How To

Mint.com Personal Finance Tips & Tricks

Managing your money can be intimidating, but the right mix of tools and techniques can make personal finance quite simple.

For those of you who already stay on top of your personal finances through Mint.com, congrats! You’re already using a tool that’s powerful, reliable, simple and free to help you be good with your money.

While most Mint users know the basics, there are still a few features you might not be aware of that can actually maximize your Mint experience and your bottom line.

Did you know you can:

Access a free credit score

Available on both the web and mobile phones, you can get a  free credit score and credit report summary (no credit card required) so that you can learn what you score means, better understand the factors impacting you score, and learn how you can improve it – proving you with a more complete financial picture. All you have to do is log into your account, either online or using the mobile app, and you’ll see the option to get a free credit score when you’re looking at your account overview.

Set reminders

Mint lets you set up alerts and reminders for things like upcoming bills, low balance or unusual spending so you never miss a payment and avoid late fees – ultimately saving you time and money.  Plus, Mint will also send you a summary of your spending and saving so you know exactly where you stand. All you have to do is log into your Mint.com account online, then select “Profile” then “Email & Alerts.” You can then select frequency as well as preferred email or SMS alerts.

Create tags

A lot of people use categories in Mint for expenses, but not everyone takes advantage of Mint’s tagging feature. The tagging feature is one of the coolest and most useful features because it allows you to easily locate specific transactions at the point of need. Does your family own two cars? Tag each one individually to see how much you spend maintaining and fueling them every year. Building an extension on your patio? Tag the project to see how much it costs in relation to how much you had budgeted. To create a custom tag, you can simply click the “Edit Details” button found once you’ve clicked to edit a transaction and add your new tag (this can only be done using your online account). Then click the “I’m Done” button and check the box to assign the tag to that particular transaction.

Create goals

Whether you’re saving for a new car, paying down credit card debt or planning for that dream vacation, Mint can help you get there with personalized, step-by-step recommendations. You can even plan for one-time-only expenses and recurring monthly expenses. Click on “Goals” and enter how much money you’d like to put aside. Set a date and link your goal to a specific account to easily stick to a savings plan.

Mint is free to download and use from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as well as for Android smartphone and tablets at Google Play and on the Amazon Appstore.  Mint is also available in the Windows Store for Windows 8.1 and the Windows Phone Store for Windows Phone 8.