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Mint your $$

Posted by James Davie On 2011-02-12 7 comments

A few years back I heard tell of a great free online money management program that integrated with your bank, investments, etc to provide you with an up-to-date picture of your finance. This handy piece of software is called Mint and, I am very pleased to tell you, it is finally available in Canada.

Mint really does make money management easy. Set-up took me about 15 minutes, and that included categorizing some of the more esoteric transactions from my chequing account. Once set up you get the nifty overview screen, seen above, that let's you know how much money you (don't) have and where you stand in relation to your monthly budgets.
Yep, you can set up budgets for practically anything, and Mint will even recommend budgets for you. It recommended, based on our spending patterns the last few months, about $660/month on groceries, which sounds about right for my household.
Mint also gives you handy hints for saving money, like switching to a credit card better suited for my spending habits, and it has already sent me a couple emails reminding me to pay some bills and a warning about the low balance in my chequing account (that one is destined to be there always). I'm still discovering what all Mint can do for me, but first impressions are that I'm pretty damn impressed and I do recommend this free webapp to everyone, and I urge you to get the iPhone/BlackBerry app to go along with it as well.
One caveat to consider: having all your debt and spending habits put on-screen in front of you in a handy pie chart is a sobering moment, but a necessary one towards an end goal of financial security.

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