Try to count how many subscriptions you have. Not just streaming services—everything you pay for on a regular basis. We're willing to bet you might miss one or two on the first try. The sheer number of different directions our money goes means it's easy to forget you signed up for a free trial until months after it's started billing you, for example.
That's where these apps come in. They help you identify the recurring payments leaving your bank account, so you can make sure you actually want to keep subscribing to all of them.
There's more to these apps than canceling subscriptions, though. They can help you renegotiate better deals on your smartphone contract, set up savings accounts for you, manage a more effective way of paying off debt, reduce the amount you need to pay on a parking ticket, and lots more—usually with minimal effort from you. In short, if you're interested in managing your money better, and you're willing to let a third party look at your finances to help, they can do some of the work for you.
That means you have to bear in mind that these apps, by their very nature, need access to your financial records. By connecting them to your banking accounts you are trusting them to treat your data securely and respectfully, and while we have no reason to suspect any of these apps are untrustworthy, you should definitely read through their privacy policies too.
Get the app set up on iOS, and it'll need connections to your banking and email accounts to start working its magic. In some cases, the app uses a straightforward chatbot to get information from you, before working away on your behalf behind the scenes, whether that's to get the right documents filed or put the right appeals in. You can also set up temporary phone numbers, email addresses, and even credit cards to test the app without sharing your real details.
The service is even able to surface hidden money you might not realize you had—refunded bank fees, for instance. The user interface is also intuitive, so it's difficult to get lost. Whether you have a specific issue that needs solving or you just want to see what DoNotPay can find, it's worth trying out.
“When they come to a new website with the aim of doing business, they obviously are steered into what the bank or other company wants them to see or do.” Sometimes the patterns are subtle—the websites might use clever images, text placement, or bright colors that steer consumers into a particular action, account, or service, Sherry says.