I don’t use Mint to keep a budget. Or to track my spending.
I don’t like their budgeting software. I prefer budgeting software that requires you to enter transactions manually because then it’s easier to know what you spent something on and what categories it should be assigned to.
I like Mint for not needing to log in to every single one of my accounts to verify what transactions posted. One of my credit cards (the Fidelity American Express) doesn’t show transactions on a mobile app, so this is where Mint comes in.
I don’t use Mint to track my net worth. It knows about my checking, savings, credit card, condo value, car value and mortgage accounts. It does’t know about my 401(k), Roth IRA, taxable investment accounts, or ESPP. This has the side effect of my ESPP looking like income when I sell it and transfer it into my savings account rather than when I contribute to it, which is perfectly fine with me.
I don’t want to see my investment values every day, which is why Mint doesn’t know about them.
I don’t want to check in on my asset allocation either day let alone every month either, which is why I only update my Outside Investments at Vanguard a few times a year. (My 401(k) is no longer at Vanguard, so I enter it manually to check up on my allocations.) Why don’t I want to check up on my asset allocation that often? My plan specifically calls for putting all of my fixed income for the year in with my pre-tax 401(k) contributions, as well as most of my international and then my US stocks will go in with my Roth IRA and after-tax 401(k) contributions, which happen later. So my asset allocation will look off for the next couple of months and then it’ll be fine again. So I simply shouldn’t check on it.
I have a bit of an obsessive personality with checking on things and tracking everything. In order to be okay with the stock market’s fluctuations, I shouldn’t check on things every day. It’s simply unnecessary. Besides, my contributions at this point are worth so much more than my investment returns that it’s silly to watch them like a hawk.
I use Mint on my phone mostly. It uses touch ID for login, which not all of my banking apps do (cough credit unions). Since I use LastPass as a password manager, it’s far more annoying to login with a password than with touch ID.
I don’t like Mint’s “Cash Flow” feature as when I’m frontloading my 401(k), it looks like I am spending way beyond my income.
I don’t like their Advice section aka advertising. Most of it is terrible. It suggests you should open a Traditional IRA without even considering your income. It suggests 0% balance transfers when I have no credit card debt. It suggests robo-advisors to invest my cash savings that I specifically want to be risk free. It also suggests peer-to-peer lending for low, fixed rate personal loans when again, I have no credit card debt. And these things constantly appear.
I like how it reminds me of bills like credit card and mortgage payments and other things I manually added (HOA dues and property taxes), but it has no way of knowing if you’ve already made the payment or if you’re in the grace period and haven’t made the payment yet (e.g. the mortgage) and it clutters up the view by showing a $0 payment is required for every credit card you have no payment required for or even showing a payment is required when you had a credit on the account at the statement date!
Their budgeting drives me crazy with how annoying it is to get things to not be red and how non-monthly bills are always green and then often red when they come due if they were more expensive than you had thought.
I don’t like that it doesn’t show the transactions on my mortgage account (it just shows the current balance), nor does it have charts for the mortgage balance (or any other balance over time) in the mobile app.
It seems to suggest that it automatically updates my car’s value from KBB, but it doesn’t! Oh I went in and changed the mileage and now it seems to have auto-updated it. It looks like my car is now worth under $10,000. It’s about 5.5 years old now and my plan is to hold on to it for another 5 years, minimum. Once the mortgage is paid off, then I’ll consider a plan for when I’ll replace the car.
I don’t like that I can’t track my Series I Savings Bonds in Mint. I understand not being able to do it automatically, but if you enter the purchase date, type of i-bond, and amount, it’s pretty easy to figure it out.
Readers, what do you love/hate about Mint? How do you use it?