I was a little skeptical when I first signed up for Trim. First of all, I am always a little leery of linking something up with my credit card account. And I wasn’t really sure I needed the spending tracking — as a frugal writer I always keep pretty strong track of my finances. So I didn’t need one of it’s main features: Keeping track of monthly subscriptions you might have forgotten about.
But one little feature on Trim made me give it a try: the bill negotiator (not actually what it’s called, but it should be). Upload a pdf of your billing statement from your internet/cable provider, and Trim will negotiate a lower bill.
Good for me. I of course don’t have cable television, which I think is an enormous rip-off and an unregulated monopoly (seriously, how do they get away with this?); only one time in my entire life, adult or otherwise, did I have extra television. I had DirecTV for about 2 years which I split with a roommate. Shortly thereafter I got a Netflix subscription, and they started carrying television shows. Bye bye, cable.
But I still have internet, and my bill is more than $70 per month (yet another monopoly — the only other game in town is Frontier and they’re awful). And sure enough, after uploading my bill to Trim, I got a message that afternoon that my bill had magically dropped to $50.
It’s not magically free though – Trim will charge you 25% of the savings per year — so I ended up with a $60 bill on my card. The rest of their services appear to be free though.
Could I have done this myself? Probably. But I definitely like the no-hassle approach, and I just hate making those phone calls. I know Mr. Money Mustache would chide me for not channeling my inner Hasselhoff, but since there is still a net savings, I can live with that.
A new feature coming soon will allow users to optimize their car insurance. Since I have mine bundled with my house, I will have to carefully consider it. To swap it all around might be too much of a pain, unless it’s a really good deal.
And I do admit the fact that Trim displays your spending, comparing it to the previous months (I’m guess to the same month the previous year once you’ve been on it long enough?) is a nice visual feature. Not one I couldn’t live without, and not necessarily apples to oranges. For example, I had a car repair this month that I put on my card, and then paid off with money from my emergency fund. Sure, I spent more, but not out of every day expense money – so if my spending is higher this month, does it matter?
I have my own. The fact that Trim would charge you for their bill reduction service was in pretty small print, and both myself and my sister who also used it, with the same positive results, completely missed it. I’m still OK with it. Just came as a bit of a surprise since I didn’t see the fine print.
When you set up Trim, it is set up to send you annoying messages through Facebook far more often than necessary, telling you when you spent money. I already know that, Trim, but thanks for the interruption. Fortunately Facebook allows you to turn that off. I did it for Facebook’s business platform too, which sends me spam all the time too.
Finally, it always makes me nervous to hook my credit card up with an app like this. They also want to link your bank account, and give you cash flow results. Some might be interested in this; I am not. I can track these things on my own.
I scoured Trim’s Facebook page to see what others are saying about the service. It was hard to find much criticism of Trim — though one woman did claim that she was charged $60 but didn’t see the evidence of her savings. It could be that she just didn’t see the notifications. I was sent an email from Charter that specified I was on a new plan. Maybe Comcast (where her service was through) doesn’t send out that info.
Overall, I think Trim is worthwhile for its bill payment lowering service alone. I think their fee is a little steep, but ultimately still worth it. Perhaps if they grow, they will lower it. If you can get over allowing this company access to your credit card (I’m OK with it, because my card is great about cancelling unknown charges), the savings to your internet or cable bill (but we don’t get cable because it’s a waste of money, right?) is worth it! And if you do have subscruptions you forgot about, this could help with that too. Finally, the month-to-month comparison graph is a nice visual I wish my card’s website had. If you’re interested, check it out yourself here, and get $3 when you sign up through this blog! (I get $3 too.)
My next saving venture is trying out Twigby wireless service, so look for that post soon!
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Disclaimer: I use Amazon Affiliate links in some posts. I never link to anything I do not use and enjoy myself. I have no affiliation with Trim but I did include my rewards link in the post — sign up and we both get $3!