Wednesday, Apr 09 2014 06:00 AM

Tech Wire: Tech tools for your finances

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Matthew Sgherzi

April 15th is just days away. While many may be filing taxes themselves, others often pay someone to file their taxes for them, and still there are others who are making the most of modern technology to get their taxes done quickly, efficiently and professionally.

There is a lot of software available to do our taxes, and most we have probably heard of over time. Turbo Tax has long been an industry favorite for both businesses and residential users to utilize in order to get their taxes done with little knowledge of the overall process. Other tax software is available, such as Tax Act and H&R Block's own version of tax software.

However, a part of filing taxes is keeping good records. How do you spend your money? What are your habits? Do you have a budget? What is your overall cash flow after calculating your assets vs. liabilities?

While calculating these may seem daunting, there is software that is available to do most of the heavy lifting for you. Intuit, the company that provides both QuickBooks and Turbo Tax, has a free version of personal banking software that recently caught my attention.


Intuit's free personal banking software is called Mint. If you have never heard of Mint, it is very exciting to use and it makes getting your personal banking organized very fun, all while helping you learn a lot about how you spend money.

Mint, which can be found at Mint.com, allows you to link all of your bank accounts, loans, credit cards, investment accounts, mortgages and more to your account where it will then give you an overall picture of your entire net worth. From there, you can set a budget with very specific goals, receive e-mail and text alerts about your deposits and withdrawals and ultimately allow you to see patterns in your spending habits.

Mint can help you stay on top of your stolen identity, as well. If someone withdraws or deposits a large amount (you can set a custom "large" amount), you will be notified. This takes the guess-work about checking your account on a daily basis.

Mint also offers options on receiving "advice," ways to save money by opening different accounts at a different bank or credit agency than what you currently have. Mint will also show you all of the loans that are available to you instantly, as well as help you in saving for retirement, college, to buy a car, home and more.

One of the most exciting things about Mint is not only that all of these features are free, but that they are backed by a truly legitimate company in Inuit. As an extra bonus, Mint is available online at Mint.com and also has mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and all Android devices, as well.

I highly recommend Mint as a financial tech method of getting your personal banking and accounting in order before filing for taxes on the dreaded April 15th date.

MATTHEW SGHERZI lives in Tehachapi where he has operated an IT business since 2007 (tehachapicomputers.com).

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