Best Personal Finance Tool – Mint.com

Making money is one issue. But managing your money prudently after earning it is key in reaching your financial goals. Budgeting can be hard and frustrating. Attempting to stick to your budget and map out your financial goals is a difficult task. But Mint.com can help! Mint.com is a free and easy to use web-based application that can help you in planning your budget and reaching your financial goals.

mint.com dashboard

Product Overview

Winner of the TechCrunch 40 Award and cited as one of the reasons for the shutdown of MS Money, Mint.com is a web-based tool that is designed to help individuals manage, consolidate and sort out their personal finances. Seeking to provide a centralized perspective on your overall personal finance situation, Mint.com allows you to enter your credit card accounts, checking and savings accounts, and other financial accounts. It also allows you to enter the value of your assets such as your house or car to give you a free calculation of your net worth. Once Mint.com has access to your balances and transactions, it displays them on a well-designed dashboard. The overview page shows account balances, financial alerts and activity reminders, spending details according to category, and your financial goals. Other tabs include Ways to Save, Reports (Trends), Goals, Budgets and Transactions. The best part about Mint.com is that it continuously tracks your spending and assigns each transaction to a certain category including, but not limited to, restaurants, gas & fuel, fast food, groceries, and alcohol & bars. You can see what you are spending most of your money on, which can help you in budgeting or figuring out what you need to cut back on to save money. It also calculates and provides you with a free budget estimate based on your spending history.

Signing up for Mint.com

  • On the Create Account page enter your e-mail address, which you have to confirm later, along with your zip code or postal code. Then all you have to do is agree to the terms of use and click “Sign up”.
  • On the “Let’s Get Started” tab, Mint.com prompts you to choose the bank you use and then asks you to enter in your financial accounts by entering the account’s usernames and passwords. You can also add investment accounts, credit cards, loans and real estate and movable assets.
  • After you enter the information above, Mint.com immediately accesses the financial institutions and brings up your most recent transactions. On the well-designed dashboard on the left, you can see a list of the accounts associated with your Mint.com account, which makes them easy to manage.

The whole setup can take about 5 minutes once you have your bank/credit card account usernames and passwords. And, it is safe to use because it is Norton Secured and uses the same 128-bit encryption that banks use.

How is Mint.com different?

Account tracking and budgeting is Mint.com’s strongest feature. Because Mint.com directly links to your financial institutions, and auto-categorizes your transactions you barely have to lift a finger (except to type your information in, of course). Mint.com does the rest. The other great thing about Mint.com is that it isn’t that complex and doesn’t use financial jargon that can sometimes be confusing. It is very easy to use and understand.

Mint.com Gives You Customized Ways to Save

Is that credit card charging you too much interest? Is your bank account charging outrageous fees? Mint.com will give you customized advice on your finances and give you ways that you can save money. Every piece of advice that Mint.com has given me has been extremely useful and I have used all but one of its money-saving tips.

mint.com ways to save

Why use Mint.com?

Mint.com is versatile, easy to use and understand and can be used by anybody from the ages of 8 to 80 looking to streamline their finances. That is the beauty of this tool; it works for everyone notwithstanding current budgets or stages of life. Mint.com is all about helping you manage your finances, which can save you money while you make it. You can even use Mint.com on your iPad, iPhone or Android. So get started today! To quote their website, and we think they’re right here at Making Money Fast and Slow, Mint.com is “the best free way to manage your money.”

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