These Apps Will Find All the Money You Forgot You Were Spending
A mere decade and a half ago, the word “subscription” was a part of my vocabulary only in my persistent and unsuccessful campaigns to convince my parents to let me read Seventeen. The idea seemed so luxurious, so novel—you send someone money every month, and in return, you get a new and exciting thing, smelling of at least four different perfume samples, delivered straight to your mailbox.
Fast forward to 2017 and nowadays, our lives are essentially run by subscriptions: Spotify. Netflix. Hulu. Pretty much every TV station has their own subscription-based app at this point. Newspapers and magazines. Cloud storage systems. Blue Apron. Wine clubs. Birchbox and the endless variations of subscription boxes now on the marketplace (including this murder mystery box that looks creepy/kind of fun). Razors for shaving. The ability to have pretty much anything and everything delivered to your house with days or even hours from a company that’s probably trying to take over the world.
It’s safe to say there’s probably no going back at this point; companies figured out how to get us to consistently shell out money every month, and by and large, it’s for stuff we love and use. The flip side, of course, is that it’s so easy to sign up for these things and introductory offers are often so enticing that it can quickly get out of hand (do I need a monthly subscription box for dog outfits based on my pup’s astrological sign? Definitely not, but if the first month’s free, that’s a whole ‘nother story.) Twenty dollars here, $15 there—it may not feel like much on its own, but it adds up, and quick. Another trick of the trade? A lot of companies make you get on the phone with a customer service person to cancel (and it’s no accident that this is a powerful deterrent for a lot of people).
So what’s a please-don’t-make-me-talk-to-customer-service type of gal to do about those ever-increasing number of charges coming out of your account each month? Check out these two companies that help you manage your subscription overload and ensure you’re not spending money on stuff you either forgot about or simply don’t want anymore:
Founded by two Yale grads—one of whom realized at one point he’d been paying for renter’s insurance at an apartment he hadn’t lived at for years—Trim quickly identifies every recurring purchase from your bank accounts and credit cards. It then communicates this to you via text, with the option to text back a request to cancel any of the subscriptions listed. It really is that easy, and the Trim bot is poised to be your new BFF if it turns out you’re throwing money down the drain for something you signed up for forever ago but no longer want.
The idea behind Truebill is very similar to Trim, the key difference being Truebill is a web platform. As such, it provides some additional detail that can be helpful. After syncing up your accounts, it’ll remind you what method you’re using to pay for your subscription and even identify how much you’ve spent on it altogether. Truebill claims the average user saves $512 and it’ll also cancel subscriptions you no longer want at your request; they can even handle tricky-to-cancel subscriptions (ahem, JustFab).
The best part? Both platforms are free and most certainly not subscription based, so no worries about signing up and then forgetting about the fee.