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Basic Financial Terms in Mint.com

Part of the Mint.com For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Mint.com is straightforward and easy to use but the site does require some financial knowledge. Don't worry—using Mint.com doesn't require a degree in finance. Understanding a few basic financial terms will go a long way in helping you get the most out of the site:

  • Account: A financial relationship you have with an institution such as a bank or a lender. Checking, savings, and credit card accounts can all be tracked by Mint.com.

  • Balance: How much money you have, or owe, in an account.

  • Assets: Items of value that you own.

  • Debts: Money you owe to someone else, most likely a financial institution such as a bank.

  • Net income: How much of your income you keep after paying your bills.

  • Ticker symbol: One or more letters used to identify an investment such as a stock or mutual fund.

  • Transaction: A financial event that causes money to go into or out of an account. A transaction can also be a charge placed on a credit card.

  • Alerts: Reminders of important financial events. Mint.com can e-mail alerts to you or send them to your cell phone.

  • APR: Short for annual percentage rate. The fee, or interest rate, you pay to borrow money expressed as a yearly percentage.

  • Budget: Limits you place on spending on types of items or categories (see below) so that you reach your financial goals.

  • Categories: Groupings that organize various expenses or income so you can see patterns. If you spend money at McDonald's, for instance, Mint.com would put that transaction into the Food & Dining category.

  • Credit card issuer: The bank or financial institution that gives you a credit card.

  • Credit score: A numerical value used to forecast how likely you are to pay back your debt.

  • Investments: Financial instruments you buy with the hope that your money will grow in the future.

  • Market value: The current value of any assets, including investments, you own.

  • Net Worth: A measurement of your financial standing: What's left of your assets after you subtract your debts.

  • Price paid: How much you paid to acquire an investment, such as a stock or a mutual fund. The price paid is used to determine your profit and any taxes you might owe when you sell the investment for a profit.

  • S&P 500: Short for Standard & Poor's 500. The S&P 500 is a common stock market index that indicates the direction of stocks. Mint.com compares your portfolio to the S&P 500 to see if you're beating or lagging the stock market.

  • Tag: A grouping used by Mint.com to pull together spending in different categories. You might tag spending in the Travel and Food & Dining categories so you can see how much you spent on a vacation.

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Mint.com For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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