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Mint.Com, My Favorite Personal Finance Tool

1169 words - 5 pages

Being successful at budgeting our personal finances is not strength within our household, and I often find myself nervous thinking about our cash flow. I don’t recall having conversations with my parents concerning finances; I only remember learning to balance a checkbook while in high school. Considering that most Americans will have the need to create a budget and manage their finances at one point of their adult life, I feel that a series of personal finance classes should be a part of a high school education. In these tough economic times, I’ve learned that having a handle on our personal finances is not a luxury – it’s a requirement. Therefore, making money while effectively managing and tracking how you spend it is closely related to stress levels and living a comfortable life.
Using Mint.com is a great tool I use in keeping control of my personal finances. I learned of Mint.com last year from a colleague at work who spoke highly about the online tool. I was telling him how difficult it was to manage the spending habits of my family, and how impossible it was to capture our receipts so I could watch our cash flow. He was able to quickly log into his account and show me a series of reports about his spending trends, and the recommendations that Mint.com provided based on his habits. Since we use to managing our bills and bank accounts online, I thought we could easily adapt to using Mint.com and experiment with it. I was excited to have the reports based on spending trends, and looked forward to the suggestions it would provide us.
Once we invested the time to link our accounts to Mint.com we were able to see multiple benefits to the site. Some of the things I really like are that it is free and secure, it suggests competitive credit cards and savings accounts for us based on our spending habits, and it helps you keep track of our hard earned money. The site allows you to create a budget or will create one for you, and once it is established, it will tell you when you’re overspending by emailing you. I don’t like budgeting and find it hard, frustrating and a huge investment of time. I was so excited to learn that Mint.com was able to create a budget based on my historical spending trends. I now have the notifications sent to me and my wife’s phones at the simultaneously, so at any point in time we will both know if we exceeded a budget category. Also, it provides notifications that will notify us if our funds are getting low, if a bill is due or if your interest rates have changed on a credit card. These notifications can be turned on or off so we are getting the information we want without driving ourselves crazy. I have found the site helpful multiple times when my accounts were low, it helped me avoid overdraft charges and at one point it helped me uncover hidden fees with a credit card we had. I found that the site effectively reduces the amount of money we spend, things we were paying for without even knowing it. I find...

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