Mint.com, my favorite tool in the personal finance arsenal, has eliminated the “financial fitness” tool and has replaced it with a new “goals” feature. It helps Mint in the ongoing battle of the personal finance websites. I have done an in depth examination of Mint.com vs. Thrive.
The new goal feature allows you to set a specific goal and helps you track your progress to reach that goal. There are about a dozen pre-defined goals, or you can make your own. To reach the list, click on the “goals” tab at the top. Click any image from this post to enlarge.
I decided I need to build a bigger emergency fund, as I am looking forward to a possible layoff. I clicked on the “save for an emergency” image to bring up the goal detail screen.
Mint already knows my average monthly spending, and it suggested that I save for three months of expenses. I can easily decrease my spending in the event I am without income, but I decided to round up from three months just to be safe.
I moved on to step 2 where I decided how long I wanted to contribute or how much I wanted to contribute. I clarified by goal of $4,000 and said I wanted to reach it by the end of the year. Mint gave me a suggested contribution based on those factors.
On the last step, I was able to tell Mint that I am already saving for emergencies in my ING Savings account. Mint took that into account and suggested I contribute $314 per month to reach my goal in December. You can always change the amount later, so I picked the higher amount and saved my goal.
Now, every time I look at the goal's tab, I can see my progress. If you are behind, your bar will show up in red. If you are on track, it will show up in green. I went into the “View Details” tab to adjust my contribution to $400 per month ($200 per paycheck) and $4,000 total.
This is a very useful and user friendly feature. It is the first major interface change since Mint was acquired by Intuit. I hope they keep improving the product over time. My biggest annoyance today is the sporadic connection to my 401k and the non-working connection to my student loan servicer.
Overall, I still love Mint. You should seriously consider a free money management tool to keep track of your finances.
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