Mint.com Review: An Ideal Personal Finance & Budgeting Software
What is Mint.com?
Mint.com is a free web based app that provides with an easy way to track spending’s, creates a budget and sets financial goals for the future. It is also available in the form of well-developed mobile apps, so that spending’s can be checked on the go. This money management software is created by Intuit the same company that founded Quickbooks. Mint app is said to hold an upper hand over its competitors for its easy to use budgeting and bill tracking features. Along with these features, it also automatically syncs to bank, credit card and investment accounts. Thus making it easier for the users to pull data with little effort and in turn provides free credit score information.
Since its inception in the market in 2007, Mint.com has gathered over 15 million users. The app is very useful for processes like budgeting, creating goals and aggregating all financial accounts in a single interface. It is thus said to be a go-to solution to manage all kinds of savings and accounting procedures. Beyond budgeting, this software includes a several other useful features for managing money. This includes bill notification and payment, email and SMS alerts, credit score monitoring along with the ability to view a variety of personal finance reports.
Mint.com: How does the Personal Finance Software Work?
For an app to handle any kind of finance procedure, the system has to be streamlined for the best possible output. Just like other applications, Mint.com has a set procedure of it’s functioning.
Link unlimited number of accounts
As a user to have the most appropriate picture of your finances, there is a need to link as many bank accounts as possible, which also requires providing login usernames and passwords to the budgeting software. This allows the software to download and categorize all kinds of transactions. To make matters secure, all the login credentials are stored in a database having multi-layered hardware and software encryption. Linking bank accounts to Mint only helps in calculating the net worth. With this, you can track the number from the ‘accounts’ section on the overview page.
Add an account manually
Mint.com works with a number of financial institutions, but at times users are enable to link a bank account automatically. This is where manual entry of data comes into picture. The procedure to manually add an account has steps, which are as follows:
- Click the Settings tab in the top black menu bar
- Click Property in the left sidebar
- Click the + Add Property button
- Select the type of property you’d like to add
- Enter the requested fields then, click “Add it”
Fix transaction categories
Mint.com keeps continuous track of your spending’s and categorizes it appropriately. As the app is built with a number of features and categories, sometimes it so happens that the transactions get saved in an incorrect category. But this money management software assists you to correct it in a matter of second. Following are the steps to correctly categorize your transaction:
- Click the Transactions tab
- Click the transaction you’d like to edit
- Click on “Edit Details” and then you can edit the description and/or category
- Click I’m Done
Track cash spending’s
Tracking expenses made through a credit card is extremely easy on the Mint app. But if you are someone who prefers making transaction in cash, keeping a check on the spending’s made is a task to keep up with. But not with Mint.com. Once a transaction is made through cash,“add a transaction” on the Mint app. There on just enter the details about the cash expense for it to get reflected in the proper budget category.
Control alerts and notifications
Signing up on the Mint.com app by default sets up users for periodic alerts and notifications about their transactions as well as updates made. But receiving these notifications post every transaction becomes annoying. So, this budget software lets you manage alerts by taking the following steps:
- From the Settings tab, click on Notifications.
- Click on “Change” next to “Send spending alerts” for a long list of alerts
- Adjust to your preferences.
- Click on the Settings tab to adjust your notifications
Applications of Mint.com
Mint.com is one money management software that helps in perfectly managing your finances without creating a fuss out of it. It aids in ways than one, along with acting as a bill paying tool to make things simpler. Considering how smart Mint is, cash transactions are easy to track too without taking a lot of time. Also, it safeguards all the crucial account credentials and does not move your money without your permission. The graphs that this budget software offers enables you to see how additional savings every month would lead to end of the years. Also, it also shows what profits would your incur on making a big purchase.
Benefits of Mint.com
Mint.com is considered a safe and secure option since it uses the same encryption that banks use to keep crucial information safe. This proves to be one of the main benefits of the app as it is completely safe and well guarded.
Works with most accounts
The major benefit of this personal finance and budgeting software is that it connects with most accounts. Larger banks, lenders, and credit unions are the primary connects of the app. The software also avails the option of connecting with an alternate bank account just in case the primary account faces issues.
One factor that makes this tool powerful is because it automatically pulls information from your financial accounts. The need to manually enter details is to manage your budgets does not exists. And the main benefit is that the automatic access is read only which does not give any power to the app to move your money around.
Further access allowed
When given further access to Mint it also acts as a bill paying tool, thus proving to be beneficial. The system allows you to pay all your bills from a single interface rather than check hundred other websites while the process an effortless one. For Mint to pay bills, it needs to enter additional account credentials.
Just in case it becomes difficult to connect with bank accounts, or a credit card company, Mint comes to the rescue. In this case it takes no longer than a few minutes to sort your budgets and manage your finances accurately.
Features of Mint.com
The personal accounting software automatically allocates budget expense categories to transactions entered. This process of categorizations is accurate most of the times but the app also allows to rename or re categorize transactions. With this software splitting a transaction among different categories is also possible.
The procedure of creating budgets in the Mint.com app is quite a hassle free one. The software considers each category as its own budget and there is no limitation on categories. The app suggests budget amounts depending on your spending history but you can adjust those amounts and create your own budget. Mint.com allows you to set weekly, monthly or every few months budgets. If you choose monthly budgets, you can check a box to have any unspent or overspent funds for the month rolled to the next month. This feature is useful when working with variable expenses.
Set Financial Goals
The app’s goals page is primarily for setting up short-term as well as long-term savings goals. The app allows to link each goal to one of your accounts and limits to set one goal per account. This section also allows you to see deal from financial companies so as it becomes easier for you to find offers specific to you financial needs.
This feature enables you as a user to track all your bills. This saves the effort of logging into multiple sites. It allows you to set reminder to pay bills and provide warnings when the account balance is too low to pay them.
Reports & Trends
This money management software comes with a variety of simple yet customizable reports. The different types of reports availed by the app are spending, income, net income, assets, debts and net worth. The software allows you to view your spending by the current month or select another time period, and you can filter the report by data category, tag, or merchant. The app also has a module that lets you create reports and view trends.
Sort Your Finances with This Personal Accounting Software
Mint.com offers complete access to all kinds of financial data through both, its website as well as through a mobile device. The app is availed to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Thus making it easy to access your finances irrespective of the device you use. The app also provides alerts via badge notifications for changes made to your finances. The financial freedom provided by the software makes it possible for you to keep a proper record of your finances, set budgets and makes changes whenever & wherever required.
Pricing Plans for Mint.com
This personal finance software is completely free which is why they are preferred over all of its competitors. The app mainly profits from all the marketing done through advertisements. Mint.com is available on free trial and free plan basis which is not found in most of the applications.
Mint.com: Pros and Cons
- Weekly Updates via Email – Get a proper update about what has happened in the past week with your finances.
2. Email or SMS Alerts – Mint.com provides alerts on pending bills and suggest ways to save money on all kinds of transaction fees.
3. Budgeting and Goal Setting – Understand your spending pattern in a properly presented graphical format.
4. Streamlined Downloaded Transactions – Automatically syncs your financial data into Mint.
5. Tracks Credit Score – View and monitor your credit score, account usage, payment history and errors on a single interface.
6. Two Step Authentication – Validate your use before logging in by either your email message or cell phone SMS message.
- Absence of Investing Features – In comparison to its competitors, Mint.com lacks a number of investing features.
2. Issues with synchronizations – Since the app consists of a number of features and categorise, syncing with banks takes more time than expected and makes the whole process slow.
3. Lack of Report Generation – The only way to generate a report is exporting a CSV file to a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel.
4. No Reconciliation – You cannot reconcile against your monthly bank statements. Mint assumes the data downloaded is always correct.
Quicken vs Mint
Quicken and Mint can considered to be tough competitors of each other though the time spent by both the app’s differs on whole new levels. Quicken is a personal finance software while Mint is a personal finance product that runs online. Considering both the softwares, following are the main differences between the two.
Quicken – Quicken is a desktop based software and thus considered a safer option. The reason users find this app a more secure option is because all the login, bank credentials are saved on their on hard drive and it does not go on the internet. The credentials are nowhere shared online which makes users think of this to be a reliable option, security wise.
Mint – The main feature for which Mint.com is known for is that it is an online tool. To pay bills, or even manage budgets, the app needs to have the user’s credentials. Many users find this app to be a more convenient option, since all the details after a while are synced automatically without worrying about entering transactions manually.
Quicken – When it comes to accessing this budget software, the need to have a PC of a specific format is a must. Since Quicken only works on desktops, it proves to be a bit of a hurdle to manage finances on the go.
Mint – Mint.com is preferred when it comes to accessibility since the only prerequisite that the app demands is for you to have an internet connection.With this software, managing budgets simpler and there is restrictions of PC formats or softwares whatsoever.
Quicken – The price points that Quicken offers keeps changing every year. With every upgrade that the app has to offer it charges anywhere around 50$ to 120$ per license. This becomes an add on cost for users which is not preferred over softwares that availed free in the market.
Mint – Mint.com is a completely free app and does not require any upgrades. This is considered to be the most important features as users do not need to keep a track of paying for the app and use it without shelling out extra money.
How is Mint.com Different from Other Budget Tools?
Mint.com is one personal finance and budgeting software that is completely free to sign up and can be used without any restrictions. It also offers mobile functionality that makes accessibility easy. The software offers robust alerts to minimize sign-up requirements along with offering free credit scores, automatized syncing of details and more, which is not found in most apps. Mint app also makes it possible to pay bills from a single interface know as Mint Bills. Thus saving a lot of effort and time invested by the user. All of these functionalities and more definitely make Mint a more preferred option over other budget tools existing in the market.
Mint.com having gathered a huge number of users, this app is proffered because of its functionality of keeping a tab on all kinds spendings. This app is considered to be a great budgeting tool because it handles your personal finances irrespective of you being a experienced budgeter or even someone who has just started of. Mint.com proves to be of benefit to users since it’s free and comes with a numerous number of features to perfectly handle personal finances.