Mint.com – A New Free Personal Finance Management Site

The free personal finance management site Mint.com opened to the public today.

Via a pleasing interface, Mint allows users to add their credit card and account information, then autosyncing with your financial institutions to grab every single one of your transactions. Each purchase is automatically categorized by type, a significant timesaver when getting started with a budget. From there, Mint tracks your spending habits, identifies areas you can find savings, and allows a complete at-a-glance overview of your personal finances, along with a slew of other features.

Looks to be a great site for getting an easy handle on your money.

Mint.com [Official Site]

Comments

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  1. ab3i says:

    so, if mint.com has a data breach, then the hacker has access to ALL the financial information of a user for identity theft and/or fraud?

  2. ab3i says:

    okay, i checked [www.mint.com], and they seem to have good security and safety measures in place to protect data, but still – having all that information stored at a single third party site is a scary scenario!

  3. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I was using Mint in beta. The service so far is fairly simple, and they’re ironing out some problems with individual bank logins, but there’s a lot of potential.

  4. thekicker says:

    This place is like the mother of all fishing sites. I’ve never seen something so thorough and obtaining all of your information. For example, add ING Bank and it asks you for SSN, zip, ~10 security questions, your PIN, etc. It is scary to type all of this out to a site you’ve never heard of. Being the paranoid IT security geek I am, I think I’ll pass. At least they’re TRUSTe certified.

  5. shoegazer says:

    can’t say I’d use something this simplistic myself, but the security seems OK. They would be foolish not to have cross-site script blockers, for example.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is a nifty idea, however it isn’t completely working for me. It seems to be be having a difficult time connecting to sites. It hangs on “Establishing a secure connection.” I hope everyone else isn’t having as tough of a time. :(

  7. homerjay says:

    We’re assuming that mint.com would be the victim of a breach as opposed to being the ones using all that info we send in. As good consumerists, do you really think its wise to dump my whole financial life onto these people.

  8. BugMeNot2 says:

    I was wondering how Mint was planning on making money with this venture. With something so sensitive as my financial information, I get extra suspicious when the offer seems to be something for nothing.

    Deep in their 9/17 press release I found that Mint is in the business of analyzing your finances and offering “suggestions for real savings”:
    “For example, if a user is holding $20,000 in a bank account that’s earning no interest, Mint might recommend a higher interest rate savings account from ING or HSBC.”

    I’m guessing that these are *paid* referrals for financial products and that is where they plan to make their money. So while these suggestions may help, it would still pay to shop around.

  9. escargot says:

    How does this one compare to the Yodlee Moneycenter site? Seems like a similar thing, but I don’t remember Yodlee asking quite so many detailed questions.

  10. Crazytree says:

    Mint is powered by YODLEE, so that is a good thing.

    They also posted a great set of E-books a couple of months ago that were highly useful.

    However, their site is having MAJOR problems updating certain credit card accounts, many of them issued by CHASE.

    Maybe not quite ready for zero hour.

  11. UpsetPanda says:

    Can’t even think about using this, as great of an idea as it is. I mean, I’d love to, but the security risk (even if there is none, but there is ALWAYS a risk) is too great for me. I feel like the only really safe place to keep my credit card information is in my head. People steal my cards, I can call and cancel them. But if they take it off mint, or any other finance website, it’s out of my hands.

  12. matt1978 says:

    MISSJ:

    Why couldn’t you call & cancel if they were yanked off of a website?

  13. Shred says:

    Yet another money management tool that doesn’t allow you to track your *actual* balance along side the bank’s version of your balanced which only includes cleared transactions.

  14. krom says:

    Eugh. Bad enough that I have to provide my credit card number to my bank so I can automate my payments. I really don’t ever enjoy entering private, personal, or secret data into a remote third party website. I can’t imagine people trust sites like this. Sorry guys, thick client ain’t everything.

  15. Mr. Gunn says:

    If my experience with Yodlee is anything to go by, site updates are a constant problem. It was such a hassle getting the 10 or so accounts I have into one version of Yodlee, I wouldn’t switch unless the site was amazing. From a cursory read over the Mint forum, it looks like they’re not quite there.

  16. BillyShears says:

    I find it mind-blowing that Consumerist would give such a casual recommendation to a site that’s one hack away from being an atom-bomb of identity theft. A copy of Quicken can probably do the same job with a fraction of the security risks.

  17. UpsetPanda says:

    @matt1978: I would, but the chain of knowledge only goes so far…my credit cards are stolen, I see that they are missing and most likely I have not misplaced them so I can get the number and cancel them right away. They’re taken off the website? How long does it take for me to get online, look at their website, see their press release about account information being stolen, THEN I can cancel my cards.

    It’s not the cancelling that is the problem – it’s how fast I can do it after I discover the information is missing.

  18. FullFlava says:

    I’ve used Wesabe (albeit fairly inconsistently), and their system is set up in such a way that they never get your account passwords or anything. You download bank statements to your computer, then upload them to Wesabe for tracking, or you can use an automatic download service that resides only on your machine, to avoid any possibility of your account name and password being stolen.

    The idea of automating it all sounds nice, but the amount of information this Mint site requires is more than enough to raise an eyebrow at.

  19. jesirose says:

    My husband and I both signed up. After entering his info, he waited a while and then saw transactions for $1000 worth of purchases from a plumbing store (oddly enough, categorized under “garden”) which he did not make and are not on the actual card’s site. Sounds to me like they can’t even display the right information for their users.

  20. jesirose says:

    PS: I have also used Wesabe but realized immediately that because I only use USAA for my finances, I don’t require this service. All of my info is already on one site, which has already proven itself to be secure. Banking, Insurance, Mortgage, all through a company which bends over backwards to make me happy. They lower my interest rates without my having to ask. When I lost my wallet with my USAA card in it, a pilot who was a member found it before I even knew I’d lost it, called USAA, they called me to verify and he sent it overnight to me. When several car insurance companies have tried to sell me on their low rates, I have actually told them I have USAA and they say thanks for your time and hang up.

    PPS: He just noticed yet another transaction appearing on Mint which is not his. In the time it took me to type this. Amazing.

  21. MercuryPDX says:

    My number one concern is safety of the info. Considering how Ameritrade (Datek when I signed up way back when) didn’t even tell me about their breach earlier this year until I got a form letter in the mail from them yesterday, I’m a bit wary that other companies would follow their poor example.

    @BillyShears: I’m with you… Quicken or MS Money. At least I can lock my PC and the software.

  22. jesirose says:

    Update: Sorry for the multiple comments. After comparing the amounts to his statements, it seems they are “translating” the names of the companies. For example, MediaTemple’s charge was listed as “Temple Praises” – a church. The other amounts were refunds from Canadian Air. He says he cannot move the Canadian Air refunds out of the gardening category. I’m almost tempted to add my cc to my account to see what it lists my purchases as :)

  23. star_ says:

    They are just a third-party provider of Yodlee.com. Nothing new here.

    Why not just go to the source and avoid a middle party? I’ve used Yodlee for nearly 2 years to manage around 50 various accounts. I’ve never had any issues or problems.

  24. Amelie says:

    Security problems are one concern, but privacy is another. Do I want this site to know all the details of my spending habits? What guarantee do I have that my profile won’t be given out at some later date?

  25. theblackdog says:

    Yarr, methinks I’ll stick with Wesabe.

  26. Marko_Vulvic says:

    no canada, no want.

  27. quagmire0 says:

    If they make a local client version that’s encrypted and doesn’t send my info out, I *might* consider using it.

  28. tasselhoff76 says:

    It does concern me that all my usernames and passwords would be in one place. Then again, I imagine any bank is only one hack away. My billpay system with my bank holds the same username and password information so that it can retrieve my credit card bills.

  29. SimonSwegles says:

    I was really quite interested in getting set up in mint.com. Sure there are security risks involved in storing my financial data there … just as there are security risks with EVERYTHING that has to do with financial data. Unfortunately for Mint, not one of my accounts is successfully pulling in. American Express, Wells Fargo, Credit Union … none of it.

  30. tasselhoff76 says:

    Yes, I have the same problem. I think it may be because it just went live to everyone today and it may be more than they can handle. I’ve emailed them and will let you know how it goes.

  31. tasselhoff76 says:

    UPDATE: I just got the following email from mint.com:

    Thank you for contacting Mint.

    We are still currently experiencing heavy load & slow response times.

    This may be due to winning TechCrunch40, being featured in PCWorld, Digg, and San Francisco Chronicle all on the same day. Apparently nearly 100,000 people really needed to get their finances organized immediately!

    Unfortunately, this means from 12 – 6pm Pacific Time, new users will not be able to add their bank & credit accounts. During this time, we’ll be processing our backlog and putting in a few optimizations (and servers) to speed things up 5-10x.

    Mint will post an update in our forums at [forums.mint.com] later today to give a status update.

    Again, we do apologize for all of the issues over the past few days.

    Mint.com Community Team
    http://www.mint.com

  32. Arlahna says:

    @Simonswegles – I’m having the exact same issue. There seem to be some major bugs with the site.

  33. Mr. Gunn says:

    So a reseller of Yodlee had a big media day. All that means is that they had people who knew the right people on their board.

    Nowhere have they given us any indication that they can handle the continual site login problems that Yodlee deals with every day any better than Yodlee itself. Think about it. Banks change their log-in processes occasionally, and every time that happens, the code has to be patched to account for that. There are thousands of banks and billers, so even if it only happened once a year, they’d still be dealing with patching something every day. Yodlee handles this because they own the code, but even then when ING changed their login process, my account didn’t update for weeks. This is acceptable for a free beta product, but entirely unacceptable for a paid service.

    Will this third-party company be able to get the code, re-customize it for their application, make sure the update doesn’t break anything, and go live with the frequency needed to support all the accounts that Yodlee does? Will they have to wait until Yodlee decides to fix something before rolling it out to their customers?

    You’d think that somewhere this question would be addressed, but instead, forums.mint.com looks just like(even runs the same software) as forums.yodlee.com, with the same problems and the same issues.