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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mint - Handling your personal finances

Mint is a website that claims to be able to handle your personal finances, however you have to be able to trust your person finance information with an external site (even if it does have a write up from Forbes). Read more from this article:

Aaron Patzer will track your finances and suggest ways to save money--all at no charge. But first you have to get comfortable letting strangers ogle your accounts. Mint is, in fact, a gold mine for those looking to take the tedium out of budgeting. Users need only key in log-ins for financial institutions--of which the average American uses 11. From there, Mint deciphers the vendors used from the jumbled code on credit card statements. Then it assembles colorful pie charts so users can see cash balances and debts and spot if they're over budget on their pub tab. It's a dramatic streamlining compared with Quicken, the budgeting software giant, which offers the peace of mind of having data reside on the user's computer but can require lots of cross-checking against paper statements and receipts.
Mint e-mails users when bank balances get low, bills are due and suspicious card charges appear. It analyzes spending habits and lists financial-service options, as Orbitz does with flights. Patzer boasts that Mint's recommendations save the average user $1,000 the first year. That may sound highball until you consider that banks pulled in $39 billion from often poorly disclosed "account maintenance" and other fees in 2007.

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