When a world-famous celebrity like Ashton Kutcher raves about something, you better believe the world pays attention. So when he tweeted that Trim, an online service designed to help you lower your bills, was a “must see to believe” he created a bit of buzz.
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) November 16, 2016
In fact, Ashton believes in Trim so much that his venture capitalist firm, Sound Ventures, invested some seed money into the startup. After all, cutting recurring expenses really helps you on your way to Financial Freedom.
So what’s the hubbub all about? And besides Trim, what other services and apps are out there to help you lower your bills? And if you stacked them against each other, which one would come out on top?
What’s So Great About Trim, Ashton?
Trim lets you see subscriptions you can cut and may help you negotiate to lower your bills. After signing up, which took about a minute for me, and linking to your bank accounts or credit cards, you can view a list of recurring expenses and bills. You also may cancel a subscription through Trim.
Trim offers three other ways to help you save:
- Bill Negotiation to reach out to your cable and internet provider and lower bills on your behalf;
- Price Patrol to get money back when the price on a product you’ve purchased on Amazon lowers; and
- activity alerts sent on your phone.
What’s great about Trim is that it negotiates on your behalf to lower your bills and will monitor the price dropping on past purchases you’ve made on Amazon. Once the price drops, Trim will try to get you a refund on the difference. For both Bill Negotiation and Price Patrol, if Trim is successful, you’ll be charged 25 percent on the amount you’ve saved. (Trim also makes money by selling your data to third-party companies like credit cards issuers.)
You can personalize alerts, where you’ll receive texts such as when you get paid, late fees or overdraft fees. Another nifty feature is that, at-a-glance, you can see your credit card and bank statements.
There’s also personal finance bot that sends you texts via Facebook messenger and text letting you know how much you’ve spent on your subscriptions, bills and other services.
Where Trim Falls Short:
While Trim does allow you to see all your subscriptions and recurring bills, cancelling might not be so simple. Some companies may not allow you to cancel your subscription through Trim, so you’ll have to contact them directly. And with other companies, there may not be enough information for Trim to contact the biller. Also, currently Trim isn’t available as an app, just an online service. You’ll need to log-in on your desktop to access their services.
Can You Really Lower Bills With TrueBill?
Similar to Trim, TrueBill also helps cancel needless subscriptions and lower bills. And through their Billshark feature, they will negotiate on your behalf to lower bills. According to the app, their success rate is 85 percent.
Other cool features includes an at-a-glance view of your Cash Flow broken down into your saving accounts and investments. You can also see recurring charges coming up in the next seven days. I like how TrueBill breaks down your recurring payments into bills and subscriptions.
You can easily see how much you spend each month on both. Plus, you’ll see a note if there was a change in cost on a specific bill from the month prior.
If you’re missing a subscription, there is an option to add manually. Want to cancel a particular subscription? If so, you can cancel either by phone or email. And for some companies, there’s a breakdown for how to proceed. If you want to try the Billshark feature, you have the option to take a photo of your bill so TrueBill gets the larger picture.
Where TrueBill Falls Short:
Whereas Trim charge only 25 percent of the amount you saved from negotiating for a lower rate, TrueBill charges 40 percent. And, this is a small thing, but while there’s an option to set alerts to your phone, the only type of alert that’s currently available is if your balance goes below or above X amount.
This was a bit of a toss-up. While Trim’s personal finance bot comes in pretty handy, I’ve found that overall TrueBill offers more information about spending and saving. Plus, cancelling a subscription on your own is much easier. Whereas the fee to lower your bills or utilities is higher than Trim, I’d say that overall TrueBill is the stronger service.
Community Question: Are you using an app to lower bills and cancel subscriptions? Have you had success or no real effect on your finances? Share your experience with the Financial Foundations Community!
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/PureSolution
Jackie is a personal finance writer and content marketer. She is passionate about telling money stories and spreading financial literacy to a mainstream audience.