Trim is a simple app that has the potential to save you a lot of money every year. It might seem strange, but you might be giving your money away every month, and not even know it!
The level of automation in the personal payments space has risen steadily over the last few decades. People used to automate their most important bills, like a mortgage or car loan payments. That has changed, and it has become easy to fall into automated payment plans that you don’t even know that you signed up for.
One of the big problems that Trim addresses is that we tend to forget to closely inspect our monthly spending. We might notice a charge that is a few hundred dollars, but 20 or 30 dollars just doesn’t stand out. That is one of the reasons why you might be giving away thousands of dollars a year, and not even be aware you are doing it.
Companies know that people are generally bad at personal financial planning, so they create systems to allow themselves to take money from the unaware public. Trim is a free app that combats this abusive corporate behavior and makes sure you aren’t losing money every time a new month arrives.
What is the Trim App?
The idea behind Trim is simple. All you have to do is allow Trim to look through your spending, and the app will alert you to recurring charges that can be eliminated, or bills that can be negotiated lower.
If you want to, you can think about Trim like a free personal financial assistant that will go through your spending with a fine-tooth comb!
How They Hook You
You may or may not know much about behavioral psychology, but the big companies you deal with sure know a lot about it. In fact, there are a number of strategies that companies use to get your financial information, so they can start taking your money.
These practices may not seem ethical, but they are legal, and also highly effective from the standpoint of the company that may be raiding your bank account or credit card every month. All of these charges are considered ‘Gray Charges’, and Forbes estimates they add $200-$300 to the average American’s bills every month.
The Freemium Platform
Have you ever had to give away your financial information in order to use a ‘free’ service?
This is called a ‘freemium’ business model, and it can make a lot of money for the company that uses it. Most people will enter their payment information for a freemium app, and forget that they will have to pay after a certain amount of time or usage.
Once the person hits the limit, the freemium platform will start charging your bank account or credit card. It isn’t so bad if you are being charged for usage (you are using the service, after all), but if you are just being charged on a monthly basis regardless of use, the freemium model is terrible for your finances.
Trim will spot any of these freemium subscriptions on your bank or credit card accounts, and let you know that you are spending money on them.
Do you ever check the box for a ‘free’ subscription when you are buying something else online?
Well, you might be the proud owner of a ghost subscription that isn’t free anymore. Once you have entered all your payment information, it is simple for companies to ‘sell’ you on a free subscription with a box you have to click (or not click).
The free portion of the subscription will usually run out after a few months, and your bank account or credit card will be left paying for something you probably don’t want. Trim is an expert in finding these ghost subscriptions, and getting rid of them for good.
It might come as a surprise, but it is super easy for a company to charge you for something once they have your payment information. A nuisance charge is some charge you probably tried to get rid of already but weren’t able to free yourself from.
There are many ways that companies trick you into thinking you have stopped paying for their services, and some just reinstate billing because they can. Most people won’t notice, but they will be left paying a company that uses unscrupulous business practices.
Trim will find any nuisance charges and get rid of them for good after it checks with you to make sure you want to stop payment.
Depending on how a contract is written, a company may be able to raise the amount you pay for their services frequently.
Some companies will only raise prices once a year, while others may add costs to your automatic payment whenever they want. This is called ‘cost creep’ and it could be taking more of your income that you realize.
Trim is great at finding recurring charges that have been creeping up in price, and making sure you still want to pay them!
How To: Use Trim and Save Money
Signing up for Trim is extremely simple, and totally free. Trim will need to communicate with you, and you can elect to use either Facebook Messenger or SMS messaging for this necessary feature. If you don’t want to use your Facebook account to sign-up for Trim, you can also use an email address.
You will need to link your bank account and primary credit card to Trim, but unlike many of the freemium services that Trim will help cut out of your financial life, it will never charge your credit card or bank account for its services. The app needs to monitor your financial statements so it can find any charges that may be superfluous.
At the moment Trim is designed to work with more than 15,000 financial institutions in the USA, and will also interface flawlessly with any of the major credit card providers. Almost anyone can use Trim to help save money, and make sure they aren’t getting soaked for cash on a monthly basis!
It is a good idea to connect any accounts that may have been used online, or with any company that received your billing information. Once you connect all the required accounts to your new Trim account, the app will start a comprehensive analysis of the last 90 days of spending information.
Trim Does a Lot to Save You Money
Trim does more than just look for recurring charges and send you text messages. One of the hardest things about managing subscriptions is making sure that you actually get them canceled.
Companies know that most people don’t have a lot of time, so they make it much harder to cancel a subscription than sign-up for one. Trim can cancel a lot of automated subscriptions automatically (once you give it permission), and also help you chisel down your monthly bills.
Trim knows a lot of the policies that companies have to adhere to, and it can actually negotiate your bills lower!
Bye Bye Unwanted Recurring Charges
There is a good chance that you are currently paying for a subscription to a service you simply don’t want. After Trim finishes its detailed scan of your finances, you will be given the choice to cut any recurring charges that aren’t working for you anymore.
Trim will send you a message via whatever service you decide to use, and in most cases, the cancellation process will be totally automatic. There will be some companies that require you to manually cancel the ‘contract’, as they really don’t want to give up their free monthly payday.
When you need to manually cancel a contract, Trim will do its best to point you in the right direction. Even a few small recurring charges can add up to some serious money on a yearly basis, and that money could be working for you in investment accounts.
Negotiate Your Bills Lower With Trim
This might be yet another surprise, but did you know that many cable and internet service providers will actually negotiate on price?
It true, and Trim is set-up to negotiate on your behalf with numerous internet, phone and cable service providers in the USA. The app has a program known as ‘Trim Bill Negotiator’, and it can save you some serious cash on your monthly bills.
Trim created the bill negotiator to deal specifically with Comcast but has since expanded the coverage to many of the more popular internet, phone and cable service companies. Trim says that this program can save you up to 30% per year on your bills, which is amazing for an app does so many other things to save you money.
Of course, to use Trim Bill Negotiator you will have to give it access to any accounts you have for internet, phone or cable service.
Does the Trim Bill Negotiator Cost Anything to Use?
You might be doing some mental math and realizing that saving double digits on your cable or internet bill is going to line your pockets with an appreciable amount of cash.
It’s true, you stand a good chance of saving hundreds of dollars a year. Unlike the rest of the Trim app, the bill negotiator isn’t technically free. While there is no upfront charge for using the program, Trim will take 1/3 of whatever money is saved via the Trim Bill Negotiator.
What does that mean in practical terms?
Well, let’s say you pay $200 month for cable and internet, and Trim Bill Negotiator is able to save you 15% per month. That would be $30 per month or $360 per year. The Trim Bill Negotiator would take $120 of that for its efforts, which still leaves you with a cost savings of $240 per year.
Not to shabby, no matter how you look at it.
But Wait, Can’t I do This Myself?
If you are wondering if it is a good idea to give away a third of your potential savings to Trim, good for you!
Trim isn’t doing anything you can’t do yourself, and the company doesn’t guarantee that you will save any money with its bill negotiator program.
If you want to try and get your internet, phone and cable service providers down on prices, go ahead and take a shot at it. Negotiating with people can be a lot of fun if you are into it, and the people on the other side of the negotiating table are basically a captive audience (call often).
Any money you save will be all yours!
Sponsored Personal Financial Product Recommendations
Trim also pads its revenue by recommending financial products that would help you to save money in some way.
The company will receive some sort of incentive from the service that it recommends to you, which is one of the ways Trim is able to do what it does for free. Regardless, having a well-connected app that is always looking out for new ways to save you cash is nice, even if you choose not to take its recommendations.
You will receive information about credit cards, bank accounts and other financial services that could help you, based on your credit score and other financial metrics. Getting higher interest rates on your savings is probably very welcome, which is the kind of offer Trim is looking to connect its customers with.
Trim Has a Bunch of Other Great Features
Trim is a connected app that can also help save you money at many of the places you already shop. If you are an Amazon customer (who isn’t these days), Trim will make sure that you get the most out of your credit-card purchases.
Many credit cards offer purchase protection on items that fall in price after you buy them, and Trim will take care of all the back-office work for you. The app will also make sure that you get access to useful coupons and cash-back offers from numerous retailers across the USA.
Track Your Way to Better Financial Health
Trim wasn’t designed specifically to be a financial tracking app for budgeting purposes, but it can help you keep an eye on where you are spending your hard earned cash.
People tend to be a lot better at spending their money than watching where it is going. Trim offers its users an easy way to watch their money flow and even set up alerts for upcoming bills. There are purpose-built budget tracking apps that offer more features than trim, but if you are just starting out with money management, Trim’s tracking features are worthwhile tools.
Once you get all of your financial info connected to the app, Trim will be able to tell you how much you are spending at any given merchant on a monthly basis via convenient text messages. The app will also give you a net worth calculation on your dashboard, though it will only be based on the accounts that Trim knows about.
Is Trim Safe?
Trim offers a lot of functionality for free, but you may have noticed that it requires you to give it access to a lot of sensitive personal financial information.
Making sure your personal information is safe is a big deal, and Trim uses some of the best security out there to keep any data you share securely.
- Any information that Trim has access to is protected by 256-bit SSL encryption, which is basically the standard in retail banking.
- Additionally, Trim uses a program called Plaid to receive data from the more than 15,000 financial institutions that it connects to directly.
- Plaid will send all the authentication data you supply to Trim to the financial institutions for approval, and once given, Trim will have read-only access to your data.
- Trim won’t be given the authentication information itself, which is why the Plaid system is so much safer.
If you store your data with Trim, hackers could potentially grab it, but when Trim doesn’t have it, no such risk exists!
Trim: The Rundown
Trim is a lot of app for basically free. If you use (or have used) a lot of subscription services, it might be a good idea to try Trim out for a few months. We tend to be busy, and it is super easy for companies to take your money while you aren’t paying attention.
Once Trim is connected to your bank and credit card accounts, the process is almost totally automated. You won’t have to sift through hundreds or thousands of lines of transactions looking for recurring charges and spend your free time trying to stop unscrupulous companies from sucking up your cash.
Trim works with almost every major credit card service provider and many of the most popular banks in the USA. Plaid makes sharing your sensitive financial information much safer, so you don’t have to worry about losing valuable information because there was a lapse in security.
- Trim is a well-built app that is focused on saving you money. People that have been using the same credit card or bank account for years can take advantage of Trim’s ability to sift through loads of data, and find recurring charges that may be costing you a fortune!
- One of the biggest advantages that Trim has is the cost. There is no charge to use it. All you have to do is download the app, and connect all your accounts. While the Trim Bill Negotiator isn’t technically free, it will only cost you something if it can save you money.
- Trim takes data security seriously, and won’t even have access to the information that allows them to access your financial records on a read-only basis. Overall it is a well thought out system that has a high chance of creating returns for its users.
- While Trim does offer some features in addition to its recurring charge cutting function, it isn’t the deepest financial planning app out there. For people that keep a close eye on their spending, or have created specific accounts for subscription, Trim probably isn’t necessary.
Financial Planning is a Good Idea
Whether or not you decide to use Trim, it is a good idea to get a financial plan in place. The idea behind Trim is solid, and everyone should be aware of the money they are spending on a monthly basis.
There are a number of apps out there that can do just about anything a traditional financial planner or assistant could, and at a much lower cost. It is easy to think that affluent people have their wealth because they have a high income, but there is a lot more to it than simply making a lot of money.
Once you make money, it is extremely important to keep it safe from leaches like recurring zombie charges that go into a black hole, or bad investments that will never make money. Trim is among a new class of automated money apps that could help anyone get ahead, but you have to know how to use them to your benefit.
Trim Could Have a Place on Your Money Management Team!
Trim can help you save money on a monthly basis, but what are you supposed to do once it is sitting in your bank account?
Over the last decade, a number of new automated investment platforms have hit the market, and many of them require very little money to open an account.
If Trim finds a few extra dollars being sucked out of your accounts every month, why not keep spending them into an investment account!
Let’s say that Trim found that an old cable service provider was taking $30 from you every month, and put a stop to it. You could take $25 of that and send it to an automated investment platform instead, and you would still have an extra $5 per month.
No one ever got rich by giving away their money, and now Trim helps you find new ways to save. If you would like to learn more about Trim, check out their website right here.