A Big Update to the Mint.com Review!

mint-com-reviewMint.com recently made some massive improvements to their free, online pesonal finance software.  In some areas they tweaked a thing a thing or two, while in others they completely overhauled it.

Being that Mint’s offering is now drastically better than it used to be, I thought it merited an updated review.  You can find the updated review (which, by the way, is longer than the old one) at the end of the original Mint.com review.

For those that haven’t yet used Mint, it’s FREE!  So Click Here to Start Using Mint.com.

The updated review is quite detailed, so for those who want the Reader’s Digest version, here’s a brief summary of the full Mint review.

An Overhauled Budget

mint-com-budgetThe biggest improvement with the newest version of Mint is the almost completely overhauled budgetting functionality.  Where before they had a simple graph that showed how much you’ve spent in a certain category, you can now budget for income, track irregular as well as regular expenses, and roll over your monthly budgeted amounts to the next month.

While many of the new budget features help to make Mint quite a bit better than the previous versions, the feature that really make’s Mint’s budget more effective is the ability to “rollover” your monthly budgets.  This basically means that if you overspend in one category (Restaurants, for example) during June, you have less money to spend on Restaurants in July.

So, where Mint used to more geared towards telling you where your money had gone, this new budget certainly helps give Mint a more forward-looking approach.  Is it as effective as true zero-based, envelope budgeting?  Not quite, but Mint’s budget is considerably more effective than it once was.

New and Improved Graphs

mint-com-graphsOne of Mint’s strongpoints has always been their great graphs that help you analyze your spending in various different ways with a couple clicks of the mouse.  If you liked their Trends area before, you’ll be happy to know that in the latest release of Mint they’ve made them even better.

The biggest improvements to the Trends area is that you can compare your spending data over a number of variables, including timeframes, geographic, or demographic groups.  You can also quickly filter through the displayed data using a quick search box.

The new Mint offers 6 main graphs with various ways to view each one (e.g. overtime, by category, etc.).  So all in all, there are 16 “different” graphs that allow you squeeze just about anything you need out of your financial data (and if you want to analyze it even further, you can export the data in CSV format).

Other Awesome New Features

mint-com-ira-rolloverMint also now offers a new “way to save” by recommending different IRA Rollovers for your 401k’s.  While this isn’t revolutionary I’m sure there are many that will appreciate the guidance they give.

Mint.com now has inline editing in the transactions area.  While this may seem like a small feature, don’t underestimate how much this truly improves the functionality of Mint.  Before the process to edit transactions was time consuming and tedious.  But now you can edit all your transactions without ever even leaving your keyboard.  Thanks you Mint!

Also, you are now able to add and edit your own custom categories.  This is a HUGE improvement.  After all, you are unique and your budget should be too.

Nicely Done Mint

While I still wouldn’t say that the budgeting features of Mint are better than the time-tested envelope budget method (or zero-based budgeting), they have made some impressive improvements.  For now, I’ll continue to use my current budgeting software (YNAB Pro) in conjunction with Mint.  I love them both.

All things considered, I’m impressed.  Nice work Mint!

Be sure to check out the complete Mint.com review.  And if you’d like to try Mint’s new features visit Mint.com!

Also, a big thanks goes out to Financial Highway for featuring this summary of the new Mint review and to The Canadian Finance Blog for featuring the updated version of the original Mint review on their sites.

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