No, you don’t have bad breath . . . this is the kind of Mint that helps you track your spending, a FREE online tool that’s been helping the spend-conscious for close to 11 years now and owned by Intuit.
Before Mint, your only options were keeping a self-generated tracking report in excel or using Quicken. We have many more options now, but i have stuck with Mint for 11 years!
The main reason I love it is that the data gets in there itself, without my involvement. With just tracking spending in a spreadsheet or offline, if you fall behind, it’s really difficult to get back on track and caught up, because then you start dreading doing it knowing how long it’s going to take. How will you remember in December why we withdrew $100 from an ATM in September?
A lot of people were initially nervous about Mint’s online security. But in the comments of Get Rich Slowly’s early review of Mint, Founder and CEO Aaron Patzer wrote: “You’re safer on Mint than with online banking. Mint has a read-only connection to your bank; there’s no money transfer in Mint.”
He also pointed out the physical security, proactive account activity alerts, and that Mint uses Yodlee on the back-end. (Yodlee has been in operation for 10 years without a major security breach.). Intuit updated all of this when they bought Mint from Patzer, and they have never had a security breach either.
After you get past the security issue, a lot of Mint’s features might help you avoid what makes other methods fail as a tracking tool, such as:
It’s online. You can log onto Mint whenever and modify transactions, if needed. Because you can do it on the fly, it’s easier to keep up with it (plus I think Mint does a better job of assigning categories than Quicken ever did).
It’s simple. When you open Mint, the accounts are listed down the left-hand side and the budget is on the right. The budget is a bar graph showing how much you’ve spent in each category for the month and how much was allotted for that category. Simple.
It has alerts. You can set up alerts for the low balances, bill reminders, credit available, unusual spending, over budget, interest rate changes, trade commission charges, bank fees, large deposits, and large purchases.
I haven’t spoken to anyone who doesn’t like Mint after they try it, so it may just be the thing you need to FINALLY gain clarity around your spending. Now, go get set up! www.mint.com