Mint Data Offers Real-Time Look at Local Spending

Yet another via ReadWriteWeb, a great new tool from Mint.com called MintData which analyses consumer spending by business to show the average bill thanks to 4 million users sharing anonymous spending data.

From the press release on Business Wire.

Most people who join a gym or get an oil change worry they’re overpaying. Or they may choose a restaurant based on the perceived cost, rather than knowing what they’ll really spend.

Today, Mint.com helps people solve those mysteries. Mint Data, launched today in public beta, aggregates anonymous spending data from some of Mint.com’s more than 4 million users to deliver an unprecedented real-time economic index.

“When we first crossed the million-user mark, we looked at the stories the anonymous, aggregated customer data could tell about the economy,” said Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit Inc.’s (Nasdaq: INTU) Personal Finance Group and founder of Mint. “Now, we have enough users in enough cities across America to give a distinct, anonymous look at the country’s economy down to the city level. What do we spend on restaurants? Which stores are a particular town’s favorites? How has the downturn affected things like coffee or bars? People may use the information they find to help them make better money decisions.”

The new data product is publicly available at http://data.mint.com/, letting anyone compare spending habits in various cities and see who are among the area’s most popular merchants, among other data. Mint users can compare their own spending inside the product – by category or merchant – against averages in their area, or against the national average.

The tool allows users to also look at roughly how expensive certain cities are around the United States for things such as living costs, dining, transportation etc.  The tool also allows users to drill right down to individual businesses in cities to assess the cost of each place – something that could be useful here in New Zealand.

Finally, the front page even shows some great snapshot tidbits such as the most popular restaurants in San Francisco (La Boulange – $11.08 average),  top shopping spot in New York by average spend (Tourneau $894.44(!) ) and the most expensive cities based on monthly expenses (Fremont, California). Best tip picked up from MintData  – if you’re a penny pincher, don’t live in the Bay Area.

Click here for the writeup on ReadWriteWeb

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