With more than 20 million users, Mint must be doing something right. The free budgeting tool automatically syncs to bank, credit card and investment accounts, easily pulling data and making budgeting that much more effortless.
Compare Mint with top personal finance/budgeting app Simplifi By Quicken (there’s a 30 day free trial).
Every time you log into your Mint.com account, you’ll see your up-to-date financial information in an easy-on-the-eyes, easy-to-use interface, complete with graphs and charts. The service itself is super helpful for budgeting, making goals and compiling all your financial accounts into one convenient place.
Automatic Syncing & Tracking Expenses
To get set up, all you have to do is select the account provider (ie: Wells Fargo) and sign in through Mint’s site or mobile app. The software will then pull your account information to give you a quick view of your balances, transactions and even when bills are due.
Download and sync your transactions, and the software will automatically sort each one into predefined categories. You’re welcome to make adjustments if you’re not happy with the way Mint auto-categorizes. The software will memorize your changes and place similar future transactions in the correct categories. You can also create your own sub-categories, but you won’t be able to change the main ones.
Mint will create a budget for you based on your spending patterns that month as well as previous months. Don’t like what you see? You’re welcome to modify the suggested budget as you wish.
You can set new goals, like saving for a new home or paying off credit card debt, which will then be reflected in your monthly budgeting so you can track your progress.
Mint looks out for your money, so you have one less thing to worry about. Sign up to get alerts for:
- Late fees
- Going over your budget in a category
- Bill reminders
- Unusual spending
Monitoring Credit Scores
Keep track of your entire financial picture by logging into your Mint account and clicking on the “Show Details” button. There, you’ll find your credit score, payment history, age of credit accounts, and much more useful information.
This is Mint’s partner portal which features tips for savings. Products include rewards cards, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies, 401(k) rollovers and loans.
Before you sign up for Mint, keep in mind the points below.
There are a surprising number of bugs in the system. Users have complained of the site suddenly logging them out while they were actively using it. Others weren’t happy when Mint disconnected from their synced bank and credit card accounts, requiring them to add their accounts again.
Limited Report Generation
The only way you can generate a report is by exporting a CSV file to a spreadsheet.
There’s no way to reconcile against your bank statements. Mint will always assume the downloaded data is correct.
No Bill Pay
Mint once offered a bill pay feature, but it’s now no longer available.
Limited Investing Features
Although Mint has an investing section, it’s not very robust. If you need better investment tools, I suggest you look into Personal Capital.
Easy to use, Mint’s resourceful combination of personal finance tools make it a good option for those that want to track and manage their spending, budgets, savings, investments and credit score. Since the service is free to use, there’s nothing to lose by signing up and giving Mint a test drive. However, if you’re looking for better investment tools and less synchronization issues, I recommend Personal Capital instead.
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