Improved! is a personal finance website that I’ve been using on and off for the last year or so.  I’ve normally favored Yodlee Money Center because they had more tools available but is certainly improving themselves for the better.  It also helps that they have their own application for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

The biggest improvements that I’ve been able to see is their budgeting and trend analysis areas.  I used to use MS Money for years and tracked every little expense by downloading my transactions and categorizing them.  For the past two years I’ve abandoned Money because it just didn’t seem to make sense anymore.  The power of Money was the budgeting and trend analysis on spending and income but since has introduced these things, I’ve been able to set these areas up again. already had a basic budget tool but it wasn’t very robust, the new implementation is a bit better and makes things much easier to see.  Mint’s power has always been presenting things in a visually appealing manner and this implementation is no different.  Here is a link on how to budget with Mint.  The cool thing is that it does the following which is new:

  • Auto categorize transactions and add them to your budget
  • Track spending and income over time to view spending and income trends so that informed decisions can be made on how to change your lifestyle
  • Set goals for spending and saving
  • Live monitoring of your budget with email or SMS alerts

The live monitoring of my budget is really useful, it tells me when I’m about to overspend or when I send in a bill payment without me having to fire up an application that sits on my home desktop.

The trend analysis graphs are much improved since the first iteration of the product.  It can show how your net worth has changed over time, what you’ve been spending more money on, etc.  Money Center does the same thing but isn’t as visually appealing.  The graphs are helpful in tracking how I’m doing overall and where I need to start cutting expenses.

A few things I would like to see on are features that are on Money Center.  The first is a calendar that shows when all my bills are due, the second is the ability to group accounts and only show reports on that grouping, adding reward accounts and tracking how many points I have in each one.  Other than that, the app is much improved and I hope they can make further improvements in the future.  I’ll continue to use Mint alongside with Money Center but it might over take Money Center if they keep on adding excellent improvements like this last update


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