Mint: A One-Stop Shop for Your Financial Health
For many people, managing finances can be extremely difficult. Most of us have banking apps, apps that track our credit scores, or even ones that help us pay our bills. Remembering to check all of them can be a challenge. What if there was one app that had all of this in one?
Though there are other similar apps available, in this article we will focus on Mint because of its popularity and backing by Intuit (maker of Quicken, QuickBooks, and TurboTax).
Mint is a free personal finance program that has easy-to-use budgeting and tracking features. It is available on IOS and Android, and can be used on a browser. The app, with more than 15 million users, makes it easy to increase your financial health by aggregating all your accounts in one place, providing easily digestible graphs that track your spending, monitor your credit scores, and give you the ability to set financial goals.
Being able to track how much money you have and where it is going is essential for understanding your financial needs. Mint offers several features:
It can be difficult to get a grasp of your total assets if you have more than one account. Mint makes it easy by giving you the ability to aggregate all of your checking, saving, and credit card accounts in one place. By doing this, you are able to see your total balance across all of your accounts.
Knowing your credit score and understanding the factors that affect it can be an important tool for maintaining and improving your credit. Mint gives you the ability to do this by tracking your on-time payments, credit usage, average age of credit, total credit card accounts, credit inquiries, and derogatory marks.
Bill Payment Tracking
Tracking all of your bills can be a challenge, and missing bill payments can cause some serious problems. Having one place to view all your bills, the amount of each bill, and their due dates bring you one step closer to making sure you are staying on track with your financial health.
Knowing where your money is going is important to understanding where you stand financially. You want to make sure you are not overspending in certain areas that could take away from the things you want or need your money to go. The budgeting feature makes it a little easier to track your spending by letting you set a determined amount that you’re comfortable with spending each month. This amount is broken up into smaller buckets that include categories like entertainment, food and dining, shopping, and travel.
Being aware of when an unfamiliar transaction occurs, when you are over budget, or when there is an upcoming bill that needs your attention can be difficult if you constantly have to use different avenues to check each. After entering your information for accounts such as your bank, utilities, and subscriptions, Mint will send you alerts to make sure you are on track with your budget and your bills.
With the Mint app, the investment feature lets you compare your brokerage and retirement accounts in your portfolio to market benchmarks and see your asset allocation. The investment feature even helps you track hidden fees, which can affect the long-term growth of your investments.
Knowing the ways you can improve your financial health can be an important tool to make sure you are on top of your finances and maximizing your financial potential. Mint gives you the ability to track offers that can replace your current credit cards, loans, investments and savings accounts based on your preferences. It compiles a list of offers that you can compare against your current financial situation and lets you apply for alternatives straight from the app. (This is also how Mint makes its money.)
We find Mint to be an extremely easy-to-use app with a simplistic user interface that gives a full picture of your spending and budgeting. Whether you are an ultra-high-net-worth family trying to get your arms around your spending habits and needs or a college student who is pinching every penny, Mint and other apps like it give you the visibility you need.