I’ve always been skeptical of online money management tools. I couldn’t figure out what they would get me that I didn’t have already.
And honestly, most online tools I had looked at before either only did accounts for a specific institution, or were a vehicle to sell me things. What I wanted was everything in one place, and that happened on my husband’s computer in a set of spreadsheets.
Mint came onto my radar with an article from Lifehacker (see Mint is the Most Popular Web-Based Personal Finance App), and then an article from Gina Trapani (see Why I Stopped Being Paranoid and Started Using Mint). Both made me think that Mint was different.
So, tired of not really understanding where our finances stood, I signed up for Mint over my last break from work. It was free, and asked only for my username/passwords – so I felt comfortable that no transactions would take place. Then I watched the magic as it pulled in my bank data.
The thing I’m really impressed with is the iPhone/iPod Touch application. I have the summaries of Mint with me at all times. The application from my bank has a flaw where it doesn’t include pending transactions on one screen, but does on another, and the balances never match. Mint doesn’t have that problem.
We’ve used Microsoft Money for years, but the budgeting module is just painful. Mint allows me to classify transactions quickly and sets up initial budgets as well.
I also set up some notifications. Since I am no longer salaried, I worry that a glitch somewhere in the manual time sheet process will mess up my paycheck. So I set up a notification to let me know when the transaction occurred. It was good to be able to say “I want to know” and have the application take it from there, rather than me having to remember to look later.
So far, I’ve been impressed with what Mint is doing for me. If you haven’t looked at it, take a gander. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Please note I have not been compensated in any way to make this review.
Another note: my husband is excellent at managing money and finances. But his near-fatal accident two years ago has me skittish when I don’t understand a critical process enough to be able to step in.
Photo by kevindooley