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I recently had to send a fax.
Instead of getting in my car to find a store where I could print and fax my forms, I signed up for a free month of a service that would let me send faxes online.
One month later I checked my transactions and saw I had a $10 charge from that faxing service because I forgot to cancel it. Worse, there was no way to cancel online. I had to call and beg for my money back.
We’ve all been there. You sign up for a free trial, promising yourself you’ll cancel it before you get charged, even setting a reminder in your phone.
Then six months later, you’re looking at your credit card statement and realize you’ve been paying for that “free trial” for the last five months. You might get the same feeling when you notice your cable bill doubled and their reason is because your “introductory offer” expired.
Fortunately, there’s a way you can easily see your subscriptions and bills so you can avoid these types of surprises. There are two personal finance assistants that can do just that.
Truebill and Trim are free services that track your expenses and help you cancel unwanted subscriptions and negotiate inflated bills.
What is Truebill?
Truebill is an app that can cancel unwanted subscriptions and lower your bills. It tracks your transactions and compiles a list of recurring bills, how much you pay, and when they’re debited from your account, giving you a complete snapshot of your monthly expenses.
Truebill at a Glance:
Truebill is a personal finance app that monitors and cancels subscriptions, negotiates bills on your behalf, tracks and categorizes your spending, and automates saving to help reach your goals. Once you download the app, connect your bank accounts and credit cards and Truebill will go to work analyzing your finances. The app is free to download and use, but premium features come with a price.Show Hide more
- Free to download and use
- Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
- Tracks and automates savings goals
- Saves money with little to no effort
- Uses bank-level security and 256-bit encryption
- Have to connect to your bank accounts
- Takes a 40% cut of your savings
- Free version comes with in-app advertisements
From there, you have the option to cancel unwanted subscriptions yourself, have Truebill cancel them for you, or negotiate lower payments on phone, cable, and internet bills.
The app can also help you make a budget, automate your savings, and negotiate the lowest rate on cable, phone, security, and other bills. It even claims it can get you refunds when your internet is down.
With over 8,000 Truebill reviews in the iOS App Store, reviewers praise the app for its user-friendly interface. They say it’s helped them organize their finances, and they actually save money using it.
Critical reviews have mostly been about Truebill’s negotiation service. Multiple reviewers reported Truebill negotiators downgraded their service to lower their bill which the app’s terms of service strictly forbid.
What is Trim?
Trim is similar in that you connect your accounts and it analyzes your spending to find recurring subscriptions. But Trim isn’t an app. It’s a free financial “assistant” that communicates with you via Facebook Messenger or text.
Trim at a Glance:
Trim is a financial service that helps you negotiate bills, find and cancel subscriptions, and look for better deals on things you already pay for. The free plan also comes with monthly spending reports and some budgeting capabilities. It's free to sign up for a Trim account. Premium services such as bill negotiation and automated savings come with fees.Show Hide more
- Free to sign up
- Negotiates bills on your behalf
- Helps cancel unwanted subscriptions
- Can get credits for cable and internet during power outages
- Cash back offers help you save money when shopping
- Convenient communication through Facebook Messenger
- No mobile app
- Must link your financial accounts
- Bill negotiation takes 33% of your yearly savings
The service can help you cancel subscriptions, negotiate your cable, internet, and phone bills up to 30%, find better car insurance, lower interest on credit cards, and get you refunds for cable and internet outages.
Since Trim doesn’t have an app, there are no ratings. However, several Reddit users reported Trim was able to save them money on their bills. Others reported negotiators signing them up for a bundle or longer contract to lower their bill.
Truebill vs. Trim
These financial management services both help you spend less and get your finances in order, but they do have some key differences.
Truebill and Trim are both free to sign up for and link your accounts. Bill negotiation is also free, but both charge a percentage of your first 12 months of savings. Truebill charges 40% while Trim charges 33%. These services continually monitor and negotiate linked service provider accounts, and you must manually opt-out.
|Truebill vs. Trim Free Plans|
|Finds subscriptions and recurring bills||x||x|
|Monthly spending reports||x|
|Limited budgeting capabilities||x|
|Spending analysis and budgeting tools||x|
|Personalized text alerts and reminders||x|
Truebill has a suite of premium services starting at $4.99 per month or $35.99 for an annual subscription ($2.99 per month). It includes a premium chat service, bank account balance syncing, subscription cancellations, custom categories for organizing expenses, unlimited budgets, and its Smart Savings automated savings fund.
While bill cancellation is included only in Truebill’s paid service, Trim offers it for free. Both charge a $2 per month maintenance fee on their savings accounts, unless you’re a Truebill Premium member. Then it waives the fee.
Trim’s Debt Payoff Program is $10 per month. It partners you with a Financial Coach that can negotiate lower interest rates for your credit cards, advise on your individual financial plan, and help you build a budget.
|Truebill vs. Trim Paid Plans|
|Savings account feature||x||x|
|Full budgeting capabilities||x|
|Refunds on overdrafts and late fees||x|
|Debt payoff program||x|
The Truebill app is available on iOS and Android. Trim’s personal finance dashboard is available online, and its financial assistant communicates with you via text or Facebook Messenger.
Both Truebill and Trim use Plaid to connect to over 15,000 financial institutions nationwide.
You can pay your bills in Truebill using its bill pay feature, and premium users can submit requests for overdraft and late fee refunds on your behalf. Trim users can get credits from their cable and internet providers for outages.
Trim’s automated savings account, Simple Savings, has a 1.5% annual interest rate. TrueBill’s Smart Savings fund is non-interest bearing.
|Truebill vs. Trim Unique Features|
|Free iOS and Android app||No need to download an app|
|Alerts via app notifications||Alerts via text or Facebook Messenger|
|Offers bill pay services||Interest-bearing savings account|
|Can get refunds for bank fees||Can get cable outage credits|
Truebill and Trim Alternatives
Looking for something a little simpler or with more features? There are several alternatives to meet your needs.
Billshark is an app similar to Truebill. It tracks your bills and can negotiate them down for you. If it’s successful, Billshark charges 40% of your annualized savings. If you choose to break up those payments, Billshark will take 50% of your savings.
BillShark can also cancel unwanted subscriptions. Unlike Truebill and Trim, there’s no additional fee or paid personal finance features.
Clarity Money tracks your spending, uncovers unwanted subscriptions, and organizes your financial life. It’s completely free to use, and there are no paid services. Clarity Money actually uses BillShark to cancel subscriptions.
The app is owned by Goldman Sachs, so you can open and maintain a high-yield Marcus Online Savings Account through the app at no extra cost.
The Hiatus app tracks your bills and other financial information to make sure the rates you’re paying are competitive. It’ll negotiate bills for 50% of the annualized savings and has a premium service similar to Truebill’s.
Truebill vs. Trim FAQs
Still hesitant about signing for Trim or Truebill? Both services go to great lengths to be transparent about security.
Are Trim and Truebill Safe?
Trim and Truebill both use industry-standard safety precautions. They feature bank-level 256-bit encryption and host their servers using Amazon Web Services (AWS), the same hosting service used by NASA and the Department of Defense.
Both use Plaid to access your banking information so they never see or store your banking credentials. Trim also uses two-factor authentication.
Does Trim or Truebill Sell My Information?
Neither Trim nor Truebill sell your information or use it without your permission.
Can I Negotiate Bills by Myself Instead of Using Trim or Truebill?
You can absolutely negotiate your own bills, and it’s not that hard. It just takes time to call and stay on hold while you wait for a customer service rep.
If you’re not sure what to say, Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to be Rich, has a script you can use when negotiating with a variety of service providers.
Using Trim or Truebill Could Save You Money
Trim and Truebill can both help you save money, especially if you’re uncomfortable talking to service providers on the phone.
Trim is best suited for someone who doesn’t want to download another app or prefers to use their computer to manage their finances. It can also be better if you tend to have frequent cable or internet outages.
Truebill is great if you want the same thing in an app and combines the features of multiple personal finance apps into one.
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