Budget Busters #3: Mint.com

Mint.com - Free Financial Management

The amount of time I spend online can only be classified as unhealthy. While the oncoming bout of scurvy is sure to put a cramp in my style, one of the upsides is coming across random sites and services that I think might be useful to fellow Hiffers. I’ve been using one such site for almost two years now and frankly, it rocks. Long story short, if you’re not using Mint.com, you’re missing out.

If you’re anything like me, you have tons of financial institution sites that you can log into. Banks, online savings accounts, credit cards, retirement services, student loans, investments. The only thing harder than logging into each of them every day is trying to figure out how to match my clothes in the morning. Navy blue and neon pink go together, right?

Enter Mint.com. It’s a site that allows you to access all of your financial information in one place. When I log in, it also logs into all of my accounts and updates my balances as well as recent activity. Worried about security? They use 128-bit SSL encryption, which in Nerd Language means the same stuff that banks use when you pay bills online or buy something from Amazon.

Seeing how much money you have in all your accounts only scratches the surface of what the site does. One feature is setting up budgets. Take me: I have a serious addiction to iTunes. Be it music, TV shows, iPhone apps – it doesn’t matter. Having them only clicks away is dangerous enough, but when everything is only $1 here and $2 there, it’s easy to lose track of how much I’m really spending each month. So what I do is tell Mint.com that I only want to spend $20 a month on iTunes and then it’ll not only start monitoring it for me, but send me an alert when I’m getting close to my limit.

I could delve into a million other little features they have (iPhone app, credit card & investment suggestions based on your spending habits, etc.) but by now I’d simply suggest checking out the site. Even if you’re still skittish, just have a look around. It’s a phenomenal service and most important, it’s free!




  • Cendel

    I have to agree it’s a great site! When I first started working and getting my checks I always planned and what I wanted to go run and get. After a While I was not saving as much as I could. So I went to mint and got on the ball in staying in budget. It’s a great way to start saving and feeling good that you are not just throwing your money away!

  • Kristin

    Wow what a deal, it shows my savings account has $106 million currently!! Off to tell my boss I quit :P

  • Chris

    Folks,

    Mint.com has been around since 2005 it marketing is basically security driven. You have to tell people its secure if it has access to your bank.

    I work as a Security expert in Computer world for Oil and Gas company.
    Here is my thoughts of Mint.com

    I am not too happy of how Mint.com password system because for those
    who aren’t computer geeks, it allows a person to create a very weak password.

    For example of a weak password: password1

    A strong password should be required if something has
    access to your online banking: 234%cHri$che@P

    Mint.com makes money via referrals from advertising and 3rd parties.

    The identified statements however mean:
    Intuit is not responsible for the validity, accuracy, truthfulness,
    consistency, or practices of 3rd parties they present to their users, including ones Intuit sponsors

    If you post something to the mint.com forums, Intuit can do whatever they want with it, including license it to someone else and/or make money with it

    If you incur some type of financial loss, identify theft, etc. as a direct result of Inuit’s site or practices, it’s not their fault, you agree to never hold them accountable, and Intuit will never owe you more than $500 as a result

    Chris

  • Chris

    Mint.com uses 128-bit SSL encryption and 24/7 physical security

    The first and second claims appear to be legitimate, assuming physical security
    can be verified. The current Mint.com interface does not provide a mechanism
    to directly manage account transfers.

    Our alerts increase your financial security.
    The fourth claim is false from an account security perspective. While it is
    true that their alerts can help address fraud and identity theft, it does
    not affect the protection of your Mint.com account or data.

    With regards to account deletions I interpret the Mint.com security policy
    to mean that when requested, your account and credentials are deleted, the
    notion of a connection between you and the data they have about you is severed,
    and data from their primary servers is removed.

    However:
    Intuit will keep your data on any other systems, development servers, backups, etc

    They can also use the data however they see fit, indefinitely

    I can go ON AND ON

    WHAT I am trying to share with you folks is don’t trust anyone to your account even if it makes your life simple and easy.

    Chris

  • Kim

    omg, that seems very risky. All your precious account access given to some web site?

    Some guy has 106 Million & is sitting here on a freebie site?

    And announcing that fact just seems to be an invitation to hackers. Or some pissed off employee.

    I’d say BEWARE on that one!

  • Rebecca

    not to mention that Mint.com does not support Citizens Bank. They can’t get past Citizens multiple security steps (ie, user name on the 1st page, then security question, then security picture and password). But I agree with Chris – I don’t like the fact that some random website can access my bank account whenever they want for “updates”

  • Sarah

    My citizen’s bank account was added fine. It’s my M & T that won’t work.

    Also my great lakes student loans won’t show up. But apparently half of the users are on a different server and can add great lakes! Oh well, this site is pretty awesome and spiffy and all other sorts of fantabulous words. I love it! Thanks Goob!

    I’m not worried about my accounts being hacked since they are all negative anyway! LOL!

  • Ada

    I have heard great things about the site, however, falling under the ‘geek’ category, I don’t trust the security with my mortgage, student loans, credit cards etc. I hope that they will take some time to make it more secure, then I’ll think about it. Right now, I’m ok with logging into 5 different sites to check my balances…it sucks, but I know if something happens they’ll recover my funds.

  • http://www.acsfunding.com Sam

    Great site, but there are still some bugs they need to work out such as account not being able to be added. Plus, I feel something like this will not catch on with the majority of people out there anytime soon due to security concerns.

  • http://thelivingbalancesheet.com Budgeting Money

    Some guy has 106 Million & is sitting here on a freebie site?