If you looking for a great program for managing your personal finances, you should check out Mint. Not only does it have great tools to help you understand where you’re spending your money it offers you ways that it can help you save money. It syncs up with pretty much all financial institutions and can pull in transactions from your banks, credit cards, investment accounts and even loans (auto, mortgage, etc).
I’ve had pretty good luck with it keeping in sync with all of my accounts. The only ones that it has had problems with are with my Emigrant direct savings account and my Maryland College Savings accounts. With options to handle pretty much every security question that each institution deals with, you only have to setup your accounts with them once and it syncs automatically from there on out.
Here’s what I really like about Mint:
- It’s free
- It’s secure
- Offers automated budgeting
- Comprehensive drill-down reports and graphs showing where your money is going
- Tons of alert options and automated reports (i.e. tells you if a credit card changes your interest rate)
Honestly, I could go on and on. And to top it all off, they just released an iPhone app that’s free too! Considering that I will be swapping out my Blackberry at work for an iPhone in the next few days I couldn’t be more excited (that’s a whole separate post in itself).
Mint’s been around for maybe a year and a half now and seems to have worked out all of the issues I encountered back in September 2007 when I was using the Beta version. To be honest, it had a bunch of quirks back then and lacked the ability to add custom categories. I didn’t stick with the Beta long and closed my account. But a few months ago they came out of their Beta and had a bunch of new features available compared to when I had been a user before, so I decided to give it another whirl. I’m glad that I did because I use it almost daily now and I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve tried Quicken Online (which used to be like $2.95 a month but is free now), Quicken for the Mac, Microsoft Money, Mvelopes (not free) and a few others that I don’t even remember now and when it was all said and done Mint seemed to have the most to offer and the obvious right price. If you’re looking for a way to get started with wrangling your spending, sticking to a budget, or even just trying to figure out where your money is going you should definitely give it a try.