Tuesday, November 16

My long-term relationship with Mint

I have a love/hate relationship with budgeting software (who doesn't?). I used Quicken and Microsoft Money on and off through college but never managed to stick with them. I'm sure it was the task of manually entering transactions that drove me away. Even the ability to download transactions from my bank and then upload them to Quicken didn't keep me around for long. They just weren't right for me.
Then came Mint. Ahhh Mint.
We've had our up's and down's.

Up: It let's me see everything, from account balances to my net worth.
Down: It let's me see almost everything. There are days when the accounts don't sync, or I need to update my log-in credentials, or in the case of my one credit account it only sees the store account and not the visa portion.
Up: It collects all of my transactions for me.
Down: It collects all my transactions for me and then miscategorizes them requiring me to go back and fix said transactions.

Up: Mint sends me automatic alerts when withdraws are made from my account that exceed my preset threshold.
Down: Mint sends me alerts 3-4 days after the withdraw has already occurred.

One time while we were on a break I even experimented with a site called Strive (which is now apparently defunct). But I always come back to Mint. Here's why:
Mint Saves Time
Mint gives me the big picture without having to sign-in to the fifty-million accounts I have. I can see how my investments did while making sure my mortgage was paid.

Easy to Set Budgets
I am awful at setting a budget for and tracking individual spending categories. As long as I come in under budget as whole I'm happy. That shouldn't be good enough because I am most likely missing opportunities to save. Mint makes it easy  for me to set a spending limit and then see if I've met or exceeded that spending limit.

Pie Charts
Yes really, pie charts. I love pie charts! They let  me see by category what my spending is compared to my total income. While spending by category will vary depending on personal preferences I can see if my spending is way out of line. It also helps me identify categories I may need to cut back in.
Mint has a new (to me) feature that let's me set goals to pay off my debt, stash some savings, plan for a trip. Anything. I enter some basic information (or in my case link it to an existing account) and Mint tells me how much and how long it will take.

MintLife Blog
The blog didn't start out as much but has exploded into a resource rich with information.

I've told you what I love about Mint, what about you? Do you use it? What do you love most? Do you use another platform for tracking your spending/saving? What do you love about it?


  1. I think I am going to give Mint a try. We are needing to start a more strict budget since hubby will be starting school..so I will see if this is helpful.

  2. I have recently learned that my credit union won't work with Mint due to security concerns they have about the process. I'm just starting to set up a strong PF plan. Any suggestions on where to start, since Mint and my bank don't play well together?


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