I have written a few articles in the past about Mint.com and how I think it is the best personal finance web application on the internet. In my opinion, it is the easiest to use, the most intuitive, and its budget and net worth calculators are the best. I also wrote a review about Mint.com that you can read when you get the chance. Mint.com now offers the ability to hook up virtually all of your bank and debt accounts to track your net worth in real time. I now have the following accounts linked up to my mint.com account:
- Checking Accounts
- ING Savings Accounts
- Sharebuilder brokerage and rollover IRA accounts
- Student Loan Accounts
- Mortgage account with Countrywide/Bank of America
- Bank of America Credit Card (which we don’t use)
Net Worth Updates
If most or all of your bank and credit accounts are accessible online, then you can probably link them up to your Mint account. This is a great way to track your net worth in real time. It’s also a great way to track your progress of paying off your outstanding debts. Mint gives you a nice snapshot of Assets and Liabilities all on the left-hand side of the dashboard. The only problem I have run into is getting some of the sites to link up properly. For instance, ING uses quite a few security measures, so sometimes the security questions keep Mint from updating the account. Mint asks you what your security questions are, but sometimes the sequence of what ING asks for throws off Mint.
Tracking Variable Expenses
Don’t pay for a service like Mvelopes.com when you can use Mint.com to do the same thing. Mint allows you to set up budget categories you want to track. I suggest only tracking variable expenses such as groceries, entertainment, gas, clothing, and gifts.
Track Spending Trends
Mint.com compiles spending trends based on your spending categories by automatically compiling your debit transactions. If you’re a chart nerd, Mint.com gives you a pie chart and a bar graph. This is good information, because it can help you see what you are spending more money on each month and what you need to start tracking more often.
I want to hear your thoughts about Mint.com and how you use it. Do you like their application? Did you start out using it a lot and then forget about it?