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Managing your budgets and finances is not an easy task for most. Coming up is a powerful financial tool that can help you out, and best of all, it’s free. Find out how Mint can help you right now on Mind the App.

If you’re like me and have a busy schedule, there are a lot of important things that can slip through the cracks. One of those things for me is my personal finances and this great application really helps organize my expenses. Brought to you by the creators of the tax software, Quicken, Mint works with the banks to provide secure tunnels to do your banking between mobile devices and the banks themselves, all from a name you’ve been trusting with your taxes for years.

The great thing about Mint is its ability to give you at-a-glance information on your budgets, accounts, balances, and spending habits. Just looking at account balances can give you some information, but until you look at a graph breaking down how much you’ve spent, how close to your monthly budgets you are, and what your actual spending habits are, you’ll wonder how you could ever keep track of your money without it.

Mint’s at-a-glance review gives you a comprehensive graphical interpretation of all of your accounts and budgets. The pie graph shows you where all of your money went this month by breaking down your spending into categories automatically. You can see in a month how much of your money went to food, utilities, car payments, etc., plus the option to add your own categories, like business expenses.

Mint is at its best when you pay by plastic, be it credit or debit, so that it can automatically track your spending. However, you can still manually input cash purchases, though tracking every single cash purchase might become tiresome.

Mint really shines once you’ve been using it for a few months. As it learns your spending habits, it will show you what budgets you consistently hit, miss, and can even carry over with the unspent amount of a budget from previous months.

Another nice feature is that Mint can also be configured to send you alerts for your various accounts. Mint will alert you to things like unusual spending habits and low balances, which can be set to any amount you choose. The unusual spending alerts even track by category, so Mint can inform you if you’re spending more than usual this month on gas, food, business expenses, or any of the categories Mint is tracking for you.

There are 3 different versions of Mint: a phone app available on iOS and Android, a tablet version, and a full desktop website. Every Mint flavour is best used for a different purpose. If you’re looking for your central Mint hub, with all of the functionality, go to the website at Mint.com. If you want an easy on-the-go tool to update your account, you’ll want to use the smartphone app. And if you want the best graphical experience optimized for the comprehensive at-a-glance view, then the tablet app is the place to go. Personally, I’ve found myself reaching for my tablet far more often than any other device.

Overall I’ve had a positive experience with Mint, but a few past issues with accounts suddenly losing functionality prevent me from giving it a perfect score. That said, their customer service is very friendly and the few times that I had issues, they were able to help out and get everything back into working order.

If you’re looking for an app to securely and effectively help you keep track of your accounts, look no further. This app will leave your finances in mint condition. I’m Richard Boelens – thanks for watching Mind the App.

Is there an app you’d like to see featured on the show? Drop us a line in the comments, or send us an email to apps@mindtheapp.ca.

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