While the focus of the news this past week has rightly been the financial irresponsibility of large lenders and government regulators, we thought it was important to recognize that a large and growing number of Americans are showing greater financial responsibility in 2008. Less than a year ago, Netbanker estimated that the total number of Americans using new online personal finance tools was just 400,000. That number has grown dramatically this year. There are over 450,000 Americans using Mint.com alone right now, with thousands more using other solutions launched by creative Web 2.0 companies and even a couple of big US banks. We think that’s cause for some optimism on two fronts:
1. Innovation is finally being applied to one of the US’s most fundamental national and personal issues: managing and saving money
2. Americans are showing that they’re willing to adopt new technologies to solve this difficult problem, and take action. Nine out of 10 Mint users tell us that they’ve been helped by our service. And half say they’ve changed their spending as a result.
We were delighted to be named the top Personal Finance Tool by Lifehacker this week, from among a number of exciting new products in this space. There’s a similar competition sponsored by the Industry Standard this week. If you’re a Mint user interested in voting for us; we thank you for that. But we feel strongly that the real win for all of us right now is to make sure you are using some tool to understand, manage and save money in this economy.
Check us out, check out our worthy competitors and start using your selected service regularly. You’ll find it easier to apply and stick to the fundamentals of financial fitness outlined in Aaron’s post last week. Read and follow that advice to keep your focus on the long term and keep yourself on track to reach your financial goals.