Mint.com is a web based financial tool that helps you put your budget in order. It consolidates all your financial data in one place, and is equipped with simple and powerful features like simple alerts for bills or payments and goal-oriented accounting that even charts your progress towards a financial objective.
When used in conjunction with your credit cards, Mint.com can even advice you on which card to use in exchange for the information of how you use your credit cards, which can lead to either less cost or even savings.
You can use Mint.com for anything financial, from investments, cars and financing, life insurance policies to individual retirement accounts – the financial information from all parts of your life in just one place.
Mint.com first offered its services through an arrangement with Yodlee, but in November of 2009, Intuit acquired the whole of Mint.com, adding the website, its services and information to the long list of free and paid financial services software that Intuit has under its wing.
Honestly, mint.com still lacks Yodlee in terms of range of financial institution covered (Yodlee money center review) and the security of your private financial data.
Mint.com still by far the best personal finance software in terms of wide range of services provided. And the look-n-feel of the website is better than others, hands down. I opened an account with mint.com for the purpose of reviewing this product. I am a still a die-hard Yodlee fan.
Mint.com, the Software
Mint.com offered smooth and fast sign up, and add accounts processes. I picked many accounts, banking (checking, saving, credit cards, auto loan loan, stock broker, mutual funds. All accounts seamlessly downloaded my online data.
In-fact the data is fetched every day (for few account, multiple times a day) from financial institutions to keep your accounts updated automatically.
Mint.com failed to add a few of my accounts in India, its a clear disadvantage for me.
Other than that, it does what it claims to do, and does it efficiently and cleanly, and that is always a great thing when your financial health is the subject.
If at any time or occasion in your Internet browsing, you feel that the information you are giving is more private than necessary, make it a habit to read the Terms of Service or ToS, privacy and legal notices of the website. Even if it is software from Intuit, and it is Mint.com, the habit is safer than forgetting.
While the financial software functions as a secretary, bookkeeper and adviser, Mint.com is in no way replacing those services with theirs. At the very most, the analyses that Mint.com can make of your financial data you can consider as options, and not financial opinions or advice.
More information such as this you can find in the Terms of Service, because while it is always faster to just click the “I Agree” button on the Internet, it is not always wiser to do so.
Mint.com, the Features
The one great thing about Mint.com is that you get to collect and see all your financial data in one place. Mint.com has taken the effort of being able to draw the your information from banks for you – a highly sensitive transaction, to be sure – and safely summarize all that information for your convenience.
That in itself is enough reason to use Mint.com. Your financial data is scattered all over your life, from the banks that you have accounts with, to lending institutions if you or your business constantly deals with credit, your amortizations, insurance premiums and mortgages, and Mint.com rolls it all up for you into one single summary. Imagine the effort of looking up one utility bill from the provider’s website, then to dedicate a single bank account just for that bill, and multiply that process into all your financial transactions. Mint.com takes care of that process for you for all your transactions.
And your finances are summarized to the point of letting you even explore your options, savings and financial objectives. When all that information is gathered, you are more able to plan ahead of your finances, instead of just trying to keep up with the daily grind – something like keeping your head above water.
And just with these two features, Mint.com is useful enough to be advised for users who feel the need for more organization in their finances, and individuals who have organize their finances to the point of looking ahead.
Mint.com, the Service
The service that Mint.com provides is inextricably tied up to your privacy. The amount of information you release, give and allow access to Mint.com is enormous, and enormously sensitive. The natural reaction is always caution – precautions should be taken every time you log on to Mint.com, because as responsible a service Mint.com offers, the total security of your information is only as good as its weakest link.
With regards to Mint.com’s security, the security is perhaps more than bank grade high level security. The weakest link in the security chain will most probably not come from Mint.com’s servers but from your end of the transactions – a desktop computer left unsecured at home is easier to break into than the data center of Mint.com, whose location is, of course, secret.
Besides, while it is natural to place the importance of your private information above all others, the real value of your private information is when it is alongside the numerous other users of Mint.com. When taken as a whole, the financial information is priceless – analyses from trends, ratios, financial relationships and decisions from all that data are worth far more than any individual account, or the monies in that individual’s account.
What should be of concern is how that information is being used today, and not if some ingenious hacker manages to steal all that information. So the real question is not if you should trust Mint.com with all your private financial information, but if you trust how Intuit uses the sum of all that private information at their fingertips.
Unlike Yodlee, who makes money by providing it’s services to big banks and credit card companies, Mint.com is more retail focused and makes money by selling you various financial products they off on their site and apps.
Keeping individual demands in mind, their webpage design and mobile app design is very attractive, but security is still questionable.
Overall, we are giving Mint.com a “Must use” rating. This software can make and break your finances, but, do check out Yodlee money center as well. you may find Yodlee more useful than mint.com, as did I.
Whatever be your choice, a tool like mint.com or Yodlee makes managing money easier and gives you a complete picture of your financial health. Either of these two products is a must use personal finance product according to us. More over, they both are free to use!
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