Getting started – Review of the Mint.com signup process

On Tuesday, I wrote that I’ve decided to track my finances again. I’m doing fine financially, but after a few months of not watching my income and expenses closely, I feel a little lost. I miss the ability to know exactly where my money’s going.

I had intended to install the new desktop version of Quicken, which is what I’ve been using for years. (Before that, I used Andrew Tobias’s Managing Your Money, but that hasn’t been updated since 1995!) In the comments to Tuesday’s post, several readers asked why I don’t just use Mint. Good question. I don’t really have a good answer.

What is Mint?

Mint is a free web-based personal finance program. Mint automagically connects with your bank accounts, your credit card accounts, and — in theory, at least — your investment accounts. Because Mint fetches data for you, there’s no tedious data entry. Mint has been around for a couple of years, but I’ve been reluctant to try it.

I haven’t tried Mint for several reasons:

  • It didn’t offer all the features I wanted, particularly the ability to track investment accounts.
  • I didn’t like the revenue model. Mint makes money by pushing new financial products on users. I’ve since realized that — duh! — that’s the same way Get Rich Slowly makes money, as well as the rest of the financial web.
  • I was loyal to the folks at Wesabe, a Mint competitor and friend to GRS. Unfortunately, Wesabe shut down earlier this year. (You can read about it here.)
  • Though I fully embrace the Internet Age, I’m still wary of giving one service access to all of my accounts.

But enough GRS readers have sung the praises of Mint over the past two years that I finally decided to give it a try. Yesterday, I set up my Mint account.

Remember: You should always read the terms of use! I know it’s a pain, but any time you enter into a legal agreement involving your money, you should read it. This is especially true when buying a home or a car, but it’s also true when signing up for an online financial tool. If it involves your money, you should read it. Here are Mint’s terms of use.

Getting Started

If you’ve signed up for any other web-based service, you know what it’s like to register for Mint. After you enter your e-mail address, your zip code, and your password, you’re ready to go.

Once you’ve registered, Mint prompts you to enter your financial accounts. You need just two pieces of information to connect to any account.

After you supply your login info for each bank or credit card company, Mint connects to the financial institution and slurps up your recent transactions. (I was pleased when my local credit union connected without incident.)

As you set up your Mint account, you can also add loans, real estate (such as your home), vehicles, and “other” accounts. Other accounts include:

  • Cash (or debt)
  • Collectibles (such as my comic-book collection)
  • Jewelry
  • Furniture and appliances
  • And a variety of miscellaneous items

You can also set up e-mail and text alerts based on a variety of parameters. This feature seems very handy, especially in this age of identity theft. I keep tabs on my accounts regularly to be sure there’s no monkey business going on; Mint lets me automate that process.

Mint also allows you the option to enter demographic information (which I did),; I’m sure this leads to better-targeted advertising!

You don’t have to set everything up at the start. You can edit your accounts whenever you want by clicking “Your Accounts” at the top of any page. Good thing, too, because as I’ll share in a moment, the set-up process wasn’t without glitches.

Using Mint

You make your way around Mint through a handful of tabs at the top of each page. These include the following.

Overview

The Overview section gives you a Big Picture view of your finances, including account balances and alerts. It’s meant to be your home base in Mint.

Transactions

In the Transactions tab, you have access to a day-by-day list of your income and expenses. It’s here that you can view and edit each of your purchases (and deposits). Mint automatically assigns a category to each transaction. It does a fairly good job of guessing, but it’s not perfect. Fortunately, it seems easy to make changes.

For example, here I’m telling Mint that the bill from Qwest isn’t for a home phone (because we don’t have one), but for our internet service.

I like that this section lets you view transactions from all accounts at once or narrow things to a single account. Handy.

Budgets

The Budgets section lets you, well, erect a budget to keep your spending focused. I haven’t had time to play around here, so I can’t comment on its utility. I’m hoping that Mint will allow me to put my beloved Balanced Money Formula (or some other broad budget framework) into use.

Goals

The Goals tab lets you set savings goals, and then walks you through the process of creating a realistic budget for each goal. For example, Kris and I want to go to South America in 2012 (or 2013). Here’s the start of the goal-setting process:

You can even create custom goals if the pre-packaged goals (get out of debt, buy a car, and so on) don’t meet your needs. The goals section is one of my favorite features of Mint.

Trends

With the Trends tab, Mint shows you standard charts and graphs. I’m sure these will be useful in time — in fact, they’re the main reason I want to track my spending! — but at the beginning, there’s not much to see.

For one thing, there’s only about a month of data. For another, a lot of that data is mis-categorized. For example, Mint thinks my payments to State Farm fall in the Financial category. To me, they need to be in a separate Insurance category.

The Trends area will become more useful as Mint accumulates more of my financial data, and as I make sure it’s categorized so that it means something to me.

Investments and Ways to Save

The final two tabs are Investments and Ways to Save. Both of these deserve a closer look.

Gripe: Mint pushes FreeCreditScore.com. Ugh. Look, I know the company makes its money by selling financial products, but come on. Don’t actively work against your customer’s best interests. (AnnualCreditReport.com is the best way to get your actual free credit score report; FreeCreditScore.com is just a come-on for a premium product.)

A Bad Investment?

Not everything is kittens and roses with Mint. In fact, from what I can tell, the Investment feature doesn’t work at all.

Mint automatically connects to your invesetment accounts.

I had real trouble connecting Mint to my Fidelity account. I used the correct login and password, but the connection wouldn’t go through. Mint offered only a cryptic “Your bank needs you!” message without explaining what the problem was.

Or does it?

Clicking the supplied link just took me to the default Fidelity page, where there was no indication that Fidelity was aware there was a problem.

Puzzled, I decided took a look at the Mint discussion forums. Sure enough, other folks were experiencing similar problems. In fact, there seem to be ongoing issues connecting Mint to Fidelity, and have been for months. It’s not an encouraging sign that there are no solutions to be had.

Others have similar problems. Mint just doesn't play well with Fidelity.

I tried to brainstorm some quick fixes, but no dice. Strangely, however, when I went to the Account Settings page, the Fidelity accounts were listed. When I closed the settings page and visited the Investments page, they didn’t appear. Huh?

The “add investment account” tool indicated that Mint had now connected to Fidelity — but it showed two of every account: the actual account and a phantom account with a balance of zero dollars. Huh?

When I tried to bring these investment accounts into Mint, I was asked to make additional corrections. After doing so, Mint listed both the real and ghost accounts with zero balances. Huh?

None of this made sense, and there was no help to be found.

I have no idea what's going on here.

After nearly an hour of slogging through various iterations of this madness, I gave up. It seems strange that Mint offers an investment “feature” when it’s not ready for prime time. (Or even, apparently, for the late late show.)

How Does Mint Make Money?

Whenever I see a free online service, the first thing I want to know is how the company makes money. Mint makes money through its recommendation engine. Mint looks at your financial habits and existing accounts, and then offers Ways to Save. If you click on this tab, you receive offers in a variety of categories from partner companies. If you sign up, Mint is paid a commission.

This is basically the same revenue model used by personal finance blogs like Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar, as well as big-name sites like Bankrate and Card Ratings. Mint takes it to a new level by comparing your existing accounts and habits to other accounts in its database. For example, here Mint shows that I could save $336 over three years if I moved checking account from my credit union to FNBO Direct.

Mint makes money by recommending new accounts.

These recommendations are probably very useful to many Mint users, and they’re much less annoying than I feared they would be.

The Bottom Line

After using Mint for only a few hours, I like what I’ve seen. Mostly.

The interface is slick, and I can tell the automation is going to be nice. This will indeed let me to track my spending, and may even help prompt me to save for future goals. My big beef is that my investment accounts won’t integrate. This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker (I don’t make a lot of stock trades), but it’s annoying. I’m used to tracking all of my financial data from within Quicken, and I’d like to do that here. Right now, I can’t.

I’ll use Mint for a few months to see how things go. If I can remember, I’ll post an update on Mint during the first part of April, after I’ve used it full-time for three months. (I don’t plan to make Mint a habit until January 1st.)

Meanwhile, perhaps it’s time for me to dig through the GRS archives. I’ve written before about lesser-known personal finance programs; maybe I should give one of them a spin in the meantime.

If you’ve used Mint for months or years, I’d love to hear your impressions. Have you managed to get the investment tab to work? (With Fidelity?) Are you pleased with the service? How would you improve it? What should a new user like me know before I get too far?

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There are 159 comments to "Getting started – Review of the Mint.com signup process".

  1. Ben says 18 November 2010 at 04:22

    Maybe I don’t understand correctly how Mint connects to my bank accounts (although I have gone through much of their help pages), but from what I’ve read, you need to give your internet banking username and password to Mint for it to scrape your transaction data.

    But if that is the case, then in the event that Mint has a security breach, whoever has that info can login to your bank accounts and transfer money out of your accounts! Isn’t that a huge security risk?

    Or am I misunderstanding how Mint gathers the data?

  2. Nate says 18 November 2010 at 04:59

    I have used mint for 2 years and I love it. I do have a Fidelity investment account (and all my other investment accounts) setup there. Whenever it has an issue I just got to the brokerage website and do something like CHANGE THE PASSWORD on the account — or see if the SECURITY QUESTION needs to be setup — (e.g. “what is your mother’s madden name” — then you give an answer used when logging in). Possibly change one of the security question values — then try syncing with Mint again. I know that sounds really dumb and — honestly you shouldn’t have to do little things like that to get it to work right. However — once you get it working — it’s AMAZING. I especially enjoy the budgeting feature which gives me a text if I am approaching the max allocation I have budgeted for a certain category. I think my favorite thing is a simple weekly email Mint sends me with a financial overview of all my assets and liabilities — any my net worth at the bottom. I actually have it sent to me wife as well and I have found that she is paying more attention to the things that are going on financially — because she sees everything summarized so clearly on a weekly basis. Best of all this report is AUTOMATUCALLY generated — and I don’t have to waste time creating it!!!

  3. LifeAndMyFinances says 18 November 2010 at 05:01

    Thanks for the detailed account of Mint.com. I have always tracked all of our personal finances with my own excel sheet. This is no doubt very tedious and I have been thinking about utilizing Mint.com as well.

    Will your testimony, I think I might just give it a shot. I’m curious what the other readers have to say! Should I take the plunge as well?

  4. Becky says 18 November 2010 at 05:07

    I have used Mint for over a year now, and I really love it. I have a credit card and investments that are both at different banks than my main checking and savings accounts. With Mint, I can track them easily in one place, not have to try to remember what I put on the credit card and what the balance is in checking.

    Some things are annoying, but they are manageable. For example, I put money into savings each month and I have to manually change the positive number to “Exclude from Mint” so that the negative number reads as an expense (otherwise the pos and neg cancel each other). I know with the new “Goals” functions I could probably avoid this, but I have not liked the Goals the couple of times I tried it.

    Mint, if you’re listening, you should really rethink the Goals concept. Right now, if you set a savings goal (like I want to save for an upcoming move) you either have to specify an existing account or create a new account. If you don’t want to create a new account and you already have enough money in the existing account to cover your “Goal” (which I do because my savings has a good emergency fund base) then it automatically counts your goal as “achieved” immediately. This is annoying. You should be able to say I want to save X ADDITIONAL amount in this account.

  5. Wil says 18 November 2010 at 05:12

    I use the Mint investment feature with sharebuilder.com and it works really well. Much better tracking than the Share Builder Tools.

    Something that you did not mention, but Mint allows you to export all of your transactions to csv for easy export. It can also export your filtered searches for easy expense reports etc…

    I have been using Mint for almost three years and love it. My wife and I started using it when we got married, and it is great because we both have access to all our transactions.

    It has been really cool to watch Mint.com develop over the past few years. They are really trying to do better and listen to their users.

    And one quick note for all those scared of giving Mint.com your information. As a computer programmer, it is just as easy to program into a desktop application something that sends your information to someone else. So if you are willing to trust Quicken or Quick Books or TurboTax with your information, then Mint should also be trusted as they are all owned by the same company, Intuit.

  6. Jay says 18 November 2010 at 05:12
    Just a minor clarification, you indicate that annualcreditreport.com will give you a free credit score; it won’t. You get a free report, but (like other sites) will have to pay for the score

    J.D.’s note: Oops. Will fix.

  7. Gail says 18 November 2010 at 05:18

    I use YNAB software,(the older excel sheet, not their latest) and very happy with it. I’d like to know why Mint would be any easier or better than YNAB. The thought of it being online, how safe is it? I will continue to read what others have to say.

  8. Wayne Mates says 18 November 2010 at 05:25

    Nice review, JD. I will be interested to see a review after you have used it several months! Like you, I have been reluctant to entrust all my financial data to one company or website. The thought of my passwords and account numbers, etc in one location causes me to stop and think of the mess created for me if the databases get hacked. Just my two cents…

  9. Michael says 18 November 2010 at 05:27

    J.D.,

    As a long time Quicken user who used to manage our family’s budget through a variety of means including Quicken, PearBudget, Budget Simple, and homemade spreadsheets, you should try YNAB. My wife and I have been using it since December 2009 and it works extremely well and you would be able to apply your Balanced Money Formula quite well in my opinion.

  10. John says 18 November 2010 at 05:27

    Does anyone know if Mint allows direct entry for brokerage accounts? I have a few obscure accounts like an employee stock plan that Quicken won’t even direct connect to, so I doubt Mint would either.

    If I could hand enter them, I might consider switching to Mint.

  11. FSS says 18 November 2010 at 05:35

    I’ve had numerous problems with ING not allowing Mint in, and have to re-enter my account details semi-weekly. Other than that I have used Mint for a long time and find it quite useful.

  12. Asa says 18 November 2010 at 05:41

    I used Mint for a little while, but eventually gave up. I kept having sync issues, particularly with Ing Direct. It would work for a while, then the accounts wouldn’t sync, and I couldn’t get them to come back. Also, I transfer money between accounts a lot (including transfers to and from my partner’s accounts) and Mint would get confused about these transfers. There were several annoyances with regards to reimbursed ATM fees, interest earned on money market accounts and other strange things which required too much manual intervention. In other words, I found I was spending too much time getting it to work the way I wanted, so I gave up (i.e., stopped logging in; I haven’t deleted my account yet). Anyway, the concept it great but with all the different security protocols of all the different websites I feel like they’ll always be an 80% product when I want to go 100%. Of course, I haven’t found a different product, so I’m more or less stuck doing things manually now.

  13. Jen A says 18 November 2010 at 05:55

    To commenter 11, FSS – that’s interesting. I have multiple ING accounts linked to Mint and have never had a problem with any of them. My investments are housed with eTrade at the moment, and I haven’t had any issues connecting there, either. My student loans through Sallie Mae are actually the one place where the connection is a problem, and I think that’s Sallie Mae’s fault, not Mint’s – they require you to answer a security question every time you login, so they pass that on to Mint as well, and Mint has no clue what to say for those and so can’t do the auto-login. I can go through the “Fix It!” button and get everything updated if I want to.

    I’ve used Mint for a few years and seen major improvements to it. My only beef is that it seems like at least once a month when I really want to login and check on everything, there’s some sort of maintenance or connection issues or something that prevents me from looking at everything (I usually check in every Saturday morning). But largely, I really, really like the service.

  14. Dink says 18 November 2010 at 05:58

    Once Intuit acquired Mint, my interest in Mint waned. Intuit pretty much has a monopoly when it comes to financial software and working in IT I deal a lot with them for my clients. One of my least favorite practices of theirs, which seems to be corrected in the latest releases of QuickBooks actually, was seemingly purposefully designing their software online activation to fail (I’ve installed too many instances of QB to count). You would then have to call Intuit up, or rather call their call center in India, to get the activation code; the representative would not give you the code until you answered a bunch of questions, got the up-sell treatment, and waited almost 20 minutes. Even when I’ve pleaded with them before, “Please, I don’t have time for this, I’ve answered these questions for this company before, no we don’t need X software, can you just give me the activation code so I can get back to work,” they won’t let you bypass the questions/up-sell. Like I said, in the latest Quickbook release the online activation seems to work now, which is great, but I’ve had so many negative experiences with Intuit as a company that I can’t really fully trust an entity owned by them with all of my financial data online.

  15. Sam says 18 November 2010 at 05:59
    Mint is making money by monetizing its data and you can’t opt out which might be okay with many users but some might be freaked out.

    http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/a-new-way-to-compare-merchants/

  16. Andrew says 18 November 2010 at 05:59

    I’ve been using Mint for 3 years now and it’s been great. I’ve had a Fidelity account for about 6 months now and I have had no problems with it. My only complaint is that syncing with ING Direct can be flaky at times. Although a great service, the downside to Mint is that it can’t do long-term budgeting. I’ve worked around that by creating a detailed monthly budget in Excel that takes me out 2-3 years into the future. Yes, it’s two different tools, but it isn’t hard to keep them synchronized.

  17. Anonymous says 18 November 2010 at 05:59

    Have used mint for 14 months. Reference it every day. It’s how I check my credit card statements, investments, and so on. There are a few minor bugs (it seems to think I’ve blown certain budgets that I haven’t), but I love it–completely changes the way that I think about my money.

    I kind of can’t believe you gave such a laborious tutorial on working with a simple interface, though! The Fidelity bug was tricky, but that’s what forums are for.

  18. Anonymous says 18 November 2010 at 06:00

    p.s. I also have multiple ING accounts and have never had a problem accessing them through mint. Also have had no problems watching investments with Vanguard, Ariel, or Prosper.

  19. Allie says 18 November 2010 at 06:01

    I’ve been using Mint for about 4 years now and love it. I have had problems with various accounts over the years. For example, my student loans account connected just fine for a while, and then sometime this spring stopped working for a few months – not sure what changed, but it started working again about a month ago.

    Goals is pretty new (as of August or July, I think?) and I love it. They really did a great job with that! Unfortunately, you can’t hook goals to your loan accounts for paying them off.

    My one complaint is that it won’t connect (or have problems connecting) to accounts that perhaps aren’t financial institutions primarily, things like ebay, paypal, etc. For example, I keep a fair amount of money cycling through Kiva loans, and I would like to know how much is there through Mint, but they haven’t supported it. Perhaps once they get a better hold on some of these financial institutions, they’ll get to these things though.

  20. Texas Blondie says 18 November 2010 at 06:03

    I have been using Mint for 18 months now, and here are my impressions.

    1) The auto-categorizations are not always correct, but it has a handy feature that allows you to make rules (aka this transaction should always be renamed to this and be assigned this category). Once you do it one time, all future (and past transactions if you like) will be updated.

    2) We also have set up a budget (a la Dave Ramsey) and use it pretty religiously to make sure we stay on track. We considered using cash as Dave recommends, but I find the data so valuable for understanding our spending that we just use our debit cards and Mint to track now.

    3) Which brings me to the “Trends” tab. This is where things get really powerful. Now that we have >1 year of data, it is key to model how we’re doing this month versus this month last year. Also, easily answer questions like “how much did we spend on food (restaurants and groceries) for all of last year across all our accounts (checking, DH’s credit card, and my credit card)? See the answer in a graphical format. It’s pretty sweet. The data modeling capability is a huge value add in helping us determine ways we can make better choices.

    4) Finally, the Net Worth calculation summarized cleanly and reportable over time is a reflection of the progress we’re making. This number fluctuates as our investments ebb and flow, but it is very exciting to see that the effort we make has an impact! It is inspiring watching the trend over time, and it all happens without any manual intervention.

    Mint has worked quite well for our needs. I hope you find it just helpful.

  21. Paige says 18 November 2010 at 06:03

    I have never used Mint since I am also wary of giving access to a service to all my account information.

    What I have been using for the past couple years is GNUCASH, and although the interface is not as pretty as Mint, I have found all its features to be extremely useful. It’s free and opensource!

  22. LMarie says 18 November 2010 at 06:03

    I just started using Mint as well, and am thrilled to see a blog post about it. I look forward to hearing your experiences using it. I have linked my 401k, savings, checking, credit, car loan, mortgage, and even paypal accounts to it. I have the mint app as well, which is really handy for checking for new transactions across all accounts when I’m not at home (which is most of the time). I am really pleased with how fast each new transaction updates. Watch out for duplicates. Also, paypal transactions can be confusing.

  23. Another Reader says 18 November 2010 at 06:16

    The software behind Mint is Yodlee, the same as most of these budget/spending tracking programs. Fidelity offered a version as well. I think it was called Full View or something similar. It was buried in a secondary page and I’m not sure they even still offer it.

    I used Mint for several years and it was very annoying. It would not learn categories and it pushed products that were not good quality or even relevant to my needs. It would think I was over budget when their categorization error was the problem.

    Recently I opened a Bank of America checking account. Their “My Portfolio” function is much better at tracking and categorizing than Mint although it’s designed by Yodlee as well. No product “suggestions” and it does a lot better job categorizing expenditures correctly the first time and after it has “learned” the category. The budget function does not work, however, and there are the same log in and security question issues with other accounts there are with Mint.

    I understand Intuit is going to move Mint away from Yodlee. Not sure that’s a good thing, because Intuit hasn’t improved any of their other products significantly despite large capital investments. Until there is something better, I will stick with the B of A version.

  24. Jim says 18 November 2010 at 06:18

    I’m glad you are finally giving mint a try. I am a college student with so little time and money. Mint was the first budgeting method that actually worked for me and I have been using it for a bit over 2 years now with no problems at all (minus the flaky credit report offer). I have highly recommended it to my friends and family for years. The best part is if the service isn’t enough you can still export your finances to analyze in quicken later, so there is no walled garden here. Hope it treats you well!

  25. Rhiannon says 18 November 2010 at 06:20

    I have been using Mint for a while now and have had no problems syncing with my Fidelity (and Vanguard) investment accounts. The only annoying thing I have is that I have to correct my credit union account every time I log in. But I think that’s an issue with the Credit Union itself rather than with Mint. I hope you work your issues with Fidelity out, b/c Mint is fantastic once you get it up and running!

  26. Mary says 18 November 2010 at 06:34

    I’ve used mint for 11 months, which means the reports, alerts and average spending data are just starting to be useful. I the accounts people have trouble with are pretty random. I had tons of issues with my BOA mortgage, but have never had problems with my ING accounts. My boyfriend has fixed most of my problems by looking through the help sections at the known issues…a lot of them you just need to delete the account entirely and readd it.

    I wrote up a guide to Mint for my friend, including some of the issues and things that I’ve found, and she found it really helpful too if you’re interested JD.

    J.D.: Yes, I’d love to see your guide, Mary!

  27. Aaron says 18 November 2010 at 06:34

    I’ve used mint for over a year and I used to have issues with my ING investment accounts, but those have been stable now for probably 6 months or more. Sometimes a bank or brokerage house takes issue with Mint’s method of getting your data and actively works to disrupt the process. ING did this for a while and finally relented. So this kind of behavior could happen with any account at any time.

    In regards to the goals, you still can’t budget them in, they come out of your surplus at the end of the month. This is aggravating since it feels like paying yourself last instead of first.

  28. hopefully_helpful says 18 November 2010 at 06:35

    I think the reason for the security questions is based on how “good” your password is. Try using a number, a capital letter, a word that isn’t in the dictionary, and a special character. I think the problem the author had was probably based on this too…

    Security is probably the reason Mint wants you to keep logging in. Its good to question the security on sites that aggregate your accounts though.

    I recently signed up with Mint too – I read that they have been vetted by an independent security group. I think it would be great to talk about that in this article too. The security on Mint has been the main reason a lot of my friends haven’t signed up for Mint accounts.

  29. Rachel says 18 November 2010 at 06:36

    I’m SO GLAD you posted about this! We just started using Mint a couple of weeks ago, and I have a huge issue with their budgeting tool. I just can’t quite figure out how to get it detailed enough. For instance, my husband and I both get paid twice a month, but not on the same day (his is 1st and 15th, mine is 5th and 20th). When I go to enter a paycheck, it won’t let me change the frequency. It only gives me the option for once a month. Confession: I haven’t spent much time noodling around on their discussion forums yet, so I might find help there. The whole set up seems a bit too elementary, but I like that it’s not quite so overwhelming as Quicken.

  30. shann says 18 November 2010 at 06:41

    your description of the problems with Fidelity (and others’ descriptions of problems with ING in the comments) is what ultimately swayed my decision to move from Mint to Yodlee (moneycenter.yodlee.com). it has all of the elements that i loved about mint (trend tracking, ability to categorize expenses – it does this correctly for me automatically about 90% of the time, and graphical representations of my net worth) with that added perk that my accounts actually WORK with it.

  31. William says 18 November 2010 at 06:41

    I’ve been using Mint for two years and it’s helped my wife and I get out of a tremendous amount of debt.

    I have had similar investments trouble with multiple investments accounts. I have opened repeated tickets with Mint and have been told they are investing considerable time into revamping the investments tab right now to make it more usable. I am in the middle of a 6 month period where one of my two investment accounts will load data but not the other (with the same company) but shows as updated on the overview.

  32. Stephen Schrauger says 18 November 2010 at 06:44
    I’ve used Mint for about 6 months now, and I really love it. I previously used a quicken-like program (gnucash), but I would often go for a month or more without putting in my receipts and then have to spend a day to get caught up.

    Here are some of my thoughts:

    Advantages (aside from the ones already mentioned in the article):
    * Mint comes with a lot of built-in categories. If there isn’t one for you, it is simple to create your own category.
    * It can split transactions. So if you wrote a combined $1000 check for rent + internet + cable (for example), you can split it into 3 separate transactions so that it can be categorized.
    * The budget feature is really nice. You log in, and on the main page, it shows how much you have spent for the month in a sort of progress bar. It also shows a vertical line across all the bars indicating how far along in the month you are. So you can tell if you are roughly ahead/behind in your budget for each category.
    * It was able to link to all of my accounts, including my credit union that is not open to the general public.

    Disadvantages:
    * There is no way to track a cash account. That is, you can’t make your own account in which you yourself keep track of all the transactions; either Mint can link to it and track it, or you’re out of luck.
    * With all the categories, there is no way to remove ones you know you’ll never use. Looking through a large list can sometimes be cumbersome when you don’t remember exactly what subcategory your item is under (Is my ‘Student Loan’ under ‘Education’, ‘Bills & Utilities’, or ‘Financial’?).
    * RECONCILIATION. There is no simple way to determine if you have reconciled a transaction. Now, maybe I used reconciliation differently than most, but I made sure that every receipt I had matched up with the amount being charged/taken out of my account. I still want to check a transaction to make sure the restaurant didn’t accidentally slip when adding in my tip.
    ** To get around this, I was able to create my own tag, which I labeled ‘Reconciled’. A tag is something you can attach to any transaction, and have multiple tags on one, unlike a category. I can search for transactions that aren’t yet reconciled by searching “-tag:Reconciled”.

    In the end, I really like Mint, and I can live with any shortcomings. I love that it does the grunt work of adding in all my transactions, and I can access it from any computer.

  33. Dan says 18 November 2010 at 06:48
    I started using mint a few months ago. Like you, I’ve had a mostly positive impression, with a few things to note:

    1) It took me a while to figure out how to set up rules for classifying transactions. As you already noticed, it’s easy to reclassify a single transaction. To do that automatically in the future you need to change it on a single transaction first, then click the “edit details” link beneath the transaction. It will have a “rules” section in the details window letting you tell it to do that automatically in the future.

    2) Related to the previous item, the rules aren’t quite detailed enough for my needs. For example, I have a Wells Fargo mortgage and Wells Fargo brokerage accounts. Every week, I transfer a fixed amount into my brokerage account. Mint misclassifies it as a mortgage payment. I would like to set up a rule clarifying that “When you transfer XX dollars to Wells Fargo, it isn’t a mortgage payment,” but you don’t seem to be able to set up a rule based on anything other than the description (name) field.

    3) Like you, I’ve had a few problems with investments. I have investments with Wells Fargo (Personal), Smith Barney (Work Benefits) and Charles Schwab (401K):

    Mint finds several accounts in Smith Barney for me (one for options, one for ESPP), but can’t seem to find my account for RSUs.

    For one of my accounts, it was collecting accurate data for a while, but then incorrectly started showing my balance as zero for a while. Now it seems to be showing accurate information again. I’m not sure if it’s always that intermittent, but it has been flakey enough that I’ve considered hiding those accounts.

    4) In the trends section I always end up with a *huge* uncategorized section. When I click to look more closely, it is made up entirely by transactions that don’t show up in the normal transaction list. They are all transactions related the in-brokerage transfers. Things like automatic daily transfers to the sweep account or dividend payments and automatic reinvestment get lost in the “uncategorized” abyss. Oddly, some of them (like a mutual fund purchase) get replicated about multiple times. I’m looking at it now, and I can see five copies of the same purchase transaction – so it thinks I spent five times what I really did.

    To recap: I *do* like their service for basic money monitoring. Like you, though, I’ve had mixed results with the investments.

  34. Texas Blondie says 18 November 2010 at 06:51
    I have been using Mint for 18 months now, and here are my impressions. 

    1) The auto-categorizations are not always correct, but it has a handy feature that allows you to make rules (aka this transaction should always be renamed to this and be assigned this category).  Once you do it one time, all future (and past transactions if you like) will be updated.

    2) We also have set up a budget (a la Dave Ramsey) and use it pretty religiously to make sure we stay on track.  We considered using cash as Dave recommends, but I find the data so valuable for understanding our spending that we just use our debit cards and Mint to track now.

    3) Which brings me to the “Trends” tab.  This is where things get really powerful.  Now that we have >1 year of data, it is key to model how we’re doing this month versus this month last year.  Also, easily answer questions like “how much did we spend on food (restaurants and groceries) for all of last year across all our accounts (checking, DH’s credit card, and my credit card)?  See the answer in a graphical format.  It’s pretty sweet.  The data modeling capability is a huge value add in helping us determine ways we can make better choices.

    4) Finally, the Net Worth calculation summarized cleanly and reportable over time is a reflection of the progress we’re making.  This number fluctuates as our investments ebb and flow, but it is very exciting to see that the effort we make has an impact!  It is inspiring watching the trend over time, and it all happens without any manual intervention.

    Mint has worked quite well for our needs.  I hope you find it just helpful.

  35. Jay says 18 November 2010 at 06:52

    To commentor 23. I believe Yodlee writes the back end application that powers Mint. At least it was when they first started out.

  36. Adam says 18 November 2010 at 06:54

    Wow, J.D., looks like a heck of a party on November 17th…that screenshot shows a $375 bar tab. 🙂

    J.D.’s note: Ha. Not a bar tab, but our annual November wine purchase for the coming year. I buy by the case to get the cost down…

  37. Steve S says 18 November 2010 at 06:59

    Just wanted to confirm one more person who uses Mint and connects to Fidelity & Charles Schwab without incident.

    Not sure what the problem is, but glad I don’t have it!

  38. Jennifer says 18 November 2010 at 07:01

    I have a couple fidelity accounts successfully linked. I’m not sure what the trick is though. I’m not sure how to track everything as a couple. Right now I have mint tracking BOTH of our accounts in one mint account. Connections with account break fairly often and you have to go through the “fix it” process. It’s never on my credit card I use for every day purchases or my checking account so I can still use mint for day to day things. But my student loans break a lot & I like to see those going down! It’s definitely easier than logging into all the accounts separately though. And they are constantly adding new features–the goal option is relatively new.

  39. Ray Matsuzaki says 18 November 2010 at 07:01

    I’ve been using Mint for ~2 years, and I’m enjoying using it. Since Mint was acquired by Intuit, issues have been cropping up more frequently – mainly due to their transition from Yodlee back-end (software used to transfer bank data) to Intuit’s proprietary communications. It’s been better in the last few months than during this past spring.

    One of the things that makes me more secure about using Mint than some other sites is that they (purposefully) don’t allow you to trigger bank-to-bank transactions. This is a security “feature” – in case someone hacks your account. Another feature that drew me to Mint is that the passwords to your financial account are encrypted on Mint’s servers – meaning that no one can get your bank passwords by hacking Mint’s servers.

    I’m curious to see your perspective on Mint. Keep writing!

  40. Asylum says 18 November 2010 at 07:03

    I’ve been using Mint for about two years now.

    I’ve gone from being about $20k in debt, to about $5k in debt.

    Now, I won’t say that Mint is solely responsible for that. It took me *wanting* to do it, obviously. But, the fact is, Mint.com made it fairly easy for me to see what I have, what I owe, what I’m spending on, etc. For the last 24 months, I’ve set up a fairly aggressive budget that I try my hardest to meet (I don’t always, but thats not the point), and I should be completely debt free in June or July of next year.

    Mint.com is not perfect by any means. The Investment section is rough, as are the budget and goals sections. BUT they have made significant improvements over the last couple years and have been fairly reliable to me.

    I suggest it to most people I know.

    -J

  41. Holly says 18 November 2010 at 07:06

    I have had Mint for about 6 months now and I still don’t find it very useful. It won’t connect with my mortgage info (small institution not supported) or my state retirement fund. Also, since I prefer to keep info at hand on my iphone, I don’t find the Mint iphone interface very friendly.

    On the other hand, I got an iPhone app simply called “accounts” that is working well. It is an old-fashioned manual register where you have to create your own categories and enter info yourself, but then it can run monthly reports and graphs if you want them. I use it mainly as a “check” register with monthly updates to other accounts.

  42. Rachel211 says 18 November 2010 at 07:08

    I was amazed that we were never able to put our mortgage in as a loan through Countrywide. That was what made me stop using it initially – but maybe now that BofA owns our loan I should try it again.

  43. Joe D says 18 November 2010 at 07:11

    Great write-up J.D. Great initials as well.

    I’ve been using Mint on and off, and it is a wonderful resource for the right circumstances. For me however, the best way is a manually updated Excel spreadsheet. It forces me to sit down and feel in control, rather than spending and monitoring while the numbers are crunched for me. It’s a time suck of course (and for the economists in the crowd, not the best use of opportunity cost), but this sort of manual updating keeps me in check and makes the purchases and bill paying all the more personal. For people just getting started I feel that a pen and paper or mouse and spreadsheet is probably better than Mint.

    Well done though. I agree with just about everything here.

  44. Daniel says 18 November 2010 at 07:12

    My wife and I have used mint for a couple of years now, and my Fidelity and Vanguard investment accounts show up just fine!

    We had set up our budget in Mint, using the “roll-over” feature to carry overages from one month to the next hoping it would encourage us to save more in that category. After about of year of this, we abandoned that tactic because starting the month “over budget” was not making us save, it was making us feel like we were already defeated.

    This month, we’ve moved to a different system: we set up a budget specific for this month’s planned expenses, and if we go over in a category, we have to move money from another budget. We’ve also moved to cash for our “fun money” and groceries – the two categories we had trouble limiting in the past.

    It’s going surprisingly well, and shuttling money between budgets is just a click of an arrow! It’s not as if the budget has changed, it’s more a change in our perspective.

  45. DM says 18 November 2010 at 07:18

    I’ve been using Mint for about 6 months now and I’m ready to move on.

    I’ve just had too many problems with Mint not working. Also, every time I find a bug, the forums reveal the problem has been happening on and off for a long time with little to no response from Mint. It is very discouraging.

  46. Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog says 18 November 2010 at 07:21

    I’ve been using mint since feb 08, and for the most part it has been great. Occasionally I run into some connection problems with my ING account, but everything else has worked great. It’s been really helpful to see the big picture, and it gets better the more data that they have in there.

  47. Lacubrious says 18 November 2010 at 07:27

    I LOVE MINT! I’ve been using it for 1.5 years now. It’s helped me track my debt and motivated me to cut it in half over that time. It does have some issues at times connecting to certain banks or accounts, but like you I generally just check the forums and see if others are having issues as well. All of mine have eventually been resolved. I LOVE MINT! Can’t say it enough. It is also great because my spouse can see at a glance on his iPhone just where we are at…it’s made financial discussions much better!

  48. April Dykman says 18 November 2010 at 07:28

    The reason I quit using it, after two separate attempts, is that I ran into glitches that were misreporting my spending. After several attempts to contact Mint to get help, and ZERO help from them, I deleted my account.

    For example, I had a category called “personal items” where I tracked things like toiletries. Typically this category is very low, but one day it said $400-something. I tried to expand the view to see what the charges were, and it timed out. Over and over it timed out, over a period of three weeks. I checked all of my statements, and there was nothing I spent $400 on in that category. Contacting Mint proved worthless.

    What good is it to let Mint track my spending if it’s unreliable? I think it’d be great if you’re lucky enough not to encounter any bugs. If you do, you’re outta luck.

  49. rb says 18 November 2010 at 07:28

    I have been using Mint for the last 1yr and love it. It is not perfect, but I finally have a handle of finances after tring lots of different programs. It tracks my IRA/401K’s and spouse’s just fine. I initially had lots of problems getting my main checking acct at NFCU to connect and finally after trying nearly 50 times it connected and has been great.
    I love that as I pay down debt, Mint gives a running tally of my net worth and I can see light at the end of the tunnel from day to day.

  50. J.D. says 18 November 2010 at 07:32

    Hey, everyone: I’m experimenting with in-line replies to comments when I don’t have anything major to say. You can see them scattered throughout this thread. If I do have something major to say, I’ll start my own comment.

    Please let me know if you find this helpful or annoying…

    Also, yet again a lot of legit comments are being routed to spam. I’m going to be out and about this morning, so it may take me some time to salvage them. Have no fear, though: If you’re a real commenter with a real comment, I will save your message…

  51. Kevin says 18 November 2010 at 07:35

    I’d love to try Mint, but the last time I tried to sign up, it wasn’t available in Canada. 🙁 Anyone know if that’s changed?

  52. sarah says 18 November 2010 at 07:36

    I’ve been using it for a while and I like the transactions feature. It’s easy to review all purchases from multiple credit cards.

    I also like the investments feature. I can easily see how our combined accounts are growing (mine’s Fidelity, his is Charles Schwab).

    The only problems I’ve had are with student loans. One loan connects fine, one loan used to connect, but no longer does, so holds an old balance from months ago, and the last loan is not compatible with Mint so it doesn’t show up. Not a huge deal though since I know exactly what’s going on with them. I’m more concerned about tracking my credit cards.

  53. Becky says 18 November 2010 at 07:36

    I find Mint really useful, even though it’s *extremely* glitchy. I have three trouble tickets in progress with them right now, none of which have made any progress in a month. Their help/forums/tech support system is a joke.

    I can’t access my Fidelity account, transactions don’t download from my credit union credit card, and now that credit card account has duplicated. Also, you can’t set up transaction rules for investment accounts, so I have to exclude balance updates on my 401(k) every few days, or my Trends data is useless.

    Even with all these problems, it’s still EASY to get a basic overview of what’s going on with my accounts and spending. That makes it all worthwhile to me. When I was having to track my spending manually, I just didn’t do it. So I put up with the madness, because, hey, it’s better than nothing, and it’s free.

  54. b-bo says 18 November 2010 at 07:40

    all mint is is a fancy front end for yodlee that uses your purchase info for marketing and making $.

    if you like mint and don’t like people all in your biz and profitting off that info, go straight to the source and use yodlee.

  55. Michael Moore says 18 November 2010 at 07:52

    I have used mint for 14 months, and like it overall.

    What I don’t like:
    Most banks work most of the time. But once a quarter or so ING won’t sync for a few days. This usually resolves itself.

    Support is poor. You might wait 3 months for someone to reply to your support request, and even then it might be a low-level useless response.

    If you use a lot of checks or cash, the value is greatly diminished since they aren’t automatically categorized like CC or Debit Card transactions.

    They have poor support for tracking student debt (many student loan banks use the same software on their websites, which is incompatible with Mint).

    Mint has no way to know if Walmart, Target, Costco, etc. should go into food, home improvement, gifts, etc. It only knows what store you spent your money at.

    What I do like:
    My wife and I aren’t very good at tracking our finances — we have tried many times. I like that with almost no effort I can review my spending (Wells Fargo checking and CC, ING Direct) and most of my debts (2 of 3 student loans, car loan, mortgage) from a single location.

    It means that instead of riffling through my wife’s purse for receipts and manually categorizing, I can just log on once a month, re-categorize a few check and mega-mart transactions and see where we stand.

  56. Jessica says 18 November 2010 at 07:53

    I’ve been using Mint for 1.5 years with my investment accounts (Vanguard) with 0 problems. It’s clearly a problem with the connection between Mint and Fidelity, not with the Investments feature itself. I’m surprised you pan a feature so outright when clearly many many people manage to use it (with non-Fidelity accounts) with no problems.

    And you can thank me for your credit union being on there! I and a lot of other people sent frequent messages to both Mint and credit unions when Mint was trying to win them over so they could sync accounts with CUs too. It took more than a year! But now I am back on Mint with my little CU and totally happy.

  57. Anita says 18 November 2010 at 07:56

    I tried using Mint for several months but ended up finding completely useless for several reasons.

    As a former Quicken user, I found that it lacks a lot of the functionality that I’m looking for (for example, the ability to enter my own transactions and to reconcile). I also found that the budgeting and tracking features were difficult to use (especially since it doesn’t learn from me changing categories, so I had to keep on changing them every time).

    I tried connecting several banks, brokerages, and student loan servicers that my husband and I use and the majority of them did not work with Mint. Which of course means it was not helpful to us at all.

    JD – I’m curious about what your opinion will end up being, especially since you are also used to the functionality that Quicken provides.

    Unfortunately I’m a mac user and the new quicken for mac is basically the same thing as mint.com, so I’m on the hunt for something new – currently considering iBank and MoneyDance. Does anyone have any experience with either of those?

  58. Bud Nelson says 18 November 2010 at 07:57

    This year, I’ve tried out Mint, Moneydance, Yodlee, HelloWallet, YNAB, Mvelopes, and several others. I bought Quicken 2011, and it’s just as cumbersome as I feared. Mint is good, no doubt – but offers practically no way to project future transactions and balances.

    The one I’m settling on is BudgetTracker.com. For $3.95 a month, it has nearly as much functionality as Quicken – in some ways, MORE. No, it doesn’t automatically link to accounts, but you can download the transactions and reconcile them easily. It’s very intuitive, and basically works the way my mind works.

    Additionally, it’s web based, with mobile app, which was what really prompted my search for software, in the first place. I’ve kept my Mint and Yodlee accounts open – they’re good! But I think BudgetTracker is where I’ll ultimately settle.

  59. Ethan says 18 November 2010 at 07:58

    I’d love to love Mint, but I just can’t. Syncing taking ages, there are far too many categories for my purposes (I’m not allowed to hide built-in categories I don’t want), auto-categorization doesn’t work well at all for me unless I create a ton of rules by hand, and some areas – like investment performance tracking – are so poor they are either useless or misleading.

  60. Nathan Robertson says 18 November 2010 at 08:02

    JD,

    I’ve used Mint since 2008, about two years now. It doesn’t allow access to all my accounts, but it definately helps me track where I spend my money and when it shows me student loan and car loan debt every time I log on, it reminds me of my goals to pay them off. It definately eases and uncertainty I may have about my cash.

  61. David W says 18 November 2010 at 08:12

    I tried Mint for a about 3 months. The Ing Direct Sync problem was a real issue for me. Tried Yoddle for a bit but life got really complicated really fast because of some other issues. Now I am going try to them concurrently for about 3 months and decide which one is better after that time.

  62. J.R.C. says 18 November 2010 at 08:16

    I’ve been using mint for 2 years now, and it is a core part of how I manage my money.

    As other commentators have mentioned, the trends section is very very powerful and provides great information about current performance compared to last month, last year, or the nice option to look at trends over any period(s) of time.

    I have also experienced some of the same problems other people faced. Initially I had some trouble connecting some accounts to Mint. Eventually they get resolved. Apparently any time a company changes how their website/interface works, mint may have to also fix things on their end. Since Mint connects to hundreds (thousands?) of institutions, you can see how it might not always get fixed within 24 hours.

    After 2 years though I think it’s only happened to two of my accounts (fidelity and ING) over that time period. This isn’t bad since it is all of my wife’s accounts as well as my own.

    We have: Our Bank checking account, Bank savings account, ING account, my etrade roth ira account, my etrade brokerage account, employer 401k, wife’s 403b, wife’s pension account, wife’s vanguard roth ira, our mortgage and 3 shared credit card accounts. Mint makes keeping track of all of this pretty easy.

    I do my month end review of our finances and make sure each line item is in the right category, and that there’s no weird/unauthorized purchases, etc. This is also when my wife and I ask each other what we are spending our money on and there’s no surprises or secret large ticket purchases without the other’s consent.

    But the BEST about mint is the budget. I set my budget to include all monthly fixed expenses and regular variable expenses, and little buffers for random expenses. The trends data helps me make sure that my variable expense estimates are realistic. Now I can always track how well I’m sticking to the budgetary plan.

    But The real value to budgets though is in using the mobile phone app. NOW YOU CAN SEE IN REAL TIME HOW MUCH IS LEFT IN YOUR ASSORTED BUDGETS! (e.g. how much left in groceries, or personal allwoance, or eating out budget, etc). You never have to wonder ‘do I have enough’ ever again.

    Now the caveat here is that it relies heavily on you using electronic payment for things (i.e. credit cards). Which works well for me. I use a card for about every transaction. It gets automatically recorded, I earn cash back (or points), and I don’t have to worry about getting robbed, or losing a wallet with cash in it. We pay our cards off in full each month so this is what works for us. (sidenote: if you didn’t pay it off in full, mint can show you how much your paying in interest and fees, and what percent of your income it is, etc).

    In summation, I heartily endorse mint.

  63. Fred Daily says 18 November 2010 at 08:18

    Why fool around with Mint, with it’s quirks, limitations, sale of your personal data and commercials? C’mon cheapskates, Quicken costs only $30 to $40 and has none of the drawbacks of Mint (owned by same parent company).

  64. Alex says 18 November 2010 at 08:22

    I’ve been using Mint for a while and I love it. It is quirky here and there, but I have been able to iron out almost all the issues. A few of my experiences with Mint:

    First, as for getting accounts updating that don’t work at first. The previously mentioned changing passwords on both ends can help. Also, try searching for the name of your bank and try a few different results. For example, there’s several account types that come up for “Fidelity.” I’ve had cases where the one I thought I needed didn’t work, but a different Fidelity account type did work.

    Some sites also have a setting to allow third party software to access it; it will deny anything it detects as coming from an automatic service like Mint. This is usually disabled by default for security. You may have to dig a little on your bank’s site to find this setting, if it is there.

    Second, talk to Mint! I sent them an email about Prosper accounts not calculating balances correctly (only showing remaining note balance and not cash in the account, so your account would appear to be decreasing in value over time), and they fixed it about a week later. Though, I and many other people have complained about the Goals feature not letting you count anything but credit cards as “debt,” and there has been no action there.

    To the people worried about security: Mint is pretty safe. You can read specifics here, http://www.mint.com/privacy/, but from someone with a Network Security background I can tell you that your info is much safer with Mint than it is going to and from your house on paper.

    One last note, JD, you mention looking forward to the automated alerts when certain conditions are met. You should be aware Mint is not constantly monitoring your accounts, so if your balance dips below a certain amount, you may not get alerted for several days until Mint syncs on its own. I find that if I don’t log in, Mint tends to automatically sync about once every day or two, and this is when an alert would be generated.

    I found that I was only getting alerts when I was sitting at my computer logging into Mint, as I log in more often than it syncs on its own. For this reason, I disabled the alerts, as they didn’t benefit me.

    Hope this info will be helpful to someone!

  65. Atticus175 says 18 November 2010 at 08:24

    I have also experienced the “double account” issue. While it’s annoying, it’s easily resolved. If you want an account to stop showing up, just mark it as Closed. To do that, select the My Accounts tab on the upper right of the main page, mouse over the account in question, and select Edit Details. Then change the Status to Closed. Voila, it stops showing up and effecting your numbers.

  66. Turling says 18 November 2010 at 08:25

    I’ve used Mint for about seven month’s and it’s absolutely fantastic. No investment problems (I have Vanguard, though, not Fidelity), but I have had problems connecting to our car loan (no preaching, it’s before my frugal stage), so I had to set it up as an “other item” and I manually change it each month when I send in the payment.

    One word of advice, though. I wanted to delete our old bank from appearing on the main page as we’ve recently switched to a new bank. I went throught the delete process, but realized it also deletes all your history when you do that!!! It’s like starting over, now! The Mint people said it’s a bug and there is nothing they can do about it. I suggested putting a warning that says your history will be deleted, as I thought I was just deleting the account.

  67. JD Carroll says 18 November 2010 at 08:31

    If mint reconciled accounts it would be much more useful.
    jd

  68. Jenny says 18 November 2010 at 08:33

    I have been using Mint for a couple years now, and find the “Trend” tab the most useful. While I do have a pretty detailed budget in place, my actual spending frequently varies from what I have budgeted. That was one of the reasons I started using Mint in the first place – to see what I was “doing wrong” from a budgeting standpoint. I don’t use cash much, mostly my debit card, so I can literally track every penny that I spend. I then copy each month’s totals onto a spreadsheet, for which I have some total and average formulas set up to even better help me see where my money is going. It also gives me a lot of leverage during the financial conversations my partner and I have. I can concretely and accurately show where my money went at any given point!

    JD – when you do your follow-up post, I have a suggestion for it. Break the posts down by the sections in Mint – ie, spending, budgeting, goals, etc. I would love to hear how others are using the budgeting and goal ones in particular, and would help all of us really make the best use out of the site. The “goals” one is a relatively new feature, if I recall correctly, and I know I’m not using it to its full potential. How would others feel about that – please comment!

    oh, one more point about the account accessibility issues…my student loan and brokerage accounts are not able to connect to/with Mint on a regular basis. For the student loan account, I think it’s due to the same reason others have previously said – with Mint not being able to answer the security question. For my brokerage account, well, they have pretty kick-(butt) security with their site, and I think they may be intentionally blocking Mint and other third-party sites like it from accessing their customer’s accounts. Quite honestly I’m not bothered by either one of these issues. I pop out to my student loan servicer’s site on a regular basis; same with my brokerage account. What I am mostly concerned with is tracking my actual spending – and the site does a truly fabulous job in that regard.

  69. Randy says 18 November 2010 at 08:35

    Nice post and sample of Mint. I would echo posts of others to take a look at Yodlee. It had access to more accounts of mine than Mint had which I found strange since at the time Mint was a customer of Yodlee. My feeling was why use a 2nd party (Mint) when I can get the same service from the 1st party (Yodlee).

  70. Elizabeth says 18 November 2010 at 08:38

    I’ve been using Mint for a while now and while the Fidelity integration is not perfect, my accounts came over. My Ing investments have not integrated, but overall I like the ease of having my full financial picture in one location.

    I think they will continue to make improvements and it will only get better.

    I think it’s a great tool and I’m much more in tune to my spending and saving then ever before.
    Good luck and keep us posted on your experience.
    -E

  71. retirebyforty says 18 November 2010 at 08:45

    I just started using Mint also. It was able to get my 401k information from Fidelity. The only problem I had was getting a mortgage to connect from B of A.
    My brother also started using it and was able to connect to B of A. So I don’t know why it works for some people and not for others.
    All in all I like it.
    My biggest complain is the asset allocation tab doesn’t work. I wish it would show it like the morning star xray page.

  72. shygirl says 18 November 2010 at 08:47

    I’ve looked at Mint, but I just can’t get comfortable with the idea of giving a third party access to my financial information; I’d prefer a desktop app. After doing a lot of research, I’ve decided to go with Moneydance.

    I notice you mention being tempted by Moneydance in your “Good-Bye, Microsoft Money!” post– would love to see an updated post if you’ve tried or thought about it since then!

  73. Autumn says 18 November 2010 at 08:49

    Hey J.D.– I am a huge fan of Mint. I had never budgeted until I got married, and my husband and I did one month of manual entry before throwing our hands in the air. Not how I want to spend half a Sunday once a month. Mint has revolutionized our finances. Literally. I do check in on it several times a week because some of the categorizations are batty (one of our favorite bars is the Market Street Tavern, which it thinks is a grocery store because it has “Market” in the name, etc.). This is far less time than it would take me to manually input all of these transactions, and you can set rules for things that pop up often. But as far as seeing where our money is going, where we can save, etc., it has been hugely helpful.

    I do agree that the investments tab is wonky– we have schwab accounts with separate account numbers, but we share one account, and that one appears twice. I can’t get it to change. But I need mint much less to track my investments than to track my spending, so that’s a small problem in my book. Hope you find you enjoy it!

  74. Cathie says 18 November 2010 at 08:50

    I’ve been using Mint for a while (year and a half? Two years?), and while I love it, I swear it has gotten more glitchy since they got bought out. I can’t prove it, but I only started having issues after Intuit bought them.

    I used to have a budget for every single expenditure, but I discovered that my spending just isn’t that predictable. So instead, I make a budget for the known amounts–mortgage, HOA, Netflix, etc.–and then just let the rest of it go into the “everything else” budget. It makes it easy to see if my overall spending is on track without having to budget for each category.

    I keep discovering more useful features. For instance, you can use “add transaction” to enter a check’s information when you write it, rather than wait for it to be cashed. I also like the tags; I have all my charitable donations tagged, so I’ll be able to easily pull them up at tax time. It’s not perfect, but it’s still great.

  75. Audrey says 18 November 2010 at 08:56

    I find it funny that everyone has problems with ING connecting, and today, ING asked me to create a new pin with more digits, which then requires me to update my Mint information.

    I have not had many problems with Fidelity or Mint, but I can’t get one of my student loans to sync. I emailed their support, and I was told that I have to add all of the security questions and answers in the same order that they were entered when I signed up for my online account with the lender. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the order, and the lender doesn’t allow me to update that or see the order of the questions in my account information.

    Other than that, I have had no problems with Mint, and I’m shocked at how many people complain about Mint trying to “sell” services and accounts. I’ve come to ignore these suggestions entirely, and honestly I don’t even see them any more.

    Mint has been a great help for me in the six months or so that I have been using it. Before Mint I’d have a rough budget in my head, but I never wrote anything down, and I in no way stuck to it. I love the email reminders when I’ve overspent and seeing the visual graphic turn yellow when I’m getting close to my limit on my budget. I’ve really turned my budget around, and have managed to pay off all my consumer debt. Mint has been a huge help in all of this by providing me awareness of where my money was going.

  76. Kim says 18 November 2010 at 09:02

    Response to #7 – Gail

    I prefer YNAB too especially over Mint. To me Mint is more of an automatic everything is there type of account. I like the old school method of entering all my receipts and “balancing” my account.

    Plus I like it that I don’t have to share all my financial information, log-ins, passwords, etc with one particular online site. I’m sure it’s safe and secure, but if hackers can get into highly secured government sites, I’m sure they could get into Mint’s site if they wanted to.

    I keep getting tempted to switch to Mint because I like the ease of everything being there and maybe after verifying a receipt was entered correctly, but I still don’t like the idea that maybe a few unauthorized transactions could slip in without me noticing it.

  77. Sam says 18 November 2010 at 09:02

    It is great until it breaks. Then support sucks. Really sucks. Read the forums for support nightmares.

  78. Janice says 18 November 2010 at 09:06

    tried Mint once, thought it would be cool. i guess it is, but it really freaked me out that all my info was online for them to try to sell to me. i keep a spreadsheet that i’ve evolved over time, that tracks all my expenses by category, my cash by category, my c/c accounts my net worth. I plug my investments into Google, so I can track those and just enter at the end of every month the balance of them into my net worth. And yes, that’s online, but it’s not giving any sensitive info, just the date, purchase price, commission and security. it’s the only “by hand” category i have, everything else is hooked up to something else so it’s all automatic. every day i go into my online banking, and tie out the bank balance with my spreadsheet. i guess it’s a lot of work but like i said I evolved it over time, and now i have an at-a-glance picture of everything and it’s on my computer, not online. I’m not really a spreadsheet wiz, i just know the basics.

  79. JC says 18 November 2010 at 09:13

    My link to fidelity works fine.

  80. Raghu Bilhana says 18 November 2010 at 09:14

    JD

    I think I know why your fidelity accounts dont work with Mint.

    It is because fidelity has a same feature that mint has, which aggregates information from all your other bank accounts.

    Since fidelity feature regarding account aggregation competes directly with Mint, Fidelity does not allow requests from Mint.

  81. Chris says 18 November 2010 at 09:14

    I’ve tried Mint a few times in the last couple of years and haven’t been crazy about it. The interface is too busy for me–too many alerts, etc., and it seems like the site wants to send me a constant flow of messages through email and text messages. I want finance-tracking software to make things simpler, rather than bringing more distractions into my life. I also found it very difficult to track cash with Mint,

    I liked Wesabe’s straightforward interface and was sad when the company shut down. However, their software is available as open source, and you can run it on your own computer: https://github.com/wesabe/mesabe/wiki/. Obviously, this isn’t for everyone–you need to be comfortable with the command line–but I found installing it easier than many other open source packages. And if you run it locally all your data stays on your own machine, so if you’re concerned about privacy this could be a solution.

  82. Brent says 18 November 2010 at 09:15

    I’ve been using mint for about 2 years now. I had trouble keeping up with quicken and excell. This seems to be the perfect balance. I log in every morning to check for anything fishy and update categories and notes while I still remember what it was for.
    -Its really helped me curb eating out and alcohol purchases. If you don’t track you don’t care.
    -There were sometimes that I found it very limiting, like when I bought a house the down payment counts as an expense, talk about throwing your budgets off.
    -I have all my accounts and assets tracked so I have an accurate net worth, but at my point in life my net worth is more volatile than it should be. (stocks are my largest asset)
    -It glitches, sometimes I can’t sync, sometimes it miscategorizes, and my homes value seems to be estimated a little high.
    All in all, glad I found it and use it, less work is better.

  83. Julia says 18 November 2010 at 09:15

    I have been using Mint for over a year, and overall I’m happy with it. I also really love the goals feature; it really motivates me because I love trying harder so that I can log in and see that I’m ahead on my goals.

    I have an investment account, a mutual fund through Putnam, which I typically don’t have problems with.

    The worst issue I’ve had is an intermittent disconnect with Charter One Bank, which includes my primary checking account. This has been an ongoing issue (several months), and as far as I can tell there hasn’t been a real resolution yet. Unfortunately, this basically renders Mint completely useless to em.

  84. Troy says 18 November 2010 at 09:15

    It sounds to me like Mint would make sense if your finances are complex.

    What I don’t seem to understand is a response to the first part of the post where you discuss a connection to all of someones accounts.

    Why would someone have alot of accounts that they need to track. If they were on financial track that is.

    Think about it. Should you be tracking your investment accounts, 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s etc on such a constant regular basis that an automated program becomes necessary. Probably not. If you feel the need to know the balance of investment accounts every day or so the market is probably not the place for you.

    And credit cards? I have said before that credit cards are a waste of time so if you don’t use them, there are no accounts to track.

    So that leaves debts. If you have your debts under control or paid off, then you should have very few if any to track as well. And those are really only tracked once per month, and can be tracked with the monthly statement.

    So that leaves what…checking. Doesn’t your online bank account have all the info you could ever need.

    My point is for those that keep their finanical life simple, there is little use for something like this. And typically people who keep it simple have a lot to keep.

  85. Jen says 18 November 2010 at 09:17
    My husband and I have been using mint for over 2 years now, including before we were married. We only have two joint accounts (at ING), one checking (used to pay rent) and one savings (for emergency fund), which makes it difficult to keep track of our spending in terms of our combined budget. We each put all of our accounts into one mint account, so we can keep track of where all of our money goes.

    Mint is great because we don’t use cash very often. We really only visit the ATM for a specific purchase, which we then just categorize in mint as appropriate.

    It’s really helpful to see a running total for the month of our budget, so we know if we’ve been too loose with money in the beginning of the month and need to tighten the belt at the end. We have a detailed master budget in excel, and we only input the larger categories into mint’s budgeting tool, like “utilities” instead of electricity, internet, etc). It helps with the automatic categorization mint uses, most likely it will fall in the appropriate general category.

    I have had some issues with linking accounts, but most of them come from when my husband forgets his bank passwords, changes them, and then forgets to update mint. No trouble with ING lately, or any other accounts, with the exception of my John Hancock IRA/401k. Sometimes I get the duplicate transactions that people have mentioned. It doesn’t bother me too much to log in once and a while and mark them as a duplicate.

    We’ve actually got a lot of accounts linked up, so it works much better to aggregate them here than to try to calculate it all ourselves. Some of the types of accounts we have are:

    -checking (minex2, hisx2, oursx1)
    -savings (minex3, hisx2, oursx1)
    -car loan (minex1)
    -credit cards (minex2, hisx2)
    -student loans (minex4, hisx3)
    -investment accounts (minex2, hisx1)

    We normally log in once every week or two to make sure that the transactions are categorizing properly. Now that we have 2+ years of data, it really helps when we are trying to figure out the budget for the future.

    If you are looking for a site that gives you a free credit SCORE, not REPORT, try creditkarma.com. They also try to sell you financial products, but since I only log in to check my score and then leave the site, it doesn’t bother me.

  86. Nick says 18 November 2010 at 09:20
    I used Mint for about a year, then eventually closed my account because I couldn’t get over their liability limit, tucked away deep in the middle of the terms:

    INTUIT’S LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY CAUSE WHATEVER AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO $500.00 (FIVE HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS).

    If all your accounts get drained because someone got access to your passwords? Very sorry, here’s $500. And good luck getting any support from your bank/brokerage if you were handing out your passwords to a third party. They go to all this effort claiming that the website is totally 100% secure, but still keep this trump card around if they screw up.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention this detail when linking the terms of use.

  87. Avistew says 18 November 2010 at 09:30

    I wanted to try it before, but I was told it wouldn’t work with Canada…
    Well, gave it a try after your article, and it does recognise some Canadian banks, and it works fine with ING Canada.
    However, it can’t find my Credit Union, which is unfortunate since that’s where my chequing account is. The site did say they’re adding more and more Canadian institutions though so I’ll check back periodically.

  88. Aaron says 18 November 2010 at 09:51

    “Though I fully embrace the Internet Age, I’m still wary of giving one service access to all of my accounts.”

    This is the single reason why I haven’t adopted Mint. Also, I have 7 years of data in my Quicken files so that comes in handy to see where I’ve come from financially.

    I feel like having my accounts/passwords in Quicken on my single computer is more secure than a large site like Mint which would be a more attractive target for hackers (more accounts at hand if they do get in).

    Also, I like to be protective about my data, and as Mint has shown they will use it to their benefit and even make it public, with their roll-ups of who spends what and where on http://data.mint.com

    As much as I want to move into the 21st century with my financial data and be able to access it all in one spot on the web, I can only find more reasons against doing so than for.

  89. Jody says 18 November 2010 at 09:52

    I’ve been using mint for a couple of months and find it rather glitchy, but it’s good for a snapshot. I recently refinanced my mortgage with Quicken Loans, which mint does not have as a lender. I requested that they add them, but so far, no communication or ability to add that bill. I can’t access my Lowe’s bill on the site. There seems to be some refresh issues with the ING Direct Sharebuilder, as my actual balance is usually several hundred dollars more than what mint displays. I’ve also had issues with the system showing me duplicate records, scaring me to think I’ve spent more than I actually have until I realize mint has messed up.

  90. Steve says 18 November 2010 at 09:53

    Is Mint worth it if you already own Quicken?

    People are right about the security of Mint. If they did get cracked, it is possible someone could get your bank account password and use that to log into your bank directly and transfer money. “Encrypting” does help but is not a total solution – for Mint to use your password they have to be able to decrypt it into plain text and send it to your bank. So there is always going to be some way for a hacker to get that password in plain text, too.

    Decent web sites use a different method for storing passwords. Even your bank does not actually know your password; what they do is “hash” it which is like encryption but one-way. They store the hash in their systems. Every time you enter your password, they hash it and compare the hash to what they have in their system.

  91. Karen says 18 November 2010 at 09:56

    Another timely post, J.D. I set up a Mint account about a year ago after hearing about it from a few sources. I’d have to agree with most other commenters that it is both useful and quirky. Actually what I appreciated the most at first was that it forced me to be organized just to set up and link all the various accounts. That effort in itself is an eyeopener. I haven’t looked at Mint very much recently, kind of got out of the habit, but as soon as I have a chunk of free time on a weekend I’m going to revisit it, make sure things are up to date and try to personalize it a little more to get it to work for me, as it sounds like a lot of people have. I’ll be eager to read subsequent posts regarding your experience. Also for commenter #42, we have a Countrywide mortgage (now B of A) that I did link up back in the Countrywide days. So I bet you can get that to work now.

  92. Julie says 18 November 2010 at 10:18

    I have used Mint for a couple of years. I used to love it, but lately I have been getting really frustrated with it.

    My ING accounts no longer sync up, period, all hope abandoned. Complaining about it has gotten zero response. Worse, my credit union account (my everyday checking!) has started failing to sync regularly and it seems to be getting worse. Add to that the fact that a couple of my accounts (mortgage lender, retirement fund) have never been in their database and requests that they be added were ignored. And the goals tool is totally wonky for me.

    My credit union has started offering a similar product called FinanceWorks (powered by Quicken) and I have started using that. It doesn’t have quite as user-friendly an interface as Mint, but it’s more reliable in the data-gathering.

  93. Tara says 18 November 2010 at 10:19

    I tried Mint awhile back. I tried it for a couple of months while continuing to use my homegrown software.

    I found that it worked terribly with ING, due to login issues. The image system and keypad entry instead of using a text field was probably the problem there and I’m guessing it’s a similar problem with your Fidelity Investments account.

    I didn’t like the fact that I had to give them the login information for my online banking accounts. I also didn’t like that entering checks or other receipts wasn’t easy. My method of reconciling my bank accounts is to input everything I have and then compare that with what the bank has to clear transactions. This way, I know about transactions that haven’t cleared yet. Call me crazy, but I don’t like the software automatically connecting to my bank accounts.

    I also didn’t like the weekly emails with my balances (I realize I could have just turned them off) because I didn’t want every single one of my bank account balances in my email every week – that’s pretty unsecure.

    I found that the categories really poorly mapped to what I wanted and that it was annoying to add new ones and impossible to delete ones I didn’t care about. I also found that their mapping of budget items to budget categories didn’t map to what I would naturally use either.

    I just realized I’ve only listed things that I didn’t like about Mint. That’s because I was comparing it against my homegrown software and looking for reasons to switch or stick with mine. In the end, I stuck with mine because I can actually personally fix any issues I find or add new features.

  94. J says 18 November 2010 at 10:24

    We’ve used Mint off and on for three years. We’re using it right now.

    Here’s my overal impression: When it works, it’s nice but limited in features and customozability. When it doesn’t work, it’s utterly useless.

    And it often doesn’t work. Syncing issues and institution incompatibility have plagued us from the start, including both a credit union and a bank. Sync will work for a while, then…boom, broken. A perusal of Mint forums almost always show a lot of other users with the same problems.

    And that’s a good place to spend 20 minutes–the forums. Mint is not robust, and is largely unreliable. Pretty? Yes. A handful of nifty features? Yes, when they work.

    Unfortunately, we haven’t found a web-based tool we like better, and we’d really like to abandon the desktop app model for tracking our finances.

  95. Autumn says 18 November 2010 at 10:36

    I’ve have Mint.com linked up with my Fidelity account for at least 8 months now and it’s been keeping track and updating. It gave me “ghost” accounts as well, but that’s because Fidelity was still listing my original 401k, and the rollover IRA before I made a Roth IRA.

    Oh, and I just found a really great feature where you can set X named transaction to always be labeled as a certain category. Ex: It kept putting my cable bill in utilities but I want it in Internet, so if you click edit details and change the category there’s a check box to always apply that label. You can also rename transactions this way when they come in with nonsense names.

  96. Amy! says 18 November 2010 at 10:45

    I tried Mint (once for about five minutes), and I’m just not sure it’s what I’m looking for. I really would like an account tracking thing that will allow me to pre-schedule all my reoccurring transactions. My paycheck isn’t the same every week, but the money that I have deducted from it is, and I would like to know on Thursday (when I get paid) how much money I’ll have left over for the week.

  97. Melissa says 18 November 2010 at 10:46

    Weird – I have investment accounts at Fidelity, use Mint religiously, and have never had a problem. I wish I could give you the trick to that – but I didn’t do anything to make it work, it just does.

    Also, one of the reasons Wesabe wasn’t as successful as Mint is that Mint automatically categorizes your transactions. Even though much of it is wrong, it’s somehow less overwhelming to fix the wrong ones than categorize everything from the get-go. And Mint does learn.

  98. Ryan says 18 November 2010 at 10:49

    I’ve been using Mint for 6 months, and really love it. The problem is my girlfriend has issues with their (lack of) security, and there is really nothing I can do to get around the fact that they list all of your sensitive data in one spot. You can guess a password as many times as you want without it stopping you (bad thing imo). I really like Mint, but I wish they did more to ensure our security and make it public how they do that.

  99. Strick says 18 November 2010 at 10:52

    I’ve been using Mint for the last 4 months. Although it isn’t perfect (but really what is), I’ve seen a drastic change in my spending habits just by having the ability to see where my money is going (I love the budgeting feature).

    I spend about 5 min every morning to make sure Mint is behaving (categorizing things properly, not having double entries…etc), and that’s it.

    Investing, I’m currently setup through Schwab and have had no problems with Mint connection and showing me loss/gains, etc.

    What makes it work for me is that I don’t treat it as the end all be all, just a usefull tool in keeping a watchfull eye on what’s going on across all my accounts (it’s much easier and quicker than having to visit 4 online bank pages, schwab.com, my 401k provider, my 2 credit card sites…etc). If something looks awry, I immediatly know what account page I should visit for further investigating.

    I’m a fan
    Cheers.

  100. MoneyLisa says 18 November 2010 at 10:58

    Love Mint. Cool look, great little tweaky features, great weekly emails — but doesn’t deliver the total package. My ING Direct accounts STILL won’t load, and I’ve been trying for two years. Forget the stock accounts. For someone tracking and trying to build total networth — this is a FAIL.

    I checked Google Insights and found that Quicken and Mint were two of the top talked about issues on personal finance search right now, so I revisted Mint recently, just to make sure and posted about it on the blog.

    Quick summary: Mint is still tempting, and still a waste of time. Too bad. Quicken desktop with autoupdate web interface is still my best option — though not as pretty.

  101. Carolyn says 18 November 2010 at 10:59

    I’ve been using Mint for a little over a year now, and for the most part, I’ve been satisfied with it and the continual changes/updates that have been implemented. I am pleased with the new goals section, and I was VERY happy when they finally allowed you to input pending transactions (that was my major gripe with the program when I first started using it). However, occasionally an item I input as pending gets deleted so I keep a separate document to track expenses that haven’t cleared yet, and I find that the investments and trends sections usually make it difficult for me to find specific information, but I’m sure they’ll fine tune all of that eventually. I’ve never had any issues connecting to my Charles Schwab accounts, and while I seem to have to constantly re-setup my husband’s Ameritrade account, I think that is a problem with Ameritrade and not Mint.

  102. Brian Smith says 18 November 2010 at 11:28

    Mint works fine with my Fidelity accounts and my 401k at Diversified, but its investment features are pretty minimal so it’s not of much use for anything but being able to keep tabs on the balances.

  103. s. pritt says 18 November 2010 at 11:31

    I have tried three times to sign up with MINT, but my local(small town) does not support it. I have contacted mint to see what to do, and was told to contact the bank. Contacted the bank. Never received a reply. Bank does not even have a website. Any suggestions?

  104. Claudia M. says 18 November 2010 at 11:39

    I tried Mint, but backed out when I read their user agreement. No security system is perfect, much less Mint’s. However, if a breach occurred with my credit union or Visa card, each would replace any money stolen from my accounts. This is NOT so with Mint. Mint holds no responsibility for any security breach to members. If someone is able to steal your banking information from Mint, you’ll be the one left holding the bag.

    While the features are very cool, for me it is not worth the risk.

  105. Maze says 18 November 2010 at 11:42

    Like many commenters, I have used Mint for over 2 years and love it.

    It easily links to my investment accounts at UBS, Fidelity, Zecco, and Vanguard.

    The only issue I have with the investments tab is that the initial investment amount is based on the value of the account when you added it to Mint. My UBS account is much older with a very nice gain on it, but Mint thinks those investments have a loss b/c I setup Mint before the recent market crash. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is irksome.

    Also, with the Goals, there is an option for getting out debt… but it won’t let you link to the mortgage. I don’t carry CC debt, and I do pay a little extra down on the mortgage every month. I’d like to see that reflected in my goals, but alas no.

    Otherwise, I love it! Great to see all the account values easily, easy to track spending (we spent how much on Restaurants?!?!?!), and easy to see net worth grow. Viva, Mint!

  106. numpadninja says 18 November 2010 at 11:44

    i prefer yodlee. it doesn’t look as pretty as mint, but if you customize your dashboard view, i feel it works so much better. also yodlee doesn’t advertise to make money.

  107. Mike says 18 November 2010 at 11:47

    My primary financial tool is YNAB. Honestly, I can’t imagine how I ever used anything else. That said, I have been using Mint for over a year mostly because it allows me to check my account balances from my phone and from other computers (and YNAB does not, at least not yet). I mostly like Mint as it does a pretty good job for my simple purposes. It often requires me to reauthenticate with my accounts but that isn’t too big a deal and certainly not something under their control.

    What I don’t like about Mint is its budgeting feature. It simply doesn’t provide the level of control and detail that I’ve become accustomed to with YNAB. Also, using a desktop app like YNAB or Quicken, you can enter transactions manually that won’t appear on Mint until a day or two later so if for whatever reason you need to be tracking your accounts closely, you’ll want to use something that allows you to enter transactions yourself.

  108. Andrew says 18 November 2010 at 11:49

    A couple of posters have mentioned that Yodlee writes the backend software that powers Mint. I believe that’s true. So why not just go straight to the source and use Yodlee Money Center? I’ve been using them for over a year, and when I picked them, I had already tried Mint and a couple of other sites. The reason I chose Yodlee is that it allows me to run more complicated reports and I had less connectivity issues than I did with Mint. Yodlee also doesn’t push any financial products on me. I don’t think Yodlee is trying to make money off their Money Center, I believe they use it as a development tool to sell their services to banks and other sites such as Mint.

    While Yodlee is not as “pretty” as Mint, I believe anyone who is setting up an online financial management account owes it to themselves to try a Yodlee Money Center account. JD, I’d love to see a review of Yodlee.

  109. cm says 18 November 2010 at 12:21

    I also use Mint but would love to read some reviews about pageonce. Thanks!

  110. Drew says 18 November 2010 at 12:30

    My biggest gripe about Mint: They do not use check numbers.

    I cannot fathom why they leave out check numbers. When trying to be sure I’ve covered all my expenses, check numbers are incredibly important.

    This baffles me.

  111. Mutantsupermodel says 18 November 2010 at 12:48

    I used to use Mint and I used to love it, BUT it wasn’t working so well for me– too many holes when it came to cash– which is where I get a big portion of income. I hate splitting transactions which was how I had to track my cash. I made my own thing in Excel and every month, I make it better and better. Now, there’s just nothing that can compete with my Excel workbook- NOTHING. I think Mint is nice for someone who’s ONLY using plastic and who’s income is solely check/direct deposit. Otherwise, it fails. I always loved their charts of how I was spending money but Excel lets me do that too. Also, personally I found their budget system useless. I’ve improved my Excel to also include budget information right alongside spending information. I just don’t think anything can beat something you develop personally.

  112. J.D. says 18 November 2010 at 13:06

    Thanks for the reminders about Yodlee. I’ll have to give that a look, too.

  113. Briana @ GBR says 18 November 2010 at 13:07

    I’ve been using Mint for a few months and I really like it. One thing that annoys me is the fact that they don’t keep my account balances up to the minute. It SAYS it updated 1 minute ago, but if I log-on to the actual website that has my financial information, the numbers don’t add up. I don’t know if this is just an issue I’m going through or everybody.

    Another thing that sucks is sometimes the mis-categorize some of my things. My last name is “Ford” so when I make transfers from one of my accounts to another, and it says Briana Ford, they think I’m making automobile payments, and ask me why I’m spending so much on a car. Gets a bit annoying, but that should change once my last name changes.

  114. tekym says 18 November 2010 at 13:08

    Rule number one for account security (any kind of account, not just financial ones) is to never *ever* give away your password. Period, full stop, no exceptions. That Mint requires you to do so means I’ll never use it, and honestly, if you’re at all concerned about security (and you should be), you shouldn’t either. It’s standard practice in EULAs that if you give away your password, the company is absolved of any liability if your account gets compromised. I highly doubt that any company would except Mint of this. That they use Yodlee, thereby transferring your passwords to yet *another* party, only makes it worse, whatever Yodlee can claim about their own security practices and that banks use them for their own sites.

    Personally I really wish Wesabe was still around, because they allowed you to upload OFX files yourself if you wanted, without giving them your passwords. I started using it only a couple months before it shut down, and the open-source version released afterward leaves a lot to be desired, honestly, and as far as I can tell it’s not being actively maintained and updated.

  115. KM says 18 November 2010 at 13:18

    I’ve been using Mint for only a month–I went & tried it after your last “wesabe” post. Yeah, they do have an awesome interface!

    My fidelity investment accounts show up fine in Mint EXCEPT for a couple days after some action on the account (like a 401K investment) or near the monthly closing date.

    The investments tab in Mint is unfortunately mostly not much use. The totals are correct which is nice–you can get an updated price on your investments without logging into each individual website. However the graphs are often incorrect. If you look elsewhere online, everyone is complaining about this–I don’t know why they don’t fix it. Also the graphs available in investments are pretty useless–for example you can’t compare the performances of the different funds that you own so you can’t easily determine which one you might want to sell. You can only compare each fund one at a time to the Dow or other standard index. So, lame. I also think the other auto-graphs, like in the trends tab, are limiting because they are not always what you really want to look at. In general I wish they’d permit people to customize the information plotted on the graphs.

  116. Drew B. says 18 November 2010 at 13:22

    I’ve been using Mint.com for a year and a half now, and in that time have seen the website mature and improve into a fairly robust system.

    I complete most all of my spending via credit card, so this is ideal for me to be able to correlate that to my budget. Mint.com also supplies a wonderful small iPhone/Android app that gives you a snapshot of your spending and allows you to update your labels on the fly.

    I’ve encountered many issues (once every couple of weeks) with refreshing certain accounts over the years, but most all of them are resolved within hours or days, and are not deal breakers for me (just mild annoyances).

    Editing transactions and clicking the “mark others like this…” option simplifies the labeling process for similar purchases/bills. Being able to split up a transaction into multiple labels is great for trips to Target (which includes “Consumable” and “Discretionary” for me many times) and ATM Withdrawls, making them far more accurate instead of a $60 black hole.

    Oh, I love the notes area as well for reflecting back on purchase (“how did i spend $#.## at Amazon this month… oh, yeah , that board game..”)

    Overall, I highly recommend Mint.com for tracking each month and reflecting back on trends over time.

  117. numpadninja says 18 November 2010 at 13:42

    coincidentally, cnn money had an article a couple of days ago about yodlee, and how mint used their services:

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/16/pf/online_banking_yodlee/index.htm

  118. Kevin M says 18 November 2010 at 13:43

    As an accountant, the lack of a reconciliation feature disturbs me. Depending on a “statement balance” or what shows up in Mint as the current balance is not always accurate.

    Also the lack of support people mention doesn’t surprise me considering Intuit is now in charge. I used to do a fair amount of Quickbooks support and this was always a complaint of my clients.

    The big issue for me though is security. I have no problem logging in to each bank or financial website individually, but giving a third party all my info with seemingly no recourse if it is stolen is a deal killer.

    I’d like to know what other reporting features Mint has, since that is the real value in PF software, in my opinion.

  119. Tyler Karaszewski says 18 November 2010 at 13:56
    One thing that scares me away from trying Mint, like many others here, is the fact that they have to store your passwords for all your financial sites.

    Let me get a bit technical here, but this is how passwords for databases like this should be stored:

    In a a properly engineered database, your password is *never* stored in a usable format. Instead, an encrypted version of your password is stored in the database, and when you log in, the password you supply is encrypted and then compared against the stored one.

    Say your password for a website is ‘password’ (that’s a poor choice of password, but no matter). A common encryption will come up with ‘paDR5AW8iLGbA’ and store *that* in the database. Then, every time you log in to this website, you type your username, and ‘password’ and the site looks up your username, and sees that the password associated with it is ‘paDR5AW8iLGbA’. It then encrypts the password you supplied, and if the encrypted version comes out to ‘paDR5AW8iLGbA’, then you’re logged in. Otherwise, you get an error saying you supplied an incorrect password.

    What’s important here is that the type of encryption used is *one-way*, meaning that ‘password’ always encrypts to ‘paDR5AW8iLGbA’, but you can never go backwards from ‘paDR5AW8iLGbA’ and find that the original was ‘password’.

    This is important because it means that if a careless engineer has a copy of the user database for this website, and his laptop gets stolen, the thief can’t use the passwords from the database to log into the website, because he only has the encrypted versions.

    Mint probably does this with the passwords used to log in to their own site.

    *BUT* they can’t do this with the passwords for all your other financial sites. Each of these other sites should do the same thing, but Mint still has to supply them with an un-encrypted password, because each bank will do their own encryption.

    So Mint has to store un-encrypted passwords for all the accounts that you enter, except of course your Mint password itself. If this database gets lost, the thief has access to all these financial accounts for all of Mint’s customers.

    That’s why it’s scary.

    There’s also the issue of your Mint account being hacked, such as by someone guessing your Mint password. If Mint is unable to make any changes to your accounts (which is to say you can see them, but not move funds or anything), then this isn’t nearly as bad. The hacker knows your current financial situation, but can’t get any of your money. I’m not sure if this is the case with Mint, does Mint have the ability to alter your connected accounts in any way? If not, then that makes this second attack not so scary.

    I’m sure Mint has a *lot* of security around their database of user financial account passwords because of how valuable it is, but there’s still some possibility that it gets lost (you hear stories about this happening to governments once in a while — hundreds of thousands of people’s social security numbers stored on a laptop forgotten in a cab or something).

    I still might consider trying it if it has no ability to alter accounts, which protects me in the case that just my account is hacked, which is the much more likely thing to happen.

  120. Andy Hough says 18 November 2010 at 14:00

    There is no way I would have an account with Mint. I used to have an account but based on my and others’ experience with them I don’t trust them now.

  121. Peggy says 18 November 2010 at 14:38

    Very interesting post and I love the info on what Mint does. I have been wanting to set up a something to track my spending, savings and goals, and after reading your post and reader comments, Mint is indeed enticing.

    However, as some others have mentioned, I am too wary of having all my PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in one place. I just took a required course on this at work and am more than ever conscious of what could happen if someone gets that information.

    The thoughts of having all my financial details in one place on the net freaks me out so instead, I will work on setting up a spreadsheet with info similar to Mint. I’ll need to faithfully input the data manually, but I’ll be the one who controls who has access. To make sure I don’t loose momentum, I’ll keep it simple initially and as I go along learn to include more fancy features such as graphs.

    I closed my Facebook account over a year ago after reading an article about a country, whose intentions I don’t entirely trust, investing lots of $$$ in Facebook. I know this sounds silly to many, but for me it’s more about having too much info in one place.

    JD, really enjoyed your thorough reporting and the obvious time and thought that went into it. It gives me lots of great ideas for that spreadsheet. Please continue to report more about your experience with Mint, and don’t feel badly that this is one thing where I’ll remain a spectator rather than a participant – at least for now!

  122. DreamChaser57 says 18 November 2010 at 14:42

    I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by Troy (Poster #84). I am striving for a simplistic fiscal life. I want as few people to pay as possible. I want as few accounts to follow as possible. I do not need to obsessively calculate my net worth or see incremental changes in our portfolio every two days. For me, that represents yet another time suck. I also think online tools, such as Mint, can induce or perpetuate “paralysis analysis”. Apart from that, I am certainly not comfortable with Mint as an information aggregator despite the assurances from several posters, for security reasons, especially in light of them expressly limiting their damages.
    The cool, slick, and dynamic interface that Mint has still does not assuage my concerns.

  123. Brian B says 18 November 2010 at 14:59

    Anybody have any information on whether or not Mint will work in Canada?

    Or, does anybody know of a Canadian equivalent?

    Please email me!

    [email protected]

    Thanks in advance!

  124. sara says 18 November 2010 at 15:08

    I like mint overall but it can’t connect to my zecco investment account or to my credit union, and sometimes has created duplicate accounts. I use a spreadsheet with my additional data and plug the mint net worth number in… imperfect but still a useful tool. Lots of features I don’t use.

  125. Andrea Deckard says 18 November 2010 at 15:25

    Great write up on Mint, J.D.

    I tried Mint last year. We were in the “gazelle” mode and Mint didn’t work with the way my mind thinks. For example, I do all of my bill paying online and in advance, I’m still wanting to add an entry in my ledger to show that I actually paid it but also to get a big picture look at how much is left over to apply to debt and other financial goals.

    At the time, Mint was only pulling actual checking account information which wasn’t helping me project the “leftover” cash. I’ve heard this might be different now so I need to look at it again. The post at least got me thinking in that direction again too. We’re getting back to tracking accounts and categories again too.

  126. Nancy says 18 November 2010 at 15:29

    I was going to suggest you dump Quicken on your last post but didn’t want to go off track!

    I want to throw in a vote for YNAB. I love the way it puts your budget right out front. I switched from Quicken to YNAB (after using Quicken for more than twenty years!) and realized that even though I was tracking my spending in Quicken, the tracking wasn’t leading anywhere good. I was tracking that I was spending too much money!

    When I switched to YNAB I realized that I could completely restructure my finances and wipe out my credit card debt. When things start to go wrong, when I’m spending too much, it shows up right away.

    I have the same issue with YNAB that you mentioned with Mint, that it doesn’t allow me to track my investments. But on the other hand, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. YNAB keeps me coming back every week looking at where I am relative to my budget, whereas really I only need to manage investments every couple of months.

  127. pdxKate says 18 November 2010 at 16:11

    I loved MINT. Note past tense. MINT *was* an awesome financial tool when I was single. However, MINT lost its edge when it came to adding joint accounts. Here are a few reasons why I stopped using MINT.

    1.) There is no way to really add an additional user to your account. Not a huge deal, but would have been nice to give hubby his own login.

    2.) Speaking of hubby…MINT doesn’t handle joint accounts very gracefully. For instance, me and my husband both happened to use the same bank prior to getting married. However, when I added his login to my MINT account, it added his personal checking AND RE-ADDED our joint account (since it was already associated with my bank login).

    3.) Unrelated to joint accounts, if you bank with a local credit union, you probably won’t be able to add those accounts to MINT.

    While those three reasons are deal-breakers for us, MINT is a pretty sweet tool. And frankly, any tool that helps give you insight on how you are spending/saving is a good one. Right now, ours is Google Docs. 🙂

  128. SnookHaus says 18 November 2010 at 16:32

    I have a love/hate relationship with Mint.

    Mint how I love your beautiful user interface. When you work, you are so simple and “just work”. When you don’t I want to reach through my screen and muddle you for tea.

    I have been back a month for a second try at Mint. We have used Quicken and Yodlee in the past. I also just downloaded MoneyDance to give it a whirl.

    Mint Pros:

    Clean, Simple inuitive user interface

    Budget feature is great to get a snapshot of where your spending your hard earned dollars.

    Trend feature is useful for long term planning

    Mint Cons:

    Too simple for some

    Buggy

    Bad support

    I am having a hard time putting this into words but…
    When used for its strengths, Mint is hard to beat. I feel it is best used for a quicksnapshot of how you spend and budget your money with the least amount of time invested.

    I have thought of having Quicken just to keep “hard data” aggregated in one place.

    Remember Mint.com is Free. You usually get what you pay for in the long run. You only have to look at what Intuit did to QuickenOnline users.

    J

  129. Terry Lange says 18 November 2010 at 17:09

    Mint looks great and I enjoyed reading your review. The only thing that keeps me from using it is potential security issues. If there was a data breach that could be disastrous. If I could ever get a decent and satisfactory explanation, then I might use it.

  130. Lincoln says 18 November 2010 at 17:12

    I have different passwords for all of my various accounts for a reason. Namely, if someone got the password for one of my accounts, they would not have the passwords to my other accounts.

    I would not want any one place to have access to all of my passwords, let alone my usernames and my passwords.

  131. Shaun says 18 November 2010 at 18:36

    Hey J.D,

    Nice tutorial. Unfortunately I live in Australia and can’t really utilise the power of mint. My alternative is Money Strands (https://money.strands.com/) as you can download your bank transactions data and upload to your Money Strands account. It’s good for those people that are suspicious about letting someone else access their bank account too.

    Cheers,

  132. Kathy A. says 18 November 2010 at 19:42

    Been using Mint for about 5 months, and not a fan. Only half my Vanguard accounts will sync, and Mint’s support has consisted of repeating the FAQ. A minor annoyance.

    More annoying is that Mint miscategorizes about 1/3 of my transactions. Not unexpected the first month, but Mint doesn’t learn from my corrections.

    What pushed me firmly into the “not a fan” category was when it said that a purchase at a fabric store in Napa, California was from Napa Auto Parts. Since I hadn’t been to a Napa Auto Parts store in years, I was seconds away from canceling all my credit cards (being sure my card had been stolen). Luckily I decided to check my bank’s website first — the store was correctly identified there. I contacted Mint twice about this, with no answer at all.

  133. matt says 18 November 2010 at 20:17

    my biggest complaint with mint is on my intial load (which was 2 years ago) it was able to go back and pull 6 months of wells fargo data but only 2 months of credit card data. This made it look like I only had 1/3 of my credit card bill per month. I wish they had a place to say. Start tracking data from x date on. This would easily fix the problem and should be pretty easy to implement.

  134. Kimberly says 18 November 2010 at 20:43

    I like Mint, but I haven’t found it as useful as I would like because it takes too long to update. The notices always happen a day or 2 behind and make me either laugh or make me annoyed since they are either wrong (balance is low, etc.) or I already know the information.

  135. Zach says 18 November 2010 at 21:56

    I have been a Mint user for over 2 years now. Probably since almost the beginning. The Investments feature as well as Trends is relatively new.

    Mint has been flawless with almost all of my accounts…Fidelity 401k to Roth IRA at Vanguard, even my DSPP from BNY. In fact the only account that seems to be of issue is my brokerage with TradeKing.

    With my account at Zecco however, it has the stock purchase price and therefore my Unrealized Gains and Losses incorrect, but shows me my correct balances on all accounts.

    I love the budget feature of mint, and getting warnings when I am close to my limit for eating out etc…

    I have been pretty bad about inputing my cash transactions, which Mint labels as ATM withdrawal, so there is a little money that is not reported accurately, but I don’t really see that as something they can fix (it’s on me).

    Overall I love using Mint. Someone also told me I could manually create an account and enter in the balance for my TradeKing account, but it would not contain the transactional data. Just that if I wanted my overall financial situation to be accurate, that I could add it myself.

  136. Lisa says 19 November 2010 at 02:00

    I’m an American living in Australia – with accounts in both countries. When I researched personal finance / account aggregators / tools like this a couple year ago, Mint was out of the question because it couldn’t track my Aus accounts. I went with Yodlee MoneyCenter. It tracks all my accounts – I have 3 Aus accounts and all my US-based stuff (including Fidelity and a credit union … and a few others) – they all get sucked up togehter and it displayed in US dollars when I am looking al everything together but in the currency of the account when I am just looking at the one account. It is really, really clever. So, anyone who has accounts outside of the US should take a look at Yodlee.

  137. Geoff @ the world keeps spinning says 19 November 2010 at 05:33

    Thanks so much for that thorough description of what Mint.com does and does not do. I’ve always been curious about this as a Quicken user since 2005. I’m 100% devoted to Quicken so unless I’m going to still have all the same features I’m used to, I probably won’t ever switch to Mint.com. I’m just annoyed I didn’t implement the idea of Mint.com before it existed and it be me that’s rich instead! 🙂

  138. Lindy Mint says 19 November 2010 at 06:24

    I was going to suggest Mint to you too, I’m glad the other readers stepped up!

    I follow a more loose budget approach and only categorize my transactions once a month. We are already spending less than we earn (which was a surprise to us when we started using Mint), so the end of the month just shows us how much we have left over to pay towards the credit card. It gives us an incentive to be “good” throughout the month. And, it means we’re only spending 30 minutes on the budget every month.

    I do like their progress bars that show where you are with your budgets mid-month, though we don’t really use them.

    My accounts used to update slowly or encounter errors, but that seems to have corrected. Every once in a while there is a Firefox issue that makes it unuseable, but switching to a different browser solves that.

  139. Clint says 19 November 2010 at 08:08

    Wow! So many comments, I don’t know if I should bother but … I’ve been using Mint for about two months. So far so good. No problems connecting to Sharebuilder and other online investment account, though I have considered deleting some or all of them because I don’t know how important it is to see these all in one place. I do worry about security despite what Mint has to say, and I figure as long as I’m telling Mint where my current income is going (via budget category), why do I need to see it on the other end?

    To the Rachel who was having paycheck entering issues–do you direct deposit? and If so, don’t all the transactions come up automatically without entering the info yourself?

  140. David/moneycrashers says 19 November 2010 at 10:12

    I’ve heard lots of great things about Mint, and I’m sure its a great site.

    But, as I have said before, I would rather focus on eliminating my unnecessary spending rather than tracking the spending that I do.

    If you do this, there’s isn’t that much spending left to track.

  141. Brian says 19 November 2010 at 10:21

    I’ve used Mint for about a year now. Despite intermittent connection troubles with various accounts (PNC and ING, but never my Fidelity account), I’ve particularly enjoyed the weekly “summary” email. I do not use it for precise budgeting–instead I use it to keep track of the bigger pictures: income, total spending, and savings. I suppose I’m a bit too lazy to make sure each transaction is properly categorized.

  142. NYC Thomas says 19 November 2010 at 10:37

    I just left Mint after about 20 months of use. Their parsing of my HSBC transactions is horrible and I’m often left with no clue what the origins of many transactions are. Many times the full text string is visible but the transaction detail is wrong. It became too time consuming and annoying to constantly fix the same parsing errors over and over each week.

  143. SnookHaus says 19 November 2010 at 10:48

    @David #140

    The budget and trend features are some the best things about Mint.com They help you find your unnecessary spending in a clear and easy way.

  144. JB says 19 November 2010 at 11:29

    I’ve been using Mint for about a year, and like it. And hey, it’s free!

    It’s easy, I can access it anywhere. I like the goal feature and seeing the pie chart snapshot of my spending for the month.

    Also, I don’t think the ‘Connect with your Facebook account’ button should be so close to the ‘submit comment’ button. Easy to misclick on the wrong one.

  145. Anthony G says 19 November 2010 at 12:05

    After graduating from college I started using Mint.com to see my overall spending better than an excel spreadsheet. I love Mint because I can track my student loans as well as my banking info. Along with spending, I can track the amount of money I put away to reduce my overall debt.

    I agree that having allowing access to personal financial info is risky (Paypal comes to mind), but I have yet to hear of any major complaints.

  146. The Other Brian says 19 November 2010 at 12:52

    I am amazed at how many people are willing to put all of their financial information at risk by giving it to a corporation who only profits when they give your information away.

  147. Janette says 19 November 2010 at 15:40

    USAA has recently upgraded their site. It now provides a money tracking service. If someone breaks the code- THEY are in big trouble.

  148. mike e. says 19 November 2010 at 17:48

    Mint is great! I’ve been using it for around two years. I’ve had problems with ING too, but the past few months updates have been super quick.

    As someone who’s never closely tracked their finances before, it’s been a lifesaver. I think anyone who is a visual learner will especially find it appealing; it’s better designed websites out there.

  149. Will @ HackingTheBank.com says 20 November 2010 at 08:45

    I’m a HUGE proponent of Mint. I’ve gotten at least 10 of my friends hooked on it over the last 4 years.

    For those with account issues, I believe it’s often a combination of the security and Mint-friendliness of the site that keeps it from being synced properly. Luckily, I haven’t had any issues with the banks I used. In the beginning my small local bank wasn’t available, but over time it was added. Absolutely love how simple the interface is. Over time I’ve tried multiple different programs (Quicken, YNAB, etc.) but I keep using Mint as it does nearly everything I need. I do wish, however, that the goals could be linked to a specific loan account.

  150. John says 20 November 2010 at 11:49

    I have been using Mint for over 2 years now. I had a small problem with my Credit Union at one point. My CU updated some of their website addresses. I posted in the Mint forums about my problem. There was 1 other post on the subject. It took about 2 weeks for a solution. Not bad for a problem that was only affecting possibly just 2 users.

    The only thing i’ve seen is i have a bank account i closed. To keep my transaction data i have to leave the account in Mint. I marked it as closed but it still gives me an error every so often that it can not update the account. Not sure why it tries to update closed accounts.

    All in all i love Mint.

  151. SM says 21 November 2010 at 17:13

    I am Mint user for a couple of years now, and I generally love it. Current expenses and savings/checking accounts tracking is great. Investment – not too much, pretty much whole “investments” tabs is useless to me as the data shown there is frequently inaccurate (at least it were, I stopped even going there some time ago – maybe they got better). Then again, I am a very passive investor and most of my investments are very simple, so I’m mostly OK with it. The value provided for me by the rest of the app is just excellent.

    There are some glitches from time to time with certain accounts and one of my loan accounts is not updating correctly even after repeated complaints and some of my credit cards (store brands) I can’t even get in the system – so it is not perfect, definitely. But it’s by far the best out there and it has huge value for me in helping me keep track of my finances.

  152. SG says 22 November 2010 at 12:30

    For ING direct you have to get an access code for your account (somewhere on the profile page) that will generate a different PIN than the one to login into your account in ingdirect.com website. That access code can be entered on mint.com That way both the passwords are different.

  153. Rob says 23 November 2010 at 07:26

    I used Mint for about 6 months and ended canceling the account. The reason is because it ultimately didn’t help much. It took a lot of handholding to really make usage of the Mint categorization system, and there were no surprising. I mean, I knew vaguely how much I had been spending on groceries, and definitely knew how much I had been spending on my cell phone bill, etc. The big wins for savings for me (and I’m sure most people) are gained by focusing on recurring expenses, such as cable, your car payments, your cell phone bill, debt snowballing, etc.

    I really like Ramit’s point of view on this one: budgeting kinda sucks. If you set yourself up for long term goals with automated debt repayment and savings plans, then just do whatever you want with the rest of your money. If you discover you’re spending $100 or $200 a month on Latte’s, then so what? Chances are you know you’re doing so without Mint telling you, and it doesn’t matter unless there is something higher priority that you would be spending your money on.

    For me I have I several ING Savings accounts that receive automated payments off the top of my paycheck every cycle, so I know that I’m saving up for the things that I care about. After that, whatever is in my checking account is good times money.

  154. Jim Peet says 23 November 2010 at 07:36

    I switched from Mint to Yodlee.com. I understand (perhaps incorrectly) that Yodlee is the engine behind Mint anyway.

    I had problems with Mint that I could not resolve: double postings. Also on one account, when I changed my P/W, I also changed my P/W for that account on Mint but I could not get them to synch.

  155. Samantha says 23 November 2010 at 09:36

    I just signed up with Mint and it hooked up with my Fidelity Investment Account on the first try, no problems. Maybe its fixed?

  156. Jen says 24 November 2010 at 11:22

    I have not had any problem with connecting to Fidelity. Overtime my various accounts have added additional security and I have to update that from time to time.

  157. Kevin Kuzia says 28 November 2010 at 08:29

    I used Mint for a year or so and for a while, I really liked it… and then this past Summer, the auto-update feature completely fell apart for me and quite a number of people (and I base this on the Mint.com help forums which were really lighting up on this issue). The problem went on for months without much acknowledgment and then when there was a response, it was still taking months to fix.

    A lot of people have had the reaction of “Well, it’s free, so you shouldn’t complain…” but given the fact that Mint IS making money off the service and aggregating all of my financial data, I would expect a little better.

    So I would love to use Mint and found it useful when it worked… but it just was never working for me. I tried Thrive instead and while it’s good, I found Mint better… well, provided it was working. 🙂

  158. TMO says 28 November 2010 at 21:45

    I was excited to about Mint when I started using it 3-5 months back. My initial enthusiasm began to wane quickly when I determined that Mint will not sync with my credit union account. Furthermore, there is no movement to support my CU or for my CU to make itself more compatible with Mint. I am still considering moving to a different CU simply for Mint compatibility.

    Of late, though, I am very disappointed that Mint has no means of importing data (CSV or Quicken Data file). This would be most handy from a historical point of view, as well as a work around for the financial data that can’t be accessed through Mint’s existing sync means.

    Many loyal Mint users are clamoring for this import feature and have been for the last year. To date, there hasn’t been any indication from Mint that this feature will emerge.

    I am interested to explore Yodlee next.

  159. Drew says 01 December 2015 at 23:36

    I have tried to activate my accounts numerous times and it’s not working. I have logged into settings and my account several times and nothing happens. Can someone help me with this?

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