First Look at Mint20 Sep 2007
I just took a first look at Mint, a new financial management tool that just won a place in the TechCrunch40. I am impressed. I’ll follow up with a more in depth review once I’ve worked up the nerve to share my online banking information with them…that’s a big leap for me. Until then, here are a few salient points:
- Fast. Signup is quick and easy and the tool itself it lightning quick.
- Free. They fund themselves by presenting you with offers from banks and credit card companies who can beat our your current interest rate. You don't have to accept any of these offers to take advantage of the free account.
- Easy to use. Mint downloads all of your transactions through your banks online services. (The list of banks is impressive. All three banks I use for checking, savings or credit are in their database.) Once transactions are downloaded, their algorithm goes to town figuring out how you spent your money and giving you shiny reports and pie charts. Mmm, pie charts.
- Claims to be secure. Sorry, this is something I am hesitant on. They appear legit in every way. The banks trust them. They are TRUSTe certified and they use a third party service called Yodlee to verify your account credentials so they don't have to store them on their servers.
So the only thing that really scares me about this service is how much they will know about you in such a short period of time. They will know where you live and exactly where you spend your money. This is even scarier than RFID in some ways… but it is also the one thing I can’t stand sinking time into on a weekly basis.
I have been using either Quicken or Moneydance for about 12 years now. I rely on that software to tell me how well or how poorly I’m doing financially at any given moment. However, it is a lot of work and a constant headache. Especially since I have to manually download a QIF from one of my financial institutions and “import” it to get transactions. Such a PITA.
If I get up the nerve to go deeper into this, I will post screenshots. (No, I will not include my transaction info.)