Aug 21, 2009

Get your financials in order

I don't know how it is in your house, but in my house my wife controls the checkbook with an iron fist. There have been days I come home from work to see her hunched over the computer pen in hand working out our finances in scrawled writing that could be mistaken for some high level math equation. As anyone who deals with this regularly can tell you, the situation leads to stress that can make home life and your life more hectic than it should be.

I've found what I believe to be the solution in Now don't let the pretty design of the page dissuade you from trying out the serious organizational tools that make the page go. Once I logged on a screen pops up and starts asking you for your financial information and all the log in information required. So, if you have an offline private account you can't say make a payment plan for it and have that account automatically update, though it really is an easy process to edit that one loan. I also had a hard time finding a few of the people I bank through. My car loan for instance is nowhere to be found. Overall though the process is simple, if verbose.

Mint dot com logo Now I hear you saying "Get to the good stuff", so that will be the next stop on this review. The charts and graphs on Mint are absolutely fantastic. Even with the sometimes cryptic names that show up on your bank statement, you know like 45 Main Street, you can usually figure out most of the purchases that aren't automatically categorized and Mint will remember that for future occurrences. They don't have a category you're looking for? Simply add your own. This was for me the best part of the service.

Other great parts include setting a budget for each category and automatic email reminders when you are going over budget. It will also tell you due dates that you may miss, or ones that are coming up for those of you who seem to be on top of your finances. You can also track investments if you have those, such as a 401K or a brokerage account.

The way the site is paid for is via the "Ways to Save" tab, that is strictly advertisements that say they offer you a better deal than the one you are currently getting. They also give you a breakdown of the credit offers available and how the rewards system will net you more rewards than what you currently have, though the APR% seem rather high.

For the whole of the site I'd say it would rate as a "B-". There are some areas for improvement such as including my bank or allowing me to set up a payment system and allowing me to save my password locally instead of forcing me to remember it, or more realistically my wife to remember the password. The good stuff far outweighs the bad though and the price just can't be beat make me mark this transaction as an asset.

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