Admit it. You’ve signed up for a subscription service and totally forgotten it before. Whether it’s an automatic shipment from Gevalia (what? Free coffee maker, okay?!) or a gym membership that your sore muscles and comfy couch trick you into forgetting (more like ignoring), all of us have wasted money on something we weren’t using or didn’t even need.
Our lives are essentially made up of subscriptions these days. We subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and more to get our entertainment fix. Spotify for music. The New York Times for news. We subscribe to household basics like toilet paper and vitamin supplements from Amazon. We get subscriptions for our coffee (Death Wish Coffee), razors (Dollar Shave Club), clothing (Stitch Fix), and for even weirder things like keto snacks (Keto Krate), socks, dive bar shirts, menstrual items, and more.
Basically, we live in the Age of the Subscription.
Sometimes we need a regular reminder to audit what we actually use, what we need, and how we can save ourselves money each month—and sometimes the Internet even gives us what we want and need. Trim, “An Assistant That Saves You Money,” is aiming to provide us with just that reminder. Trim wants to automate saving money for its users, and one method of doing that is listing our subscription services: Trim show us what we spend, where we spend it, and empowers us to save our money from stuff we don’t use. It’ll even cancel those services for us if it can.
Here’s what Trim does: you sign up for an account, and connect your bank and credit card accounts to your Trim account. Then your personal financial assistant (it’s an AI) goes to work. Trim will analyze your transaction history line by line to identify recurring subscription costs. After it goes through all your data, you receive a text message with a list of your subscriptions and their various costs. (You can also receive Trim messages via Facebook Messenger.) If you want to cancel something, simply text Trim a command—pro-tip, the command is “Cancel _____”. You fill in the blank with the name of the service. If their automatic system can do it, it will – by sending either a form email or making a phone call. It will even send certified mail in some cases! (Note that, sometimes, Trim might require additional information to cancel a service.)
There are occasions when Trim can’t automate the cancellation for you – we all know that some companies want specific information from its customers before they cancel, and Trim can’t always answer those questions for you. They’ll let you know when that’s the case, of course.
By the way, this “Cancel My Subscription” service? It’s totally free.
You don’t ever have to manually schedule a review of your subscriptions either. Trim will regularly scan your accounts, and message you when it notices a new subscription.
Trim could represent a great savings tool for those comfortable with sharing their financial data with the company. On their FAQ page, Trim states that they will not sell your data, share it with third parties, or use it for any other purpose than to analyze it with their personal financial assistant. They also use 256-bit SSL encryption, encrypted databases, and two-factor authentication when you log in. Basically, Trim is saying that if you’re comfortable logging into your bank account online, you should be comfortable using their service.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Like, how is Trim making money if they’re doing all this for free AND not selling your information? Well, Trim does more than cancel your unwanted subscriptions. They activate cash back deals, and flag price drops on Amazon. They also negotiate lower bills for you on some services—most notably, for now, your cable and Internet bill. When they successfully reduce your cable bill for you, they take a percentage of the money you save. They’re automating that process too, and hoping to expand the service to encompass student loan payments, car insurance, and more in the future.
I highly recommend giving your spending a close look, whether it's personally or through a service like Ask Trim. We recently came to the realization we were spending almost $150 a month on subscriptions we really didn't need or use any longer. And if that's money you really aren't missing anyway – obviously, since you haven't taken the time to cancel up to this point – that's money that can easily be rerouted into some type of retirement savings. According to Start Late, Finish Rich – one of my all-time favorite books for beginners wanting to create wealth – investing just $150 a month for 30 years could accumulate to almost $340,000. How can you pass that up? If you could squeeze out $450 in savings and canceled subscriptions, you may be looking at over $1 million over the course of 30 years.
Give Trim a try if this sounds like something that might benefit you and your wallet – and be sure to let me know how the experience goes! If Trim successfully saves you money, we all want to hear about it.