Mint is a personal budgeting application. It consolidates spending across all of a user's accounts and provides helpful analysis and recommendations for spending and saving money more wisely. It categorizes the user's expenses and highlight spending patterns. Users also have the option to manually enter cash or check transactions. Mint also promotes smart financial planning and common sense with money. It offers tools so users can make a goal like saving $1000. Users also have the option to manually enter cash or check transactions. The Mint.com application only supports users and transactions based in the US and Canada. There are other fantastic features to Mint.com including a net worth calculator, goal setting and visual budgeting tools (i.e. pie charts, graphs, etc.). Mint also supports all of the major mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows, so users can update their budget while on the go.
Mint was founded by an entrepreneur named Aaron Patzer in 2006. The company is located in Mountain View, CA and as of 2011, is said to employ 35 individuals. On November 2, 2009, Intuit, the makers of Quicken and TurboTax, acquired Mint.com. Mint has received lots of good press due to its usefulness, gaining mentions from The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and GigaOM. As of May 2011, Mint had over 5 million users. Interestingly, Mint is an ad-free service. They make their money by providing sponsored "recommendations" to its users. For example, Mint may mention that a user could be paying too much for auto insurance, and direct them to get a free quote at such-and-such site.
The feature that most distinguishes Mint from other online personal finance solutions is its ease of use. All one needs to do is enter their bank account and credit card login credentials, and Mint synchronizes their transactions every night. Mint's agreements with over 17,000 US Financial Institutions ensures that users can easily aggregate their information without having to input it themselves. Additionally, Mint is a free service, whereas other budgeting applications have traditionally been paid-for services.
Mint is a very clean and easy to use site. Being ad-free is also a great benefit. Mint displays a user's personal finance information and its advice in a very intuitive manner. Once a person sets up their Mint account, the site collates their bank account data and credit card data, processes it, and displays the financial state in an intuitive and easy-to-understand manner along with recommendations for how they may be able to save money.
Being a proactive website, Mint alerts its users when they go overbudget, have to pay a certain bill, have little money left in their accounts, and so on. All of this with the guarantee of anonymity. Mint claims that it provides its users bank-level security and hence is safe and secure.
Unlike the registration process of the other personal finance management solutions, the registration process of Mint is extremely simple and easy to follow. As the first step, all that the user needs to enter is their email address, a password for their new Mint account, and their zip code. Then, to let Mint take care of one's daily accounts and provide sound, customized financial advice, one needs to enter their bank account and credit card details. Once complete, user's are able to effectively evaluate their financial situation, thanks to Mint.
Mint is free for all its users. There are ads located strategically throughout the site, so the site is supported in part by advertising revenue.
For those who want to keep track of all of their spending, accounts and money and analyze this data in a single place, Mint is an excellent tool. For those who don't care to analyze their budget or feel uncomfortable providing a service provider with so much personal information, Mint may not be a useful application. In terms of the budgeting apps niche, Mint truly is a best in class product.