Choosing the right personal finance money management software can be daunting in a world filled with endless choices.
In this review, I will cover Mint, the preferred money management tool for InvestorTrip staff and clients.
- Founded: 2005
- Total Members: 4 million
- Security: Uses 128-bit SSL encryption
- Cost: It is completely free!
- On the Go: Offers free mobile apps to track your money
What is Mint.com?
For the individual who is looking to keep their finances in order and even find effective ways to pay off debt; Mint.com has one of the most amazing money management software that has ever been created.
This powerful tool is not only available on your computer or laptop, but is also available in a cellphone application so that you can check your finances, add expenses and even pay bills through an easy and effective application on the go or at home.
How Does Mint.com Work?
One of the best things about Mint.com is that it’s free for all to use! It gives you power over your finances in a way that no other program has ever done before.
Your checking account, credit card spending, loans, investments and even your personal property such as your house and cars can all be set up and put into a realistic and smart budget plan within 5-10 minutes.
Once you’ve inputted all of your information you can easily see all of your balances at once, monthly spending and savings tips are available right there on your user dashboard along with all of your financial transactions, goal setting, trends, and many more.
With the easy to use iPhone or Android mobile application, you can bring it with you anywhere and have the power of your finances in the palm of your hand when you need it most.
As with any other budgeting software out there, it’s important to ask about the security of the site and how secure your personal information will be.
Your finances are personal and if found in the wrong hands could be detrimental to your credit and your day-to-day spending. Mint.com uses the same security technology used by financial institutions but doesn’t give you the option to move money from different accounts.
This is essential in keeping your finances safe if your password becomes available to someone other than yourself.
Alerts give you the power to know if there is any abnormal spending or if anything seems wrong with your account.
Making sure you keep your password safe and that you have the proper virus protection and firewall on your computer or mobile device will help to ensure that there are no issues with security on your Mint.com account.
Most Popular Mint.com Supported Banks
Mint literally supports thousands of banks across the United States, however they publicly publish the most popular banking institutions online. Here they are in order:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Chase Bank
- Fidelity Investments
- Fifth Third Bank
- ING Direct
Complaints on Mint.com
There has been word about one of Mint.com’s affiliates who are less than worthy whom made customers disappointed and uneasy about using the software.
Another issue reported with the Mint program is that there are some hidden fees within that are not disclosed when signing up; this includes a “free” credit report that requires you to set up a monthly credit monitoring account.
Mint has responded to these complaints by stating that they link to two of the largest credit monitoring bureaus because they provide value to their customers.
Linked to the Mint.com software is a person’s credit score and their credit report so that you can easily access it within your Mint software.
Since they use affiliates in order to make money, they can’t always guarantee that an affiliate will be as secure and reliable as they are, this may attribute to customers who believe that Mint.com is a scam.
Forget checkbook registers, paper statements and multiple online banking and loan accounts. You have the control to access all the information you need right there on the Mint.com software.
Adding your financial institutions is easy; and once added you can view them all in an overview by company name, category and the amount of the transaction.
One fun feature is that you can view the US spending average compared to your own spending so you know where you stand among the millions of other consumers in the US.
Categorizing your transactions is as simple as a click and can help you to organize by a specific holiday, type of item (household, food, etc); this is all possible with Mint.comand you can even make up your own categories along with using the pre-set ones as well.
Create a Budget Quickly and Easily
The Mint.com software will help you set up an automatic budget and also allows you to create your own as well.
This can be separated by category, monthly and yearly as well as the option to roll over money that was saved in the previous month.
An easy to read and follow graph gives you the power to view your expenses all at once so you know just where you stand on all of your finances.
The ability to include things into your budget once, weekly, monthly or annually makes budgeting simple and more user friendly that any other budgeting software out there today.
Track Important Trends and Save More Money
This feature from Mint.com allows you to view your finances in a number of different graphs. Whichever type of graph is easier for you to follow is available through this amazing software.
Compare your own finances monthly or even compare to the US average. Anything you need to analyze your finances is right there and simple to use.
Track Your Investments All in One Place
Mint gives you the power to track your investments all in one place. You can view the performance, value, compare and the allocation of your investments; along with the ability to get recommendations on your investments as well.
This makes saving for retirement much more possible since you can do it all in one easy to use program. Giving you options for saving on a broker and other ways to save with your investments makes Mint.com truly sensational.
Receive Timely Alerts to Avoid Costly Financial Mistakes
So you don’t have to keep checking your Mint.com software after every transaction, and so that you can know when you’re getting close to running out of money, alerts are available through the Mint software.
With low balance alerts, bill reminders, spending alerts and even when you have reached a goal, Mint.com helps you stay up-to-date with your finances without spending hours analyzing budgets and adding things up yourself.
Mint Mobile Apps for Blackberry, Android and iPhone
You can track your Mint account via any supported smartphone quickly and easily. The app works the same way as the website does.
For some in-depth mobile app reviews, check out the Mint.com iphone app review below:
and the Mint.com android app review:
Mint.com Security: Is Your Money Safe?
One of the most common questions is website security. In order to prevent serious threats, security breaches, Mint adheres to the following security protocols:
- Protect Your Assets with Bank-Level Security – Mint uses the same 128-bit encryption and physical security that banks use. Their practices are monitored and verified by TRUSTe, VeriSign and Hackersafe, and supported by RSA Security.
- Only Receive Read Only Access – Mint is a “read-only” service. You can organize and analyze your finances, but you can't move funds between–or out of–any account using Mint. And neither can anyone else.
- Guard Your Money 25/7/365 – Mint increases your financial security through email and text alerts that notify you about any large purchases or unusual changes in your accounts and more.
For a more in-depth look on Mint's security, online security expert Jason Owens asks the same question: Is Mint.com Safe?
Ready to Sign Up?
Signing up for Mint.com is very simple. All you need to create a new account is:
Your email address
Once you’re in you have the power to start wherever you want. Adding your financial institutions, creating your budget, setting up alerts and linking to a credit monitoring company are all within your discretion.
The easy to use and simple to understand instructions make budgeting fun, with their colorful graphs, categories and many other features give you the power to follow your budget in a customized way that fits you best.
Setting goals and reaching them will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment and really allow you to actually “see” where all your money goes rather than simply notice your money is all gone.
Mint.com Pros and Cons
As with any other company or online software out there, there are always good and bad views on the overall product or service.
With Mint, the good definitely outweighs the bad, but here you’ll find a great list to help you along with your decision.
- Easy to sign up
- Simple to use for both iPhone and Android
- Mobile ability
- Alerting capabilities help keep you in charge
- Savings tips
- Inability to plan ahead (but will most likely be available in the future)
- Auto-assigning of transactions can sometimes be incorrect
- Some affiliates might not be trustworthy
- “Free” credit report isn’t really free
Overall, this powerful tool is great for just about anyone. Giving you the ability to see all of your finances in one, easy to follow and user friendly application at home or on the go on your iPhone or Android mobile device puts you in control of your expenses.
Goal setting and budgeting make it easy to plan for your future rather than living paycheck to paycheck.
Save for your retirement or your children’s college funds, and get great savings on some of Mint.com’s affiliates who offer savings exclusive to Mint.com users.
These affiliates are how Mint makes it’s money which is why they can offer you this powerful tool for free.
Taking advantage of their programs allows them to stay free and gives you options on saving money, planning for your future and the ability to combine all your information in the same place rather than memorizing a million passwords for your different financial companies.
With online bill pay, they make it easy to get all your bills done in one place at home or on the go.
Forget about paper billing, check registers and other online software that doesn’t offer even half the features that Mint.com offers and start seeing your finances all together, categorized and in a way that you’ve never seen before.
Mint.com is the future of financial well-being and can help you to get out of debt and stay that way for good!
Tarik Pierce is the founder of InvestorTrip.com and regularly contributes articles to this website.
While living overseas, he uses PureVPN for a low cost VPN service.
He recommends Bluehost for setting up your own personal and/or business blog.
While his background is mostly related to trading stocks, he recently gained interest in real estate crowdfunding with Fundrise.