Mmmmmm, minty fresh accountability!

I was referred to this website and wanted to see if anyone else had experience with it:

 http://www.mint.com/

If you’ve used it – what do you think? Does it feel secure? Can you provide a comparison between it and Microsoft Money?

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3 thoughts on “Mmmmmm, minty fresh accountability!

  1. I have used mint.com for about 6 months. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it. I like how it provides me summaries of where my money is going, and provides all my balances on one page. It has been very helpful in that respect. I also like how it looks for better credit offers and savings /investment accounts. They also send you reminders and alerts when payments are due or account balances are low.

    However, there are several things that I don’t like and are pretty discouraging. I don’t like that I have to categorize and/or clarify line items. For example, we have a GE Money loan. Every month when I make the payment, it classifies this as a Utlility, rather than a debt payment. It is possible to rename debits and credits, etc. but it can be pretty time consuming. Other times, it will only show the address where a debit occurred, so if you aren’t on top of it everyday, you may have to go back in your mind to figure out exactly which charge they are referring to. And renaming various items causes all your graphs and such to be skewed and there is constant refreshing required. There have also been several of my accounts that mint.com just cannot log into, so my total financial picture is not available. Additionally, there are times when it cannot log into a particular account to access information. I never feel that my information is 100% accurate and available on mint.com.

    I just got back from a 3 month maternity leave, and I did not update my account at mint.com once. To be honest, I am afraid to log in, as I know there is much that needs to be updated and corrected. I would prefer a program that runs easier and does not require so much maintenance on my part. I have been pointed toward quickbooks, but I have not looked into alternatives.

  2. Hey Sara,

    Thanks so much for the feedback! I’ve been using Microsoft Money, but I find it is very weak in the “Savings” application. There isn’t actually a savings module unless you upgrade to the super-duper version, and I continue to find it ironic that it is so expensive to get help with money when you don’t have any….

    Anyway, I’m thinking about trying out Mint, because my husband isn’t a fan of Money, but I’ll be more cautious in my approach after your review – thanks again!

  3. I’ve used mint for months. And I happen to love it.

    Sara says that she hates needing to categorize things each month but this isn’t a problem. There are simple ways to set up rules so that each thing is categorized correctly when it happens. If you click on a transaction and then “Edit Details” the option will be available if you made any changes from the default. The only transactions I actually have to manually change are checks. Since my bank reports them only as their check numbers and mint has no way of knowing what they were for. I also need to categorize cash when I take it out so I know where I plan on spending it. But that is also self-evident.

    Some accounts are harder to get on mint than others. It took me a long time to get my mortgages showing up. That was despite the fact that they are from the same bank as some other accounts — all of which I got working easily. But some googling turned up the information I needed to get it working. I have never gotten my car loan working on there. But that is only because I don’t have online access to it. I’m a few months from paying it off so I am not going to bother getting that setup at this point.

    I have it set up to text message my phone when important things happen (pay is deposited or big bills are paid). And that works really well. It makes it almost too easy for me to stay on top of my bills. I am normally horrible at organization. The only reason my bills get paid (before this) each month is because I have them automatically in my online banking. Now I have a much better idea of what is happening with my money. I also like that it automatically generates a budget for you based on past spending patterns. Then you can tweak it. So now I know how much I want to spend on each area (like food) for the month and where I am in that area so far. The overview page is probably my favorite for that feature alone.

    I’m not a fan of the “Net Worth” information. But that is probably because it’s still negative and not a fault of the mint website itself. LOL

    -Kevin
    [Never used MS Money, so I can’t compare.]

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