*UPDATE* Intuit, makers of Mint’s strongest rival Quicken Online, has acquired Mint.com. So Mint.com is becoming is becoming even better, blending the best features of Quicken Online.
Mint.com is a free Web application that allows users to track and manage their finances in one convenient location. Creator Aaron Patzer came up with the idea to have an Internet based application to analyze and track your finances in 2005 and after two years of development the public beta of Mint.com was launched in September 2007. Today with more than 1 million users tracking billions of dollars in transactions and assets Mint.com has been rated the top online personal finance tool by PC Magazine and Money Magazine.
How Does It Work?
If you have an extra five or ten minutes you can get started using Mint.com to keep track of all your financial accounts and save money in the process. Begin by creating an anonymous Mint account, adding your bank, credit card, investment and home loan accounts. Mint will then download information from all your accounts to your Mint.com account making it easy to track expenses, balance accounts and access an up-to-date overview of your finances in one location. In addition to helping manage your personal finances, Mint.com also features a “Ways To Save” option. This can help identify banks that offer higher interest rates, credit cards that offer lower interest rates and identify lower cost service providers.
Managing your personal finances is probably by far one of the least favorite tasks for most people. In fact many people don’t even bother developing or following a budget because they either don’t have the time or desire to put the effort into tracking expenses and all the other tedious work involved in keeping your finger on the pulse of your finances. While the thought of having an account that does all this work for you updating your information everyday may make you jump for joy, the next reaction is normally, “how safe is it?”. The following information from the Mint.com website addresses safety and security concerns.
Absolute Anonymity- In order for Mint.com to do it’s job they require your account information however they do not create a user account using your name, address, social security number or PIN number. In fact the only information that ties you to your account is your email address, password and zip code. Employees of Mint.com cannot view your bank account or credit card numbers.
Read Only Service- While your account is a great tool to track and analyze your financial information it is a “read-only” service. You (or anyone else) cannot move funds within your account or out of your account.
Data Security- Monitored and verified by VeriSign, Hackersafe, Truste and supported by RSA Security, Mint uses the same levels of physical and encryption security that banks use to protect stored data.
Mint.com is a hugely popular personal finance analysis tool that is bound to increase in popularity due to the convenience of the services it provides.
More about Mint.com here: our Mint.com vs. Quicken Online article.