When all of your bills are set up on autopay, as mine are, it’s easy to pay little to no attention to them. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much you’re effortlessly spending. In this Truebill review from Josh Hastings, you’ll learn one way to get a grip on the cost of your monthly subscriptions.
We’ve cut the cord in favor of streaming services, use Google Fi for great cell service that works all around the world, and I’ve been happy after switching to USAA for home, auto, and umbrella insurance a couple of years ago. They could probably lower my internet bill, but that’s also a call that I could make.
Read on to read how a service like Truebill can help you gather and lower your various subscription services and other recurring bills. This article originally appeared on Your Money Geek.
Truebill Review: Monitor and Slash Your Monthly Bills
Ever thought about creating an app that magically saves you money? I have.
I used to envision an app that would take all of my purchases, all of my subscriptions, and all of my fixed recurring expenses and magically tell me what should stay and what should go.
Then I stumbled upon TrueBill and realized the app did just that. They created an app to help you and me save money each month. While spare change apps like Qoins and Acorns might help you pay off your debt or invest, Truebill does something else when you decide to download the app:
They help you save money each month by showing you unused subscriptions (to cancel), negotiating bills, and finding your unnecessary spending.
But don’t take my word for it. Read this review of the Truebill app here instead!
What is TrueBill?
Here is the skinny on Truebill. It rocks, but you have to leverage the app correctly.
The company was actually founded in 2015, and as they explain it, “Truebill makes it easy to optimize your spending, manage subscriptions, lower your bills, and stay on top of your financial life.”
After downloading the app (step 1) and connecting your accounts (step 2), TrueBill allows users to:
- Get a snapshot of their financial life: Users can see their cash, credit, and investment balances at-a-glance. Keep track of what bills are coming up and stay on target for monthly spending goals!
- Truebill helps monitor & cancel unwanted subscriptions: 84% of people have subscriptions that they’ve forgotten about! Truebill helps users identify and cancel these! No more double Netflix and they teach you how to save money!
- Track your spending & money: TrueBill categorizes your expenses for you, so you’ll know where you’re spending your money and keep track of your largest and most frequent expenses.
- Stop Overpaying: Don’t overpay for your cell phone, cable, security, or other bills. Truebill will negotiate the lowest possible rate for you – no headaches, just savings! We even get you refunds when your internet goes down!
- Reach your savings goals with ease!
Simply put, Truebill negotiates your bills, makes sure you’re aware of all the subscriptions you are currently paying for, and helps you track where your money goes! You’re able to save money and, in a sense, make money, all in one app.
How does TrueBill Work?
If you visit their website, Truebill has testimonies of countless users saving money and on the Google Play store, over 5,000 five star reviews. Users share their experience finding several subscriptions they didn’t know they were paying for, and thus they now can save money!
How the app works is pretty simple:
- Step 1: Download Truebill on your phone by visiting your app store
- Step 2: Connect all of your accounts to Truebill.
- Step 3: Let Truebill do its thing!
Truebill analyzes all of your accounts for you and, based on the data it collects, gives you a snapshot of your finances. From identifying possible unused subscriptions, overpriced car insurance, and all the way to overdraft fees – Truebill helps you identify where you can save money each month.
From there, you can use this information to simply independently cancel your subscriptions yourself and renegotiate your bills yourself (the best option for you).
Or, as you will see below, you can let Truebill do the grunt work for you, but that means you won’t save as much since their service is not 100% free.
Does Truebill cost money?
Truebill advertises itself as a free app to use in the downloading process, and by all accounts, it is free to use and connect your accounts. On that note, there is no upfront fee.
However, Truebill has to make its money somehow for the service they offer. They do this by collecting 40% of whatever they save you. For every $1 you save because of Truebill, they keep $.40 of it.
So hypothetically, if the app were to save you $100 a month, really, you would only see $60 of the $100 (keep reading to learn how I managed to use this workaround). There are other ways to make money fast out there, but cutting bills is by far the quickest.
However, if Truebill can’t find any savings for you, they don’t charge you. Of course, you decide to take advantage of these savings. They are not done without your permission!
Additionally, if you want Truebill to negotiate bills on your behalf, send letters to creditors and banks for overdraft fees, and things of that nature, you can elect to enroll in their premium service, which ranges from $3 to $12 per month.
My Experience with Truebill
So after doing research, I decided to move forward with Truebill, and here is what I enjoyed about the app, followed by a few things I didn’t necessarily like:
Pros to Truebill:
- It took all of 10 minutes to download the app, link my accounts, and get going.
- The snapshot Treubill provided was detailed, user friendly, and easy to navigate.
- I quickly realized I was overpaying for car insurance and immediately took action, saving me $100’s per year.
- I personally had no unknown or double subscriptions.
- No subscription fee with the free version of the app
Cons to Truebill:
- They keep 40% of what you save if you let them do the grunt work.
- Requires access to accounts (like any app, possible security breaches exist)
- Some of the partners or recommend vendors (car insurance in particular) were not names I recognized, and the coverage didn’t seem on par with my current insurance.
- Complaints do exist on BBB.
By no means is Truebill perfect. When you look at the pros, you can do the canceling yourself, making the app worth it. When we used it, we didn’t get paid that day, but we saved on car insurance once we switched.
When it comes to bill cutting apps, there are a few others you can consider if you’re interested in learning more.
Here is how you make Truebill for you:
Pay very close attention to what I am about to say…Don’t let the app do the work for you. You do the canceling!
Download the app, connect your account, get your report, and then you act. You can manually call your service providers to renegotiate. Cancel subscriptions on your own, and be sure to use the free version of the app.
There are no rules against this, and you don’t have to use the app when it comes to canceling. Remember, they keep 40% if they do it for you.
Lastly, if you have overdraft fees or credit charges you didn’t know about, you can call and write to your bank to get the money back.
Are there similar apps?
Truebill has helped my wife and me save money, but before deciding on Truebill, we looked at other possible bill slashing programs like Trim and Clarity Money.
Trim Financial Manager:
Trim has similar features but with a few major differences. First, the interface is based on a chatbox with an AI tool instead of having an app with automation.
Also, Trim doesn’t show you an overview of your finances like Truebill offers. However, this is vital to note. Trim only keeps 33%, where Truebill, as previously stated, keeps 40%.
Trim is better for saving if you look at it that way!
Clarity Money is similar to Trim in that it too charges 33% instead of 40% for its bill cutting services. That being said, the app is free to use, and is another option to consider.
When it comes to ranking with others, Trim is preferred by most users of Clarity. If you’re looking specifically for a budgeting app, there are better options like Mint and several Mint alternatives.
Final Words on TrueBill
When I was 16, I would drive to the ice cream shop where I worked and pick up my check every Tuesday. Next, I would take it to the bank, deposit most of it, and keep enough cash to pay my mom for car insurance and gas.
That was the extent of my bills.
By age 18, I had a cell phone payment on top of car insurance and gas. However, now age 33, the bills seem to be endless and just a tad bit harder to track sometimes:
- Auto Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Gym Membership
- Cell Phone Bill
- HOA Dues
- Grocery credit card bill
- Gas for car
- Student loan payment
- Personal Property Taxes
While I couldn’t imagine personally paying each bill via check and then mailing it off, there is one downfall to electronic billing and subscriptions:
The set it and forget the money approach means you might miss things.
With multiple accounts, multiple bills, and multiple subscriptions – the $4 monthly fee could be worth it for you if you are not someone who can stay on top of your finances.
Sure, you won’t make $1,000 a month saving on your bills, but over the course of a year, saving even $250 is well worth the effort.
On the other hand, if you’re on top of things, simply using the app to get your report and moving on from there and doing the negotiating/canceling yourself is your best bet!
What are your thoughts on savings apps like Trim or TrueBill? Have you used either of them or a competitor? What was your experience?