Trying to stick within your budget is no easy task when you're guessing at your balance. Mint.com's free credit-card and budget tracker for Android phones may change that.
After going online and giving Mint.com access to your bank, credit card, and investment accounts, the passcode-protected Mint.com app can monitor your accounts, your budget, and even your cash flow. The app presents your money matters in summary form, with the capability to drill down to the item level of a purchase. Follow the trail to the end to edit an item's transaction details or jot down notes or tags. Apart from those modest editing allowances, Mint is largely read-only. You'll need to set up and manage budgets and alerts online.
Mint takes advantage of the Android platform's home screen widget and Live Folder features so you can view your assets without opening the app--assuming you're not shy about keeping financial details within eyeshot of others.
Still, Mint's Android app lacks some of the Web site's best features--such as suggestions on ways to save dough and visual charts and graphs that drive the distribution of your spending habits home. These are the same missing features we've been pining over since Mint released its iPhone app in 2008 and we were frankly hoping for more. That shouldn't detract from the monitoring you can do on Mint, but this app is a supplement and not a replacement to the full-fledged Mint.com site.