Money talk & my first impressions of Mint.com

Way back at the start of the year I said that 2011 was going to be the year that I got my act together with money. It’s not that I was bad with money before, more that I just didn’t actually have any kind of longer term plan.  Being that 2010 was the year I bought my first house, it seemed like the logical step that as I work my way through the mire of mortgage payments I should be looking above and beyond that, to my short and long term financial goals and how my mortgage played into them.
Then I realized my only financial goal was ‘to not be poor’.

So I got about trying to work out some more specific goals, and while I was doing that I more importantly started looking quite sternly at my cash flow. One of the ways I thought I would do this was to get an app on my iPhone that would allow me to record my transactions, so I downloaded a few and tried them out but none were as user friendly as I hoped, then I tried the mint.com app, and I was instantly more impressed.

This led me quite quickly to Mint.com and since then I have become a bit of a Mint.com geek. Rather than having to physically type in transactions of what, where, how much I spend and then turn these records into different categories that will really help in working out where your money is going. You can even pick from a selection of graphs.  This is of course as long as you use your credit card, if not you do still have to add it the old fashioned way BUT with your iPhone app it will work out where, you are (as in what store you’re in) and you just add the amount.

 

It’s funny because I now rarely use the iPhone, 95% of my transactions are on credit card (I know the likes of Gail Val-Oxlade say that you should use cash, but I like the cash back I earn and always pay the balance in full) yet it was via the app store that I became a Mint.com user.

The first thing I noticed was that I was spending far too much on groceries, so I’ve now got that under control, the second thing I noticed was that I was spending way too much at the bar. I’m still working on that one…
There is a hesitation with any web based service that has anything to do with your own money, I’m sure the majority of people would think twice before allowing a third party access to your personal financial information, and I think that that skeptisim is a good thing, it was will hopefully ensure you’re never ripped off online, but in this case I would certainly recommend Mint.com for its user-friendly way of keeping an eye on your finances.

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