I don’t trust humans. We’ve got all of these “emotions” that get in the way of important tasks. We’re prone to error and laziness.
Well, that’s where robots come in.
Robots are dependable, accurate and damn if they don’t know you well. Gotta catch an early morning flight? You can depend on your Robot Alarm Clock to get you up on time. Want an extra hot pot of coffee ready for you in the morning? Robot Coffee Maker’s got your back. Looking for a good song recommendation? Pandora Robot knows exactly what you’d like.
Oh, and your indispensable smartphone? You bet your technology-addicted self that that’s a robot.
Robots can even travel back from the future. Try that one, humans.
But my ultimate favorite robot has to be My Mint.com Money Robot.
In fact, my Money Robot has saved me nearly $200 in fees and overdrafts – and perhaps saved me from getting kicked out of my apartment.
How My Mint.com Money Robot Saved My (Financial) Life
I had just moved into my first apartment in D.C. I’d put down a substantial amount of money for an initial deposit (the biggest check I’d ever written in my young adult), and my first full month of rent was due in a little over a week. Wanting to get off on the right foot with my landlord, I wrote a check for $750 well in advance of the end of the month and mailed it off.
A week later, I received an email from Mint.com that told me I’d received a $35 insufficient funds fee from Bank of America. “That’s funny,” I thought. I’d made sure that I’d had enough money to cover my rent and the rest of my expenses through the month.
I opened up Mint.com, and I saw a withdrawal of $747… not quite my $750 rent check, but close enough that I assumed there was some sort of holding or processing fee happening on the back end.
I called Bank of America to confirm. Sure enough, my landlord had tried to cash the check, unsuccessfully, and it bounced. I’d incurred a $35 insufficient funds fee.
But if the check bounced, why had $747 come out of my account? Bank of America had decided to take that money out of my checking account to pay off the balance in my parent’s dormant account … an account they didn’t know existed. Because my mom’s name had been on my account since I was a first-grader (I certainly forgot about that little detail), they just went ahead and took my money out of my account to cover the fees that had accumulated over an entire year in the dormant account.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
After 4 hours on the phone with Bank of America and a trip down to my local branch, I finally got the money refunded. In the meantime, I had to save face with my landlord.
Quickly, I called my landlord to explain the situation. He hadn’t noticed that the check had bounced yet, and he appreciated me taking the initiative to call him. Had my first rent payment bounced, he may have questioned me as a responsible tenant, but luckily I was still on good terms with him.
7 days later, I received a letter in the mail from Bank of America. They were writing to let me know I’d incurred an $35 insufficient funds fee.
Thanks for the speedy heads up, Bank of America.
If my Mint.com Money Robot hadn’t warned me of an insufficient funds fee, I may have not known for an entire week. And that might have resulted in an untimely rent payment, a bounced check, and some bad blood with my landlord.
My Mint.com Money Robot has Saved Me Hundreds of Dollars
Over the years, my Money Robot has alerted me to a few other financial red flags that I might not have noticed on my own
- A dangerously low balance on my second checking account.
- An insufficient funds fee that I was easily able to refute with my bank.
- A $60 annual fee on my credit card that I didn’t even realize existed.
All said, my Mint.com Money Robot has saved me about $200 in my lifetime – preventing me from overdrafting and alerting me to unexpected fees that I was able to fight.
The #1 Reason I Let a Robot Manage My Budget
I consider myself hyperaware of and slightly OCD about my money. So the only other “person” I’d trust to keep track of my finances is a hyperaware, OCD mega-smart computer.
But the real reason I love my Mint.com Money Robot? It doesn’t judge me.
When I (the human money manager) look at my budget, I start to worry. There’s still 10 days left in the month and I’ve already blown through most of my restaurant money. I resign to the fact that I’ll spend too much out to eat that month. Next thing I know, I’ve overspent my restaurant budget by $100.
Ugh. I always feel ashamed that I broke my own rules.
But my Money Robot? It takes the same information and turns it into data. Objective numbers. Judgment free.
I’ll get a message that says, “You spent $258 on food this month. You usually spend $68.”
Thanks for keeping me posted, Money Robot! Looks like I spent more than average this month. My Money Robot lets me apply any surpluses or deficits to the following month.
I will admit that my Money Robot can be annoyingly accurate and persistent. Regardless of when I want to hear it, it will tell me I’ve spent too much. It will tell me I’ve made an “unusual purchase” (yes, I’ve never spent that much on shoes before – but they were worth it!). But it’s consistent and accurate.
And hey, that’s what robots are for.
Want a Money Robot of your own? Head over to Mint.com to check it out (oh, and it’s free!)
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