Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Free online money management

Mint: Refreshing Money Management, is a free, on-line source to help track spending and bills to manage your money. Mint connects to your banks, credit unions, and credit card providers and keeps your transactions and account balances in one place. It will even auto-balance your checkbook and (especially wonderful) auto organize your transactions, showing you how much you spend on gas, groceries, parking, rent, restaurants, DVD rentals or whatever. An advanced alerting system highlights any unusual activity, low balances, unwanted fees and charges, and upcoming bills to give you an intimate and amazingly accurate view of your financial life.

Terrified of putting your finicial info "out there"? Mint uses high level security standards (including encryption, auditing, logging, backups, and safe-guarding data) while never knowing your personal identity. It also uses Yodlee to connect to your financial institutions, which is the same back-end aggregation system used by Bank of America, Fidelity, and Microsoft Money. Yodlee's security practices are audited by the NSA, Visa, Mastercard, and numerous other major banks.

Finally, in an interesting twist, Mint doesn't just spit out reports on your finances, it searches through thousands of offers from hundreds of providers to find better deals on everything from bank accounts to credit cards, cable, phone and Internet plans, tayloring suggestions based on your individual spending patterns. The suggestions aren't annoying pop-ups either. You visit a seperate tab if you're interested in shopping around (an honestly who isn't?).

Try it out. I am.

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