August 19, 2008 is a relatively new company in the world of personal finance. According to the website, the public beta was launched in September 2007 after two years of development.

Mint can be described as an all in one money management portal (although we'll see a bit later that they are not truly all in one yet). Think of Quicken or Microsoft Money without a lot of the clutter.

Mint was very easy to set up. They claim to be able to connect to nearly 6,500 financial institutions. I was easily able to set up my checking, brokerage, retirement and credit card accounts. Each time you log onto Mint, the system automatically downloads the most recent activity in the accounts.

The expense tracking is top of the line and in my option currently the best feature of Mint. Each expense is automatically assigned a category when it is downloaded (i.e. Mobil expenses go to gas, TGI Friday expenses go to restaurants). If you disagree with the category, you can easily change it and apply the change to all future purchases from that vendor.

Based on expense information, Mint automatically tracks expense trends by category and by month. For example, you can easily see how much you are spending on food per month over the past few months. Mint also allows you to set up monthly budgets and track against those budgets.

Mint also offers some additional features which I have not really taken advantage of. These include comparing your spending to others and their recommended products.

Where I would like Mint to expand their services is related to income and investments. There is not currently a lot of information on your entire income statement. They focus on expenses, but you never really see the entire picture of income and expenses by months. Also, there is currently no information on investments. The website states that the tool is being built, but there is not a lot of detail on what the tool will look like once launched. I believe the depth of this tool will be important to make them stand out from other personal finance software.

Overall Mint is a great tool for tracking expenses. It quickly allows you to track each of your transactions by category, examine the overall trends and set budgets. They still have some work to do in the other categories to make it the best personal finance software on the market.