I’ll be honest and upfront. I am not good at saving money. It’s a pain in the rear end, annoying, unpleasant and rather quite difficult, not to mention I got to sacrifice things such as beer, vino and ordering take out. Never the less, I am working diligently on improving my self, hence for this blog for example.
Reality of it all, in order to become a suscceful saver, not only do you need to become a penny pincher, smart shopper, know where your money is coming from where it’s going to, figure out what can be totally eliminated and which things can be trimmed from your spending and last but not least, setting goals. This my friends is called budgeting!
Recently (as in last night) I came across a website called mint.com. Long and short of it, mint.com is like your online friend for budgeting. It does things like tracking your online bank accounts, investment accounts and even credit products (ie credit cards, lines of credit and much more).
Furthermore, mint.com analyzes your spending habits and makes suggestions on ways to cut your spending and identifies areas where you simply may be overspending.
Mint.com is totally FREE. There is no charge to you (the user), all of their money is made via referrals. So for example you have a TD savings account and your monthly service fees are too much, so you decide to switch to RBC for example and use one of their savings accounts. You win, because you cut your service fees and are saving money, mint.com wins, because they referred you and RBC will give them some sort of a kick back.
They track almost everything, from your daily coffee, gas, lunch expenses, groceries and more to things such as monthly service charges on your bank accounts and credit cards. They will automatically send you an email alert. Letting you know if you are going over your budget.
Now a little about their service. Mint.com parent company is Intuit (creaters of Quickbooks, Quicken & Turbo Tax). In order for you to sign up and fully use their services, you have to provide all your banking information, including account number and password to your online bank account. All the information is held securely on their own personal servers. If you are insecure about sharing your personal information, read their security policy . The website uses top notch security, it uses the same 128 bit SSL encryption like at Revenue Canada, it has received VeriSign security seal and is tested hourly for any hacking activity by Hackersafer and the best part, the users are registered anonomoysly. If this is not enough evidence for you to share your banking info (and you shouldbe reluctant to sharing your banking info) the big 4/5 banks allow mint.com to access their customer’s online banking info, except CIBC being the lone hold out (losers!).
I am yet to try the website my self, but after reading numerous reviews on the website, I think I may try it out, as long as I can overcome the security aspect of it, to allow someone else to view my personal banking information. The website looks very easy to navigate and user friendly, yet the best part it’s FREE! Who knows, once I try it out I think it should help me cut down my spending habits on unnecessary lunches, coffee purchases, but I think beer and vino will be hard one to give up.
Is anyone using mint.com? Please share some feedback!