In the last month or so, I put in some effort on money management.
As part of discovering a way to do expense management and budgeting, I tried multiple software and online web sites for US residents including Microsoft Money, Quicken Online, Yodlee moneycenter & mint.com. I did not try geezeo.com, wesabi.com or Quicken.
mint.com is shaping up to be quite feature complete website and it has the killer\distinguishing feature which makes expense tracking practical and possible. Automatic expense categorization.
Enter an account, say your credit card. It will download the data and categorize the expenses and give you a chart like below with the details.
In comparison, I had to manually categorize all the expenses in Microsoft Money and just gave up when I realized how much work that was. Yodlee moneycenter has the categorization features and other advanced ones such as investment, however mint.com is better designed, for example yodlee logs me out in 2-3 minutes and hence mint.com is more usable.
Features I found useful at mint.com
- Automatic expense categorization (Knows Safeway is groceries). One can override or fix expense categorization
- Custom categories under any parent, this very useful feature was added recently.
- Simple way of setting and tracking budgets
- Can download and work with all our accounts such as bank, credit card and credit union.
- Is secure and you can cancel it with a single button and everything detail stored is gone.
- Very nice pie chart for expenses within fixed periods
- Search functionality for transactions including search by category or vendor
- Can be useful within an hour or less.
- Investment support including tracking performance of each time or portfolio, compare against indices
- Net worth summary page
There are many more that might appeal to others.
Features missing at mint.com
- Expense chart needs work, the pie chart does not remember last search range and resets back to all months. Need more charts including showing increase in categories.
- Graphs for networth growth, this itself will get many of the financial bloggers such as www.1stmillionat33.com using mint.
- No retirement planning
If you live in the US, I would suggest trying it out, it is a major step in saving money.
Start by watching the Mint Demo. Then put a credit card and watch the trends for a week or four.