The post Trim Review 2018: How to Automatically Lower Your Bills appeared first on Club Thrifty.
In this Trim review, we’ll explore how the app works, explain its features, and help you decide if it is a good fit for you. Enjoy!
Have you ever wished you could afford to hire an assistant? You know, someone to take care of annoying tasks that you never seem to get around to?
Wouldn’t it be great to have someone comb through your financial statements looking for services you don’t want or need anymore? Better yet, how would you like to have somebody call your service providers and try to negotiate better deals for you?
If that sounds like a dream come true, you’re in luck: You can afford to hire that assistant – anyone can! Only it isn’t really a person; it’s a financial management service called Trim.
How Trim Works
Trim is a software program that bills itself as a holistic financial management service. It helps users save money by:
- Helping them cancel unwanted subscriptions
- Negotiating the price of internet, cable, and phone bills
- Making personalized financial product recommendations
- Analyzing and reporting spending patterns to help users track their money habits
You can sign up for Trim online, using either your email address or Facebook account to get started. You can also choose to receive communications via text or Facebook Messenger. Signing up for an account is free, but you’ll be asked to connect your primary credit card and bank account information in order to benefit from Trim’s features. (Your card won’t be charged. It’s just so the app can scan your accounts for better deals!)
Trim is currently compatible with over 15,000 banks and credit unions in the U.S., so chances are good that yours is on the list. To get a complete financial picture, it’s best to connect all of your accounts. Then, Trim will analyze your financial transactions over the past 90 days and search for ways to help you save.
Sounds pretty great, right? Let’s take a closer look at Trim’s main features.
Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions
Remember that free trial you forgot to cancel? Or the gym membership you used for a grand total of three months? How about the fact that you’re subscribed to three TV streaming services that you no longer use?
Most of us have at least one (if not more) unwanted or forgotten subscriptions being billed to our credit cards on a recurring basis. Most of them are pretty cheap, so you may not even notice – especially if you aren’t creating a monthly budget. Even if you do catch them, they’re so small you may not bother to take immediate action.
This is especially true if canceling involves calling a customer service department (cringe). Ain’t nobody got time for that! So, you put it off…and off…and off…until you end up forgetting about it for another month.
Here’s the problem: These unwanted subscriptions can really add up. Even a basic Netflix subscription for about $8 a month will cost you $96 over a year. Maybe that’s not life-changing money, but it’s a lot to pay for something you’re not using.
So, how does Trim help address the issue? First, it scans your transaction history and identifies subscriptions. It then sends you a list of identified subscriptions via text or Facebook Messenger.
See something you don’t like? Just reply back “Cancel [insert service name]”. It’s as simple as that! Trim will automatically cancel that subscription for you.
What does that mean for you? You don’t have to spend your valuable time contacting service providers to cancel unwanted subscriptions. And, going forward, you won’t be spending your hard-earned money on those subscriptions. Did I mention Trim performs this service for free? What are you waiting for?!
Negotiate the Price of Recurring Bills
Trim isn’t just about saving money by eliminating unwanted subscriptions. It can also negotiate the price you pay for phone, internet, and cable services.
You might be wondering how in the world that works. It’s through a program called Trim Bill Negotiator. Once you provide the name of your service provider and account number, your job is basically done. Trim then takes over by contacting your provider to negotiate a lower rate, saving you up to 30% in the process!
Note that this service was originally only available to Comcast customers, so some older Trim reviews you read might mention that. Trim has since expanded the service to apply to any internet, phone, or cable provider.
Trim Bill Negotiator: How Much Does it Cost?
So what’s in it for them? While Trim cancels your unwanted subscriptions for free, they need to make money somehow. The Trim Bill Negotiator is one of the ways they do it. In the way of payment, Trim takes 33% of whatever they save you annually.
For example, if your Verizon bill was originally $75 per month and Trim negotiates it down to $65 a month, you’ll save $120 annually. Trim’s cut (33%) of $120 works out to be $39.60 – let’s call it $40. Therefore, your net savings is $120 – $40 = $80.
Is it Worth It?
Is the Bill Negotiator Service worth it? Well, I guess that depends on a couple of factors.
First, how valuable is your time? I don’t know about you, but the best use of my time isn’t waiting around on hold with customer service departments. It’s also bad for my sanity.
Also, how good are you at negotiating? Even if you have the time on your hands, there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful in negotiating a price drop.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Trim will be successful either. The difference is that you have nothing to lose by having Trim give it a shot. If you try and don’t succeed, you’re out time…plus, you likely just had a super annoying and frustrating experience on the phone. On the other hand, if Trim tries and doesn’t succeed, you aren’t out anything. You only pay if they end up negotiating a better price on your bill. If you don’t save, they don’t get paid.
And, let’s be honest: If you weren’t going to call Verizon and haggle for a better deal, what do you care if Trim takes $40 of the $120 they saved you? You’re still up $80. I’ll take that any day.
Personalized Financial Product Recommendations
Speaking of making money, another way Trim makes money is by recommending credit and banking products to its users. They have affiliate relationships with financial service providers, and if you end up opening an account with them, Trim earns a commission of sorts. Pretty standard stuff.
Of course, it isn’t in Trim’s best interest to make referrals all willy-nilly. They need to make sure the products they recommend to their users are a good fit for their needs. A happy customer is a repeat customer, right? That’s why Trim recommends credit cards that are appropriate for your credit score. They can also show you savings account options that pay the highest interest rates.
Tracking Your Spending
If you’re interested, you can use Trim to track your spending. Simply send Trim a quick text to get balance updates or find out how much you spent at a specific merchant in the last month.
Trim also offers a financial dashboard that shows your net worth (based on the accounts you’ve linked to the program).
While there are other more comprehensive financial tools out there, Trim’s ability to help you track your spending can certainly help you keep it in check. In my book, anything that makes you more aware of your spending habits is a good thing.
Other Cool Trim Features
- Amazon price-drop refunds – If you buy something on Amazon with a credit card that has purchase protection, Trim can get you a refund for the difference in cost. This is really just through your credit card’s purchase protection policy, but they handle the paperwork so you don’t have to.
- Cash back offers – Trim will periodically offer you cash back for using your credit card at certain retailers.
- Coupons – Trim can help you find and apply coupons when you shop online.
- Notifications – You can set it up so that Trim sends you bill payment reminders and notifications when your account balances are getting low.
Trim: Is it Secure?
Obviously, if you’re going to share your credit card and bank account information, you need to be sure your info is safe. Trim says they use bank-level security. Great, what does that mean?
Well, it means they use 256-bit SSL encryption for their website (that’s the gold standard). It also speaks to how they get access to your financial data.
They use a secure program (it’s called Plaid) to connect to 15,000 financial institutions. Basically, when you input your credentials, Plaid sends it to your bank for authentication. Trim doesn’t actually see them. Once authenticated, Plaid sends Trim a read-only security token so they can access your transactions. Read-only means they can view the transactions but can’t take any action with your accounts (like moving money).
Trim also requires two-factor authentication to receive notifications. When you sign in from a new device, they will send you a verification code you will have to enter. That way, only someone with access to your phone would be able to sign in.
The bottom line? Trim appears pretty darn secure.
Where Trim Excels
Trim has a lot going on, and according to them, they’re working on expanding their services even more.
In my opinion, Trim’s two best features are canceling unwanted subscriptions and the Trim Bill Negotiator. Both services save users valuable time and take care of a chore that a lot of people wouldn’t bother with. Best of all, they save you money!
I think it’s awesome that the subscription cancellation service is 100% free. And, even though bill negotiation isn’t free, 33% of whatever Trim saves you annually is still a good deal. I mean, you probably wouldn’t be saving at all if it weren’t for Trim, right?
Where Trim Falls Short
If you’re serious about tracking your spending and net worth, Trim can help…but it’s definitely not the best tool on the market. Personal Capital is a much more robust tool, and it’s our go-to software for capturing your entire financial picture. You can read our complete Personal Capital review here.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Trim offers some tracking. I also like that you can send a quick text and get a reply with your total spend at a given merchant. I’m just saying there are better options out there.
Trim Review: The Verdict
Would I recommend Trim? Sure! Why not?
I love the idea of having an assistant to take care of annoying financial errands like canceling unwanted subscriptions and negotiating bill prices. The fact that it’s free to sign up and free to take advantage of the subscription cancellation makes Trim a no-brainer. You literally have nothing to lose by giving it a try, and you’ll probably end up saving some money!
The Trim Bill Negotiator does come with a cost, but – in my opinion – it is worth it. If you’d love to save on your internet, phone, and cable bills but can’t be bothered to do the haggling yourself, the 33% fee isn’t bad. Remember, you only pay if they save you money, and you only ever pay 33% of what they save you. That’s a pretty sweet proposition if you ask me!
Have you tried Trim? How much did you save? We’d love to hear about it!
The post Trim Review 2018: How to Automatically Lower Your Bills appeared first on Club Thrifty.