I thought I'd let you all know about this cool financial program my sister (Thanks Julie!) showed me this weekend. It is an online program that maintains all your finances in one place - it downloads your info consistently when your logged in, so your data is always up to date! The site then categorizes the expenses and gives you tips and ideas on how to get out of debt, what categories you can improve, and investment options. The program is completely free and I really love their budgeting section - it sends you an e-mail/text when your close to going over your budget. I also enjoy that my husband can get online at any time and look to see where we're at - how much is in each account and what bills are next to be paid. It also sends e-mail/text reminders when things are due so you can avoid late payments. I've set it up so my husband receives the same e-mails I do so he feels in the loop and knows what's going on - other than reading my spreadsheets which tend to loose him at times. You can check balances, budgets, transactions, and investments anywhere - especially convenient if you have an I Phone or Palm.
You may be wondering why its Free? Well the site makes money off of the savings ideas it gives you. For example, if your credit card has a high interest rate the site will find you a card with better benefits - if you sign up the company is rewarded. You can put in your credit score which will then bring up better options on cards that would suit your needs (air miles, cash back, etc).
I've looked into the company and personally feel very confident in its integrity, there are video's on their website about security and their maintenance of personal data. Certainly check it out yourself so you feel comfortable with your decision. I've been paying bills online for years so adding this as a financial tool was a hard decision, however if your leery about having personal information stored online, you probably won't like this site. Here is a link to a video about their security and privacy. As a site note, the mint.com doesn't store any of your personal information, only an e-mail address and your selected password. It has also been tested by various security companies. Here is what others have said about the Mint.com.
"Money magazine rates Mint.com best online personal finance service."
Time Magazine states, "50 Best Websites of 2008 Can’t afford a personal financial planner? Here’s the next best thing."
Business Week states, "101 Best Web Freebies "One of the most useful free products and services available online"