Not realy, just Meghann from Lindzonmerica putting both to the test. Meghann’s financial life is pretty simple but stressful like the rest of us. I asked her to start from scratch and set up at Mint.com and Wesabe.com for her personal financial stuff. She is thrilled so far.
Seeing that I think we are late in the Web 2.0 cycle of start-ups, feature sets are close. It will likely come down to good old fashioned marketing and execution. If you are in the MySpace facebook crowd, you may never have heard of Quicken so I would think Quicken could make a play for one of these very fast. No youngster wants to pay for software anymore.
Here is Meghann’s take. She is hooked by the way on her choice for now…Mint (sorry Fred):
Jumping into the assignment of finally appropriately organizing my personal finances seemed tough. Luckily, someone has finally thought of a way to synchronize an accountant, financial planner and bank into one accessible and easily used website. The product: Mint.com and Wesabe.com.
Both Mint and Wesabe are free and combine the organized and detailed approach of Quicken, with the automation and accessibility of the web. Lastly, both are completely secure, providing bank level data security and identity protection. Each site does put in their own two cents, no pun intended, into how to best plan and organize your money.
Mint is billed as the “freshest, most intelligent way” for members to manage their money online. Completely comprehensive, it is utilized with ease, providing visual displays and categories for easy organization and cross-referencing. Another added benefit of Mint is that they go beyond accessibility and high visibility by providing money-saving suggestions. Mint offers up an average of $1,000.00 in savings opportunities during a new user first session.
Based purely on aesthetics and ease in navigating, Mint has Wesabe beat. Setting up my Mint account took under 10 minutes; my checking and savings account, along with one credit card, were completely synched and uploaded, even showing me every transaction over the last 98 days. The graphics are hip and youthful, the text is well-explained and the attitude is spirited. Mint seems to be the truly modern way of managing your money.
Setting up my Wesabe account took a little more time. Initially, I had to download my bank statements to their website, but it supports very little file types. Seeing as though most banks send their statements in PDF form and Wesabe doesn’t recognize PDF’s…it was a process. Once I logged on, setting everything up was just as easy as as it was over at Mint, albeit the website isn’t as pretty, but it still works.
The most unique feature of Wesabe is the member community aspect. Wesabe members post tips and techniques to help you to save and manage your money more effectively. For example, if Wesabe registers that you bought a latte, two pairs of shoes and a bottle of shampoo, then you will have “tips” on top of your transaction listing, like “Skipping Your Latte and Saving for a Vacation” or “How to Shop Less”, all written by fellow Wesabe members. Sound advice. Unfortunately, I’m not really interested in what Dan in Delaware has to say about my morning latte routine. If you are compelled listen to Dan, then this feature may give Wesabe an edge. Wesabe also categorizes transactions, much like Mint, but also provides detailed spending and earnings summaries, with graphs, which makes it easy to detail your spending habits.
One definitive edge of Wesabe over Mint is their goals section. This forum provides a space for you to detail your own financial goals, such as “I will not overdraft my bank account” or “I will not throw money away on useless purchases”. You can garner support for your goal through discussions with other members as well.
Regardless of my preference for either Mint or Wesabe, this type of online financial planning is the future. Money management websites are visual, analytical, hands-on and most importantly, always accessible – and that is a fresh idea.