Author Topic: Mint is wrong, but I'm not sure how?  (Read 7454 times)

jsloan

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Mint is wrong, but I'm not sure how?
« on: January 07, 2013, 09:04:46 AM »
Everyone,

We have been using Mint.com over the course of the last year and it has been working great, but I'm running into issue when trying to figure out our savings rate for 2011.  Basically I'm looking at our total income and expenses and subtracting, easy enough.  When I do this we are around a 50% savings rate but common sense tells me that this isn't possible.  When I do a quick summation in my head of our savings: 401K, IRA, Emergency Fund, Collge Fund, etc it looks like it appears to be looking more like 30-35%. 

I have done some checking to make sure that all income/expenses were recorded as of 01/01/11 and everything looks good.  On the income side we have a rental which 'inflates' the earnings side of things, but this shouldn't matter since the mortgage shows up as an expense.  Also, since we own mutual funds earnings seem to be recorded as income, but I'm wondering if they are being inflated somehow?  We also refinanced our homes this year in which we took a large amount of money out of mutual funds and stocks for a down payment.   

Has anyone run into this?  If so, are there manually adjustments that needed to be made to get a 'true' income number when investments are considered?

tldr: It appears that everything is being recorded in mint.com as it should be (all accounts are there), but savings rate is higher than it should be based on the amount of money we have in savings.  What's the deal?

Thanks! 

       

lauren_knows

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Re: Mint is wrong, but I'm not sure how?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 09:08:36 AM »
Do you ever make a transfer from a checking account to an investment?  You need to make sure that both sides of that transaction are accounted for, or mint can start to double-count things.  That's all I can think of, as this was an issue for me.

Tyler

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Re: Mint is wrong, but I'm not sure how?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:36:19 PM »
As Bo_knows mentions, your sale of funds for the refinance could be the culprit (as evidenced by your investment income showing up in the income charts, where it normally does not). Make sure that you have properly categorized the transactions between accounts (on both sides) as "transfer" and not a profit.  For example, if the transfer of funds out of the investment account is categorized transfer but the new money in your banking account is not, then the drop in investment money will be ignored for charting purposes but you'll see artificial "income" in the bank account that will throw off your totals.

Basically, things labelled as transfer, buy, and sell are normally excluded from your spending / savings / net income charts as they have no effect on your cash flow. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 12:39:02 PM by Tyler »

KGZotU

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Re: Mint is wrong, but I'm not sure how?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 08:28:53 PM »
Do you ever make a transfer from a checking account to an investment?  You need to make sure that both sides of that transaction are accounted for, or mint can start to double-count things.  That's all I can think of, as this was an issue for me.
In addition to this, I notice that sometimes a transfer within my investment accounts will get double counted. So if I invest $5k and then rebalance $3k, I will see $8k worth of transactions in that account.