Trim Review – What You Should Know About Saving Money With Automation
Automation of payments has done wonders for everyone, but especially the forgetful and lazy consumer. Nowadays, you can automate your bill payments, banks transfers, investments, and more.
In fact, auto payment is a fundamental part of the subscription services. Without it, there’d be no point in a subscription service at all.
The “set it and forget it” nature of auto-billed subscriptions services has plenty of advantages: it saves time, minimizes the chance of late fees, frees up space in your mind to worry about other things, and some companies will even give you a discount if you set up auto pay.
“Set it and forget it” isn’t perfect, though; for one, you can overdraw your account or max out your credit card if you don’t monitor either balance every so often. If your credit card on file expires, you’ll incur late fees without you being aware.
And then there’s chance you forget you ever signed up for certain subscription-based services in the first place.
Scan through your banks statements, and chances are you’ll find a service or two that you signed up for a while ago and forgot about, yet you’re still paying for it. In addition, you might see some late fees you incurred months ago without noticing.
Those add up, but it’s hard to constantly monitor your banks statements.
On top of that, many subscription services are designed to be much harder to cancel than to signup for in order to discourage cancelling.
Some services don’t even let you cancel online; you have to call, jump through a few hoops, dodge several sales pitches, and triple-confirm you want to cancel!
Trim, a relatively new personal finance site/app/service, aims to take that burden off you.
What is Trim?
Trim is, in their words, a financial health company. It was founded in 2015 with the goal of helping people with their spending.
Trim isn’t your typical personal finance or budgeting service; it’s actually a chatbot. Because of this, Trim calls it a “personal financial assistant”.
Trim currently does not have a mobile app, but their website is optimized for mobile to compensate.
How Does Trim Work?
As we said above, Trim’s service is a personal finance assistant chatbot. It saves you money by analyzing your bank and credit card transactions as well as helping you lower the price of or ditch subscription services.
You have to link all your accounts to Trim for it to monitor them. They work with over 15,000 financial institutions, so don’t worry about being unable to find yours.
When your accounts are linked, you gain access to a wide array of helpful, money- and time-saving features and tools.
Unused Subscription Services
Trim’s algorithms are able to recognize subscription payments and distinguish them from one-off payments, such as dining out.
It’ll then store this information.
Now, for the chatbot part.
As a chatbot, you can communicate with it to quickly obtain information about your subscription services. For example, you can ask it “what are my subscriptions?” and it will immediately send you every subscription you’re currently paying.
Then, you can cancel any subscription you want without leaving the chat simply by telling Trim to cancel the subscription you want to cancel.
Trim will then attempt to contact the company to cancel your bill on your behalf. It does this by either phone, email, or a certified letter.
If one method doesn’t work, Trim doesn’t give up; it just tries the next method. Phone and email should be enough for most services. Certified letters aren’t used often.
However, some subscriptions like gym memberships are much harder to cancel. In this case, Trim will send a certified letter after exhausting its other options.
Credits For Service Outages
When your internet goes down for some reason, you usually have to sit there, grumpily waiting for it to come back up.
Trim’s happy to help by negotiating credits out of your service providers for any outages that occur.
Let’s say you theoretically pay $50 per month for internet. That’s about $1.67 per day, assuming a 30-day month.
If your internet goes down for 5 days, Trim will get you an $8.35 statement credit ($1.67 x 5 days) from your provider.
For a cut of your service interruption refund, no longer do you have to demand compensation for lack of services yourself.
Trim can actually negotiate your with your cable, phone, and internet companies to lower your bill.
Don’t worry about yours not being on there; Trim can negotiate with basically any cable, phone, or internet provider on planet earth.
The Bill Negotiator is a premium service, meaning you technically pay money for it.
They don’t just bill you arbitrarily, although they do charge you up front; they take a portion of your negotiated savings as their commission for the service.
Sure, Trim’s known for it’s targeting of subscriptions and negotiating your bills.
However, Trim lets you analyze all your spending habits in-depth. You can compare date from month to month, by exact date, or by category.
It’s basically a tool to help you budget. We think it complements Trim’s goal of saving you money on subscriptions and bills quite well.
Have a Visa card? Trim and Visa partnered up to give you monthly cashback opportunities.
When you opt into this cashback program, Trim will constantly monitor your Visa card spending and send you coupons and cashback for qualifying purchases.
Stack this on top of your normal credit card cashback to reap maximum savings.
Any good personal finance assistant will alert you to financial situations that need your attention. This is one of the most important parts of managing your money, PAYING attention!
You can ask Trim to alert you for a variety of things such as
- Low checking account balances (to avoid overdraft fees)
- Overdraft fees
- Late fees
- Credit card balances
Among other relevant financial information.
Concierge/Debt Payoff Coaching
Want personalized financial advice from a real financial coach? For only $5, Trim’s Concierge service pairs you with a financial coach who analyzes your spending habits, answers your questions, and dispenses professional advice.
Now, they are phasing Concierge out in favor of the more debt-focused Debt Payoff coaching feature.
Debt Payoff costs $10 per month. While a bit pricier, it’s all about paying down debt to save on interest and put more of your own money back in your pocket.
Here’s a good strategy: take the savings Trim obtained for you through cancellations and negotiations and put it towards these coaching services if you must.
Unlike your other subscriptions services that were only taking your money and letting you watch TV or do something else, these subscription services will actually save you money.
Trim has a ton of advantages both over other personal finance services and just for your wallet in general.
Negotiating Power, Emotions, and the Very Nature of a Bot
Too many people are afraid to negotiate their bills. Some people are afraid to sound stupid, while others don’t want to hurt the feelings of the company or the service rep.
That’s because we’re all human.
But Trim’s a bot. It has no emotions: just cold, calculating rationality.
It aggressively pursues its mission to save you money without these human emotions getting in the way.
That means it’ll be as assertive as it must to save you money on your bills. It’ll never complain about difficult customer service reps, worry about hurting feelings, or get tired of negotiating all day.
Neither will it back down in the face of resistance from the company. If it can’t save you money, it’ll exhaust every option before admitting defeat.
Not only can negotiating and cancelling bills be emotionally exhausting, but it takes time.
Especially those companies that don’t let you cancel without calling and deflecting 5 sales pitches and 3 “please don’t cancel” pitches.
Trim saves you several hours of phone calls by doing all the work for you. All you have to do is say “cancel service X” and forget about it.
It’s the only set and forget that’ll save you money!
The other way it saves you time is by being a chatbot. Rather than digging through banks statements or manually tracking your subscription services, Trim will tell you everything if you just ask.
100% Free to Sign Up
Trim is absolutely free to use. You can sign up for it and have it look through your bills and identify services to cancel/negotiate lower at no cost for you.
You could easily run off with this info and never actually use Trim, so it’s pretty amazing that they offer the service for free.
But they can get away with it because of the convenience factor.
Trim’s great, but it’s not without a few drawbacks.
Hefty Fee/Commission For Bill Negotiation
Trim doesn’t have much similar competition at the moment. Since their service is fairly unique and in low supply, they can charge a pretty penny for their bill negotiation service.
And by pretty penny, we mean up to a third of your annual savings you obtain through using Trim’s bill negotiation.
So if Trim saves you $20 per month ($240 per year) in subscription services by renegotiating your bills, you might only get $160 of that while they keep $80.
Fees differ by provider, but they tend to be fairly steep across the board.
On top of that, they charge you the savings fee up front, before you even actually save money. If they save you a lot of money, that means you’ll be charged a lot up front as well.
Look on the bright side: you aren’t “paying” any money, especially since Trim is free. You’re still saving money no matter what. You just happen to be saving less of it, and further down the line.
You Must Link Your Accounts
Trim requires you to link your account in order for it to scan your statements for savings opportunities.
Obvious enough, but some people don’t like linking their accounts for privacy reasons. If that’s you, you won’t derive any value from using Trim.
No Mobile App
Trim currently has no mobile app. This’ll come as a disappointment to the many people that tuck away all their personal finance apps into a little folder on their phones.
Trim’s website is optimized for mobile, though, so you won’t have to struggle through a slow and clunky interface despite using their service on the web.
The Verdict – Trim Review Wrap Up
Unless you’re ultra-concerned about privacy, there’s no reason NOT to sign up for Trim.
See, many services promise you amazing features, only to find that the most amazing features are locked behind a subscription paywall.
Sure, it’s got its premium features like Bill Negotiator, Concierge, and Debt Payoff.
But Bill Negotiator only charges you when it locks down savings for you in the long run, while the other two premium features are coaching and therefore make sense to charge for.
And even if you don’t want these premium features, the ability to instantly analyze your spending, see your subscription services, and cancel said services with a few texts are all free.
Many other services would charge you for the time savings and convenience, but remember, Trim’s about helping you first.
All that being said, we recommend Trim to everyone.
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