I try as many money apps as I can, but Mint is still my favorite. For being completely free, it’s the site I suggest all my clients to start using.
1. It’s 100% Free
Mint is free! No trial period. No premium version. There are some ads here and there.
2. Automatically Tracks Money
I hate receipts. I keep them around for a few weeks just in case, but Mint automatically updates all my transactions. If any money moves in my accounts, Mint knows about it. It’s easy to track my spending and catch fraudulent transactions.
3. Mobile App
The mobile app for Mint is awesome for last-minute decisions. If you get invited for lunch or to go out with friends, you can check Mint to see how much money you have. You can also see if your paycheck has shown up in your account.
Mint is run by Intuit, the same company that makes TurboTax, Quicken, and QuickBooks. To keep up to date, Mint uses the login information to your bank accounts. If you trust TurboTax and QuickBooks with your financial information, you shouldn’t have a problem with Mint.
5. The Whole Picture
When we first got married, my wife and I had separate checking and savings accounts. It was a giant pain to keep track of our savings and spending. We simplified our lives by opening some joint accounts, but they weren’t enough.
With Mint, my wife and I can see every account in one place. Our checking, savings, retirement, mortgage, and credit card accounts are on the same screen. And adding your car or student loan accounts is straightforward.
6. Goal Setting
Progress bars are ubiquitous in video games and loading screens. But do you know how close you are to saving up for a new couch? Mint has a section to help you calculate any goal you want and add it to your budget.
Saving for retirement? Make a goal!
Paying off debt? Make a goal!
Saving up for next year’s holiday shopping? Make a goal!
7. Trend Page
I love the Trends section of Mint. It’s effortless to find your average spending for any category or any store. I use the Trends section to remind myself how much my car registration was the year before. Computers are far better at remembering details than I am, so I am happy to delegate.
8. Email Alerts
Mint can help you out if you’re a forgetful person. You can set up email alerts for low balances or upcoming bills. I create email alerts to warn me of any transactions over $200. If a lot of money leaves one of my accounts, I know about it; whether I authorized the transaction.
9. Customer Service
As with all technology, Mint doesn’t work 100% of the time. If there’s been a problem on Mint’s site, they have fixed it for me.
Some banks don’t want to grant access to Mint. There’s not much Mint can do about those situations, but these instances are rare.
10. Free Credit Score
If you want to track your credit score, Mint provides a free score each quarter. Other websites update your score for free on a daily or weekly basis, but they don’t have the budgeting software like Mint.