So I took the plunge and set up an account on Mint to try out the single-source money management site. The process to get the data into Mint is as straightforward as your credit card company or bank allows it to be: ING Direct was probably the hardest, but all of those levels of security make me feel pretty good vs. simply entering a username and password for other banks.
Once Mint has connected and downloaded your account data, it presents interesting transaction histories and trends. The system is not perfect, however, and requires some user intervention to tweak things. For example, it downloaded payment data from my checking account that were actually electronic payments to my credit card, but came through with "Ross" as the description, which Mint classified as the department store and put into my retail purchase history.
Although it's not 100% perfect, it is a very useful tool and I'm definitely going to continue to use it. I would like to see the ability to add in 401K, IRA, college savings, and mortgage accounts to get an overall picture of assets and liabilities, but my guess is that those items will be coming.
I did check out some of the offers that would either save me money and/or produce more revenue in terms of interest payments, but I'm not sure that I am going to make any changes before the first of the year. It is interesting to know that there are online banks that are giving higher interest rates than ING and I will likely investigate switching to chase the higher rates.
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