My mission at Simplifinances is to help you master your personal finances by simplifying them. This year I discovered two apps that do just that. I was able to negotiate a few bills and cancel a subscription by just lifting a finger.
I had to do this twice to make sure it actually works. And I’m here to tell you that it works. Is all you have to do is click a button and your personal bill negotiators will do the work for you. No uncomfortable calls with customer service reps and no getting pushed around.
I’m going to share with you how I canceled one subscription and was able to get a discount on one of my bills with very minimal effort.
What is Trim?
Trim is a holistic financial management service that enables you to achieve your financial goals through personalized recommendations and savings opportunities. Trim can: Negotiate your cable, internet and/or phone bill with ANY provider, lowering your bill by up to 30%. It’s actually not an app but a machine-learning personal finance bot that you can only use on your desktop.
What I used Trim for?
My wife and I recently moved to Texas and had to find a new Internet Service Provider (ISP). We could have gone with some alternative low-cost options with lower bandwidth but decided to go with AT&T because that seems to be the most popular around here. So far we have been pretty happy with them. Right now we’ve been paying about $50/month for 100 bps which is maybe more than we need but with my wife’s business and streaming Netflix because of our kid we wanted to make sure we didn’t have to worry about losing a connection.
It’s only been 3 months that we’ve been paying for it and when I linked up my bill to Trim, it asked me if I wanted to negotiate my AT&T bill. I clicked yes, and within a couple of days, I had a $25 discount on my bill. Instead of paying $52.21, my bill was for $27.21 and Trim took a cut of that. Which leads me to the next part.
How much does it cost?
Because Trim saved me $25 on my AT&T bill they take a 25% cut of whatever they save me which I think is reasonable because I’m still able to get a 75% discount on my bill that I would have otherwise not been able to get. So I had a transaction come out of my account for $6.25 so my total bill for that month ended up being $33.46 for a total saving of $18.75. I’m pretty sure the discount was only for the month of November but I will continue to monitor it to see if discounts in the future will continue to be applied.
On a side note, we have very few recurring bills and I’m sure if you’re someone that pays a lot in monthly bills and subscriptions that you would benefit from using the trim services.
What is Clarity Money?
It’s like having someone watch your back financially. Clarity Money launched in 2017 and is still growing fast! They were recently acquired by Goldman Sachs online banking arm Marcus, which will make future service rollouts interesting. Clarity claims to offer the following services:
- Track bank account activity
- Cancel unwanted subscriptions
- Create savings goals
- Deliver insights to you (Additional services you might not know about plus spending analysis).
To me, Clarity has a more user-friendly platform. If you only want to track spending and cancel unwanted subscriptions, Clarity has a better feel than Trim.
What I used Clarity Money for?
When I took Finance in business school we were required to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. I believe it was $48 per year when I signed up which came out to $4 a month. I know $4 a month is not that much but after my class, I found myself paying for the Wall Street Journal each month but I hadn’t read an article from it for a while. So even though it was only a small amount each month it wasn’t adding any more value to my life at the time.
So at the beginning of this year, I tried to cancel my subscription online. But by doing so, they told me that I had to call in and talk with one of the customer service reps if I wanted to cancel. And so I did. I got on the phone with a sweet lady who started to explain to me all of the reasons why it’s worth and why I shouldn’t cancel. She said, “if you’re going to be in the industry having a subscription to the Wall Street Journal will be very beneficial in your career on staying up to date on the latest news.” So she ended up talking me into keeping it. Then after a few weeks, I realized I still wasn’t using it.
When I logged in to Clarity Money it asked me if I would like to cancel the Wall Street Journal. I thought, why of course. So I clicked “cancel” and by the next day, my subscription was canceled. No phone call, no uncomfortable conversation.
You can also cancel unwanted subscriptions like Hulu, Pandora, etc. super easy. We really don’t have a lot of subscriptions but who knows, if you connect your bank information they may just tell you about some subscriptions you didn’t even realize you were paying.
How much does it cost?
Clarity Money is completely free. Since they’re owned by Marcus by Goldman Sachs, I’m interested to see if Marcus customers will enjoy exclusive perks. It’s still fairly new and I believe it will continue to catch on with consumers as a smart way to save money.
Like Mint and other free financial apps, Clarity does make money if you sign up for any recommendations including credit cards or the Acorns micro-investing app.
Both of these personal finance platforms are still really new and I believe they have a lot of potential to help many people stay on top of their finances.
Let me know what you think if you decide to get started with either one.