Last week I setup an account at Mint.com. The site is to be used as a “dashboard” for all of your finances. How it works is you first create a free account. You then log in and add a bank account to their interface. This involves giving them the name/url of the bank or credit union, and your username and password. This aspect is what made me a bit hesitant to want to give it a try. Having all of my information in one place where I don’t have any control over it makes me a bit nervous. Because of this, before signing up, I read through their information on their security. Thankfully, it looks as though they have done their best to make each transaction as smooth and secure as possible. So I decided to set an account up.
I proceeded to add my credit card account with no problems. When the account is added it uses your username and password to access and download your history from your bank. It then loads the history on its transactions page, and categorizes them. The system allows you to rename things that are confusing (including allowing you to “always rename _____ to _____”) as well as change the categories that they are set to. You then get a nice simple overview of how you are spending your money. The benefit comes however as you add additional accounts. It lists them all together in one place, or separately, so you can look at the larger picture of where your money is going.
Another benefit is that the system looks at past transactions, and suggests a monthly budget for items such as entertainment, eating out, groceries, and many others.
One downside I found was when I attempted to add my Credit Union account it came up on their list of possible accounts, however it came back to tell me that it was unable to connect with my username and password because they were wrong. I know that they are right because I tried multiple times. I sent an email in to their support, but the response I got back was not helpful and left much to be desired. The good thing for me is that I don’t actually use my credit union account that often so I will be ok to not have it in the system.
The only other thing I feel is missing is the ability to upload previous histories. It only works with histories from the time you sign up forward. Even with these two minor problems, I would gladly suggest it and point you all to it! Happy Banking! Edit: I just tried adding my credit union again and it worked fine. There goes on of my downsides 🙂
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