Author Topic: Totally Confused with Mint  (Read 5789 times)

fmzip

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Totally Confused with Mint
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:20:07 AM »
So I am tracking all my accounts on Mint and trying to see what I spent YTD.

So under "trends" I select only my checking and Savings acct. The total YTD amount comes out to $32413

Then I go onto my Bank of America account, select the same three accounts and same period and the amount comes up to $44149.

Now if I go onto mint and select all my credit card accounts as well, the spend shoots up to $61000.

I would think that the bank of america account would be the accurate number at $44149 since that is the account that pays for every expense. Just confused as what I would need to select for accounts in Mint under "spending" to see the same number as Bank of America. Can any Mint experts chime in please?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 11:44:23 AM »
Is any of the "spending" included in the $44,149 a transfer. Either as a payment on a credit card, or a transfer to an investment account, or something similar? Do you use Tags in mint? If so, are any of them hidden?

Your bank might not have the same classifications, so it might just show all money going out. Mint has a lot of categories and some of them are "expenses" or "spending".

Lis

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 11:53:17 AM »
Seconded what Cheddar said. Mint also occasionally has had problems with double counting some transactions. I've never had that with my BofA accounts, but you never know. I had some issues with double counting with my PNC accounts, but once I (manually) fixed them and reported the problem, I haven't had a problem since.

Other than my own mistake last week: my Total Net Worth magically jumped up almost $13k! Mint has a new feature where they'll track your car's worth for you... I thought I was updating my existing car's worth, but I accidentally added a 'second' car. Sigh...

fmzip

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 12:48:47 PM »
I have no hidden tags or accounts on Mint.

I always see the double posts in Mint and delete them accordingly. With that in mind, if anything I would expect to see Mint total higher not lower than BofA

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 12:52:46 PM »
What about transfers? A big investment transfer you made? A big credit card payment in January 2014 that was really December 2013 spending?

schimt

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 12:58:15 PM »
As Cheddar was trying to say, the transactions that are "transfers" may show up under your total in BoA but mint disregards them  under your total spending, because mint is looking at your entire financial picture. So it realizes that if you pay off a credit card, it already captured that as spending on with your credit card and no reason to capture the CC payment as spending again.

The same with investment buys, you are just transferring money to another account, but actually spending the money.

Where as your BoA account considers that money spent when you pay american express or buy vanguard mutual fund shares ect, so it will look like you spent more when you just review your BoA statements.

If you export all transaction in mint for those accounts to excel, the total should be equal, because it will show the payments and investment buys, just doesn't show up in your trends.

I would also advise, as a quick easy check, export both BoA and Mint transactions to excel, and sort transactions by highest value on each then compare all of your big expenses, until you are confident that everything looks right

fmzip

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2014, 01:25:40 PM »
Ah, yes I see the issue but it's still not accurate

Changing all the "transfer to credit card" to an actual expense category helps but the totals are still skewed. Now Mint's total is over $50K when vieiwing only my checking account!

I think going forward I will use the "split" feature for each checking account credit card payment transaction and leave the credit cards completely off of Mint.

I really only am interested in using Mint to see my investments and to have a clean simple picture of "spending" at a glance. I think there is something funky with the credit cards in Mint that treats some as transfers and some as not

Back to suggestions on PC based solutions???
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 01:55:15 PM by fmzip »

Kaspian

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2014, 02:59:25 PM »
With my investments, Mint puts them in the proper mutual fund account but labels them "Uncategorized".  At that point they show up in Net Income as expenses. But when I go into the account and change the transactions to "Investment/Buy", it properly sorts out my Net Income.  Mint usually seems to do a good job sorting out the proper values.  Occasionally I'll think it's off, but then find out something is unclassified or there's something else I overlooked.  ....But if I get a huge transfer go through an account, Mint seems to take that as my total historical peak net worth for a month and keeps it that way permanently.  Don't like that.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 03:38:19 PM »
Why not just use pen and paper or Excel? Problem solved. Now get off my lawn.

fmzip

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 09:01:10 AM »
I actually imported all my credit card statements for the past 12 months into excel last night to clean up Mint.

Going forward each credit card payment will get "split" accordingly. Decided to save the $48 I was going to spend on Quicken and invest it ;)

Took me 5 hours to do it, earned $9.60 per hour.  Far cry from the $96.15 rate at the office but every penny counts, right? :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 09:03:08 AM by fmzip »

nordlead

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 09:02:40 AM »
Mint isn't designed to track a CC payment (paying off the statement) as an expenditure IF you have both the bank account and CC inside of Mint. If the CC and bank account are both in mint, it should be a transfer (in both accounts).

Also, as pointed out, make sure that your investment purchases are properly categorized.

What you are proposing (excluding CC's from mint) will probably only complicate matters, as mint isn't really built to operate like that. I have every CC in Mint and it works fine for what you want to do (I'd say perfectly, but Mint does have its problems, like the inability to reconcile duplicate accounts that were Mint's fault to begin with)

If you want to make Mint work, I suggest looking at 1 months worth of data and making sure that lines up properly and fix any problems. That'll probably lead you to what is wrong with the entire year's worth of data. It'll be much easier to look at 1 month at a time vs YTD.

fmzip

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Re: Totally Confused with Mint
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 09:09:19 AM »
Mint isn't designed to track a CC payment (paying off the statement) as an expenditure IF you have both the bank account and CC inside of Mint. If the CC and bank account are both in mint, it should be a transfer (in both accounts).

Also, as pointed out, make sure that your investment purchases are properly categorized.

What you are proposing (excluding CC's from mint) will probably only complicate matters, as mint isn't really built to operate like that. I have every CC in Mint and it works fine for what you want to do (I'd say perfectly, but Mint does have its problems, like the inability to reconcile duplicate accounts that were Mint's fault to begin with)

If you want to make Mint work, I suggest looking at 1 months worth of data and making sure that lines up properly and fix any problems. That'll probably lead you to what is wrong with the entire year's worth of data. It'll be much easier to look at 1 month at a time vs YTD.

I see that it is more work for me but here's my credit card scenario so why track them since it takes more time to go over all the duplicates and categorize all them properly each month in Mint

Amex blue cash preferred: Groceries
Chase Sapphire: Restaurants
Target: Staples
Chase Freedom: all other purchases

All investments are funded through my 401K, not my checking account that pays the bills. I want a clean look at spending, the numerous credit card transactions seem cumbersome to deal with when you have them linked in mint