When it comes to managing your financials, there's a variety of free online tools that will get the job done. There's Buxfer, ClearCheckbook.com, and moneyStrands, just to name a few. But for my money management, I prefer to use Mint.
Created by entrepreneur Aaron Patzer, Mint originally provided account aggregation through a deal with Yodlee. However, on September 13, 2009, Intuit acquired Mint for $170 million.
So, what's so great about Mint?
- I like that Mint looks at my balances and transactions to come up with money-saving suggestions. That's a cool feature that I find useful.
- The budgeting tool lets you play around with difference scenarios to find out exactly what works best for you.
- Financial summaries and alerts come right to my phone via text.
- It took first place for 'Best Mobile Personal Finance Apps in 2011 About.com Readers' Choice Awards' with 54% of the vote. The Mint app for iTunes and Android works with Mint.com, which took the lead in the Best Online Personal Finance Software category.
If you've been reading my Inc column for very long, you know how much I love my Android and anything that integrates seamlessly with my phone gets a big thumbs up from me. I travel quite a bit for business and like that I can check up on my financials using my phone while sitting in the airport. Today, 20% of Mint's users are mobile active only.
Since Mint is mobile, it's easy to check my accounts on a daily basis. This was very useful recently (and saved me time and money) when my ATM credit card was copied. During my last business trip to New York, I noticed that my account was getting smaller and smaller at a fast rate. I looked at my account activity and saw that my card had been charged at a gas station three times in the past three days. That obviously wasn't me seeing as I was in New York. So I called my bank and they caught the criminal who copied my card. I got my money back quickly and probably saved the bank a lot of money.
On the downside, Mint doesn't have an account reconciliation feature or running account balances, which will make it unusable for some. Additionally, Mint can't assign multiple savings goals to one account, so that might be problematic for some.
What budgeting software do you like best?