vs.…Cage/Cat Fight

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 and 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: and

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.


  1. Marc Hedlund says:

    Hey, Howard and Meghann,

    Thanks very much for giving Wesabe a look. If the current version of the site isn’t for you, hopefully some of our upcoming features will turn your head and convince you to give us another look.

    A few quick comments on your review…

    While it’s true that some banks provide statements only in PDF, nearly all North American banks do provide a format we support. Bank of America particularly makes it difficult to find the downloads from their site (they’d rather have you stay with them than use an independent site!), but for more than 85% of the accounts on Wesabe, uploading data is automatic and painless.

    We use a different uploading method than our competitors for several reasons, including your security and privacy. Unlike other sites, we *never* ask you to put your bank or credit card passwords into our site. We’ve heard from a great many users that this is one of the things they love about Wesabe, and we think it’s a substantial benefit. I talked a lot more about this topic here if you’re interested:

    On the topic of Tips, I can understand that if you’re not under financial stress, some of them may seem trivial. We definitely are a better fit for people looking to get out from under debt, or looking to achieve their financial goals — not for people who are just looking for a quick summary of their finances. We’ve designed the site to be suited primarily to people who need help with their money, and the community aspects of the site work well for that market. That said, I think some of our upcoming features take a broader approach, and may interest you as well.

    Thanks much for the feedback, and for giving our site a shot. Your feedback is invaluable and we spend a lot of time working on the improvements we hear from all of the people who try our site. If there’s anything else we can do to make the site useful for you, please feel free to let me know at any point — marc at wesabe dot com.

    Marc Hedlund, Wesabe

  2. heather brand says:

    Although there is clearly some discussion about which is the better website as a young woman I value the insight of someone of the same age and interests as myself. Things such as aesthetics and easy manuverability may not mean the same to people more atune with financial organization, it is aesthetics of a website that draw me in the beginning. Please continue to post financial advice from someone of the same age and financial tenure such as myself (a 25 year old woman). Keep up the good work guys! I appreciate any help you can give the financially ignorant such as myself.

  3. la-toria haven says:

    Hi guys,

    I was turned onto this website by a friend of mine who enjoys the funny videoblogs howard posts. I am not a money person, I can barely balance my checkbook, and know almost nothing about the stock market. Something like mint although “quick and easy” is what I am looking for, I don’t want to take any extra time to download no matter how short of time is it. Mint’s website in a nutshell looks cooler and although at the end of the day doesn’t matter to someone well read in finances for someone such as myself that cares more about art, us weekly, and fashion, mint appeals to a more younger audience.

  4. Great post! I was looking for something like that! I would also like to recommend you a really simple alternative to Mint and Wesabe. It’s called Gastus and you can find it as I’m writing about money management webapps at my blog and I think Europe is lagging behind US regarding these kind of tools and online banking features (reporting, data integration…).

  5. Pingback: Wesabe – Manage Your Money Online | | Peter KaoPeter Kao

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