This may sound, really, really obvious, but it bears repeating: saving money is hard.
I grew up in a family of proud penny pinchers, and learned all the usual tricks from a young age.
But after years of clipping coupons, hunting for bargains and comparing prices, I started to get lazy. Complacency leads to wasteful spending, but it's hard to keep an eye on your own bad habits.
That's why I'm falling in love with Trim, the website that watches money and checks your bank statement for bargains.
It's like having a virtual, money-saving personal assistant, and it's very easy to use.
Cutting Costs By Computer
Even if you love to shop around for a good price, you could be wasting money without realizing it. A surprising amount of Americans are signed up for useless monthly subscriptions.
A survey by MyBankTracker found the average person spends $500 a year on subscriptions they don't use.
These little costs that add up over time are at the heart of Trim's money-saving approach. The website is like a virtual financial adviser that identifies wasteful spending.
To start saving with Trim, you'll need to create an account with them and provide your banking information (Trim works with more than 15,000 banking services).
But don't let that extra step scare you away.
A Service You Can Trust
Trim realizes that opening up your bankbook to a website can seem risky, and they've taken plenty of steps to reassure their users.
The site uses bank-level security with encryption, two-factor authentication and read-only access.
If you don't speak techie, that just means you can connect your account to Trim with peace of mind.
Your account credentials are never stored on Trim's servers, and your data is never shared with third parties.
While you should still protect your login details and password, using trim is very similar to your bank's own app.
Finding Deals And Savings
Once you make an account with Trim, the website starts to study your bank balances and monthly expenses, looking for places to trim the fat.
Trim's main money-saving trick is identifying monthly subscriptions you don't need any more, and making it easy to unsubscribe.
The system is smart enough to tell a Netflix subscription from a regular trip to the coffee shop, and can track down expenses for services like Amazon on command.
You can get instant reports on your subscriptions online or by text message.
If that wasn't enough, Trim has other tricks up its sleeve. It can find rebates for recent purchases on Amazon, or help you open up an investment account.
Trim Does All The Work
What I like about saving money with Trim is how painless it feels.
The site is loaded with helpful, automatic features that require no work from its users.
It can notify you when your bank balance is low, warn you when you've been charged with late fees, contest overdraft charges, and flag any unexpected fees.
The service can also handle annoying and time-consuming tasks, like comparing insurance quotes or negotiating your cable bill. Trim can even lower fees from big providers, including Comcast, Time Warner, and Charter.
My to-do list feels lighter just thinking about it!
Bear in mind, while cancelling subscriptions through Trim is free, the company will collect a percentage of your savings from other services, like haggling down your cable bill.
Trim A Little Extra
You can save even more cash with Trim Savings, a rebate service offered by Trim.
After linking a Visa card to your trim account, you can load it with rebate offers to get instant savings at the checkout.
You can get regular updates through Trim's website, by text message, or through Facebook Messenger. So choose whatever is most convenient for you and don't miss any helpful recommendations.
It's important to know that trim is paid to refer you to third-party partners, like credit card issuers.
While I saved a lot of money cutting out monthly subscriptions with Trim, your mileage may vary.