Author Topic: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?  (Read 11815 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« on: January 03, 2015, 09:39:55 PM »
My #1 interest in Mint is to be able to tell where our money is going. But it doesn't help me do that! Every tiny service fee or dividend shows up as a transaction, skewing results, and every transfer seems to show up as money we've spent! Then everything on a credit card basically shows up twice--once when it's spent, and again when the credit card bill is paid. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a better way to track our spending?

Future Lazy

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 10:34:01 PM »
I didn't care for Mint for this reason. I tried Learnvest, but didn't care for it as it displayed ALL spending categories at once, even those I wasn't ever using.

Have you tried a different tracker, like Personal Capital?

MDM

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2015, 11:06:36 PM »
Quicken allows one to customize reports.  E.g., what categories and/or accounts to include, include/exclude transfers, etc.

Haven't used Mint so can't comment on its specific capabilities, but does it have a "customize" option for reports?

red7

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 11:10:16 PM »
I don't understand how all of your credit card transactions are showing up twice. The only thing that shows up in multiple places in my mint account are transfers to my Vanguard account, but I just ignore them. You could classify the debits to your bank accounts as "Savings" though, so that you'll see that label when you look at your spending. Where do you see the transactions twice? Have you checked your accounts to make sure that you don't have an accidental duplicate? If you do, you can delete it or just make it inactive. I had that problem when I first signed up.

I also find that the "Transactions" tab is basically worthless to me. I stopped paying any attention to it almost immediately. I only ever view the "Trends" tab using the pie chart view, where I can look at the overall spending and then click on specific categories to see specific details and transactions. When I pay my credit card, the payment shows up in "Transactions" but doesn't show up in the "Trends" categories (because that money has already been accounted for).

IMHO, service fees ARE spending, and Mint is correct to classify them as such. Mint treats dividends as income, though, so once again, they show up under the "Transactions" tab but won't show up in the "Trends" for spending -- only in the "Trends" for income.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 11:15:49 PM by red7 »

Will

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 11:13:49 PM »
You get what you pay for.  I think that is why you see so many people using YNAB. 

randymarsh

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 11:23:46 PM »
Every transaction will show up, yes, that's how Mint does things. But really you only need to make sure they're categorized properly and then you can use the trends screen for a high level look at your finances.

Credit card spending shouldn't show up twice. The actual purchase should show up as a transaction. Then, when you make a payment, you should see only one transaction for that payment. I believe Mint hides these types of transfer payments from Trends so your CC spending shouldn't be duplicated.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 11:27:57 PM »
Just classify as "Hide From Budgets and Trends" if it is neither income or expense. This happens to me biweekly with my 401(k) fund purchases showing up as an expense. I just reclassify each one - takes about 2 minutes twice a month.

CC payment usually doesn't show as an expense for me, but on the odd occasion it did I think I simply reclassified as a transfer.

Workinghard

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 02:13:34 AM »
Transfers show up as a negative and positive. It will be a negative,in black, from the  account you are taking it from. It will be a positive, in green, in the account you're adding it to.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 03:29:28 AM »
Just classify as "Hide From Budgets and Trends" if it is neither income or expense. This happens to me biweekly with my 401(k) fund purchases showing up as an expense. I just reclassify each one - takes about 2 minutes twice a month.

CC payment usually doesn't show as an expense for me, but on the odd occasion it did I think I simply reclassified as a transfer.

This exactly.  Look at mint for about 2 minutes once a week to make sure your transactions are being labeled the way you want them to be (anything non-income/expense as "hide from budget & trends") and you're good.  Might take 5 minutes at the beginning as you establish your auto categorize rules, etc. 

One funny thing, for some reason the word "Friday" was part of the transaction description on a recent credit card payment, so mint called the transaction "Friday's".  Mr PoP nearly had a heart attack when he thought the waitress might have fat-fingered the bill, adding an extra zero, for a recent outing with work colleagues to the restaurant Friday's for lunch. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 09:02:07 AM »
I;ll keep fiddling around with it to see if I can get the results I want--thanks for the suggestions! Paying for anything would be a complete nonstarter with Mr. FP :-).

What I mean about the credit card showing up twice is that if I go to Trends for the month, it will show both our current charges AND the payment for last month, making it look like we spent twice as much as we actually did. Maybe I just need to hide the CC payment...

Returnoftheyeti

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 10:45:01 AM »
Here is how you hide it automatically

https://mint.lc.intuit.com/questions/962122-mint-faq-what-can-i-do-so-reimbursed-transactions-aren-t-counted-against-my-budget

If you have reimbursed transactions, such as workplace expenses, that are pulled into Mint, but you do not want them to be tracked in Budgets and Trends, you can add the ‘reimbursable’ tag to those transactions. One the transaction is tagged, you can go to Accounts > Hide  > and scroll down to click the tag Reimbursable as hidden from budgets and trends.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Fed Up with Mint... Am I Doing It Wrong?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 11:10:09 AM »
I've been using Mint since near their beginning.  Recently their automatic classifier has been giving me serious headaches!  There was a 10 day period last month where they dropped several transactions, and made up a couple that never existed in my bank account!

I get the impression that Intuit bought Mint to slowly kill it though neglect.  Seems like they are succeeding. 

I'm currently trying out Personal Capital.  Seems fine, though I like to use stuff for a while before passing ultimate judgement.  The big thing with them is that they have a sustainable business model.  I like seeing that in software products I use!