Mint makes your finances fun
Mint.com is doling out award points and achievements for smart financial decisions made by its users.
Mint.com is launching a new tool on Tuesday that's makes tracking personal finances more fun. The service now rewards you for things you're doing to keep your "financial fitness" in check in the same way gamers get achievements in Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games.
Each time you save more money than you spend, avoid bank fees, or come in under budget, it nets you a certain number of Mint points that go toward your total financial score. The goal is to realize the things you're doing right or wrong, and use that information to attain the most points possible each month and compete with others on the service. While it won't show you specific user data it will give you a general idea of how you stack up.
Along with each goal, the service explains the benefits and follow-through of each action, and in some cases the means to get it done. For instance, if it thinks you can save more money by switching to a specific credit card or savings account it will tell you how to do it and let you make that switch right on the site. The service did this before, but now it's tied to an actionable item where the user will receive an immediate benefit. Users are also rewarded for continuing to do certain goals month over month with collectible badges.
Thrive, another competing personal finance site, also does this tracking method and tells you how "healthy" your finances are on a scale of 1-10. However it doesn't have a points system, or a long-term track of your achievements--something Mint is hoping users will get instantly thanks to experiencing the same thing in modern day games.
The new program is a limited, invite-only beta, but we've got 500 invites set aside for CNET readers. If you're a Mint.com user who is interested in trying it out you can send an e-mail to CNETemail@example.com with the e-mail address you have registered with Mint.com in the e-mail's body.