- Mint is one of the most popular personal finance apps.
- I’ve been using Mint for three years, and it’s helped me track my daily transactions and visualise my spending.
- Here’s what it’s like to use Mint.
- Visit MarketsInsider.com for more stories.
I like to track where my money goes so I can make sure that my spending matches my priorities and my budget.
I’ve done this for years – first in a little notebook and later in spreadsheets. When that got to be too much trouble, I downloaded Mint.
Mint is one of the most popular personal finance apps on the market. Made by the financial-software company Intuit – the same company behind TurboTax – Mint claimed to have 20 million users worldwide in 2016.
I’ve been using Mint for three years, and found it a useful tool to track my daily transactions and keep my budget in line. It also visualizes my spending activity in useful reports I can access any time. The app is free, although it does show ads for financial service and credit cards.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to how Mint works:
Mint is the popular personal finance app from Intuit, the makers of TurboTax.
After you create your Mint login, you’ll be prompted to add financial institutions where you have accounts. Simply type in the name of the bank or credit card and a list will pop up. Select your bank from the list.
Once you’re set up, you can log into Mint on your computer or smartphone to view or enter information. I primarily use Mint on my phone to enter and update transactions I make on the fly.
Mint is pretty good at categorising transactions. If a business has ‘taqueria’ in its name, for example, Mint knows to place it in the Restaurant category.
When Mint can’t assign a category, such as for a check, it marks the transaction ‘Uncategorized.’ You can filter your transactions on your phone or computer to pull up the uncategorized entries and assign them to specific categories.
You can also split a transaction. I use this differentiate cash back from groceries or clothes from housewares at a department store.
One of my favourite features of Mint is that it learns my categories. For example, I got a bike tune-up at a shop called Allrounder. Mint didn’t know what to with it, so it put the expense in the ‘Hair’ category. I changed it to one of my custom categories, Bike Stuff. Next time I have a transaction at that business, Mint will remember that it’s bike-related and put it in the right category.
I look at Mint more often than I look at my bank account, and it helps me catch and deal with problems quickly. In addition, Mint will send me an alert if I spend an unusual amount in one of my categories. After Mint mistakenly classified my bike expense under Hair, I got an email about unusual spending in that category. The alert got me to check my Mint feed, find the problem, and fix it.
The app visualizes my spending, so I can see my budget at a glance.
Mint provides an easy way to visualise my cash flow. The app also emails me spending summaries, too.
Meanwhile, the Mint website offers a wealth of graphics to show me how I’m doing on my budget or trends in my spending. I like to download my Mint transactions to a spreadsheet where I can create my own reports.
You can set goals for your budgeting, like ‘pay off credit card debt,’ ‘buy a home,’ or ‘save for college.’
You can also track your investment accounts and even view your credit score in the app.
I’ve been using Mint for three years, and on balance, it’s saved me time and helped me stay on top of my finances.
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