Money App Review: Intuit Mint!
One of the questions I get a lot is whether someone should use a money app to manage their budget and track their money. My answer is almost always a resounding YES!
But, then the question becomes: which one and how?? Because, depending on your life and lifestyle, different people use money apps in different ways. And that’s OK!
In this blog, I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite money apps: Intuit’s Mint money app. I’m also going to give you some tips on how to use the app, as well as some Pros and Cons to consider when deciding to use Mint or any other app to track and manage your finances and financial wealth.
But, let’s start with the basics…
What is the Mint App?
Mint is an online and mobile application designed to help you track and manage your money. Not only can you track your income and expenses, you can also set up budgets, track savings goals, keep an eye on your investments, and even monitor your credit score.
Mint allows you to see your entire financial life all in one place. At any time, on any given day, you can take a deep dive into your transactions or fly up to a hundred thousand feet and review your investment portfolio
If you own a home or investment property you can sync the current market value of your property via Zillow, allowing you to truly see all areas of your financial life and monitor your net worth.
How Does Mint Work?
Mint electronically connects to your banks, investment accounts, credit cards and other financial institutions and “auto-magically” imports all of your transactions.
No more data entry - YAY!!
The application then sorts those transactions into income and expense categories based on machine learning. For example, Mint knows that your utility company needs to go to utility expense and your mortgage needs to go to mortgage expense. However, you can edit those categories and even add your own customized categories, if you wish.
Mint will then create budget goals based on the trends in your income and spending. If you like, you can use these budget goals. But, you can also edit them them, or quite frankly, delete all of them. Mint is totally flexible.
If you are someone who monitors their money daily, Mint will give you as much granular data as it can find. However, if you are someone who wants to pop in quarterly and review trends in your spending, Mint will allow for that also. Mint is not an application that REQUIRES you login everyday to use it.
Mint App Pros and Cons
As with any money app, Mint has its Pros and Cons.
Mint Money App Pros
- It’s FREE! (well, sort of. See How Does Mint Make Money below)
- Mint doesn’t require a lot of housekeeping. In general, the application will always be able to pull in at least the last ninety days of transactions. Which is perfect if you only want to monitor trends in your spending.
- However, if you are someone who likes monitoring your transactions daily, tweaking your expense categories, and massaging your budget goals, you will love the flexibility and ease of use to do that in Mint
- NO data entry! Unless your bank at a very small local bank, you will be able to connect Mint to your bank and Mint will do all the work of not only importing your transactions but categorizing them, too
- You can monitor your Equifax credit score right in the app
- Keep track of the value of your real estate through Zillow
- Monitor your entire financial picture all in one place!
Mint Money App Cons
- Like any money app, Mint only looks at your past. Yes, you can set budget and savings goals, but you can’t really predict cash flow deficits. At least, not easily
- You can only have a single login for each Mint account, not always ideal for couples
- You can’t pay your bills through Mint. As in the first point, you can only see what’s cleared your accounts
- You can monitor your investments, but you cannot buy or sell investments through Mint
- There are a LOT of ads. Like, A LOT. Sometimes in the middle of your list of transactions, which I find particularly irritating. But, see below, because there’s a reason for all these ads
- If you have an older computer, the graphics on the Mint website may make it run very slowly
- Finally, you have to be comfortable with connecting your bank accounts to Mint.
This brings me to my next point…
Is Mint Safe?
Okay, I’m just going to say it: ANY app can be hacked. That’s just a fact of internet life.
With that said, Intuit, the owner of not only Mint but also TurboTax, spends millions and millions of dollars every year making sure your money stays safe.
So, while anything can be hacked, they have some of the best minds in the business working on the problem 24/7 to make sure the connections between your bank and their website are encrypted and that your money stays as safe as possible.
Is Mint Free?
YES! Well, sort of. There’s no monthly or annual subscription fee, so in that sense, it’s completely free to use.
However, everybody has to make money somehow right?
How does Mint Make Money?
Like a lot of other websites, Mint makes money through ads on their website.
They also make money through what’s called “Affiliate Marketing” or “Affiliate Commissions”.
Not only will you see a lot of ads on the Mint website, you’ll also see offers for credit cards, insurance, and even to sign up for new checking and savings accounts. If you click on one of these offers and pop over to another website and then buy something, Mint will make a small commission based on what you buy. This commission doesn’t cost YOU anything. It’s a fee paid by the other company to Mint for getting you to visit their website and buy.
For example, let’s say you see an offer for car insurance on the Mint website. You click that offer and you get sent to the website of the car insurance company. Let’s go further and say that the car insurance offer is a great deal for you and you buy the car insurance. The car insurance company will then pay Mint a commission for sending you their way - at no cost to you!
This commission is called an “Affiliate Commission” and it’s how a lot of websites make money. Hey, it’s how I keep the lights on around here, too!
Should You Use Mint?
In my humble opinion, you don’t NEED a money app. A lot of banks have budgeting tools right in their website which will allow you to monitor your income and expenses, set budget and savings goals, and see trends in your spending. Worse case, you can always create a simple spreadsheet and update it as you see fit.
However, if you have several bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts, then a money app like Mint will allow you to see EVERYTHING all in one place.
Or, if you have several credit cards, a mortgage and a car loan and they are all spread out amongst several financial institutions. Then, I would suggest that a money app like Mint could be very useful to you in order to see your entire financial picture and monitor not only your net worth, but your overall financial wellness.
Monitoring your net worth and your financial wellness on at least a monthly or quarterly basis is fundamental to making sure your money is taking care of not only the you of today, but future you as well!
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**I am not a licensed financial advisor. I am a money expert and I offer education, tips, tricks and my opinions around money. You should consult a professional who understands your needs in order to make the best decisions for you! Additionally, some links in this blog may be affiliate links, which means if you click the link and buy the product I may earn a small commission - at NO COST to You! It’s one of the ways I keep the lights on around here so TYIA! 😉
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