I’ve been using Mint.com for years to manage my finances (thanks Chels and Kellen, for telling me about it all those years ago!) But since we started applying for more and more credit cards, mint.com has become especially useful!
Here are some of the features that we have found most helpful about Mint:
- Budget—We went through and entered all of our fixed expenses each month, such as rent, insurance, car payments, student loans, cell phone/Internet/cable Netflix/Hulu Plus (free two week trial!), bills, etc. This gave us a good idea of what we have remaining each month when you subtract fixed expenses from our disposable income, which helped us to set budgets for things like groceries, gas and entertainment. Mint helps us to be realistic with how much we are spending each month.
- Monitoring transactions—with 30+ cards it’s hard to regularly log in to each account, or view individual statements, to scan for errors or potential fraudulent charges. I try to be in the habit of scanning this page every day or every other day, and I’ve caught several incorrect charges. It’s also helpful to know when annual fees hit. Though many people like to call and cancel before the annual fee is due, I usually wait until it hits as you usually have anywhere from 30-180 days to get it reimbursed. We just had a big slew of annual fees hit and are making some decisions right now, so that will be covered in more detail in a future post.
- Payment due reminders- on the home page Mint will tell you which cards have upcoming payments due, and you can also sign up to receive email reminders. Typically as a part of my card set up process, I enroll in automatic payments, so this usually isn’t a big deal but it’s nice to have the reminder there or in your inbox.
- Tracking reimbursable expenses—We both travel frequently for work, and at least with my position I am able to put all expenses on a personal card, then be reimbursed for it later. I love this system since I am able to receive all of the credit card points, but it can be frustrating to know our budget is off by several thousand dollars while waiting for the twice monthly reimbursement check. Mint has a feature that allows you to mark items as “reimbursable.” Step by step directions:
– Go to the ‘Transactions’ tab, and locate the transactions you want to edit
– Check multiple transactions (checkbox) to activate ‘Edit Multiple’ button – if it turns gray, the button is activated, the button is near the “Edit Rules” option
– Click on the button to begin editing
– Type in your desired description and categories, you may also:
a) Edit the ‘Rules’
b) Edit the ‘Tags’ – make sure to check the box to apply the tags.
– Click ‘I’m Done’ to save your changes
5. Free credit score feature—You can now get your free credit score, with no credit card required on Mint.com. I prefer to use Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, along with the free scores provided by several banks now, but it’s always helpful to have one more free credit score resource.