Saving money is likely on your list of New Year's resolutions, especially if you're an entrepreneur trying to keep things lean while you grow your company. Maybe you're thinking about cutting back on buying coffee on your way to work or eating out, or wondering if debt consolidation is for you.
Another thing should be on your radar if it isn't already: parasitic subscriptions. You sign up for that month-long free trial (LinkedIn Premium, anyone?), then forget to cancel. Come month number two, $20 is gone from your bank account for something you never use.
The general advice is to go through your bank statements, identify the places where you are regularly wasting your money, and one by one purge those subscriptions from your life. The idea behind startup Trim is to consolidate this process. Launched in October, Trim connects to your credit card and combs statements for subscriptions, then asks you by text message if you would like Trim to cancel any of those subscriptions on your behalf.
On average, Trim users shed $15 a month in monthly subscription expenses, according to cofounder and COO Dan Petkevich. The most expensive subscription cofunder and CEO Thomas Smyth says the startup has canceled is for on demand parking service Luxe at $199 a month.
Petkevich says the ultimate hope is to expand beyond subscription cancellations to do things like track how much users spend on Uber and Lyft, or even add social features that allow users to compare their spending to that of their friends.
The startup provided a breakdown of the most frequently -- and least frequently -- canceled subscriptions. Findings are based on the behavior of Trim's thousands of users. (The company declined to share its exact number of users.)
Most frequently canceled
ConsumerReports.org (36 percent of subscribed Trim users canceled)
Planet Fitness (35 percent cancellation rate)
- Care.com (35 percent)
- TransUnion Credit Report (27 percent)
- Experian Credit Report (27 percent)
Care.com connects households with babysitters and caregivers for adults through subscription services.
Least frequently canceled
- Dollar Shave Club (one percent)
- Google (one percent)
- Netflix (one percent)
- DNSIMPLE (two percent)
- Vonage (two percent)
DNSIMPLE is a domain name subscription service, and Smyth says the Google subscriptions are also largely for domain names. Vonage is an internet phone service. Dollar Shave Club, if you haven't heard of it, is what it sounds like: he service mails you razors on a subscription basis.