Free Financial Tools to Make Budgeting Easier

No matter your financial security, everyone could benefit from a personal finance command center.

Mint.com is an online financial planning tool that helps with budget creation and spending tracking. Mint offers a way to track all your funds in one place and really figure out how you’re spending. It also helps families track multiple incomes and expenses.

But what really sets Mint apart from competitors is that it’s free and provides multi-account compatibility, mobile access and easy-to-navigate categories to better organize your spending habits.

Mint is a tremendous resource, whether you’re having a budgeting crisis or just curious about how much you spend at Starbucks every week.

Here are some of the major reasons why:

It’s Free

The team at Mint keeps the site running at no charge. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to click the ‘x’ on a few special offers from their contributors. While some may find the advertisements annoying, the ads on Mint.com are actually offers that can help you save money, which is a nice change from the usual “Click here! You’ve won!”

All of Your Accounts in One Place

Most banks offer online services to check balances, pay bills and transfer funds but it is rare to have all accounts at one institution. Mint.com makes it easy to combine all of this information in one convenient place. Mint.com also takes away the worry of identity theft and fraud by providing bank level security to all registered accounts.

Mobile Access

Mint has created a popular app for the iPhone and for Android phones that puts all of your financial information in the palm of your hand. Developers have said an iPad version is on the way, too.

Create and Maintain a Budget

Not only does Mint.com outline where you are spending, it also allows you to set personal limits for different categories. For example, say that a spending tracker determines your coffee habit is costing more than $100 a month. You can set a $50 coffee limit for the next month, and the site will send you a text message as you near that benchmark.

Community

Although they try, Mint.com officials know their application can’t answer all of your questions. To help you become a more financially savvy person, they started a personal finance blog to keep customers up to date on their products.

Photo courtesy Alan Cleaver