old, but Netflix and chill really mean nuaing in bed and binge-watching shows.

illustration of mermaid with laptop showing netflix logo underwater
Source: giphy

Haven’t heard of Netflix? It’s basically an online streaming service where you can watch movies and serial shows amongst a wide range of video content.

You know, we all need a little break once in a while after working long hours and watching shows on Netflix is one of the easiest ways to destress.

Well, depending on what you’re watching, of course.


TL;DR – What Are Some Hacks To Save Money & Time On Netflix?

If you’re going to be on Netflix, chances are, you’ll be spending quite a fair bit of time scrolling and watching.

Let us make your life a little bit easier by sharing with you some Netflix hacks!

Netflix has three subscription plans for you to choose from, but the main differences between them are:

  • Quality of the videos
  • Number of screens you can watch on simultaneously
 BasicStandardPremium
Monthly Fees$10.98$13.98$16.98
Quality of VideosStandard Definition
(SD)
High Definition
(HD)
HD & Ultra HD
Number of Screens124

Regardless of the considerations above, here’s how you can save some money on Netflix:

  • Maximise your 30-day free trial by making sure you have time to watch, and find shows that are fully released
  • Extend your trial by using different email addresses and payment methods for new accounts
  • Share the Premium plan with 3 other friends and pay only $4.24 per month
  • Download your chosen shows onto your device while you are connected to Wi-Fi to save data

There are some web extensions you can use to save time so that you can do other things, or well, watch more episodes!

  • Netflix Categories or FindFlix to access hidden categories easily without having to type the genre code
  • No Netflix Originals if you only want to watch third-party content
  • SkipFlix automatically skips the shows’ introductions so you can jump right to the exciting parts

How Much Do I Pay For Netflix?

 BasicStandardPremium
HD available?NoYesYes
Ultra HD available?NoNoYes
Number of Simultaneous Screens124
Watch on laptop, TV, phone & tabletYes
Unlimited films & TV programmesYes
Cancel at any timeYes
30-day free trialYes
Monthly Fees$10.98$13.98$16.98

There are three different subscriptions plans available, starting from $10.98 per month.

The main differences between the plans are the video quality and the number of screens you can watch on simultaneously.

laptop showing netflix logo waving hand and holding a bouquet
Source: tenor

The Standard and Premium plan enhance your experience with content in High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (HD) respectively. Well, it goes without saying that your device has to be able to support HD and Ultra HD to enjoy this, yea?

While there’s no free Netflix loaded with advertisements, at least you are not restricted to a certain range of content if you choose to sign up for the Basic plan. Regardless of the subscription you choose, you will have access to unlimited films and TV programmes.

One good thing about Netflix is that you can cancel your subscription any time. Our lifestyle and situation changes, sometimes unpredictably, and it’s good to know that we have the flexibility to cancel if we no longer have the spare time for entertainment.


Hacks To Get Netflix For Free, Or For Cheap

Time Your Entry

Everyone starts off on the same playing field, sign up for the 30-day free trial and voila, look at all the stuff you can watch!

A little pro-tip here though, make sure you sign up for the free trial only when you’ve got the time on your hands to be watching all the shows you planned to watch.

They’re giving you free access for 30 days, make use of the trial!

I’m not saying that you should be spending every single minute of your free time glued to your device, please go out and get some fresh air, people.

anime of boy ageing from watching 'just one more episode'
Source: giphy

But maybe use the service and watch an interesting show at least once a week so that you can make use of the free trial fully?

Be On Free Trial (Forever?)

Who can say no to free stuff, right?

But this hack requires the most effort, so it may not be suitable for everyone. If you have multiple email addresses and payment methods, i.e. credit cards, this one is for you!

Like many subscription services nowadays, you’ll be automatically charged for the products you’ve signed up for when your free trial ends and Netflix is no exception.

Oh, the horror when you check your card statement and see unfamiliar charges. 

Here comes the troublesome part, you’ll need to monitor your subscription and cancel the free trial before it ends.

Apparently, Netflix is very likely to provide you with another free trial if you cancel on the free trial.

Screenshot of Netflix's email to extend free trial
Source: Lifewire

However, there is no guarantee that Netflix will continue to do so, plus there will be a pretty long wait before Netflix sends you the new free trial.

Now, this is where multiple email addresses and credit cards will come in handy.

After cancelling the first free trial, you can set up a new account, with a different email address and payment method, to enjoy a new trial.

Maybe after 3 or 4 new accounts, you’ll receive the email from Netflix with a trial extension on the very first account.

infinity loop drawing
Source: tenor

You guessed it, the cycle begins.

Sounds like a good deal but you probably will have to set reminders for yourself, else you’ll be charged for all your accounts.

However, we feel that this is not a long-term hack as you may run out of email addresses and payment methods. 

Netflix might just decide that they have enough customers and don’t see the need to extend free trials to entice customers.

Plus, Netflix ain’t silly and they are able to track if people are doing this too often, and you might end up getting banned. 

You’ve been warned!

So that’s why we suggest using this hack once or twice while you prepare for the next!

Sharing Is Caring

Remember how Netflix’s Premium plan allows you to watch on up to 4 screens simultaneously?

Unless you’re subscribing for the rest of your family members, you’re not going to be able to watch 4 shows at the same time, right?

Which means, at any time, there can be 2 or 4 users watching on the same account, depending on the plan you subscribed to.

 BasicStandardPremium
Monthly Fees$10.98$13.98$16.98
Number of Users124
Monthly Fees Per User$10.98$6.99$4.24

Well, a monthly subscription fee of $4.24 sounds pretty good to me, it’s as though I got super hungry one day and ate another portion of chicken rice from the hawker centre.

Not only do you save money by upgrading to the premium plan, but you can also enjoy a better streaming quality!

What are you waiting for? Go gather 3 more friends to share the account and split the cost!

three golden retrievers with tennis ball
Source: tenor

Otherwise, you can always find friends who are on the Basic or Standard plans and help them save some money too.

Now, just take note that you’ll be creating new profiles under your account, which means they will be logging in with your email address and password.

So maybe don’t find random strangers online to share your account if you don’t trust them to use your account with care.


Saving Money & Time While Using Netflix

Download on Device

Well, this one should be a given!

Even though mobile plans nowadays offer a lot of data, there is still a possibility that you might exceed your monthly limit by binge-watching.

The solution is really simple, just download the shows you want while you’re connected to Wi-Fi and you’ll be able to watch them offline!

Furthermore, downloading the shows beforehand can also contribute to a smoother viewing experience.

video on mobile device buffering
Source: giphy

Can you imagine watching the most exciting part of the episode and all of a sudden, it’s buffering because your train just went underground?

ARGHHHH…

Finding Secret Categories

I haven’t really had this issue since I still have so many shows that I have yet to catch up on.

But if you’re trying to browse new show to watch, Netflix’s default categories ain’t the most helpful sometimes.

And if you’re still referring to a long list and typing category codes manually into your search bar, let us share something life-changing with you!

Chrome Extensions FindFlix and Netflix Categories
Netflix Categories & FindFlix

Luckily, web extensions like Netflix Categories and FindFlix have embedded the category codes and automate the process for you and all you have to do is decide what category you would like to explore.

Filter Out Netflix Originals

We’re probably going to be expecting more Netflix originals in the near future, but not everyone’s on Netflix for their original shows.

Netflix Originals Panel

The Chrome extension, No Netflix Originals, helps to hide the Netflix Originals panel on their homepage, as seen above.

But to be honest, I don’t find that it bothers me particularly, especially since it’s usually quite a few scrolls down.

Just note that it only hides the Netflix Originals panel, but it does not filter them out from your Trending Now or Popular on Netflix recommendations.

Skip Intros Automatically

Call me lazy but I think this is auto skipping introductions is a feature I’d want, even though it is just a quick click away.

If you want to save precious seconds to watch more episodes, then use the Chrome extension, SkipFlix, to help you jump right into the exciting stuff!

And if I’m cosied up in the perfect spot, I wouldn’t want to ruin it by having to reach out for my mouse or remote to click the ‘Skip Intro’ button.

Also, while the intros for many shows that I’m watching are amazing, some of them can be really long.

I’ll probably turn this feature off if I’m watching the first episode of a new series, but otherwise, goodbye long introductions!


It’s a little too late for it now, but I should have looked online for these hacks when I was signing up for Netflix. I remembered paying for a few month’s of Premium fully while confirming which friends are sharing with me. 

Got any budgeting or savings related questions? Ask them here!

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About Jacqueline Yan
Full-time coffee nerd playing the personal finance game to feed her insatiable wanderlust.
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