There are lots of tools to choose from (enough to satisfy the vast majority of users), and Mint.com’s top feature is its ease of operation. Navigating and assembling reports and information about your finances is made quite simple. While there could be some improvements made to editing transaction categories and reconciling accounts (and customer service can be slow), for the price – which is FREE – Mint.com is a very, very good resource to help manage personal finances. In addition, Mint.com was recently acquired by Intuit and they have vowed to continue developing and improving the site’s functionality and versatility.
Benefits of Using Mint.com
• This software is free, making it kind to any budget.
• Financial summaries and alerts can be sent via email or text message.
• It offers lots of money saving tips that are tailored to your specific financial situation.
• It is available wherever there is an Internet connection, including your smart phone.
• Budgeted funds can automatically roll over if unspent.
Drawbacks of Using Mint.com:
• Some people have reported having difficulty reconciling accounts.
• Some people have reported having difficulty with multiple currencies.
The biggest hurdle for most people is the security question. Mint.com’s answer to this is that their site uses 128-bit encryption software, which is the same security level that the best banks use. They are monitored and verified by TRUSTe, VeriSign and Hackersafe, and supported by RSA Security, which are the top online security companies. In addition, Mint.com is a service that can only monitor your accounts.
You cannot move money between accounts or make withdrawals through Mint.com – and neither can anyone else. An added bonus feature is that Mint.com will email you with an urgent notification if a large or unusual transaction has occurred in one of your accounts so that you can personally verify that it is legitimate.
Once you are set up and provide all the login information for your separate accounts, Mint.com will download the transactions and file them into various expense categories. You will need to make some edits during this process, but this is typical of financial management software no matter how much you pay. Mint will also allow you to assign labels and notes to your transactions for even greater budgeting detail.
Setup is very easy and Mint.com already works with over 8,000 different US financial institutions. With the Intuit purchase, they are expanding into other countries as well, including Canada, and more banks and brokerages are being added all the time. There is also a very handy overview page that summarizes your accounts all in one place. Here, budgets can be charted and made to graphically represent your financial fitness. The ‘Ways To Save’ section is specific to your financial details and for people who are not accustomed to budgeting and planning for the future this can be a very helpful tool.
Have you used Mint.com for your own personal finances? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!