This spring, we shared the weird but not completely illogical news that candy marketers were pushing candy corn during unexpected new holidays. Brach’s markets red, white, and blue Independence Day candy corn, for example. Another company sells pastel candy corn for Easter with the theologically troubling name of Jesus Promise Seeds. Naturally, for Christmas, you can buy red, white, and green corn. [More]
Flying on JetBlue is supposed to be an equal opportunity situation for travelers, a classless society in which everyone is treated the same. But in a move away from the carrier’s foundations in the single-class experience, JetBlue says it will launch a new premium class next summer. Don’t call it first class though, it’s “Mint.” [More]
Mint was the cool kid on the financial website block until it cut its hair and went corporate, but the Intuit-owned service can still roll out some nifty features now and then. The latest is a “goals” dashboard, which takes advantage of our natural tendency to try harder if there’s some way to see immediate feedback. Under your account there’s now a goals tab, where you can activate any of the default choices (“get out of debt,” “take a trip,” “buy a home”) or create your own (“laser hair removal,” “pvc bodysuit”). Then you can link your accounts to that goal, and have a quick visual metric you can use to stay focused. [More]
There are some people out there who just don’t get how much crazy money you can save with buying generic drugs. For those folks, this infographic was crafted by Mint.com. To illustrate the cost-savings possible, they took a look at Advil. For the same 200 mg of isobutylpropanoicphenolic acid, people are willing to pay over $8 more per box. Those pretty graphics aren’t going to chase away your headache any faster, honey. Let’s take a look: [More]
You already know that coat hangers sound just as good as those pricey Monster cables, but this infographic really lays out the full argument on why you should never pay more than $10 for HDMI cables. Whether it’s gold-plated connectors, EM RF interefence shileding, or “gas injected” cables, it’s all the same thing: goldbricking. There’s no reason to drop $250 on a four-foot cable. [More]
It didn’t take long for Intuit to start ruining a great product. They’ve begun upselling Mint.com customers to two “free” credit report sites that are anything but. UPDATE: Turns out Mint was already doing this pre-Intuit. Bully for them.
When news broke back in September that Intuit, the company behind Quicken, was buying personal finance website Mint, everyone wondered how the two services would co-exist. The worst case scenario was that Mint would be absorbed somehow into Intuit’s in-house competitor, Quicken Online. Thankfully, it looks like the opposite will happen.
I blanched when I saw the subject line, “Mint.com to be acquired by Intuit, maker of Quicken.” More like “Mint.com to be acquired by Intuit, makers of crap,” I thought. Judging by your comments, I don’t blanch alone.
No longer wishing to compete with Mint.com, Quicken-maker Intuit has decided to buy it. The AP says that the company plans to keep its current offering, Quicken Online, but that it will be aimed at customers who also use its Quicken desktop software. Mint.com will become the company’s primary personal finance website.
If you have an account with Mint, and you’ve enabled mobile alerts, you can now text “Bal” or “Balance” to 696-468 (MyMint) and receive a summary of all of your accounts. [Mint]
Slate tested a slew of personal-finance tools recently, and Mint and Quicken Online were the top two winners, with Mint only a point behind. Besides the advertising disguised as “ways to save,” one area where Mint lost points was not being able to create custom categories. Three days later, Mint announced that they were enabling custom categories. So, in a do-over, Mint would probably win. Plus it’s free. UPDATE: Quicken Online just launched a basic tier of service for free. The dance continues!
One unpleasant surprise about switching to USAA from Washington Mutual is that I could no longer download all my transactions in .CSV format. When I was with WaMu, this made it very easy to import all my banking into my tricked out Excel sheet I use to manage my finances. USAA only lets you download in Quicken or Microsoft Money’s proprietary formats. Cutting and pasting the transactions as they appear on the website, even in Print mode, still is less than perfect. What I found out though is you can use a personal finance management site like Mint or Wesabe to do most of the grunt work for you. UPDATE: Reader Stephen pointed out there is a handy link at the bottom of the USAA page that lets you export as .CSV. I didn’t see this link because I was looking at the “download fund activity link,” which doesn’t have a .CSV option.
I asked Mint.com whether they would be adding some features to their new investment tracking tool similar to what they do with credit cards and banks. When you add your credit cards and banks to Mint, it has a section where they recommend different credit cards to switch to and show you how much savings or lower APR you can get. In response, CEO Aaron Patzer said that in the future they will identify the lowest cost brokerage for you based on how often you trade and with how much money, as well as, and, this is very important, exposing management fees and expense ratios.Very cool. Investors could really benefit by such transparent access to investing-rleated feesFor a good perspective on how fees can really chew up your nest egg, read our post, “How Your 401(k) Is Ripping You Off“
I got to check out personal finance management site Mint.com’s new investment-tracking component before the private beta launches tomorrow. You can now add Brokerage, IRA, 401k and 529 assets. The two biggest things it offers are line graphs, and a way to see all the fees, dividends, deposits and withdrawals in one, clear, organized window. Unlike with the credit card tracking, they don’t seem to be making any suggestions about how you might save money by switching to a different investment firm. You also can’t yet push assets between accounts through Mint. As before, you will have to give up your username and password to your various financial services to let Mint scrape the data. The new brokerage features are hardly mind-blowing, but by having investment-tracking now Mint can basically be your entire financial dashboard, you just can’t touch all the levers yet. Sexy screenshots, inside…