I have a less-than-simple financial package. At the moment of this writing, I have two checking and savings accounts with two banks (in mid-transition). I have three credit cards for various rewards programs, a mortgage and an equity line. And a paypal account.
With all this in tow, it is extremely difficult to get a unified vision of what exactly I’m spending my money on, and how to build towards a specific target (say, paying off my equity line by 2013).
Enter mint.com – a powerful online financial tool that integrates with banks, credit cards, even investment accounts, and puts it all in one place. It is read-only, so you can’t truly manage your accounts from it, but that’s just fine by me. I like being able to see all my accounts in one place. I like having a master ledger that spans 5 systems. It is bad ass. I like seeing where my expenses go. I like setting a budget and getting a text message when it is coming up. I like getting an email saying “Your credit card bill is due in 5 days” since the credit card company doesn’t seem to want to send those emails.
One feature I’m sure will improve over time, but that I don’t get a lot of use out of now, is the “savings” section. Since this is their main (probably only) source of revenue, I imagine as the service gains popularity there will many more useful “ways to save”. Right now, I get told that if I switched my United Visa card to a no-rewards Discover I could save $600 on interest, except that I don’t ever carry a balance or pay interest. I want something to look at my mortgage, value of my house, and assorted investments, and say “yakno, you could save some cash if you consolidated your line of equity with a 5yr fixed, low-APR loan from these guys”. That’s something I could get behind.
In the mean time, it is still extremely useful. Seeing how I spend my money is very handy. Everything being in one place is awesome. And oh yeah, did I mention? It’s FREE.
Check it out. They probably have your bank in their system, so it is really easy.