Mint: Uncluttered money management

If you are like me, you have multiple websites to visit to get all your financial information. Your bank account, credit card, and savings may be scattered across the web. But with an easy to use interface Mint takes all of your financial info and displays it rather easily. It only took me five minutes to enter my four separate accounts. Now all my finances are in one place for easy viewing.

From Mint:

Mint allows you to view all of your banking and credit card transactions side-by-side, making identifying all of your transactions much easier and faster than ever before.

How does this help you? We make it easy for you to track down erroneous charges or bank fees, and keep a closer eye on your money.

Mint even lets you label your transactions so you know what bills you need to split with your friends or roommates, know which ones need to be reimbursed for your company, and more.

And for those of you who are not thrilled about giving up your financial info to a third party, here is Mint’s security promise:

Mint provides bank level data security and industry leading identity protection. Its security and privacy have been validated by VeriSign and TRUSTe.

Check them out. Oh, and did I mention this service is free?

28 Comments for “Mint: Uncluttered money management”

  1. posted by Sean Hussey on

    There’s also http://www.yodlee.com, which I think was doing this first, but Mint is prettier.

  2. posted by Eric on

    I’m just wary.

    1) It’s a free website. They have to make money somehow and eventually it must come to one of three outcomes a) advertising ( often annoying ) b) pay service c) they go under.

    2) I don’t care how much SSL they use, the data is still out there in a concentrated form and will be a phishers dream.

    3) They don’t tell you anywhere what banks they actually collaborate with. While those using national banks will probably have no problems, then there are all of us using smaller credit unions and banks that may have to do a lot of work to get this up and running.

    4) Did I mention that it could disappear tomorrow with all of your financial data?

  3. posted by Kat on

    I’m wary, too. If you have to give them your account details and password, not only is that a risk in itself, but it might violate the terms and conditions of your financial service provider. I’d be more (but still not totally) comfortable if this were commercial software I can install on my own computer. Also, I’m curious to know how this system deals with two-factor authentication (e.g. if you need to use a security fob to access your accounts).

  4. posted by Michael Clark on

    Why in the world would you do this? Giving access to a third party to all of your financial accounts is crazy. And be on the lookout for Mint phishing attempts now.

  5. posted by Bob on

    Are you nuts? Bad move. But then again I have this bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in….

  6. posted by Justin on

    I actually signed up. But, then I got to the stage of entering my account information, got this queasy feeling, and closed the browser. Have you actually signed up and entered all of your information? How long have you been using Mint?

  7. posted by Andamom on

    Money and Quicken are two options to aggregate financial information on your own machine. Of course, I’ve got both and like neither… Both are rather cumbersome (my personal take) to set up — and given my background not beneficial enough to continue with.

    I don’t know enough about Mint to provide a substantive review of the service…

  8. posted by LazyLightning on

    Many bank web sites actually offer billpay services. I would be more likely to trust my bank with payment/statement info than I would a third party.

  9. posted by Koos on

    They don’t even allow for some national banks (e.g. Citizen’s), and there’s no way to track cash spending or loans or mortgages, so it’s an incomplete picture at best of your credit card spending, and at worst just a way to lose your account information.

    Oh, and their money-making scheme is to push “deals” based on your debt, etc. I don’t know if that’s an annoyance I’d be upset about or not, but I’m also not going to find out. I’ll stick with an XLS, thanks.

  10. posted by Kyle Adams on

    What about Wesabe?

    http://www.wesabe.com/

    I’ve got both bookmarked, but I’m hoping someone else might have tried both and would be willing to share a review.

  11. posted by Tim on

    I’ve actually tried Wesabe and Mint. Wesabe requires you to download data from your banking/credit institutions and then upload to the system (without your info attached) so it’s much more for the privacy leary. Wesabe came out with a Firefox extension that attempted to do something similar to Mint but using a sort of Macros/record your process of logging in type way. I could never get it to work. As soon as Mint came out I stopped using Wesabe.

    Mint seems to have more in terms of analysis than Wesabe does. They also work with all the large banks (although not with many smaller banks). The nice part about Mint is that I can log in daily and see an update without having to visit 4 other websites to download and then upload data. I’m much more inclined to use Mint to track my spending b/c it performs automatically.

    They are funded and have gained recognition throughout Silicon Valley in a short time so I don’t worry that much about my data being protected. I’m from the Facebook era, however. Privacy is relative.

    As far as how they make money – it seems that advertising credit cards, money market accounts and more against your specific info seems like a really logical way to create advertising that is actually useful. They have a tab for this called “Ways to Save.” If you don’t want to look at it, you don’t have to.

  12. posted by t on

    I prefer wesabe to mint because:

    1) I don’t have to give it all of my passwords and account numbers.

    2) It promises data portability – ie, if after 5 years mint closes and you want to keep all those records you’ve developed, tough luck; but with Wesabe they’re yours to download and keep.

    3) I like the groups/tips structure. It allows me to discuss financial issues with other people focused on the subject.

    In contrast, mint gives you automated tips – which, when I tried it, were all entirely useless: things like “switch to __giant_bank_known_for_scams__ – it has a higher percentage interest than the (not known so assumed to be zero) interest rate you’re getting now, and will thus save you $200!” (where my actual interest rate was 5%, and they’d just assumed it was zero). Or, “Switch to __credit_card_we’ll_get_a_commission_for_suggesting__! It gives 1% cash back, which is more than the (not known so assumed to be nothing) you get now!” (again, of course, I actually have a very carefully chosen card whose miles program meets my family’s needs).

    Just in general, I fount Mint’s interface to be pretty, but… well, honestly, sort of condescending. It gives you surprisingly little control over how you want to organize your information, but keeps advertising useless (but again, I’m sure, kickback-laden) tips to sign up for new credit cards, all couched in language that implies it’s probably never before occurred to you to collate your finances – good thing mint is here to let you try this brand new concept for the very first time!

    But, that’s just my experience =).

  13. posted by Mrs. Micah on

    @ Eric. They do have an “advertising” page where they recommend services they think you might need. Of course, that can be complete BS, but if you steer clear of that page it seems to be ok.

    @t, you’re right, it can be simplistic or condescending.

    I like being able to look at Mint and get a quick overview. I have Quicken which I use for greater detail, but if I’m online and just want an idea, I pop over to Mint. Especially since we’re juggling multiple savings/checking accounts right now which we’re trying to combine.

    The login info is stored in the same place that stores other banks’ login info. So basically, if you’re that scared about your login….you shouldn’t be banking online at all. And you probably should never sign up for anything which stores your information in a hackable database….like a bank.

  14. posted by cyen on

    I too find it hard to believe that people are signing up for this service.
    No phone number to call them.
    No address for their company location.
    strike that… instead of this info being made clear in the “contact us” I found a phone and address on the privacy page.
    No website for “mint software, inc”.
    The phone and address goes back to a different company named “Aceva Technologies”.
    Is Mint software the same company as Aceva?

    In today’s world where Identity theft is such an issue, I don’t know how someone can hand over all their personal banking info to just any ol’ website with pretty graphics.

  15. posted by t-mag on

    Maybe this is why banks (and my credit union) want to convince us to have everything thru them. Checking, credit card, mortgage, loan, IRA… So it’s all on one site.

  16. posted by Aaron Patzer on

    Great discussion on Unclutterer.

    For all of you with security concerns, I’ll make a bold statement: You’re safer on Mint than with online banking. On Mint, you’re completely anonymous. We never ask for a name, address, or SSN – just an email. We know about your finances…but not about you.

    We designed the system from the ground-up for security. And we know what we’re doing: the executives and advisors to Mint have experience at Ebay/Paypal, Intuit, Charles Schwab, American Express, PGP, and Passmark Security. We’re also independently verified by Verisign, TrustE, and several outside agencies.

    Perhaps more interestingly, 90% of all fraud actually occurs offline, not online (e.g. someone swipes your card at a restaurant). Because Mint.com sends proactive alerts via email or text-message for low-balance or unusually high spending, you’ll know right away.

    That’s better (and easier) than logging into 4-5 different banks every day, or waiting 30 days for a paper statement before finding that something went wrong.

    Aaron Patzer
    Founder & CEO, Mint.com

  17. posted by Kate on

    I use wesabe, I like the fact that when I asked a question, one of the Wesabe team answered it on the groups.
    I can download all my accounts at once and upload them at once, rather than one per account.
    I think Expencr is better about budgeting but not tried it properly yet.

    Mint didn’t cover my Banks – maybe that’s because they were UK banks – have they improved on that?

  18. posted by lahope on

    A better solution for money management is to join a credit union. Not only are my fees lower than a bank’s, I get to use free ATMs, located in all Seven Elevens and elsewhere that are part of the Co-Op network. I have one credit card through my credit union with a cash rebate program rather than airine miles with their byzantine rules and regulations. I don’t need to clutter up my computer with another program to organize my finacial affairs.

  19. posted by lahope on

    I might add that I also have my mortgage thru my credit union, 15 year fixed @ 5%. I doubt if any bank would have been able to meet or better those terms and as an additional plus, I don’t have to worry about my mortgage being sold to a 3rd party.

  20. posted by dale on

    I’ll stick with Yodlee. Your bank is likely having them do their online stuff anyway. Sites like this are totally unproven and at the rate they fail you have no idea what will happen with your data.

    But for the people who like it, I’m starting a web 2.0 company to store all your medical records. It’s going to be pretty so you know you can trust it :-)

  21. posted by Adam on

    from mint’s site:

    “Mint uses industry standard secure account aggregation. Mint uses Yodlee to connect to your financial institutions. This is the same back-end aggregation system used by Bank of America, Fidelity, and Microsoft Money. Yodlee’s security practices have been audited by the NSA, Visa, Mastercard, and numerous major banks.”

    btw, I’ve never used mint, yodlee, wesabe or anything else so this shouldn’t be read as a recommendation. :-)

  22. posted by Paco on

    I’ve been using Yodlee since 2004 and it’s great. As far as security, Yodlee is actually the backend for sites like Fidelity and…Mint!

    I signed up for Mint but quickly bailed once I realized they don’t report any data for investments, i.e. IRAs and 401ks.

  23. posted by Money-Management » Blog Archives » Mint: Uncluttered money management on

    [...] Mint: Uncluttered money managementIf you are like me, you have multiple websites to visit to get all your financial information. Your bank account, credit card, and savings may be scattered across the web. But with an easy to use interface Mint takes all of your … [...]

  24. posted by Ro on

    I didn’t realize there were sites like this and am really glad to find them. I checked out Mint, yodlee, and wesabe. I didn’t find mint robust enough yet so I deleted my account from them. I already had a Fidelity account so I got a full view account and I love it! Only problem is my credit union isn’t a bank account option. I requested that they add it so will see if they do. I also like wesabe very much. I loaded all of my credit union (bank account) transactions for 2007. I’ve tagged all but about 60 of them and find it really enlightening. I almost wish they’d automatically update it for me. I guess for now I’ll stick with both as I have different accounts in each. I’m really glad you wrote this article as I needed something like this. I just don’t want to set everything up on Quicken or Money — too much work.

  25. posted by G on

    I just signed up for Mint. After reading through their site and other reviews, I felt comfortable to create my account with them. A few things that made me feel better:

    -They ask for your account number to establish a connection with Yodlee (the same service that Money and Quicken use, so if you update your account through either software package, you’re using the same backend money is using), and then remove your bank number from their records.

    -They establish a read-only account with your banks, so even if someone hacks onto their servers, all they will see is that mint user X has XXX money in XXX banks. There’s no account number or other identifying information. They can’t move any money from mint.com servers.

    Of course, there’s some risk in any online transaction (online shopping, mint.com, online banking), but I feel comfortable with what I consider limited risk vs the benefit of uncluttering my money management.

  26. posted by james duglas on

    I have bookmarked manageME and hope others too bookmark it as you can keep a track record of your finances anywhere ,anytime when you are traveling. Also you will be getting new enhanced version with a lot more features at http://www.manageme7.com which is coming shortly.
    I am eagerly waiting for it.

  27. posted by Chris Lynam on

    I have used this for years and have not had any issues. I was a bit nervous at first, but Mint is fantastic. Having all of this financial information available in one place with no data entry is priceless.

    The tools for budgeting and the automatic notifications for everything from credit card rate increases to minimum account balances, allow for true automation of your finances.

    Take a look at http://uselessclutter.com/?p=43 .

Comments are closed.