Personal Finance Software and Budgeting Online

Personal Finance Software and Budgeting Online

In times past, those who wanted to use personal finance software to stay on top of their personal finances had to shell out hard earned cash for programs like Microsoft Money or Quicken. Those times are now past with the easy availability of free and powerful, web-based money management and budgeting tools.

Using a free personal finance software suite can help users stay on a budget, remain abreast of bill due dates to avoid late fees, serve as a one stop source for account balances and can provide ideas for saving money on things like auto insurance, credit card fees and banking fees.

How Free Online Personal Finance Software Works

It is easy to get started using the free online personal finance software suite available at Mint.com. Setting up a Mint account is simple and fast and requires only an email address. Once an account has been set up, users are presented with a number of screens where personal banking account information, credit card information, investment account information and the like can be entered. Once the account set up has been completed, the site downloads information from all personal financial accounts so that users have a one stop location where all of their accounts along with updated balances can be viewed in one place.

Mint constructs a preliminary budget based on bank account information which the user can modify to his or her own particular preferences making budgeting a snap. The site provides email alerts any time that an established spending category is exceeded, helping users to stay on track. Also, once weekly, budget highlights are emailed as part of a personalized weekly financial report sent to each Mint member’s email inbox.

Mint also send email alerts when scheduled bill due dates are near. This can be a very useful, money saving feature that prevents the past due fees that occur when a credit card or car payment due date is forgotten.

Other Money Saving Advantages When Mint is Used to Manage Personal Finance Online

Mint also used banking and debt information input by users to suggest money saving ideas for consumers. As examples if a user’s financial spending history discloses high credit card interest rates or low savings account rates, the site offers recommendations for lenders and savings institutions offering better rates. Similar money saving recommendations are offered for things like car insurance and stock broker choices.

How Safe is Using the Mint Free Personal Finance Software Site

Understandably, given the confidential nature of information like online banking user names and passwords, the idea of entering this type of sensitive information on a third party web-based site may give some people pause for thought. Is using a site like Mint a smart move? Actually, Mint has impeccable credentials. Once a stand alone site, it is now owned by the respected financial products company, Intuit, best known for its own financial software suites like Quicken.

In addition Mint uses bank-level data security inscription verified by Verisign and TrustE so entering sensitive date into Mint is safe. Also the site never asks for bank account numbers, user addresses or social security numbers so users maintain anonymity and security.

Mint.com has been named the best online personal finance management site by Money Magazine, PC Magazine, and is a PC World’s Editor’s Choice. Links to favorable reviews from such prestigious news sources as U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Reuters, Forbes, Fortune and a host of others are available by visiting the Mint site.

A quick five minute visit to the site by registered users will allow them to see where their money is being spent, see how their investments are performing and how well they are doing staying on budget. The email alerts keep them updated automatically whenever there is an important change in their finances. Mint claims that their average user finds $1,000 in savings during their very first visit. So visit the site and learn more about the benefits of using Mint for online money management.

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