Mints Money Management Makes Holiday Budgeting Easy


Martha Shaughnessy
AtomicPR for Mint


Mountain View, Calif — December 21, 2007 – Aaron Patzer started out of frustration in November, 2005 when he just wanted to create a rough budget for his holiday spending — and found it was too time-consuming to get that done using his desktop software. Because he was planning for gifts and travel expenses, and thinking ahead to the New Year, he wanted to see what he was spending and saving in a typical month. But after spending several hours trying to get his records up to date, he began to wonder why there wasn’t a program that could do this for him automatically, so he set to work creating one. The result is a breakthrough product launched in September, 2007: , the fresh, free, easy and intelligent way for people to manage their money online.

The revolutionary engine behind is its patent-pending technology that automatically classifies transactions. This allows to do almost everything automatically in a way that Quicken and other personal finance management software programs don’t. Mint’s already giving useful information to nearly 100,000 users without making them pore over bank statements and enter transactions into software programs. And Mint is free.

“No one wants to be a Scrooge around the holidays, but you also don’t want to go into debt,” said Aaron Patzer, CEO and Founder of Mint. “Budgeting, like dieting, is difficult for many people — and for the same reasons. Most people know they should have a budget, but find that it’s hard to make a good plan and stick to it. As a result, most of us have tried and failed several times, in large part because of the overly complex approach recommended by most of the 10,000 or so personal finance books out there. In fact, there are a few steps most people can do that are manageable and can make a big impact.”

General Rule for Holiday Shopping

First, with holiday shopping, it’s a safe bet to spend the equivalent of one two-week paycheck, after taxes. So with a $60,000/year salary, setting $1,500 for holiday expenses – from gifts to decorations to extra groceries – is a good way to stay on track.

Watch Problem Areas.

Everyone spends differently, so while one person might need to budget on restaurants, another might need to pull back on DVD purchases. Budgeting across all categories isn’t necessary. It’s important to identify one or two problem areas, and pay attention to those.

Set Realistic Budgets Based on Spending

One key to sticking to a budget is setting one that’s realistic, based on current spending. If spending on clothes is high, it doesn’t make sense to try to cut it to zero immediately. Rather, people should determine what they’re actually spending and then plan to cut back 10-20% each month from there.

Monitor Spending Across All Accounts

It’s too much work for most people to keep a spending journal, collect receipts and maintain a complicated budget. Now, time- and labor-saving software like can do that work, collecting and analyzing all spending across credit card and bank accounts in a single place. As a result, with a clear and accurate view of spending, problem areas are easily identified and realistic budgets can be set and achieved. even sends emails and text reminders to help its users stick to a budget.

“Set budgets across one or two categories at a time, and don’t try to cut too hard, too fast or you’ll never stick with it,” said Aaron. “A product like will help you keep an eye on how you’re doing and let you make adjustments that make sense for you.”

About Mint is the leading online personal finance service, providing 200,000 users a fresh, easy and intelligent way to manage their money online. And it’s free. Mint is currently managing over $10 billion in transactions and has identified more than $100 million in potential savings for its users. Designed to be effortless, takes less than five minutes to set up. Users register anonymously using only a valid email address. Mint then does the rest, securely downloading transaction data from more than 5,000 bank, credit card and investment accounts on a daily basis. Users never need to import or synch their data. Mint, rated top in its category by PC World, applies patent- pending technology and proprietary algorithms to categorize transactions; provide a unified view of all account activity; alert users to low balances, bank fees, upcoming bills, and even potentially suspicious account activity; and give users personalized suggestions for significant savings opportunities.

Mint’s management team includes seasoned industry veterans drawn from the ranks of Charles Schwab & Co., eBay, Expedia, Intuit, PGP and other leaders in the finance, security and software spaces. Investors include top venture capital firms and prominent individuals associated with companies including Blue Nile, Google, Intuit, PassMark Security, PayPal, Yahoo! and others.

For more information on’s free online personal finance service, please visit

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