Personal Finance Software: Is Mint For You

budgeting softwareIf you have ever been hunting for budget software, you are aware of the vast amount of options for this topic. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Like human beings, they are not infallible. However, some are better used for accounting and others are perfect for budgeting. With that being said, one of these systems is called Mint.

About The Application is by far one of the flashiest, sleekest, most-web-2.0-ish personal finance applications to hit the market in quite some time. It was founded by Aaron Patzer in November of 2006. It was launched into the stratosphere of popularity after winning the TechCrunch50 conference. Mint is a free application and for a free one, this application boasts some very fine functionality.

There are a few things to know about Mint:

  • It is all about synchronizing with your bank and other financial institutions.
  • Mint tries its very best to do absolutely everything for you.
  • Mint’s revenue model is solely from two sources, the advertisers on their site and interested third parties that represent marketers from all types of industries.

The set-up with Mint is easy to use, does auto-categorization fairly well, and presents data very nicely. It also has a recommendation engine that can be very useful.

While it is a good program, there are some drawbacks. The actual “money management” with Mint is minimal. If you’re looking to really dig in and plan how to spend your money, Mint is not for you. Mint focuses you on your past spending analysis, not forward-thinking planning. Also, the support is lacking. They try to have forums but the members are extremely inactive.

Updates To The System

There are a number of good improvements that have been made to Mint, a couple of which drastically improves the overall appeal of the system.

  • One of the greatest improvements is in editing transactions. Mint has made editing completely keyboard friendly instead of having to use your mouse to edit.
  • Another essential improvement was adding a customizable category addition. Now you can add your own spending categories.
  •  Mint has added a new recommendation tool that deals with Rolling over your 401(k) into an IRA. This can be very beneficial for anyone.
  • Mint has added better filters which have improved the way in which you view your data.
  • Mint has improved their graphs and added two new ones showing your net worth and net income. They also added some good filters that can show the data according to category or merchant.
  • Mint has also made some great improvements to their budget planning tool.

With these added improvements, Mint is definitely worth a try.

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