December 21, 2018

Trim Review

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Are you guilty of signing up for subscriptions and then forgetting that they exist? You could be wasting money each month without realizing it. Trim is here to help you "trim the fat" by getting rid of unnecessary subscriptions.

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Does it live up to its name?

Keep reading to find out.

How It Works

Trim earned the nickname "personal finance assistant." You give Trim access to your credit card (Visa or debit card) and they will evaluate your spending for you.

Trim's algorithm searches out recurring charges and reports them back to you via text message or Facebook Messenger. You then have the option to respond "Cancel + the name of the service." Trim then attempts to cancel the service for you. They first email your text or Messenger authorization to the chosen company. They then try to cancel the service for you. If the company doesn't oblige, Trim tries again by calling the company on your behalf.

Sometimes Trim isn't successful in canceling your subscription. While disappointing, at the very least, you are aware of the subscription now and can do what it takes to cancel the subscription on your own.

Other Services Trim Offers

Trim does more than just cancel subscriptions for you. They also offer:

  • Trim Bill Negotiator Services: Trim claims they can lower your phone, internet, or cable bill by up to 30%. If they are successful, they do charge 33% of your annual savings as payment for the service. If they don't save you anything, they don't charge you.

  • Trim Simple Savings: Tell Trim your savings goals and they will help you reach them. Trim sets up automatic transfers from your checking account to your Trim Simple Savings Account. Instead of interest, you'll earn a 1.5% annual reward, which accrues daily.

  • Watch Your Spending Habits: It's easy to spend when you can just swipe a card at the register. It's also easy to lose track of what you spend. Trim will break down your spending by category and/or by merchant. You can text the command "spend + merchant name" to see a breakdown. This may help you trim your own spending when you see those numbers.

  • Debt Payoff Program: For $10 a month, you'll have access to financial coaches who can help you create a payoff plan, negotiate your APRs, and stay on track. The program comes with a 90-day money back guarantee.

  • Track Your Budget: You can set a target budget in Trim and it will let you know how you do each month. You can see your daily spending throughout the month, helping you to see where you should cut back and where you are staying within your targeted budget.

Who Should Use Trim?

  • Anyone with subscriptions: If you know you have subscriptions, but don't have the time to sift through them and cancel unwanted subscriptions, Trim can do it for you. Trim uses multiple methods to cancel your subscription so that you don't have to. If they are unsuccessful, you may be stuck with the dirty work, but at least the cancelation is at the forefront of your mind then.

  • Anyone who uses credit cards: Swiping a credit card can become a thoughtless process, which can be dangerous. Trim can help you realize where you spend your money. This can give you food for thought as you think about your future and your financial security.

  • Anyone who likes to save money: Who wouldn't want a lower cable, telephone, internet, or even credit card bill? Trim can negotiate your utility bills and even the APRs on your credit cards to help you save money.

Reasons We Like Trim

  • You can sign up for free. Upon providing your email address or Facebook login, you have a free Trim account. This gives you access to the Trim dashboard, which includes spending alerts, notifications of subscriptions, and even notification of late or overdraft fees that you pay. If you decide to use any of the paid services, you'll then be charged for the chosen services.

  • Trim takes security serious. Trim uses 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication. They use Plaid to connect to your financial institutions. The information you input doesn't go to Trim, but instead through Plaid's servers. Trim then receives read-only access to the accounts you've provided.

  • Trim works with more than 15,000 banks. If your bank isn't on their list of providers, you can send them an email and ask them to add your bank to their list of providers.

  • You can get rid of subscriptions you may have forgotten about. In today's world of "set it and forget it," we can easily forget about trial subscriptions or even subscriptions we knew we paid for but really don't use. Trim helps you think about where your hard-earned money goes and then even helps you cancel those unwanted subscriptions.

  • You have a good chance of lowering your spending. Even if you don't take advantage of the bill negotiating service, Trim may find other areas that you can save money. For example, do you pay late fees on certain bills? You may not even realize you are stuck in this habit. A late fee on a few bills every month can easily add up to several hundred dollars per year.

  • You don't have to do the unpleasant job of canceling a service. We know how overwhelming and possibly frustrating it can be to try to cancel a service. Many companies make it as hard as possible in the hope that you'll give up and keep paying. Trim doesn't give up, though. They start with automated attempts and move on to more direct attempts if they aren't successful.

  • You may understand your finances better. Having a third party categorize your spending and spell it out for you may help you cut down on your spending. Do you have a daily coffee habit? Do you go on spending sprees? You may get a better handle on where your money goes when you look at your dashboard. This may prompt you to change your spending habits.

  • You can get help negotiating lower interest rates on your credit cards. It can be scary to call your credit card company and ask for a lower APR. Many people avoid this task for fear of hearing the word "no." If you sign up for Trim's Debt Payoff Program, the financial coaches will do the heavy lifting for you so that you can get the lower APR that you deserve.

  • You can catch unnecessary bank fees. If you pay maintenance fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, or statement fees, you could be paying unnecessary money to banks. Trim helps catch these fees and makes you aware of them so that you can take the appropriate steps to avoid them. While you probably won't find a bank that doesn't charge any fees, some fees are just unnecessary.

  • You can stay on track with your savings goals. With Trim on your side, you'll know when you're off track with your savings. This can help you get your head back in the game and your savings on track again. It's easy to get lost in the daily cost of living, forcing yourself to forgo your savings. Automating your savings and using Trim's financial dashboard can help you avoid this risk.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You have to share your personal financial information. Even though Trim claims they are secure, you still have to provide your bank and credit card credentials. This can be risky with even the most secure company.

  • You can only email customer support. Despite the fact that you provide Trim with extremely personal information, you can only contact them via email. This can be frustrating when you need an answer right away.

  • Trim is not a budgeting app. Even though Trim sounds like it would help you with budgeting, it simply helps you reduce your spending by trimming subscriptions and/or excessive fees. It also does provide you with a bird's-eye view of your spending, but it's not a true budgeting app.

Bottom Line

If you have subscriptions or know you've signed up for services but aren't sure if you canceled them, you have nothing to lose with Trim. The service is free for subscription cancellation. If you choose to pay for their premium services, make sure you are getting your money's worth—after all, that's what the app is all about in the first place.

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