Trim and Truebill are money management services that act as financial assistants. They offer features such as subscription monitoring and expense tracking to help you see where you spend money and find ways to cut costs.
Trim is a chatbot that works through SMS text to help you spot subscriptions, track your spending, and pay down debt.
Truebill is a mobile app that helps you cut monthly expenses through budgeting, canceling subscriptions, and negotiating bills.
The apps have many similar features, but their costs and experience differ significantly. Which is best for you depends on your financial goals and how you prefer to manage your money.
Both Trim and Truebill offer features to help you monitor your spending and cut monthly costs. Each works on a freemium model: Many features are free, but some are reserved only for paid subscribers.
Monitor & Cancel Subscriptions
Both Trim and Truebill began with a focus on subscription monitoring before expanding to include other features. The apps find your recurring payments and help you cancel the ones you didn’t need anymore, like old magazine subscriptions, club memberships, or apps you no longer use.
In both cases, you have to connect your bank and credit card accounts to let the apps find recurring payments. They each connect through Plaid, using bank-level security to protect your data, and neither will ever pull money from your connected accounts without authorization.
Truebill Subscription Monitoring
You can see your recurring transactions in a specific tab in the Truebill app. You’ll see any recurring charge, including utility bills, insurance, subscription services, and memberships.
To cancel a service, click on the item in the list and select “Cancel Service.” Truebill will tell you how much you can save per year by canceling, and you can request to have Truebill cancel the service for you.
Trim Subscription Monitoring
From your Trim dashboard, you can see your recurring transactions by clicking “Subscription Monitoring.” You can browse subscriptions to see where you’re spending money — but you have to have a Premium account to cancel through Trim.
Unlike Truebill, which finds any recurring charge regardless of the interval, Trim only picks up monthly or annual charges. If you have a membership or subscription that renews quarterly or every other month, for example, you’ll have to add it to the list manually for Trim to monitor.
Both services provide a visual overview of your finances, but Truebill’s overview is more comprehensive. It includes income, expenses, credit card debt, and investments. Trim’s snapshot only shows your income and expenses.
Truebill Financial Snapshot
Your financial snapshot is the first thing you see in the Truebill app when you sign in.
It shows a quick overview of your cash (your bank account balance), credit card balances, savings, and investments, plus a trend line of this month’s spending compared with last month’s.
To help you avoid overspending, the snapshot also includes your “net cash” balance, which Truebill displays as your cash minus credit card balances.
Trim Financial Snapshot
In your dashboard in Trim under “spending,” you’ll see your list of transactions arranged by date, category, or size and a snapshot of your monthly spending presented as a trend line, calendar, or pie chart organized by category.
You can use the Peer Comparisons feature (in beta as of June 2020) to see how your financial situation compares with other people your age in your area.
Trim and Truebill both let you see transactions from your connected accounts to help you keep track of your spending.
Truebill Expense Tracking
After connecting to your bank account, you can view your spending in the Truebill app. It automatically categorizes expenses as bills and utilities or as discretionary spending, such as shopping and eating out.
You can change the category for any expense if it’s categorized incorrectly and choose whether the app should follow the new categorization in the future.
The expense tracker also calls out where you spend the most frequently and your largest purchases for the month.
Truebill also lets you set alerts via push notification or email to keep track of:
- Bank fees and charges
- New recurring charges
- Bill increases
- Upcoming bills
- Your set budget for categories
- Daily bank account balances
You can also receive reports via email to see your frequent spending, mid-month spending, and full monthly spending.
Trim Expense Tracking
Trim shows you a snapshot of your month’s spending compared with the previous month’s, plus a list of transactions, which you can view ordered by date or by category.
Trim automatically categorizes your transactions and doesn’t include a way to recategorize.
In addition to tracking your spending, Trim offers transaction and balance text alerts. You have to add your phone number to your account to receive text alerts, and you can opt in or out of notifications for each of these:
- Overdraft fees
- Late fees
- Balance updates
- Credit card usage
- Credit card payment reminders
- Large transactions, defined as a transaction above a dollar amount you set
- Bank account balance below an amount you set
- Custom reminders
Both Trim and Truebill offer a bill negotiation service. Submit a phone, cable, or Internet bill, and they’ll negotiate with the provider to find savings. You could get things like a lower monthly bill, reduced fees, or rebates. Savings aren’t guaranteed, but they do the work of calling providers and asking for you.
To submit bills for negotiation, you have to provide the service with account information, including passwords and other information bill experts need to access your account. You’ll authorize representatives of the service to make changes to your account on your behalf.
Truebill Bill Negotiation
Even though Truebill offers a mobile app, you can’t request bill negotiation through the app with a free account. You have to submit your bill on the website.
Submitting your bill is free. You’ll pay an upfront, one-time fee of 40% of the first year of any savings Truebill finds. So, if it saves you $10 per month on your cellphone bill, you’ll pay a one-time fee of $48, then enjoy the savings from the reduced monthly bill for as long as it lasts.
You pay nothing if Truebill’s negotiation doesn’t save you money.
Trim Bill Negotiation
In addition to cable, Internet, and phone, Trim offers to negotiate discounts or payment plans for your medical bills.
Trim charges 33% of the first year of savings as an upfront, one-time fee. You pay nothing if it doesn’t save you anything.
Refunds for Outages & Bank Fees
Using the same connections they leverage for bill negotiation, both services offer to get you refunds for utility outages and unexpected bank fees.
Truebill can negotiate for a refund if your Internet goes out, and it shows up as a statement credit with your Internet provider. Truebill charges 40% of the credit amount if it’s successful.
Trim will negotiate for a refund for utility outages and bank fees. It keeps 33% of credits or refunds you receive if it’s successful. The service is free for Premium subscribers.
Debt Payoff Calculator
Truebill Debt Payoff Calculator
Truebill does not offer a debt payoff calculator.
Trim Debt Payoff Calculator
A service available for free accounts, Trim’s debt payoff calculator helps you plan to pay off debt. You’ll manually enter your debt accounts — such as student loans, credit cards, and mortgage — including the balance, interest rate, and minimum monthly payment.
You can use a slider to adjust the amount of money you can budget per month for paying off debt, and the calculator will show your debt-free date based on those payments.
Premium Subscription Options
Both Trim and Truebill offer a Premium subscription option that gives you access to more tools and features. Trim Premium costs more than double what Truebill Premium costs, but its additional features add more value to your experience with the app.
Truebill Premium is a paid subscription you can get at a price you choose between $3 and $12 per month. It invites you to pay what you think is fair for the service, and you can cancel anytime. With Premium at any price, you get:
- Balance Syncing. Let Truebill retrieve data from your bank account quickly.
- Premium Chat. Access live chat with customer service representatives.
- Cancellations Concierge. After Truebill submits a request to cancel a subscription, it monitors for future billing and alerts and refunds you if a canceled service charges you.
- Custom Categories and Unlimited Budgets. Have more freedom to customize your expense tracking and budgeting.
- Smart Savings. Automatically set aside money toward savings goals.
- Pay Advance. Request a loan up to $100 and repay it automatically after your next deposit. You can tip Truebill between 0% and 24% for the service. To be eligible, you must have an active Truebill Premium account for at least three months with a linked bank account or debit card; have at least six months’ direct deposit activity on the linked account; and not use or subscribe to any other pay advance services, which could compromise your ability to repay the loan.
- Track a Free Trial. In your recurring transactions, manually add a free trial to get a reminder before it ends and a paid subscription starts.
Trim Premium costs $99 per year, with no monthly payment option. You can cancel anytime and get a prorated refund. Premium includes:
- Simple Savings. Trim offers this savings account with 4% APY on your first $2,000 in savings and 0.001% APY after that. You can automate savings by setting a weekly transfer amount to pull from your checking account.
- APR Negotiation. Like it does for your bills, Trim negotiates with your credit card companies for a lower APR on your accounts. It needs you on the line while it speaks with your credit card company, and you’ll pay no additional fees.
- TrimPay. Repay credit card debt faster by setting aside money into a TrimPay account each week to make an extra monthly credit card payment.
- Financial Coaching. Get unlimited email access to Trim’s Certified Financial Planners for your money questions.
Both services let you manage your account via a browser-based website or on a mobile device, but the experiences and capabilities of each differ.
Truebill’s app is easy to use, and you can get set up in a few minutes. Sign up with an email, Google, or Facebook. You’ll need your financial account login information to connect bank and credit card accounts.
You can access almost all of Truebill’s features through the app. It includes push notifications to help you stay on top of bills and spending and be aware of activity on your financial accounts.
Trim doesn’t offer a mobile app. You’ll use the service through its website, which is optimized for desktop and mobile browsers, or use the Trim chatbot via SMS text.
You can’t do everything through text, so you’ll have to use the website to set up bill negotiation and many Premium features. If you use text to request to view your transactions or your financial snapshot, for example, the bot just sends a link to view it in your account on the website.
The Verdict: Is Truebill or Trim Right for You?
The services have similar goals and offer similar features, but costs and user experience differ between them.
Use Truebill if…
- You’re Focused on Controlling Your Spending. Truebill’s financial snapshot and alerts help you create and stick to a budget, avoid overspending, and recognize areas where you could cut expenses.
- You Need to Cancel Forgotten Subscriptions. Truebill offers this service to free users, while Trim only includes it for Premium accounts.
- You Want to Manage Your Money in a Mobile App. Truebill’s fully functioning mobile app is much more convenient and intuitive than Trim’s text-bot and mobile-eb experience. It’s easy to navigate and lets you manage your finances all in one place.
- You Want a Lower-Cost Subscription. The pay-what-you-think-is-fair model lets you fit Truebill’s Premium features into your budget and reward the company for the value it gives you.
Use Trim if…
- You’re Focused on Paying off Debt. The debt payoff calculator and TrimPay credit card payments help you prioritize debt in your budget to pay it off faster.
- You Prefer More Direction. Trim’s chatbot will help you access Trim services based on questions you ask, so you don’t have to become acquainted with an app.
- You Need Medical Bills Negotiated. Trim negotiates discounts or payment plans for medical bills.
- You Want to Lower Credit Card APRs. Trim gets on the phone with you and your credit card issuer to negotiate for reduced interest rates.
- You Want an Interest-Bearing Automatic Savings Account. The Simple Savings account is a real bank account that pays interest on your balance in addition to facilitating automated savings.
- Your Main Need Is Bill Negotiation. Trim charges 33% of savings, compared with the 40% cut Truebill takes, so if you’ll mainly use the service for bill negotiation or refunds, Trim is the cheaper choice.
Both Apps Are Great if…
- You Want to Find Forgotten Subscriptions. Both services help you see recurring charges, so you can discover subscriptions you’d forgotten about and get a better idea of where your money is going.
- You Want to Avoid Overdraft Fees. Trim and Truebill both offer notifications that can help you keep track of your account balances, monitor your spending, and see when you’re at risk of taking your account below $0.
- You Want to Track Expenses. Both services give you a financial snapshot of your income and spending, including your largest expenses and which categories you spend money in.
Truebill offers a fully functioning mobile app where you can access almost all of its features and get push notifications to monitor your finances. By contrast, Trim works through SMS text paired with a website.
If you prefer a guide when trying something new, Trim’s chatbot might be the better fit. Instead of navigating a mobile app, you can text Trim questions or commands, and it will direct you to what you want to see. If you don’t mind more robust technology, Truebill’s app offers a more intuitive experience.
If you opt for Premium service, Truebill can cost as little as $36 per year and up to $144, while Trim is a flat $99 per year.
Both apps can help you find ways to cut your monthly costs. Truebill focuses on doing this through budgeting and controlling your spending, while Trim helps you tackle debt. Both help you spot and cancel subscriptions and negotiate lower costs for utilities and other monthly expenses.
To get any function out of either service, you have to connect at least one bank account. The more accounts you connect, the more comprehensive a look you’ll get into your financial situation. If you’re not comfortable sharing financial information with a technology company, these probably aren’t for you. Try spreadsheet budgeting instead.
Have you used Trim, Truebill, or another financial assistant? Which would you recommend?