No matter how you track your finances, you probably wish there was a better way. That is, unless you use the online personal software called Mint.
I’ve been using Mint for almost two years now, and I couldn’t ask for much more. They’ve been rated very highly by Money magazine, Kiplinger, PC magazine, Time magazine and countless others, for good reason.
Mint’s biggest benefit is the amount of time it saves you. It does this by automatically importing your bank records on a regular basis, and automatically categorizing those records.
Even if all you do is provide your bank information, Mint will give you great insight into your finances with no additional effort. For those of you who care to dig deeper and customize the software, you can manually categorize things (Mint learns from what you do), and set up budgets.
Mint can do even more if you want it to. In addition to the easy importing, categorization and budgeting, mint also provides great visual reporting, insight into your investments, and also suggests ways to save. It also compares your expenses to aggregate data of other users.
For those of you concerned about the security of an online finance application like Mint, please read about how Mint keeps you safe. They take many steps to keep your information safe, including requiring anonymous registration, and using a third party to store your bank information.
If you don’t currently track your finances, consider yourself lucky that you haven’t had to endure the awfulness of other personal finance software out there. Now is your chance to get started fresh, and Mint will make it a breeze for you.
If you’ve been using some other software (or god forbid spreadsheets, like I did for some time), you should seriously consider switching to Mint. Just the amount of time you can save using it will probably outweigh any features Mint may be missing. I haven’t thought once about switching back to my old methods since starting with Mint.
Your Finances May Soon Become Fun
Dealing with finances for many people is like doing some mundane household chore. You know it needs to be done, but it’s hard to find the energy to do it. Mint may soon change that by making a game out of your finances.
That probably sounds like a bad thing at first glance. Finances are a serious matter, after all. The people at Mint are likely onto something big, however.
First, the intentions behind the “game” is to get you on the road to financial fitness by teaching basic principles like “spend less than you earn.” These simple principles can prove to be life changers for those who follow them.
Second, the use of a game features in software has proven to be a great motivator. Wii Fit, Nike Fit and Warcraft were all part of Mint’s research in building their game.
This is an example of one of the main reasons I love Mint. They’re incredibly innovative and great at making things much simpler than other software vendors do. That’s why I’m pleased to review the software.
The new game features are supposedly in beta, although when I logged in today the features were available to me under a tab called “fitness.”
Find out more about Mint at the Mint Blog, there’s great financial advice there, not just stuff about the company or product.
Do you use Mint to track your finances? What other techniques have you tried? Let me know in the comments!
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