Money-Managing App “Mint” Helps You Take Control of Your FinancesNovember 3, 2011
Managing multiple financial accounts and services can be overwhelming can be maddening. Keeping track of all your bank statements, receipts, bills, online payment accounts, and all the rest can be tiresome. One helpful option is to log into your bank or credit union’s site, which gives you a run-down on your money and where it’s coming in and going out.
But let’s face it; managing your money this way is going out of style. Getting paper bills through the mail, constantly checking Amazon and Netflix to make sure payments were made, worrying about suspicious account activity, fumbling through receipt after receipt; it’s all very slow, non-organic, and archaic.
We live in a technology-age, and everyday more people are realizing that smart software isn’t just something for geeks and developers. There are many tools for everyday folks to help organize our lives. And the best part is that most of this popular software is FREE and EASY TO USE. Want to find out more about one of the best there is?
A lot of tools help you manage personal finance, but today I’ll focus on just one: “Mint.com.” Mint is a web app / iOS app that automatically pulls data from your financial accounts. This alone gives Mint a distinct advantage. If you have any computer (with internet access), an iPhone or iPod Touch, an iPad, or all of these, then you have Mint with you.
Mint stores your financial data “in the cloud,” meaning you can access it from any device that has internet access. In your office putting together a home budget? Access Mint from your laptop or desktop. About to buy that sweater but worried you’ve been spending too much on clothes? Access Mint from you iPhone. It’s all with you everywhere you go.
This may be scary to people concerned over potential security issues. But Mint has a userbase of 6 million people who trust in its bank-level security guarantee. Mint also has a feature that automatically alerts you when there is potentially suspicious activity on one of your accounts. Don’t worry; your information, and your money, are safe.
Yeah, yeah; so Mint is convenient and safe, but what does it actually do? Once you enter your credit cards, bank accounts, investments, and other financial services, Mint uses this data to give you a streamlined overview on your money situation with charts and graphs. It even goes a step further to provide you detailed spending layouts based on categories, such as showing how much you’ve spent on food, bills, clothes, and all the rest. In essence, Mint shows you how much you’re spending in all the different areas of your life.
Mint’s value doesn’t stop there. After providing data on your spending habits, it allows you to track and cross-compare with previous months. You can automatically compare how much groceries were this month compared to last, if you made more money this month or two months ago, and so forth. Think of it this way; bank statements give you raw data, but Mint gives you data + insights. It looks at your spending habits intelligently, and refers to this as “trends.”
So Mint is convenient, comprehensive, provides data, and even puts meaning to the data. What else? Budgets. So let’s say you’re concerned with how much you spend on entertainment each month, and want to stick to a set limit. Mint allows you to create the budget, and items that fall under this category are automatically added to it.
Let’s say you want to spend $100 on an entertainment budget, but aren’t sure if this is a realistic goal. Mint will show you what your history has been with spending in entertainment; let’s just say it’s been about $300 a month. You want to only spend $100, even though you’ve been spending roughly $300. So it’s probably safe to compromise and re-set your goal to $200. You can set all kinds of financial goals for yourself with Mint, and this helps you take charge of your money. All the data is right in front of you, so you can no longer remain blissfully ignorant of your spending trends.
There’s a lot more that Mint has to offer. With a userbase of 6 million people, and growing rapidly everyday, Mint seems to be positioning itself as the #1 Web 2.0 money-managing app available on web and mobile devices. Give this extremely high-value service a try today; what do you have to lose when it’s free?
Check them out at www.Mint.com, and also watch this short overview on what the app does:
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