Tool Review - Mint.com
So I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert on all things (or even a few things) technological but I do have extensive experience with the following budget tool and I'm giving my two cents.
Mint.com is an online budgeting tool that uses various gadgets to help keep you on top of your budget. I have used mint.com for years and have used it very consistently since moving to Grand Junction. With most things in life, there are things I really like and others left to be desired.
Mint's got it right:
-I can link any account I have to mint.com and it automatically uploads my purchases. There is no updating or manually entering data.
-Certain bills can be linked and it uploads due dates. Given the whole head-not-attached-would-be-lost idea, any reminder to pay bills on time is helpful.
-The website creates a great little pie chart to see where your money is going. This is a great way to see a realistic picture of where your money goes. You can include multiple months to get an even better visual of your spending.
-When you start a mint.com account you can set up a budget and throughout the month it show color coded bars of your spending within that budget. Green: “Way to go! You are a budgeting genius”. Red: “Ouch”.
-There is a goal section where you determine your financial goals and get updates on your progress.
-I can use it anywhere. I am less likely to use this app than my banking one but it is helpful to have access anywhere I need it.
My wish list:
-I do wish mint was a smidge smarter. When I save a bill to “cell phone” instead of the default “technology” I would like it to remember my choice. So far, it doesn't seem to catch on.
-I wish more of my bills were able to be synched or that they could be added by hand. All of my due dates would be automatically uploaded and I could see our entire budget for the month.
-The pie should include “savings”. For example, we have a system with our bank that saves $1.00 for each time we use our debit cards. That money is deposited to a savings account.
My wish list is significantly smaller than my this tool is awesome list. And the best part of this tool? It's completely free! For free products, I understand their only income is upgrades and advertising. I genuinely appreciate the way mint.com includes their advertisers.
We don't spend much money on gas and the advertiser pays to encourage us to buy their car insurance because of it. There are other services like credit cards with lower interest than what we currently have. This advertising is actually helpful instead of annoying.
While many people are uncomfortable with online security and certain companies having information about them, I truly believe if they want my information, they are going to get it. I carefully check my bank account and keep tabs on my credit score to prevent identity theft but beyond that, I just understand the risks of being connected to the internet at all.
I appreciate the service mint.com has to offer and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to keep closer track of their spending.
Do you use an online budgeting tool? Do you use a budgeting tool at all?