One of the reasons I started blogging was to learn more about Web 2.0 concepts and the services that advertise themselves as such... one such site that is leading the way to the next generation of the Internet is mint.com.
"The best FREE way to manage your money" is how mint.com advertises itself... and I have to agree. Who doesn't like free?! I've used many financial software packages over the years, going all the way back to Andrew Tobias' Managing Your Money on an IBM/XT clone running DOS. There was Microsoft's Money, and Intuit's Quicken, which remains the standard (not for long?) when it comes to managing your finances. If you do any sort of online banking and budgeting, you owe it to yourself to take a look at mint.com.
Mint removes the pain of setup, requiring just the account information for your banks, credit cards, loans, and investment accounts. That is the extent of the data entry required to get up and running. Immediately, Mint pulls in your balances, purchases, stock trades, etc. to give you a complete picture of your finances. All account data is kept up to date automatically.
Worried about Security? Mint provides bank level security to your data. Mint is read-only. You can't move money around with Mint. Mint actually increases your financial security by providing alerts on possible fraudulent activity. Check out this video on Mint's approach to security.
So where's the service you ask? Mint has intelligence with algorithms that analyze your spending habits. Mint downloads and categorizes transactions daily. When Mint adds new features you don't have to do anything, the features will be there when you log into the site. No software to install or download, it's ready and waiting for you.
Mint's user interface is second to none. It's clean, edgy, responsive, and easy to navigate. Mint is ahead of the curve with it's mobile support and iPhone app. You have access to your financial status from anywhere at any time... there are plenty of reviews online you can read, so I'll sum it up by stating no other service can give you this level of detail about your complete financial picture this easily. Did I mention it's FREE?
Web 2.0 - If Mint is any indication of the services we can expect, we will enjoy the ride.