engineering a better experience
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 (Updated )

Review: Mint.com

by The Metaist

Summary

Mint.com is a website for managing your bank accounts, loans, and retirement funds. For the deeply paranoid, it's a conspiracy to gather all of your banking information that is already available online in another place online.

Mint leaves

It starts when you notice their cool green color and refreshing taste.
(Photo: stankuns at Flickr)

 

Review

Mint.com is relatively new (since 2006), yet amazingly popular.

As I see it the main benefits of Mint.com are:

  • Transactions - All your transactions across all your accounts (almost; some banks aren't supported). This includes things like your checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, loans, and retirement accounts. It's nice to be able to see them all together and categorize them appropriately.

  • Graphs - Being able to easily make visual representations of your spending or the trends of your retirement account is nice.

  • Notifications - Mint can notify you about certain important financial moments. For example, they can notify you

    • if your spending seems anomalous (this takes a few months to adjust),
    • when a large purchase clears, or
    • when you are near your credit limit.

Some downsides:

  • Small Banks - Even though many institutions are supported, some smaller (e.g., local banks) are not, and there's no way to manually import your data. (Although, they say it's coming "mid-march.")

  • Privacy - Mint has a strong privacy policy and many implicitly trust its security model. Nonetheless, it's a little strange to trust one entity with all of your transaction history (Cough Google).

On balance, Mint helps people who are interested in their spending habits get a larger picture of their income & expenses.

See Also

Updates

2010-03-30

2011-09-20

  • See Why Wesabe Lost to Mint by Marc Hedlund for an introspective article on how Mint surpassed Wesabe, a former competitor.

2012-12-18

  • Forgot to mention that mint supports lots of banks now; even small ones.