- With Trim, you can get a list of all of your recurring payments and the option to cancel your accounts
- Truebill allows you to log in to the app and scroll through your subscriptions list to choose what you would like to cancel
You know those subscriptions you always forget you have until you check your credit card bill every month and remember you’re still paying for them? Well, that was me. For a few months, I made a personal goal to cut back some of my unnecessary subscriptions. But, as always I would most certainly forget to do that.
Similarly, most of us are guilty of having subscriptions for services that we no longer need or use. Sometimes we keep them around because it’s the path of least resistance. For me, “cancel Ancestry.com” had been languishing at the bottom of my to do lists for month.
At first, I thought I had to manually review everything I subscribe to and then decide what to keep or delete. However, after a deep online search, I came across a few great apps that can help with that. First up, Trim. Trim solves this problem and saves you money by finding all of your active subscriptions and doing the legwork of cancelling those that you no longer need.
How Trim Works
There’s nothing to download, which is a win for your phone storage and signup is free.
Step 1: Start by generating an account either by creating a new login or logging in via Facebook. If you sign up using an email address you can choose to have notifications sent via Facebook messenger or SMS. If you sign up using Facebook you are automatically enrolled in Trim’s Facebook messaging.
Step 2: Connect your bank accounts and credit cards. It takes a few minutes for your data to analyzed. In my case, it took about 2 minutes—I barely had time to refill my coffee.
Step 3: You then get a list of all of your recurring payments and the option to cancel your accounts. It isn’t perfect, for example, several one-off purchases appeared on my list. But I was given the option to mark the items that were not subscriptions so they wouldn’t appear again. It should also be noted that Trim only pulls in 90 days of data. So, if you have a recurring annual or semi-annual charge, it may not be picked up initially.
Trim Will Even Cancel Your Gym Membership
If you choose to cancel a subscription, Trim collects the necessary information to handle the cancellation for you, for a fee. You can avoid the fee for this “premium cancellation service” by sharing their site on Facebook. They will even take on those particularly hard-to-cancel subscriptions like gym memberships, which usually require certified mail. If you ask me, that kind of service is worth way more than a Facebook post.
You’re Wondering About Security, Aren’t You?
Trim has a readily available and easy-to-understand explanation of their security protocols on their homepage. They never touch or store your credentials—third-party service Plaid (which works with companies like Stripe, Transferwise and Venmo) sends your online banking credentials to your bank and sends an encrypted read-only access token back to Trim. They require two-factor authentication for any sign-ins to your Trim account from a new device, or when your security token expires.
The Comcast and Amazon programs are not completely free, but you pay only based on what you save (25% of your first month’s savings on Comcast and 25% of your Amazon savings), so it’s still a win-win situation.
Have You Tried Negotiating Your Bills?
Trim can negotiate for lower rates with your cable service, internet and/or phone company. You are charged for bill negotiation, but it’s only if Trim is able to save you money.
Here’s how bill negotiation works with Trim:
- Submit a bill for negotiation
- Provide a payment method (you are only charged if Trim saves you money)
- Trim will contact the bill holder to negotiate
- You will be notified if Trim can save you money
- Trim will charge you for the service three days later
For bill negotiation, Trim charges 33% of the total you save each year. You pay that to Trim upfront. That means if they can save you $10 a month on your cell plan, or $120 over the course of a year, you would pay Trim $39.60. If the fee sounds too high, you can always negotiate by yourself.
How Does Trim Compare to Truebill?
I also tried Truebill, which offers many of the same services. With Truebill, you don’t get a message with your subscriptions list, instead you log in to the app and scroll through your subscriptions list to choose what you would like to cancel. While Trim’s notifications created a short-term task that was clear—review and cancel what you don’t want—Truebill seems to seek a more ongoing relationship with its users by offering push notifications for when a bill seems higher than normal or otherwise out of the ordinary.
However, unlike Trim, Truebill does retrieve information for more than 90 days of transactions and was able to pick up a couple of annual subscriptions that I had, which in my case did end up unearthing another unwanted magazine subscription.
Do More Than Just Cancel a Subscription
Similar to Trim, Truebill has additional offerings to save you money. This includes facilitating opening investment accounts and shopping around for better insurance rates. But unlike Trim, their dashboard makes suggestions for services you might benefit from based on your data.
While this would seem useful, their analysis of my data was imperfect at best (for example, assuming a semi-annual insurance premium was monthly). The dashboard’s many suggestions felt overwhelming and off-putting. I consider myself a savvy consumer who is no stranger to negotiation, and seeing a red flag and “This bill seems high” below every one of my utility charges felt judgmental rather than helpful.
Ultimately, it was helpful to get a 360 degree view of my finances and have an app that removes some unwanted expenses and helps me save!