Aaron Patzer worried about his personal finances, and wanted to be sure that he received maximum return on his resources. He tried Intuit’s Quicken and Microsoft Money, but discovered that neither could dynamically track interest rates or move funds so that he’d receive the highest returns.
Since he couldn’t find anything to manage his finances the way that he wanted, he decided to create a web-based application that could. He wrote it in Java, used the open source MySQL database, and called it www.mint.com. He obtained venture capital, rolled it out in 2007, and sold it to Intuit late last year. It’s supported by advertising and is available for free.
Mint.com allows you to see graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth. Track your checking, savings, credit cards, PayPal, investments, retirement accounts . . . ANY personal account. Graphically compare your spending historically or geographically. (“How does my water/trash bill compare with other households in my city?”)
It appears that Mint.com has focused on on-line security.
I don’t bank on-line (call me paranoid), so I can’t vouch for the utility or security of mint.com. Here’s a good review. If I were to bank on-line, I’d use a dedicated Linux machine to do so. One method of doing this is to create a Ubuntu Live CD, and, when I wanted to use my regular PC to bank on-line, I’d shut down Windows, boot from the Ubuntu Live CD, and use Ubuntu’s Firefox web browser to log on to my bank’s site.