Life Hack: Mint

Life hack: mint

What is it?

Mint is an online budgeting tool that helps you seamlessly manage your finances. You enter your account information and it keeps track of your money that comes in, goes out, and where it goes. The best part? It has the security of online banking, so your information is safe. Bonus: they have an amazing app, so you can budget on the go!

How does mint work?

How does it make my life easier?

Do you know how much you spend on coffee each week? How about eating out? It’s really easy to just swipe your card for small purchases, but they add up quickly. Mint separates your purchases by category, so you can see exactly where your money is going. It also allows you to set budgets for the categories of your choice and shows where you should be in your budget, based on the day of the month.

If you have debt (credit card, student loans, car, etc.), you can enter those accounts, too and watch them decrease as you pay them off!

What are some of the best features?

I love the app; it keeps me honest with my budget. It also alerts you if you spend more than normal in a particular area, which can be great in the unfortunate event your account is compromised. It also pulls your credit score for free and explains how the different components affect the overall score.

A really useful feature is the “Fast Approaching Budgets” section, which tells you how much you have left in budget areas that are getting close to budget, so you know where you need to cut back.

Is there a catch?

There are ads in the app, disguised as “Advice,” which are attempts to get you to sign up for a credit card. Resist the temptation—buy only what you can afford and use cash!

How do you keep yourself on budget? Are you a pen and paper person? Do you use Excel? Let us know!


  1. I downloaded Mint a few months ago and it’s been really helpful in showing me where my money is going. It helps hold me accountable. It’s such a great app for post-grads and current students.

  2. Taby, thanks for this “Life Hack.” I’m a huge fan of Mint too. I’ve used it for about two years. In addition to everything you’ve noted, it’s helped me spot incorrect charges, one of which was a fraudulent charge. I don’t think I’d have caught it as early as I did. Thanks for this!

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