More than 3 million people turn to Mint.com for insight into their spending habits.
Now, they can learn how to save and do more with their money with Mint Answers, a new feature on MintLife, the Mint.Com award-winning blog.
"Should I buy or lease a new car?" "How should married couples divide their money and expenses?" "What retirement account is best for me?"
This is a sampling of the questions people send to Mint Answers based on what they learn about their saving and spending habits, or triggered by what they read in the blog. Answers are provided at no charge, coming from a panel of professional advisors and from other users. Ultimately, people can apply the answers directly to their own situations.
"Because of the recession, people are talking more openly about money, a once-taboo topic," said Aaron Patzer, general manager and vice president of Intuit Personal Finance and founder of Mint.com, citing results from a recent Intuit Money Matters Town Hall Survey. "Mint Answers helps them make informed decisions about their finances. They get real-time access to experts and peers to answer their money questions."
Questions are grouped by topic, Budgeting, Debt Management, Future Goals, and Savings. The forum is open to anyone, with answers screened by the MintLife editorial staff and ranked by other users based on the usefulness of the response.
Patzer said the process allows the most helpful content to rise to the top, making it easier to find the response that best suits people's needs. Initially, MintAnswers will feature expert advice from the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors (ACA, www.acaplanners.org), a group recently featured on the former FiLife website.
"We're glad to be able to bring our highly qualified, ethical advice into the Mint.com dialogue," said Catherine Stegmaier, executive director of ACA. "Having advice tied to people's actual spending data is invaluable."
Mint Answers is the latest tool that stimulates conversation between Mint.com and its users, joining the Facebook fan page, Twitter, and a recent integration with GetSatisfaction that takes customer support and feedback to a new level. The Answers platform is provided by Sponge, a white-label question and answer platform that helps sites capture high quality content optimized for search traffic.