This week I want to talk about one of the hands-down best sites on the internet. Mint.com, in case you haven’t heard about Mint yet, it’s like Quicken or Microsoft Money just online. You create an account on the website, login, add your account information. From there mint connects to each of your accounts, pulls down your transaction history, automatically categorizes your spending into categories, and then will send you alerts for budgets or other settings via text or email. Oh, and best of all since it knows where you’re spending your money, it tells you how you can save.
So since mint sounds great and wonderful, and it indeed is, I’m going to jump straight in and start addressing issues people may already have about this kind of site. The first is security, why would I give all of my account information away to a single place so someone could walk in and take every penny I have? Well first account information is hashed, it’s not just sitting in some text file on some desktop, its quite secure. Next, well mint gives you warnings right? So if someone goes and buys a car with you’re credit card you’ll get a text message about it. Now I may be missing something, but my bank has never offered me that kind of service. Oh and best of all, just because you put your account information, you still have the normal security backing of your bank and liability.
Worried about a company having so much information on you? What if I told you in a matter of minutes if I know you’re name I could likely have your past 3 residences, phone numbers, and other information. Or for that matter if you’re concerned with a company having that information, do you pay cash for everything. Because if you don’t the credit card companies have just as much information, and they and other companies often sell this information. Mint.com promises not to do such. So if your argument is that you don’t want people to know that much information about you, its a very valid one, but hypocritical if you don’t always use cash which, which in ways can still be traceable.
Finally I just want to highlight my favorite thing about mint.com. They get web 3.0, sure they have a rich interface, decent categorization, and good alerts. But best of all, they know where I spend my money, they know generic stuff about me, but because of that they can recommend to me ways I can actually save money. Now it may be just me, but I’m pretty sure everyone out there would like to save money. So its great to show ways that I truly can save money, not typical propaganda that is a waste of time for me.