Mint.com: The only way to track expenses

I mentioned the other day that Mint.com has been a great resource to me.  I’m the kind of guy that used to track all of my expenditures on a monthly basis.  I would open up my Excel spreadsheet once a month and put all of our expenses in the computer manually.  I felt a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing where all of my money was going.  I guess that it is the Finance degree that has caused me to be so crazy.  Some of my friends laughed at me, but I loved having the information.

Since then I’ve learned about Mint.com.  Mint.com is a free service that helps you to manage all of your financial accounts in one place.  Now that I’ve got over 20 accounts at various places between loans, credit cards, savings, checking, retirement, etc.  This service gives you a snapshot of all of those accounts in one place.  It even reflects your current net worth, which makes it exciting to see that you are actually growing the net worth.

I’ve been a subscriber to the service for over a year and have been very satisfied with their services.  I love being able to track my budgets electronically.  They even send me email notifications when my wife has been shopping too much.  She doesn’t know that I get them, so it results in a great conversation when it happens 😉 I also love how it has consolidated all of my retirement accounts into one place.  I have a Roth IRA, a Traditional IRA, and a normal stock trading account that are all simplified in one place.

When you start rolling 10 different credit cards between you and your wife you will really appreciate this service. It can warn you about due dates on your cards and help you to make sure that you keep track of your many accounts that you have open.

On the left I’ve included a screenshot from an Iphone how this service gives you the information about all of your accounts in one handy location.  The “All Accounts” above is kinda like a net worth.  It looks like this guy has some money in an IRA, checking, savings, and a credit card, all of which are with different companies.

What about Security of my personal information?

I have a friend who works at USAA and has a degree in Computer Science.  This is the kid who would call me and tell me that Facebook had changed their privacy settings, and I needed to adjust them or someone might be able to gain information from my Facebook to steal my identity or something like that.  I always appreciated his viewpoint and his knowledge and let me know how I needed to be more careful.  As a result of his advice, I never add people on Facebook that want to be my friend if I don’t know them.

He has taught me to be careful with the information that I make available to everyone out there.  He explained to me that Mint.com uses the highest level of security possible.  Here is some information from their website regarding security.

Why does Mint need my bank login information (username and password)?

  • We need your online banking user name and passwords so that we can help you organize and manage your accounts. We use this information to establish a secure connection with your bank, credit union or credit card company. This enables Mint to download and categorize your transaction information securely and automatically.

Do you store my bank login information on your servers?

  • Your bank login credentials are stored securely in a separate database using multi-layered hardware and software encryption. We only store the information needed to save you the trouble of updating, syncing or uploading financial information manually.

Am I at greater risk of someone stealing my identity by using your service?

  • No, as Mint does not require any personally identifiable information for you to create an account. Mint only asks for the following:
  • * Email Address
    * Zip Code
    * Password
  • At no time do we ask you for information that would be required for a hacker to steal your identity, such as your full name, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, billing address.

I totally recommend their program and their products.  Check it out and tell is if you use the service.  We would love to hear how it has treated you.

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4 Responses to Mint.com: The only way to track expenses

  1. bradleyjai says:

    Thanks Sheldon, You’ve inspired me to update my information in Mint.com I’ve been a little cavalier in trying to manage everything in my small brain… Mint.com is a phenomenal service for those of us who’ve accumulated debts and credits in many different places.

    • Sheldon says:

      Literally, it makes it really easy to remember when things are due and keeps track of all of the cards. We have eight cards right now between the two of us. That could be tough to manage unless you had something to help you. This tool has helped us to manage that. We are trying to make purchases on all of them on a constant basis so we never get blacklisted as a promotional hopper.

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