We’ve all got bills to pay. It can easily become overwhelming between car insurance, credit card payments, and utilities. You could be having a great day, and the next, you’re frustrated because you forgot to pay the phone bill and your service has lapsed.
Most companies now offer some form of autopay where they’ll automatically debit your bank account or charge your credit card accounts each month. Yet all this automation creates another problem. Now you’ve got a massive list of changes happening each month without your involvement.
Add subscriptions you’ve signed up for to the list, like Netflix and HBO. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t thoroughly read our credit card statements each month. So a subscription could quickly increase and many of us wouldn’t notice.
Enter Ask Trim, also known as the Trim app. Starting in 2015, the online service began by helping people with the small stuff, like monitoring and canceling unwanted subscriptions.
Fast forward, and Trim is now a robust financial health service. To date, they’ve saved their customers over $40 million. Keep reading this review to find out if you, too, could potentially save yourself some cash with Trim.
Ask Trim Features
Ask Trim includes a variety of features aimed to save you money. These include subscription monitoring, helping you cancel unwanted subscriptions, bill negotiation, bank negotiation, and more. We will take a closer look at all of Trim’s features below.
The average American spends $237 per month on subscription services. What’s even more astounding is that 84% of us underestimate how much we pay for recurring subscriptions.
Trim’s solution to this issue is its subscription monitoring service. You begin by first providing the money-saving app with your bank accounts and credit cards. Don’t worry; Trim utilizes 256-bit SSL encryption, secure databases, and two-factor authentication to keep your information safe.
After providing your financial info, Trim analyzes and finds the subscription charges you have spread across your bank accounts and credit cards. It then compiles a report to see the amount you spend for each service easily.
See some services you’d rather not pay for anymore? Don’t worry; just let Trim know which services you want to cancel, and it takes care of the rest. This helps you lower bills and make better financial decisions.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of paying whatever a company tells you to pay. When you go to the grocery store, you don’t haggle with the cashier over the price of a gallon of milk. But the great thing about services is that the price is almost always up for negotiation.
Cable providers are notorious for hooking you in with a reasonable sign-up offer and then jacking up the price months later in the name of premium features. They hope that you shrug your shoulders and continue to pay or, even worse, that you don’t notice the increase.
Thankfully, one way Trim work is through bill negotiation services. As a bill negotiation service, Trim works in the background, scanning financial transactions to discover ways to save you money. Trim does this by connecting your bank savings account to find savings opportunities and scanning your emails for receipts showing a price drop.
Trim starts negotiating costs on your behalf with a copy of your bill. You can easily upload it on Trim website or shoot them an email with it attached. After that, you’re set. Trim claims it can save you up to 30% with any cable bill, cell phone provider, internet bills, and other monthly bills.
Financial institutions can be intimidating, even for those who are financially experienced. However, we give them our money, and they can assess all sorts of fees and charges, putting a little dent into our annual savings goals.
Take overdraft fees, for example. In 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) says we paid $12 billion to banks just in overdraft fees! How much of that could have been refunded by negotiating with the bank?
While Trim is not a dedicated banking app like Chime Bank, they have your back for overdraft fees. First, they let you know when you’ve been assessed. Then, choose a day and time, and Trim will initiate a phone call with your bank to attempt to get the overdraft fee waived.
Trim will also work to remove other bank fees you might have been assessed. They will even make an effort to get your credit card APR lowered if you ask them to, improving your financial life.
Medical Bill Negotiation
Unfortunately, medical bills contribute to 60% of bankruptcy filings. Yet medical bills are almost always negotiable.
Many hospitals and clinics can offer significant discounts and/or interest-free payment plans. That’s exactly what Trim tries to negotiate for you.
The process is a bit more complicated than the regular bill negotiation. First, you must submit a few consent forms so that Trim can directly contact your healthcare provider.
Once you do so, Trim will begin the negotiation process and attempt to get you a better deal. It’s important to note that they will not agree to any payment terms without your specific consent.
Credit card debt is notoriously easy to pile up but pesky to pay down. Trim may be able to help you out if you find yourself saddled with credit card debt.
Essentially, you decide on an amount for Trim to automatically withdraw from your bank account or checking account each week. Trim then makes an extra payment each month to a credit card of your choice so that, in time, you can have the satisfaction of seeing a zero balance on your statement.
Keep in mind that if you elect to utilize this service, you’ll have to continue to make the minimum payment each month yourself.
Trim Simple Savings Account
Trim Simple Savings, an automated savings account, is different from an average high yield savings account. The app tiers interest rates based on the money in your savings account. You can set up automated weekly transfers from your checking account to your Trim savings account.
This way, you can build your vacation or emergency fund at a great rate. At the end of the year, you will appreciate what you have as your total annual savings and more financial freedom. Finally, the Trim personal finance dashboard helps you track your savings, and sends spending alerts and reminders.
Ask Trim Cost
If you’re not willing to pay Trim to act as your automated personal finance assistant, the site does allow you to use its subscription and overdraft-fee monitoring services free of charge.
Bill negotiation will set you back 33% of whatever Trim saves as your total yearly savings.
For example, if Trim saves you $100 for the year on cable, you owe Trim a $33 fee.
Is Trim safe? This is a common question asked by people who are scared of linking the debt payoff calculator to their bank accounts. The personal finance app may not have bank-level security, but it is safer than most e-commerce stores.
Here’s how Trim keeps you safe:
- It has 256-bit SSL encryption
- Two-factor authentication
- It provides read-only access
- Whether you are using a paid or free account, Trim does not store your information on their servers
Trim, like other money-saving apps, claims to work with any cable, internet, or phone service company. Whether your service provider grants a discount is dependent on the specific company, but it’s nice to know that Trim doesn’t discriminate.
It’s also a big plus that Trim offers some services without charging a fee. That allows you to test out their services before you commit. However, there’s a Trim premium plan that helps you save more money, unlike the free service. There’s a 14-day free trial, after which you pay for the elevated services at $99.
The job also doesn’t end for Trim regardless of whether or not your service provider agrees to lower your bill. Trim will continue to re-negotiate your invoices on an ongoing basis. Finally, Trim’s spending analysis lets you grow the habit of saving money and taking advantage of free services, and it ensures debt payoff.
Some people may see the irony in paying for a subscription designed to eliminate subscriptions when they are trying to get completely free of such. Also, it’s not too far-fetched to see how Trim could quickly become yet another recurring charge you see on your statements.
You might just as quickly negotiate your bills. However, nothing is stopping you from picking up the phone and chatting with a customer service representative for a while to lower your costs.
What’s more, Trim does not offer an iPhone or Android app. That could become a nuisance for people who are used to handling their finances on their phones with well-designed apps.
Ask Trim Competition
If the lack of a mobile app is a dealbreaker, give Truebill a look. The app so far has received over 16,000 reviews on the Apple App Store.
Truebill compiles a financial snapshot of all your linked accounts, similar to Trim. It even creates an easy-to-read list of all your used and unused subscriptions.
That sleek mobile app will cost you when it comes to cost. Truebill charges a 40% fee compared to Trim’s 33%.
Penny-pinchers will appreciate the fact that Clarity Money is entirely free. The service also displays your linked financial accounts in an easy-to-read format.
Unlike Trim and Truebill, however, Clarity Money will not cancel subscription services for you. Instead, the app provides you with contact information for the specific service so that you can cancel it yourself.
Conclusion: Ask Trim Review
We maintain many services and accounts these days, making it easy to see how people could lose track. So give Trim a shot if you find yourself in this category.
At worst, it turns out to be another service you end up canceling. At best, Trim could potentially put you back in the driver’s seat and help you regain control of your finances.