mint.com

Oct. 20th, 2008 12:19 am
ibneko: (Default)
Here's advertising for an interesting site:

mint.com. It's a completely free site that lets you consolidate a lot of financial information into one place, so you can easily view your current financial status. Kinda like an online Quicken. But with AJAX (you know, smooth looking browser action stuff).

Yes, trusting random online website with your financial data, bank access passwords, etc, is a tad bit questionable, but they've been around for over a year, and it looks like there hasn't been any particular bad press... They also say:
"We ask for your online banking user name and passwords, but we do not see or store that information.

That means no one at Mint, and no potential hackers of Mint.com, can access your banking credentials."

I'm not sure how they accomplish that exactly - I did read somewhere that they used a trusted third party system that does all the communication and such.

Lastly, I find it awesome and useful because:
1) It lets me set up alerts. And it means there's an automated system checking up on my account activity and warning me if suspicious stuff happens. At the moment, Discover card and American Express has been known to call me when there's an unusual purchase (like when I bought my MacBook Pro). This will cover all of my accounts.

2) I can start budgeting. And it means I can access my financial information in a read-only fashion from anywhere, so it's not stored on my laptop or some physical, easily stolen object.
ibneko: (Default)
I'm apparently quite clueless and haven't been paying enough attention to my accounts...

INGDirect's saving account has dropped from 4.2% down to 3.4%
HSBCDirect's saving account has dropped from 4.5% down to 4.3%...

Yeah, doesn't make much of a difference at the amount of money I'm storing, but... mrrf, ever little bit counts.

This makes my CDs more worthwhile though - They run from 4.55 to 5.45, in a ladder system, so one expires every so often...

The stock market is doing pretty badly too... I think my sharebuilder account has dropped by quite a bit, although since the majority of my stocks = Apple, the fall hasn't been all that great..
ibneko: (Default)
Here's an (year-old, but) interesting story...
Internet shoppers know the drill. You buy something online and think you’ve cleverly avoided paying sales tax, but sometimes you lose the gamble and have to pay anyway, depending on a cryptic set of tax laws full of legal terms like "nexus." Ultimately, you trust the Web site to charge the proper taxes, because what else can you do?

For nearly half a million Dell computer purchasers in Washington state, that trust was apparently misplaced. From 1999 to 2005, Dell overcharged 470,000 consumers nearly $24 million in sales tax, and now, the company must refund the money under terms of a lawsuit settlement reached in May....

[ Source | http://redtape.msnbc.com/2006/07/can_you_trust_n.html ]

::makes a note to check the exact tax amounts for his future online purchases::

That aside, Dell apparently still has problems calculating taxes - a coworker was just on the phone with our boss, who apparently purchased some Dell latops online. The tax was "estimated" (according to Dell) to be $0*. And as an educational facility, we're tax exempt anyways. But they charged taxes anyways. And there's apparently no way to get the money back... o.O

*Other people have had the same problem, where the tax was estimated to be $0, but turned out to be $30-something for a $370 refurbished system...
ibneko: (Default)
...gets major points for being one of the most amusing (in the perverted and proud of it sorta way) anime series I've seen.

Oh, the elephants.

And the most recent episode ending has been redone as a parody of the usual endings. Here's someone else's post on it, including a youtube clip: http://www.makenaidesuwayo.com/2006/08/02/inukami-18/

--
Why isn't there a way to transfer credit on my credit cards into uh, money into a bank account? >.>

(actually, no, I suppose there is a way... I could buy sharebuilder gift certificates... apply them to my own account, withdraw the money to the desired bank account, let it accrue interest for nearly two months before I pay off the credit card using that bank account. Alternatively, not as safe, would be to buy stocks and sell in one-and-a-half months, but that's much riskier. Although if the amount you're working with is large enough, the return might be worthwhile. The only problem is: it's a bit of work, and I think I might look kinda suspicious after a while...) ::v. silly, probably:: It would mean about an extra $6 to $20 per month, depending on the amount of money abused ($1000-$5000).

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