App of The Week: Mint Financial Management App
Paying bills is not the most exciting of chores. But it has to be done. And of course keeping track of your money and managing your budget is even less exciting. But as I always say; black people don’t play when it comes to money. You better be on top of it. The Mint app can help you do both.
The Mint app connects to any U.S. bank or financial institution that is online. But that is not the end of the Mint’s abilities. Mint can link all of your accounts including investments, retirement funds, credit cards, and other financial accounts. The app quickly gives you a complete picture of your financial health. Mint is free and capable of supporting more banks in more places but only in the U.S. and Canada.
The app also helps you create a household budget and warns you if you if you stray away from it. Mint allows you to see how much you’re spending and on what. It helps you manage all types of household purchases or utilities, set up savings goals, and help you to stick to them. The Mint app doesn’t actually touch your money. What it does is use read-only access to show you everything you are doing with your money in real time. It suggests financial products to you that could help you save money over time like showing lower-interest credit cards or higher-interest savings accounts. Some might call that advertising. Mint was named one of the Five Best Personal Financial Tools by LifeHacker.com
But in all honesty there are some issues with the Mint app. The user has to share a significant amount of his or her financial information with the service. As you can well imagine this leaves them vulnerable to a potential hacker or data breach. Especially if you are using an Android phone which are prone to malware. It is, no doubt, a serious risk to place your financial life in the hands of the app. An article in the New York Times asks; “Should You Trust Mint.com?”
Mint.com understands that consumers are leery of entering all of their bank information into its site. As a result of this concern, and to gain more customers, Mint.com has introduced a new service that does not require the user to reveal their financial information but still help them reach long term financial goals.
After examining the app I have still decided to award it the App of the Week. Why? Because although you can you don’t have to use it as a total financial management tool. A smart person would never put all their eggs in one basket. Using the app to manage your household budget and pay bills is enough. Leave managing your 401k and other investment accounts to the pros.