Ask Trim Review: How we saved $240 in minutes
I like to think that I’m pretty savvy when it comes to saving money. I feel like I’ve learned all the tricks to cut costs and find extra dollars in my budget.
Boy, was I wrong.
By signing up for Ask Trim, and spending about 5 minutes to sync our accounts and submit our internet provider, we saved a whooping $240 a year. Did I mention it only took five minutes? If only every five minutes of my day could do the same!
By far the best money saving app I’ve tried, Trim is fantastic when it comes to cutting bills without a lot of hassle.
Wondering if this magical app can do the same for you? Keep reading to hear more of my full Trim review. (Note: this review has been updated as a 2/17/2021)
How We Saved $240 in 5 Minutes
We were able to save $240 a year in 5 minutes with the Trim money saving app. I’d skimmed a couple of Trim reviews but never really checked into it – though I’m definitely regretting that now.
I do have to admit that a while back I did I sign up and add one account, and then promptly blew it off. I strangely thought it’d be too much work and I assumed they’d never find any savings for us.
Silly, I know.
This time I decided to seriously try it out, even though I was oh so sure that I already was getting the best deals on all of our accounts.
We’re already cut everything possible, and haggled on everything from car insurance to daycare. My husband had even previously haggled with our internet provider to get the best deal, so how could they possibly get us a better one?
What is Trim and How Does it Work?
Trim is a bill negotiation service that helps you trim bills. They contact your utility companies and other services and negotiate savings on your behalf. There’s no more time wasted sitting on the phone, threatening to drop their service just to get a discount. Trim does it for you!
Trim can also find those unwanted subscriptions you’ve forgotten about and help you cancel those as well. These small per-month adjustments can add up to considerable savings over a year.
Trim does a lot more than I realized, or expected. I thought it was just a bill negotiator, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it does so much more. Trim works in three areas: it analyzes your spending, it alerts you about any unwanted subscriptions, and it does bill negotiations on your behalf, making it the best money saving app around!
In updating my Trim review, I was excited to see that Trim has really expanded! It now can help you with any of the following six areas of savings:
- Bill Negotiation
- Bank Negotiation
- Negotiate Medical Bills
- Simple Savings
- Subscription Monitoring
- Financial Coaching
How Does Trim Save You Money?
Trim’s bill negotiation services are what it’s most commonly known for. Primarily, bills like cable, internet, phone, and even insurance. Trim works with the service provider on your behalf to lower your rate without changing or lowering your service plan.
While working on my Trim review, I decided to start with the bill negotiation part. I added my accounts so that Trim can monitor any charges that come through, and quickly negotiate them for me.
I was not able to hook up our Barclay card, because it doesn’t support linking with Trim yet, but I did link our checking accounts Trim could check out our transactions. Trim texts you to let you know different notifications, such as:
- If it’s payday
- Any overdraft fees
- Any late fees
- Balance updates
- Credit card usage
- Large transactions (over $100)
- Minimum balance (below $100)
You can turn any of these on or off to cater to what you want to be reminded about. The service notifies you via your choice of text or Facebook Messenger to make sure that you’re on top of your accounts.
This way, you’re always know what’s happening with your accounts without having to login every day. You know what’s coming in, what’s going out, and when you’re close to running into problems, whether it’s overdrawing your account or if someone puts a big charge on your credit card.
Even better? You can check in with Trim to see how much you’ve spent on particular services this month. For example, let’s say you’re a Target addict (oh, not me – just asking for a friend. Heh.)
If you’re brave, and want to face your Target demons, just ask Trim how much you’ve spent at Target by texting “Spend Target”. Then weep when you see the fallout. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Is Trim Safe?
The biggest concern with any app where we connect our personal accounts is always wondering is Trim app safe. Luckily they have security covered (and then some!):
- They use 256-bit SSL encryption (similar to websites with a secure online shopping cart)
- Two-factor authentication (like having to provide two types of ID)
- Read-only access (meaning they can’t write to your accounts and change anything)
- Trim never stores your account credentials on their servers (they just pass the info along without saving it)
They use a set-up called Plaid that connects to your bank account. When they ask for your login, they pass the info to Plaid, which passes it to your bank or credit card company. Then Plaid sends back an encrypted token. This is what’s saved by Trim, rather than your login credentials, and prevents them from having your info laying around.
Is Trim safe? I hate to say it, but it’s got more security in place than some ecommerce stores.
How Much Does Ask Trim Cost?
You’re probably wondering, how does Trim make money? Trim doesn’t do all this for free – and they do charge a fee. (Well, if you don’t use the bill negotiation section, then yes, it is free.)
So how much does Trim cost if you have Trim negotiate your bills? They keep 33% of whatever yearly savings they find for you. Otherwise, it’s essentially a free trial until you have them negotiate your bills. (Please note – during my initial trial, it was 25%, but they’ve since raised the cost to 33% of the savings.)
Remember how they asked for a credit card when I submitted our internet info? That’s why they ask for it, to charge you 25% of your savings. In our case, the Trim fees were $60 of our $240 savings. (And would be higher with the new 33% adjustment.)
Would you say these Ask Trim fees seem steep? A little. But really, we’re still saving $180 a year, which equates to a lot of clothes for our kids. Or a night in a nice hotel. Or tickets to an incredible show.
How Trim Helps with Bill Negotiations
This is where we were able to save $240 a year on our internet service. Trim doesn’t negotiate any of your bills without you specifically asking it to, which is great. It also does not alter your terms of service in order to save you money. For example, we have the exact same speed and package for our internet, which we were paying $69.99 for each month. Through Trim, we are now paying $49.99 for the exact same speed and service!
Trim currently works on lowering your bills for your cable/internet provider or your cell phone services only. Soon, car insurance negotiation will be available as well, and you can bet I’m hopping on that as soon as it’s available!
To use Trim to lower your bills, you select your provider and connect your account. For example, I provided our Time Warner/Spectrum login credentials to Trim. Once it’s able to connect, they next ask you for your credit card information (I’ll explain why next). Then, you just wait.
I submitted our Internet info on a Thursday and promptly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when I received a text a week later letting me know that Trim was able to negotiate our bill and save us $240 a year!
Which Service Providers Does Trim Work With?
If you’re wondering if Comcast or Verizon negotiates with Trim, have no worries. Some of the better known service providers that Trim can negotiate with are:
- Bright House
- Cricket Wireless
- Dish Network
- Sirius XM
Even if you don’t see your service provider listed, it can be worth trying to see if they’re adding them soon, or have other savings alternatives.
What Happens if Trim Doesn’t Work with Your Service Provider?
Next, I moved on to our cell phone provider, which is Straight Talk. Unfortunately, they’re not listed as a provider that Trim works with. However, they do have a section where you can upload your latest bill in PDF format, or you can email your latest bill to them to see what they can do.
I decided to log into Straight Talk, print my payments in PDF format (they don’t provide a monthly bill), and submit it to Trim to see what happens.
As of the time of this post, I have not received word yet what they can do for us, but in all fairness, I just submitted it this morning. I will make sure to update the post when I hear back!
How Trim Helps with Subscriptions
I love that Trim can recognize recurring charges and let you know about them. Plus, you can cancel those subscriptions directly from Trim, which is awesome. Less work for me? Hells yes!
Just text “Subs” to Trim, and it will list all of your subscriptions. Then you can easily tell Trim to cancel them for you via text or messenger, saving you money in a snap!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking – oh, I don’t have any subscriptions (like I did). Even though we’ve only been signed up with Trim for about 2 weeks, they’ve found 4 subscriptions for us.
Subscriptions aren’t always things like Graze or Blue Apron or Stitch Fix. For us, they were recurring bills, such as: daycare payments, life insurance payments, my student loan payment, and our car insurance.
Even though these aren’t items we can completely cancel, it’s still a great reminder to make you stop and think about what you’re paying for every month.
For example, we pay car insurance every month. We could pay it once a year instead and save some money that way. I would have never thought about that without Trim reminding me that of that automated payment that showed up in subscriptions. Trim helped me to look at each transaction and think about how I could do differently.
Trim now offers a premium subscription option to help you save even more money. With a 14-day free trial, this elevated service is $99 a year:
- Bank Negotiation: Trim can help negotiate your credit card APR as well as savings in interest and overdraft fees. They can even help with loan deferments!
- Bill Negotiation: They’ll negotiate your utility bills, like phone, internet, cable, and cell phone.
- Simple Savings: This is an FDIC-insured savings account that has an annual bonus of 4% for the first $2,000!
- Financial Coach: Unlimited email access to their financial coaches with any questions you have.
- Medical Bill Negotiation: They can deal with medical bills on your behalf to help set up a 0% payment plan or score settlements and discounts.
- Subscription Cancellation: They find and cancel any subscriptions you no longer want.
- Automated Credit Card Payments: Trim can automate transfers for you to help pay down your credit card balances faster.
Bank Negotation Services
Much like the bill negotiation services, Trim can review and negotiate bank fees and APR. This is part of the premium Trim services, so if you’re not interested, you don’t have to opt-in at all.
Medical Bill Negotiation Services (Say what?!)
People in my finance groups are always asking how to cut down those painful medical bills. While there’s always a gambit of answers (including some crazy ones), I’ve never heard anyone mention using Trim’s medical bill negotiation services. However, I’m happy to be step it up and be the one mentioning it to them!
I wish I would have known about this before my gallbladder surgery. I tried to get the hospital to drop their bill any way I could think of. I questioned the itemized billing statement, offered to pay in cash, even asked to speak with a manager (yeah, I pulled out my inner Karen, gah).
But no luck. When you’re paying upwards of $5,000 in bills (or more), every little bit helps.
Trim can help to negotiate your medical bill and set up payment plans with the medical facility on your behalf. I don’t know about you, but I hate how rude they can sometimes be. To avoid having to make that call is definitely worth it to me!
TrimPay is another newer feature that I’m dying to try out. They can negotiate the APR on your credit card, so that you’re paying less interest and have more to put towards debt. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Unfortunately, we currently do not have any credit card debt so I haven’t been able to try this out. If you do, let me know how it works and what you think!
Trim’s Simple Savings is different than your average high yield savings account. They tiered interest rates based on how much money is in your savings account and they also provide auto transfer services.
This way, you can build your emergency fund, vacation fund, or Christmas savings automatically and at a really great rate. No need to worry or even think about it!
Last but not least, to tie it all together, Trim now offers one-on-one financial coaching with a certified financial planner. If you’re between planners, or aren’t sure where to find one, this can be a great way to get comfortable with using one.
They can review your savings and help you figure out the best use of those funds. They often will help you prioritize your debt payoff, and start investing if you’re not already doing so.
Trim vs. Trim Premium
So what’s the difference between the two types of accounts? Well, the most significant difference is that if you have a free account, they’ll only charge you when they help you with bill negotiation (at a rate of 33%). If you have the Premium version, you’ll pay $99 a year, and that’s it. You can ask them to negotiate your bills as much as you want and never pay any additional costs.
In my example, a savings of $240 at 33% means I would now pay $79.20 for my internet bill negotiation. However, if I opted for Trim Premium, I would spend another $20 and can get them to do additional negotiations on my behalf for an entire year.
How to Cancel Trim Premium
You can cancel your free trial or Trim Premium subscription anytime logging into trim.com and by going to this page. Then, click the “Unsubscribe from Premium” button. You can also email them at [email protected] and their customer service can help you out.
Canceling your Trim Premium subscription does not delete your Trim account – you’ll still have access to your free account.
Now that you’ve read my Trim review, you’re probably no longer thinking, is it worth it?
Trim turned out to be not only the best money saving app we’ve tried, but saved us the time it would have taken to contact and deal with all of those different providers.
If you’re going to try any app, Trim is the one that should be at the top of your list. You just might be surprised at the savings they find for you!
Trim vs. Truebill
If you’ve been wandering around the personal finance space online, you have probably heard about Truebill. While both are very similar apps, they do have some differences.
Where these apps vary most is the amount you pay for bill negotiation. Trim charges a 33% fee of your savings or charges a yearly fee of $99, depending upon which type of account you have.
Truebill is unique in that it lets you decide what percentage you want to pay when you submit your negotiation request. They accept a fee equivalent to 30, 40, 50, or 60% of the first year’s savings. It’s up to you to decide what you think is fair.
While Truebill might be cheaper (depending on how much you offer to pay), it doesn’t quite have all of the same offerings. Trim can also negotiate bank fees, medical bills, and rent, as well as assess your student loans and car insurance and provide financial coaching.
Want another quick way to save money? Read more about 10 Simple Rules for a Successful No Spend Challenge!
Or, learn how to triple stack your savings every time you shop!
Let me know if you have any questions that I didn’t cover in my Trim review. Have you tried Trim yet? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!
A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More