Author Topic: Mint alternative  (Read 19817 times)

Workinghard

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Mint alternative
« on: November 19, 2014, 02:47:27 AM »
I am ready to give up on Mint. I have been having problems with accounts updating and accounts MIA. Now my credit card transactions aren't showing up. I don't mind inputting the data in manually. Does anyone have an alternative or a spreadsheet that they will share? I'm excel illiterate when it comes to making my own spreadsheets.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 03:30:08 AM »
I'm loving YNAB, for a host of reasons. I inputted every transaction manually for the first eight months, to get the "consciousness" benefit of that approach, and am newly inputting via the "download to Quicken (YNAB)" option on my bank and credit card sites. This is working awesomely.

tofuchampion

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 03:43:25 AM »
Another vote for YNAB.  Lots of people around here with referral codes, which will save you $6.  There's a 34-day free trial, too.

Workinghard

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 03:53:36 AM »
Thanks! I'll ckeck out the free trial while I go through the grieving process.

neo von retorch

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 11:40:21 AM »
I use http://www.personalcapital.com/ alongside Mint. It works with GE Capital Bank and it shows more accurate investment information. (Mint likes to treat all Betterment investments as having a cost of $1 which makes them seem like amazing investments! But it's not even remotely useful information...) Basically it does most of the same things as Mint.com but it's more geared towards growing your money, possibly selling you on Personal Capital's totally optional financial advisement services, but not selling you on all the various things Mint pushes on you.

FarmerPete

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 11:57:05 AM »
I use YNAB as well.  I've been using it since August.  I do manual input and then import every week or so to make sure I didn't miss something.  I still haven't bought it.  I was hoping that it would go on sale this holiday season.  We shall see.

mlipps

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 01:10:54 PM »
I use Personal Capital to aggregate all my transactions & YNAB to track them. Too lazy to sign into all those accounts every week manually!

schimt

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 01:13:22 PM »
there are also many free classes that come with the YNAB software, that you should take advantage of during the 34 day trial to get the most out of it. You also might want to time the beginning of your trial with the same day of your next pay check. The practice with YNAB is to tell the software how much money you have and give every dollar a job. so if you are paid twice a month, you can complete 3 pay periods with the software during the trial period

Spork

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 01:58:39 PM »

My favorite is gnucash.

Advantages: probably the most "correct accounting methodologies".  Free.  Back end file can be parsed to do all sorts of fun stuff.  Will import several standard formats.
Disadvantages: not as slick.  Budgeting side is not awesome.  Not really geared for automatic input (which I think is a plus, but others will see as a minus).

I've been using it about 15 years.

MDM

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 03:28:13 PM »
Quicken.  Have had no significant problems with downloading things, including multiple credit cards' transactions, for 20+ years.  YMMV.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2014, 09:17:27 PM »
I use Personal Capital to aggregate all my transactions ...

EDIT: Although I previously recommended them, after spending 5 days unable to get them to fix clear errors, I can no longer recommend Personal Capital.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 11:59:37 AM by Sid Hoffman »

sobezen

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2014, 09:56:38 PM »
PersonalCapital because it provides a holistic view of my net worth not just the monthly spending.

Will

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2014, 10:36:46 PM »
YNAB because it provides a holistic view of my net worth and allows me to budget exquisitely.  Its not just software, it is a method to help one gain/keep control of one's finances.

Bbqmustache

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2014, 01:15:42 AM »
Another vote for Ynab.  Now, if I could just get my DW to enter her transactions!

Workinghard

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2014, 02:25:44 AM »
Thanks everyone. I recently went through a counseling session with Mint and they promised to do better and made amends for their past mistakes. I will give them another chance, but if they fail to live up to my expectations then I will start trying out other partners.


neo von retorch

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2014, 08:11:45 AM »
Also because I like to talk about myself, I'll also mention this one other piece of software. I copied a friend of mine way back in 2003. (She was using PHP/MySQL - I used classic ASP and MS-SQL. Later she upgraded to .NET and MS-SQL and I feel so behind the times!) It's a web page where you add accounts and transactions. Simple. Plus you add Reminders which are "things you expect to happen each week or each month." You then flip the switch on those to make them into Transactions, and mark when they Post. The advantage of Reminders is that you can forecast months or even years into the future. By default, it always shows 2 months of the Future so I can easily see how much extra is sitting in my account Right Now which can easily be moved to savings or investments.

The biggest drawback is that this is fully manual software. I had a thought about being able to import CSV files the other day, but I haven't written that code yet. So all fifty BILLION transactions that have moved through my various accounts have been logged by me. I am a crazy person.

catccc

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2014, 12:27:43 PM »
Yet another vote for YNAB.  I got it last year on black Friday, it was on sale for 1/2 off, plus I was able to combine it with someone's referral code to get another $6 off (mine is in my siggy below!), so it was only $24. 

If you are considering it, I would wait until next Friday to see if they run the sale again, then pull the trigger.  I knew very little about YNAB when I purchased it; just saw people raving about it here, and new it cost $60.  So when I saw it on sale, I decided to take a gamble, which I think has paid off big time. 

I was good with money before, but YNAB is a totally different perspective.

It really provides real time information- not just historical stuff to review.  Yes, manual entry, but it becomes second nature.  And since I have had unsuccessful attempts to get DH to use it, I manually input both my transactions and his.  It is a very worthwhile software for me.  The classes are helpful (I have taken a couple) and the support from the community of users is also great.  Highly recommend it.  Next Friday!

Scandium

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2014, 01:50:42 PM »
So with YNAB you have to either manually enter every transaction every month (!) or at least download and import CSV files from each of my 4 credit cards plus bank account? Holycrap there's no way I'm doing that every month! Do you people have too much free time or something?

My "budget" (in addition to Mint) is a two-column excel sheet where I put in next CC bills, paycheck and mortgage and check against the bank balance.

Spork

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2014, 01:56:00 PM »
The biggest drawback is that this is fully manual software. I had a thought about being able to import CSV files the other day, but I haven't written that code yet. So all fifty BILLION transactions that have moved through my various accounts have been logged by me. I am a crazy person.

Wow, you're a freaking machine!  I went back to count mine out of curiosity.  I only have just north of 100,000... and that's not transactions, that's splits within a transaction.   

tarheeldan

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2014, 02:07:34 PM »
I'm with Scandium - manual input is way too intense for me!

I use Mint to get a quick view of account balances on the go - but for actually categorizing and forecasting, I use Quicken and love it.

sobezen

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2014, 02:33:34 PM »
So with YNAB you have to either manually enter every transaction every month (!) or at least download and import CSV files from each of my 4 credit cards plus bank account? Holycrap there's no way I'm doing that every month! Do you people have too much free time or something?

My "budget" (in addition to Mint) is a two-column excel sheet where I put in next CC bills, paycheck and mortgage and check against the bank balance.

Ditto! Can you even begin to imagine how many manual entries must be added in YNAB on a monthly basis if you are doing manufactured spending?!  Sorry but IMO if you are already lean with your budget and good with savings, it's better to focus on saving more and/or growing more income streams if possible to reach FIRE.  Sometimes simplifying helps save you time too.  YMMV.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2014, 04:38:27 PM »
So with YNAB you have to either manually enter every transaction every month (!) or at least download and import CSV files from each of my 4 credit cards plus bank account? Holycrap there's no way I'm doing that every month!

Yes, with YNAB you either enter manually, or click once per account to load it.

I did manual entry for 8 months, and just recently switched to the latter, because I believe that it's now safe for me to do so, consciousness-wise.

Clicking once per account doesn't take time in my case, but remembering my logins for each account does! Trying to remember my logins makes me absolutely batty. For that reason, I'm in the process of reducing my accounts from 12 to 2 (one chequing, one credit card).

YNAB encourages us to input as we go. Its point is not merely to "see where I spent last month", but to get super conscious about what we're doing so that what we're doing naturally begins to shift. The daily (or almost daily) inputting is for that purpose.

Scandium

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2014, 05:44:29 PM »
So with YNAB you have to either manually enter every transaction every month (!) or at least download and import CSV files from each of my 4 credit cards plus bank account? Holycrap there's no way I'm doing that every month!

Yes, with YNAB you either enter manually, or click once per account to load it.

I did manual entry for 8 months, and just recently switched to the latter, because I believe that it's now safe for me to do so, consciousness-wise.

Clicking once per account doesn't take time in my case, but remembering my logins for each account does! Trying to remember my logins makes me absolutely batty. For that reason, I'm in the process of reducing my accounts from 12 to 2 (one chequing, one credit card).

YNAB encourages us to input as we go. Its point is not merely to "see where I spent last month", but to get super conscious about what we're doing so that what we're doing naturally begins to shift. The daily (or almost daily) inputting is for that purpose.
Remember passwords? I haven't done that for years. There are still people who don't use password managers?? How do you live?! I must have several dozen accounts in my database, there's no way I could remember all of those. Keepass on Dropbox. Done. And it's free. There are also some commercial apps if you want to be fancy.

I have couple CC for a few specific things that autopay and never log into. And plan to churn several card for flight points this year. On top of 4 base cards. And my wife has 3 more. Sure it's doable but just not something I want to deal with every month.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2014, 06:08:13 PM »
Remember passwords? I haven't done that for years. There are still people who don't use password managers?? How do you live?! I must have several dozen accounts in my database, there's no way I could remember all of those. Keepass on Dropbox. Done. And it's free.

Really? It will do all my bank logins and everything? (What happens if someone figures out my keepass login?) I don't know how this works yet, but you better believe I'm about to look it up! I haven't used my DropBox account for ages because, yes, I can never remember my login info, lol. Anyway, all the easier to use YNAB then :)

Scandium

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2014, 06:58:45 PM »
Yes it will hold user names and passwords, and autofill in the browser. Just remember one master password. I use a sentence. Obviously important to not lose that..

I like keepass since it's free and open source. There is also last pass and one password. Both cost some I think. They  also have phone apps.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2014, 07:05:45 PM »
Thanks, Scandium! I'd heard of the concept, but had never gotten around to looking into it. I was afraid about someone figuring out my master password and my life subsequently going to shambles, but I see here that this is addressed: http://www.petersmittenaar.com/keepass-why-and-how-to-use-it-effectively.php   Totally doing this. And a sentence is an awesome idea! Thanks again :)

tofuchampion

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2014, 08:54:35 PM »
The manual inputting on YNAB doesn't take long, though.  I have the app on my phone, and I'll enter a transaction as I walk out of the store.  Takes 20 seconds.  Once a week or so, I'll look at bank account balances online and reconcile, which takes all of 2 minutes.  I spend 5, maybe 10 minutes per week entering transactions.

If your finances are more complicated, I guess it could be more time-consuming, but mine aren't.  The accounts I have on it are my checking, savings, cash, one credit card, Paypal, 403(b), and the kids' 529's.  The only one I have to think about daily is checking, and the rest I update weekly when I reconcile.

Scandium

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2014, 06:15:39 AM »
Thanks, Scandium! I'd heard of the concept, but had never gotten around to looking into it. I was afraid about someone figuring out my master password and my life subsequently going to shambles, but I see here that this is addressed: http://www.petersmittenaar.com/keepass-why-and-how-to-use-it-effectively.php   Totally doing this. And a sentence is an awesome idea! Thanks again :)
You're welcome! It's made my life much easier. Thanks for the link, that had some shortcuts I wasn't aware of!

What he describe is pretty much the way I do it. Database on dropbox so I can access it on all my computers and phone, and a backup version on a tiny USB stick on my keychain (mostly just in case I can't access dropbox). I also use it for credit card numbers, wife's SSN, security questions, wifi passwords etc.

Yes I suggest a sentence. I usually type it in every day a when I get to work so easy to remember after a while. Maybe mix up some letters. For example "love burg3ers 4 breakfast" or something (no that's not my password.) If it's long enough it's pretty much impossible to brute force.

PS: for extra security use 2-factor authentication for dropbox, using the google authenticator app. It's in the DB faq.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2014, 06:29:31 AM »
I heavily recommend YNAB as well. It has transformed my life. I'm not living paycheck to paycheck anymore, even with a job loss and a 6 month long stint with a very ill dog. Manual entry becomes second nature so you can instantly see how a purchase affects your finances. Isn't that what MMM is about? Being hyper conscious of expenses to disincline you from more?

There is also an auto download feature but unless you do it weekly, you totally lose that hyper consiousness. The benefit at that point is you see clearly where you strayed from your own plan and it may affect your decisions going into the new month.

I have two checking accounts, one savings, two cash, 5 credit cards as on budget accounts and 15 off budget to keep up with personal loans, school loans, retirement, and asset depreciation. Very supportive classes and forum.

Will

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2014, 08:30:26 AM »
I heavily recommend YNAB as well. It has transformed my life. I'm not living paycheck to paycheck anymore, even with a job loss and a 6 month long stint with a very ill dog. Manual entry becomes second nature so you can instantly see how a purchase affects your finances. Isn't that what MMM is about? Being hyper conscious of expenses to disincline you from more?

There is also an auto download feature but unless you do it weekly, you totally lose that hyper consiousness. The benefit at that point is you see clearly where you strayed from your own plan and it may affect your decisions going into the new month.

I have two checking accounts, one savings, two cash, 5 credit cards as on budget accounts and 15 off budget to keep up with personal loans, school loans, retirement, and asset depreciation. Very supportive classes and forum.

+1, especially the part I made bold.  If entering the transactions manually is too cumbersome, I don't think YNAB is the problem; the problem is the number of transactions!

catccc

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2014, 08:44:44 AM »
I heavily recommend YNAB as well. It has transformed my life. I'm not living paycheck to paycheck anymore, even with a job loss and a 6 month long stint with a very ill dog. Manual entry becomes second nature so you can instantly see how a purchase affects your finances. Isn't that what MMM is about? Being hyper conscious of expenses to disincline you from more?

There is also an auto download feature but unless you do it weekly, you totally lose that hyper consiousness. The benefit at that point is you see clearly where you strayed from your own plan and it may affect your decisions going into the new month.

I have two checking accounts, one savings, two cash, 5 credit cards as on budget accounts and 15 off budget to keep up with personal loans, school loans, retirement, and asset depreciation. Very supportive classes and forum.

+1, especially the part I made bold.  If entering the transactions manually is too cumbersome, I don't think YNAB is the problem; the problem is the number of transactions!

Ditto this.  I just do it as I go, it takes seconds.  Sitting down at month end to enter them would suck, but it's just part of my routine, so it doesn't really take much time, and I really feel my money is better managed.  And this is improving upon an already decent only 50% spending rate.  (The rest is taxes and savings, so I wouldn't say it is exactly a 50% savings rate, although we pay little in taxes at our income w/ 2 kids.)

johnny847

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2014, 09:14:27 AM »
I heavily recommend YNAB as well. It has transformed my life. I'm not living paycheck to paycheck anymore, even with a job loss and a 6 month long stint with a very ill dog. Manual entry becomes second nature so you can instantly see how a purchase affects your finances. Isn't that what MMM is about? Being hyper conscious of expenses to disincline you from more?

There is also an auto download feature but unless you do it weekly, you totally lose that hyper consiousness. The benefit at that point is you see clearly where you strayed from your own plan and it may affect your decisions going into the new month.

I have two checking accounts, one savings, two cash, 5 credit cards as on budget accounts and 15 off budget to keep up with personal loans, school loans, retirement, and asset depreciation. Very supportive classes and forum.

+1, especially the part I made bold.  If entering the transactions manually is too cumbersome, I don't think YNAB is the problem; the problem is the number of transactions!

Ditto this.  I just do it as I go, it takes seconds.  Sitting down at month end to enter them would suck, but it's just part of my routine, so it doesn't really take much time, and I really feel my money is better managed.  And this is improving upon an already decent only 50% spending rate.  (The rest is taxes and savings, so I wouldn't say it is exactly a 50% savings rate, although we pay little in taxes at our income w/ 2 kids.)
Agreed! Having to enter them manually really enforces the concept that I spent $X on Y. It's a much more active process.

OP, you could give it a try with a 34 day free trial. It would be an adjustment though.

As for automated alternatives, I don't have any to suggest.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2014, 11:53:21 AM »
I'd like to add that you can add "scheduled" transactions. When you're doing all this long term, you don't need to know things by the cent. So if a weekly/monthly/etc is somewhere between $250-$400 set it to $325 and leave it alone for a while. I have my car listed as an asset with a minimum depreciation of $500/year. Maybe that's a small detail, but it adjusts my numbers of Assets/Liabilities more accurately but I don't really need to know the exact number unless I'm about to sell it.

I also schedule all bills, minimum incomes, mortgage payments. I like to play with it like a Video game, but if you are no where close to living paycheck to paycheck, this can  put it on the back burner of taking care of itself and you just check in monthly to correct the numbers. Add purchases on the fly to the app. Repeat. 

neo von retorch

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2014, 12:29:10 PM »
The biggest drawback is that this is fully manual software. I had a thought about being able to import CSV files the other day, but I haven't written that code yet. So all fifty BILLION transactions that have moved through my various accounts have been logged by me. I am a crazy person.

Wow, you're a freaking machine!  I went back to count mine out of curiosity.  I only have just north of 100,000... and that's not transactions, that's splits within a transaction.   

Holy... I actually did a query just after posting this. Less than 16,000 transactions since 6/1/2002. Though I have at one time or another consolidated some accounts/transactions (like a few SmartyPig goals got lumped into one big Various Savings bucket.) and I stopped tracking my escrow accounts and deleted those transactions (but really that's only like 30 total transactions deleted.)

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2014, 02:12:00 PM »
I have an older smartphone with limited storage, so I haven't been able to put things like YNAB (or DropBox) on it. So, I wasn't able to enter at the point of each transaction, so did so at the end of each day.

Here's how the consciousness-raising aspect of about 10 months of daily-manual-entry did for me:

-made me shop less in general, because I knew I'd have to enter another transaction later!
-got me going for groceries less often (see above), because I especially hated entering those receipts
-going for groceries less often got me more immediately honest about what I was really spending per week in my worst area
-showed me hundreds (!) of dollars (on a $1500/mo budget) in overcharges in one month alone, and got them back
-got me keen to reduce internet and phone costs
-helped me see where some subsidies I was eligible for would be worth pursuing
-inspired a personal embarrassment about, and subsequent end to, auto-payments I was making for no real reason
-inspired me to avoid the higher rents I was tempted by, and to instead aim for an even lower one
-let me avoid feeling sick at the end of each month about the "surprise" amounts spent
-let me adjust my practices from any point in the month instead of "starting again next month"
-encouraged me to sell some of my stuff to make my income cover my poorly-planned expenses in a month

With no real effort whatsoever, the practice brought my monthly budget down from about $3000/mo (which I didn't actually have in income) to $1700/mo (and now even less). These were areas I was certainly conscious of, but not hyper-conscious of. It moved me out of wishful thinking, a "longterm" approach in which I could tell myself the money would eventually show up, fantasy-based spending, etc.

I totally agree that one might eventually outgrow an approach like YNAB -I mean, it certainly could be used forever, but I know I've recently moved to downloading the transactions and to an annual budget approach to my YNAB, but this is what it did for me in the first stretch.

sobezen

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2014, 03:46:44 PM »
How many of you YNAB users practice manufactured spending?  I'm very curious to hear about your experiences tracking your transactions in YNAB and how much time you dedicate doing so.  Thank you.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2014, 04:19:53 PM »
How many of you YNAB users practice manufactured spending?

Had to look up the term. I don't at all. The closest I've ever come is in switching from a no-fee credit card to a user-fee credit card for the extra points, which I convert to cash once a year (about $250/yr net).

Cognitively, I have a very hard time grasping anything abstract, as well as managing lots of transactions, so I intentionally keep things as simple as I can while still moving myself forward. The pain some things cause my brain and soul is just not worth $ to me. My kid's school sells gift cards as a fundraiser; I don't do it because too many "currencies" and jobs (change shopping places or sell cards I got at discount, etc) is beyond me at this point. Ironically, because of my diagnosed cognitive impairment, I used to receive vouchers and gift cards and credits...I got so confused and stressed trying to track and use them all, I gave them all up!

I'm very curious to hear about your experiences tracking your transactions in YNAB and how much time you dedicate doing so.

My manual tracking [of non-manufactured spending] in YNAB was probably 2-2.5 hours per month (15 minutes every few days). Hmm...that's $520/hr in monthly "rewards"!

ETA: I only realized after Will's response that you meant how much time tracking the manufactured spending. Oops. I did initially try tracking the gift cards and discount cards I was receiving, but only got overwhelmed and, like I said, quit the whole shebang.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 10:47:15 PM by scrubbyfish »

Will

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2014, 08:29:30 PM »
How many of you YNAB users practice manufactured spending?  I'm very curious to hear about your experiences tracking your transactions in YNAB and how much time you dedicate doing so.  Thank you.

I do.  My manufactured spend isn't really any different than my regular spend.  It is budgeted and transactions are entered as they occur, so a few seconds for each.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2014, 08:36:00 PM »
How many of you YNAB users practice manufactured spending?  I'm very curious to hear about your experiences tracking your transactions in YNAB and how much time you dedicate doing so.  Thank you.

Now that I have learned about it, I could do it with Lowes/Home Depot gift cards for my renovations this year using my Quicksilver card (1.5% back on every purchase). I go to very few places that take gift cards so the method wouldn't much work for me. Ha. Making money off buying money. Crazy world.

lucky-girl

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2014, 07:15:05 AM »
Another vote for YNAB. I found it used the same instinctive logic I did on managing current funds and spending. There are definitely a few quirks, and things I had to dig around a bit to figure out, but it only deepened my understanding.

I also use personal capital because it has better reporting on investment performance. But I use both to track our net worth.

Langer83

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2014, 09:53:46 AM »
Three questions about YNAB.
1) Are you able to create your own budget categories, or are you stuck with pre-existing categories?
2) Is it easy to track cash spending?
3) I see there's a "Reconciliation Wizard." Is this feature useful and easy-to-use?

scrubbyfish

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2014, 10:08:56 AM »
1. Yes, you can create your own (categories and subcategories), as many or few as you like, change them on a whim, etc.

2. Yes. Just create an "account" called "Cash". Enter date, amount spent, select which of your categories the spending relates to.

3. Yes.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2014, 10:13:22 AM »
Three questions about YNAB.
1) Are you able to create your own budget categories, or are you stuck with pre-existing categories?
2) Is it easy to track cash spending?
3) I see there's a "Reconciliation Wizard." Is this feature useful and easy-to-use?

1. you can have as many as you want with any title length. I have 15 master categories with over 100 sub categories. Although, the collumn widths don't adjust, so I keep mine short and just use the "note" feature to add more information.
2. I think it is. I round up to the nearest dollar for ease of use. Sometimes my YNAB doesn't know about the $1.50 in accumulated change in my car's cup holder that I use for parking meters due to this method, but I'm pretty cool with it.
3. I'm not sure what you mean by reconcilation wizard to be honest. can you elaborate? I reconcile accounts, which puts a little "lock" on it, then I can hide those transactions so I only ever have to look at recent ones.

pdxvandal

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2014, 03:22:33 PM »
I like Personal Capital, although when you sign up they will call you consistently for a few months for a "free" investment consultation. The only drawback, IMO.

madmax

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2014, 03:00:39 PM »
I'm a YNAB user as well, however Mint/Quicken like software still has its place in my workflow as an aggregator because I dislike going to individual websites and looking at transactions. Lately, I've switched to Personal Capital as well and am happy with the new interface. They do span you for the consultation and the calls are hard to block because the numbers keep changing.

Joel

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2014, 09:33:36 PM »
Another vote for YNAB here. I've been using it for 7 years. Takes seconds to record transactions on my phone at the point of sale, and then I use pocket sense to download and aggregate all my transactions and make sure I didn't miss anything. It also reconciles my account this way.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2014, 11:58:43 AM »
I like Personal Capital, although when you sign up they will call you consistently for a few months for a "free" investment consultation. The only drawback, IMO.

I started using it in April and had no problems up until last week.  I typically log in every other day to make sure I'm staying on top of my spending and I actually watched the graph suddenly drop by $130 or so once it did its update.  I looked around for a bit and saw that at least two charges from one of my credit cards were gone.  I even went into the detail view for that specific card to make sure they didn't get reclassified.  For example, if something gets classified as a transfer, it will show up as a transaction in the card's detail view, but does not show up as an expense.

Bottom line, the charges simply vanished.  They were not present but mis-classified, they were absolutely gone.  One of them was my monthly auto-billed T-Mobile charge so I was able to confirm by going into card view and searching for T-Mobile.  It found September and October's charge, but suddenly the November charge had vanished.  At least one grocery store charge vanished as well.  I went back to the credit card and confirmed the charges are there and were settled about 15 days ago, so they are not pending transactions.

I emailed Personal Capital with all the detailed information and even after 4 days I have not gotten anything at all back.  If they can't actually help me with my budget by showing the charges, then they are of less than no use to me.  I'd rather have no information that have to deal with misreported information.  I'd be more likely to overspend if I believed the website claiming spending was much lower than it really is.  The fact they haven't even responded, much less fixed the problem is a bad sign.  I don't think they can be trusted.

sobezen

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2014, 01:37:50 PM »
That's so unusual Sid.  When I contacted PersonalCapital they were very responsive especially after I submitted a technical concern through the online link.  Try sending them another email and see what happens.  Alternatively, if you already had your one hour consultation (regardless if you decided to retain their services) consider reaching out to the CFP and see if they can help you too.  When I brought some issues up the CFP I interviewed was very helpful, even though he was not the person who directly helped me, he connected me to the correct people. YMMV. Good luck.

catccc

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2014, 08:25:01 AM »
If anyone was interested in YNAB, it's on sale for 50% off right now.  I don't think this will combine with individual referral links, but you could try (not even sure how you would do that) ...
http://ynab.me/blackfriday

It's actually for a physical gift card, but I suppose you could start the trial now, and when the gift card arrives in 2 weeks, enter the key to continue using it.

(I wish they gave you an option for no gift card, maybe you can contact them after your purchase and see if you can just get the key emailed.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 07:28:05 PM by catccc »

neo von retorch

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Re: Mint alternative
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2014, 08:46:29 AM »
That link for your cart did not work, but there's a link here that loads 1 friend code and 1 gift card, each reduced to $30. Pick which one(s) you want, delete the other and check out.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/ynab-2014-black-friday-link/