Mint and Wesabe: Online Personal Finance Tools Are Gaining Ground

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2008-07-1418

Sifting through several personal budget software solutions.

I’m already a fan of a desktop personal financial software package called YNAB (or You Need A Budget) and am also a Quicken user. But I’ve also been exploring other financial tools in the web universe. Here are a couple from the online world: they’re both green and they’re both all about money! For Your Finances

If you’re looking for a personal finance online tool to help you manage your money better, there are quite a few out there that deserve your attention. is one of those sites that does a great job with analyzing your spending trends plus provide you the ability to work out your budget, categorize your expenses and alert you to activities in your accounts. Through just a few clicks, you can get a top down view of your money in one place!

So far, Mint has garnered well over a hundred thousand registered users and has won several awards, which attests to the tool’s popularity. The company’s awards include the Webby Awards People’s Voice Winner in Banking and Bill Pay as well as in Financial Services, plus their software has also been named as one of PC World’s “100 Best Products of 2008”., personal finance tool, Web 2.0
Here’s where to sign up for a free account at
Open a free account with

My Stance on Personal Finance Tools

In the past, I recall making the issue of “security” as the one reason I may not sign up to sites that offer these online financial services. I’ve since become much more immersed and exposed to these types of online financial environments through discussions and meet ups with the people behind the software. And with more familiarity and exposure, I’ve come to develop an improved level of comfort and trust for such tools.

I’ve signed on to perform freelancing projects for on a part-time basis and have attended a personal finance conference in San Francisco that was sponsored by Strands, Network IQ and Expensr some time ago, where these web services were the big topic of debate and discussion. I’ve also tried my hand at using these applications and have found that they are convenient, easy to use, informative and above all, quite helpful!

As of yet, these tools haven’t usurped my existing system for managing our household’s financial affairs, and I doubt they will anytime soon. But I believe there’s a place for these services in our financial lives since they do make some fundamental tasks quite straightforward, particularly when it comes to tracking expenditures, budget planning and debt analysis. Other positives include opportunities for you to get better deals in the financial marketplace (as these tools offer financial product suggestions based on your money transactions), and the ability to gauge your personal financial health by comparing your finances to the finances of others in a secure and anonymous fashion.

Wesabe and The Financial Community

Update: Wesabe is no longer available. I’ve written an update about this in my article called: Lessons From A Failed Financial Startup.

When I first wrote this review, the site called was thriving. Since then, the site has become another startup casualty. But this is what I said about the service while it was up and running — it may be good to review some of the things that DID work out well for this site: is another site that offers you an overview of your bank and credit card accounts in one place. The community focus that the site brings into its environment is a feature and selling point that I particularly like. Your data becomes the main point of discussion in their community albeit done so anonymously. General trends in the Wesabe community are analyzed, compared and presented, and the data patterns become the source of sharing among its members.

I also appreciate the fact that I don’t have to upload my bank information to be able to participate in this community. For those of us who are antsy about privacy or security issues (imagined or otherwise) when it comes to our money, we very much appreciate the available option to join and contribute regardless.

Wesabe, money tool, Web 2.0

Definitely give and Wesabe a visit! I’ve been keeping my eye on these sites and services for some time and I’ve seen the great progress they’ve made over the last year. More and more people are embracing this new technology and seeing their informational, educational and social value. The future of Finance Web 2.0 looks bright!

I’d love to hear what you have to say about these tools — concerns, comments, compliments and your general feedback. I’d love to be able to take some of your thoughts to the folks behind the future of personal finance software.

Copyright © 2008 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Hedlund July 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Thanks much for the mention. I’m glad you pointed out that you don’t have to upload bank data to participate in Wesabe. Come on in, the water’s fine! 🙂

Thanks again. Let us know if you have any suggestions about improving Wesabe.

Marc Hedlund,

Amy July 14, 2008 at 10:05 pm

For a quick set and forget way to keep track of your finances check out I have used it for a few months and really love it. They send me alerts when important things happen in my accounts. The best part is that they also have an iPhone application now so I can keep tabs on my accounts on the go.

RacerX July 15, 2008 at 9:03 am

I am happy with MS Money, but I will check it out!

The Happy Rock July 15, 2008 at 9:10 am

I am still a Microsoft Money and Quicken guy, but I will be open to try Mint my Quicken 2007 version becomes outdated or if Mint does enough to lure me in.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 15, 2008 at 9:52 am

My position on this is that if you’re pretty happy with what you have, then you don’t really need to radically alter what you are doing.

I am very happy with my own financial system as well. These online services are there to mainly cater to those who are starting out with budgeting and need a quick place to ramp up.

I also believe that if you have several accounts you work with, you may want to apply some of your accounts to these online sites to get a feel for how they work. They’re a far cry from the sophistication of standalone products like MS Money or Quicken but they may offer other advantages. The community angle is something they provide that’s different.

FTH July 15, 2008 at 1:16 pm

I wasn’t aware of Thanks for the suggestions to check it out. I set up an account there. Before I visited the site I must say I was skeptical. But my fears were alleviated when I saw that everything is kept on a secure server. Thanks again for this great resource.

Scott @ The Passive Dad July 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I’ve always wanted to utilize these websites that help you track finances and budgets, but have been concerned about security. Our banks and financial institutions spend thousands, if not millions on security. How much can a startup afford to spend on security? Does it make sense to give all my passwords and personal info for all accounts to one service? Also, does utilizing as service like mint, violate any tos of banks or financial institutions? I wonder what would happen if a bank found out we gave out our user name and passwords to a third party software provider? I would love to utilize a service, but am really paranoid.

Silicon Valley Blogger July 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm


I am also extremely paranoid about security, hence I have decided to join and upload only my smaller accounts to see how the services work.

Also, you can check Mint’s stance on security. They just published a post about it here:

Video on Mint’s Financial Software Security

I believe these companies are well aware of the concerns people have. I have made the point that for those people with more savings, the issue of trust with a financial institution becomes all the more important. So it makes sense for them to shirk services like this in favor of more established institutions.

But there is a growing segment of people who are very much interested in these services, usually the younger set (or those comfortable with online services) who are giving it a spin and who like what they’re seeing.

It makes sense for instance, to use Mint for budgeting and expense tracking and therefore, to configure your checking account or credit card accounts into this tool. Savings, investment and longer term money accounts may not be as good a fit for these tools as of yet, though I hear that the companies behind the software are currently working to better accommodate such accounts into their applications.

Friends and Money July 17, 2008 at 3:17 am

still not sure how I feel about these tools. I know that the companies concerned will say that they are secure, but invariable a hacker always finds a way in. Also I have an issue with paying for software like this when you can use excel to do the job just as well.

Aaron August 23, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I feel more comfortable about these sites since they can’t actually move dollars. Even though you can use Excel to perform the same types of analysis, who has time?
I tried the service out for research on a post, and I found a few spending areas that needed attention within the first 10 min. I’m not sure I would have gotten around to it if it wasn’t a simple process for me.

Ram December 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

All the negatives of mint and yodlee have been overcome by Perfios; it is fully automated and i have been highly impressed by it since the time i started using it a month ago…..

Silicon Valley Blogger December 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Gee, I went to that Perfios site and it looks like a Mint-look-alike but catering to non-Americans. I’m intrigued by this service, but I wonder how well-tested it is as a browser-based app. Perfios is something I never heard of till now. Again, it looks like it could be for a completely different audience.

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