8 Cool Mint Tools for Managing Your Money

by Carlos Portocarrero on 12 January 2012 5 comments
Photo: Bigstock

Mint.com allows you to view all your financial accounts (brokerage, mortgage, loans, etc.) in one place. It's a very convenient way to navigate your financial landscape and track your spending.

But Mint is capable of way more than that. I recently re-discovered Mint and found some cool, convenient tools that everyone can use to better manage their money without wasting time. (See also: If Budgeting Isn't Fun, You're Doing It Wrong)

1. Trend Your Net Worth

While it’s not a perfect way to calculate this number (Mint uses Zillow’s estimate for property values, which is just that — an estimate), it’s still useful to give you a good sense of how your financial picture is changing over time.

2. Rolled-Up Investments

Viewing all your investments in their different accounts as one big portfolio is cool — it makes it easy to see how your overall investments are performing (or not). You can also compare all your accounts to the three major indices, select individual accounts, or even go down to the stock/mutual fund level. A lot of investment accounts don’t even have this information, so it’s cool to be able to see it in one easy place.

3. Best and Worst Investments

It’s nice to get a quick view of which stocks are bringing you down and which ones are making you look like Warren Buffett, especially if you have three or four accounts in different places. This is a good way to look at your winners and losers regardless of what account you're holding it in.

4. Alerts

Mint will send you a text or email when "things" happen. Things like an account going below a certain amount, if a bill is coming up, when interest-rates change, etc. You can rely on Mint to tell you when stuff is happening instead of always worrying about what’s going on with all your accounts.

5. Trend Filtering

Trending is cool — you can do it by category (groceries, restaurants, etc.), and you can search by proper names, like Jewel or Target to see how you’ve spent at specific places. It’s neat to see how your spending on different things changes from month to month. Maybe it’ll help explain all those times that you went to Target for a birthday card and dropped $125 on who knows what.

6. Alerts to Two Emails

When you’re in a relationship where the money is pooled, this is a great feature. Instead of one of you having to be “the bad guy” and saying “We probably shouldn’t buy this,” why not have Mint send an email instead? It can send an email to both of you saying “You probably shouldn’t buy this, you guys are over budget.”

7. Save Money

I was skeptical when I found out how Mint makes money — since they can see all your finances, they will recommend banks and credit cards that can potentially save you money. That is, I was skeptical until they recommended a credit card that will double the amount of cash back I get. Sold! You can always ignore these recommendations, but it's probably a good idea to check them out periodically.

8. Create Goals

It’s easy to say you want to save money for a trip or a new car, but most of us won’t do anything about it. With Mint, setting goals against your actual spending means you’ll know if you’re getting close or veering off track. Don’t forget to set those alerts to keep you in line!

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LaDonna

Using Mint has allowed us to not only see what's going on with our money but also to take real control of our finances. It's impossible for us to do that if we have to go to a jillion different sites to see what's what. Viva Mint!

Andrea Karim's picture

I really wish Mint.com would work for me, but I can never seem to get it to connect to my bank accounts! I used it when I was with Bank of America, but this might be the one downside to my credit union - I never could get the accounts to link. :( I feel like I am really missing out on some great money tracking capabilities.

Guest's picture

Mint.com has changed my financial life. I love setting goals and watching my progress. It has kept me going!

Guest's picture

I've only recently heard of Mint.com, and very much appreciate you expanding on the capabilities offered. Thank you!

Guest's picture

Wow, Thank you for sharing this information about Mint.com!