Mint: your own personal financer

Want to know where your entire paycheck went in one weekend? Mint is a free finance service application that will do just that.

The service is an all-in-one tool for incompetent budgeters who want a quick look into where their money is going.

According to nerdwallet.com, Mint has attracted more than 20 million users since its creation in 2006.

By intertwining all of your accounts, Mint keeps track of every transaction you make while showing you the big picture of your financial status. In doing so, it allows you to review virtually every aspect of your financial life.

The application’s dashboard includes your debit and credit card balances, investment performance and your credit score. Under a separate tab, you can find a color-coded graphic depicting your weekly, monthly or annual spending habits.

Some of the categories include gas and fuel, fast food, shopping and business services.

A large part of what makes Mint so successful is that it automatically syncs to your banking applications, tracking your spending patterns with virtually no effort required.

In my case, it let me know that I was spending 65 percent of my income on fast food, informing me of not only my poor financial decisions but of my poor eating habits.

Mint also offers educated budgeting. When independently budgeting, many begin by estimating what their spending habits are, which is inefficient and often takes months to nail down the real numbers of where your money is going.

Mint tracks how much money is deposited into accounts, takes note of how much money you have previously spent on something—like groceries—and then offers suggestions on how much you should be spending based on past purchases and current income.

A particular feature in the application is the Trends tab. The tab offers a color-coded graph with a broad overview of where you spend your money.

Some of the categories included in this tab are shopping, fast food, bills and utilities.

Another exceptional feature to this app is the Alerts section. The service can send out notifications when bills are soon due or when a budget has been surpassed, which helps keep spenders out of trouble.

The app is also very aesthetically pleasing. The app’s charts and graphics are separated by distinct colors with sharp lines offering clear and easy-to-understand information.

For those looking to take a hands-off approach to budgeting—or to life in general—this is the app for you.

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