Manage your money online with Mint

MintYou can access your bank account online, and your credit cards, student loans, mortgage payments, etc. In fact, you can pretty much handle all of your financial transactions online these days, which is great. There's just one problem. You have to visit approximately 21,874 websites in order to do it. And that makes it difficult to get a good picture of where your money is really going.

Mint wants to be the one-stop shop for all your online financial needs. You can access all your accounts from one page, and Mint can send you e-mail and SMS reminders when bills are due, and Mint claims it can save you thousands of dollars by offering financial advice. For example if you've got a high interest credit card when you qualify for a lower interest one, Mint will tell you. The basic service is free, the financial advice comes with the paid version.

It's sort of like an online version of Quicken, without the Quicken name. So why should you give your bank and credit account numbers to Mint? We're not quite sure yet. The company's been in beta for a few months now, but it really doesn't have a track record yet that would make us comfortable giving it all of our personal information. We know, it's kind of a catch-22. They won't get a strong privacy record until lots of people reliably use their service without getting ripped off. But people might be reluctant to sign up until the company's been around a little longer.

That said, Mint claims that it found an average of $1000 in savings for each user during the initial beta period. And that might be reason enough for some people to try out the new product.

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