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 Post subject: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
So I NEED to start budgeting my money and keeping track of where it's all going. Besides doing a personal excel spreadsheet, the only site I've heard about is Mint.com. I checked it out and it wants access to all of my accounts to track money, but says they have bank-level security and no one will have access to transfer or spend any money. It freaks me out a little to have all my information in one place because, well, "what if", but I'm terrible with details and it sounds like this website is very details-minded. It also says they alert when there is any suspicious activity and will give recommendation on where to save money and all that. So...

Does anyone use Mint.com to keep track of finances? Do you like it? Pros/cons? Is there another site/system you'd recommend?

I'm starting at square one, so any advice is welcome. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:27 pm 
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I use YNAB (http://www.youneedabudget.com/) and I love it. If I could make out with my budget software, I would. It has saved us so much money and sanity in the three years we've been using it.

It's not connected directly to any accounts. There's the option to "import" your information from your bank, but personally I prefer to enter everything myself. I do the budget twice a week, and it usually takes about 10 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Naked Under Apron
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I tried mint a couple years ago but wound up canceling it. Partly because I didn't like it being linked to all my accounts, but more because it was always a little bit behind me. I'd get a "WARNING: LOW ACCOUNT BALANCE!" email and freak out, but then realize that my balance was only low three days ago, before I got paid. I don't need warnings for that; I know I'm poor the day before payday.

Lately I've just been writing down everything I spend in a little notebook. Hasn't helped with budgeting, but at least I always know what I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:41 pm 
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A Bad Person
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I use Mint and I love it. It's easy to use and automated enough for the super-lazy to use while allowing control freaks to manage every single item coming in and out of their account. The email warnings can be somewhat annoying but they're easy to turn off. It also covers a lot of bases, such as monthly budgeting, transaction details, savings plans, and loan recommendations.

It is also at least as secure as using a bank's website, so I have very little qualms with supplying them with my logins and passwords. If you're really worried, just change those accounts passwords to something you've never used before (as they should be) so that if they were to get compromised, you'd just have to change the password on those accounts and not every single thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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Noelle wrote:
I use YNAB (http://www.youneedabudget.com/) and I love it. If I could make out with my budget software, I would. It has saved us so much money and sanity in the three years we've been using it.

It's not connected directly to any accounts. There's the option to "import" your information from your bank, but personally I prefer to enter everything myself. I do the budget twice a week, and it usually takes about 10 minutes.


Thank you! This looks good, however I wish there was a free version. This might be an option down the road.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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Amy wrote:
I tried mint a couple years ago but wound up canceling it. Partly because I didn't like it being linked to all my accounts, but more because it was always a little bit behind me. I'd get a "WARNING: LOW ACCOUNT BALANCE!" email and freak out, but then realize that my balance was only low three days ago, before I got paid. I don't need warnings for that; I know I'm poor the day before payday.

Lately I've just been writing down everything I spend in a little notebook. Hasn't helped with budgeting, but at least I always know what I have.


Those warnings would freak me out too! I have the same issue, where I know what I have (roughly), but can't seem to get much if anything into savings each month.

brian wrote:
I use Mint and I love it. It's easy to use and automated enough for the super-lazy to use while allowing control freaks to manage every single item coming in and out of their account. The email warnings can be somewhat annoying but they're easy to turn off. It also covers a lot of bases, such as monthly budgeting, transaction details, savings plans, and loan recommendations.

It is also at least as secure as using a bank's website, so I have very little qualms with supplying them with my logins and passwords. If you're really worried, just change those accounts passwords to something you've never used before (as they should be) so that if they were to get compromised, you'd just have to change the password on those accounts and not every single thing.


All my accounts have different logins, so I'm covered there. I think it's just a little scary have all that information in one place. But I use online banking and pretty much everything else is online, so there isn't much basis for that fear. I'm hoping the pros of using this service will outweigh those fears, just help me to get a handle on budgeting and all that. Thanks for the feedback!


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Naked Under Apron
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brian wrote:
The email warnings can be somewhat annoying but they're easy to turn off.

Yeah I should have mentioned that I don't think I checked for a way to get rid of the warnings. The whole site was a little overwhelming for me so I just canceled.

Basically I'm like one step above keeping my money under my mattress. I might try a basic spreadsheet to track spending and just my checking account balance, where I can organize everything the way I want to.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:59 pm 
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I've used Mint for a couple of years now, and I absolutely love it. I don't use the bill or account reminders because I've always balanced all of my accounts in a standalone Excel spreadsheet so I already know how much money/debt I have, but the automatic transaction labeling and budgeting categories have gotten increasingly thorough and are now incredibly helpful, especially once I had enough data gathered to show a broad spectrum of my spending habits. I have separate budgets for how much I spend on records vs. concert tickets vs. merch, grocery stores vs. co-ops vs. coffee shops, etc. -- you can tailor it really easily to your individual needs.

Mint's backend is powered by Yodlee. Reading their consumer security details might convince you that Mint is good to go in that department.

A few others you might look into...
http://www.buxfer.com/
https://money.strands.com/
http://www.myspendingplan.com/
Microsoft Money

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Last edited by stephanie on Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:23 pm 
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stephanie wrote:
I've used Mint for a couple of years now, and I absolutely love it. I don't use the bill or account reminders because I've always balanced all of my accounts in a standalone Excel spreadsheet so I already know how much money/debt I have, but the automatic transaction labeling and budgeting categories have gotten increasingly thorough and are now incredibly helpful, especially once I had enough data gathered to show a broad spectrum of my spending habits. I have separate budgets for how much I spend on records vs. concert tickets vs. merch, grocery stores vs. co-ops vs. coffee shops, etc. -- you can tailor it really easily to your individual needs.

Mint's backend is powered by Yodlee. Reading their consumer security details might convince you that Mint is good to go in that department.

A few others you might look into...
http://www.buxfer.com/
https://money.strands.com/
http://www.myspendingplan.com/
[urlhttp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=60302e1e-207e-4710-ac80-d19c22e47488&displaylang=en]Microsoft Money[/url]


Thank you! It sounds like Mint is what I'm looking for, but I will be sure to check out these other links just to see what my options are. It never hurts to compare.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:27 am 
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I would recommend http://pocketsmith.com. I've been using them ever since I saw them in this start-ups of the year magazine in 2009. Basically I've been testing through beta and now it's much more developed than it used to be. Anyway, the guys are all from New Zealand and they even reply personally to any help e-mails you send.

They have 3 accounts, the free one is fine for your day to day budgeting. You can set up events on a calendar and match it against your current bank account.

When I entered my banking regularly I managed to get $1500 savings. That for me was impressive. I've been slack lately and my finances are are shambles.

Highly recommended :)

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:57 am 
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I'm another proponent of Mint. I really like the budgeting feature and goals feature (mine is saving for a house) and it lets you know how far off-track you're getting. I've had no security issues whatsoever. It also imports my 401k accounts so I know how poor I'll be when I retire at 85.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:00 am 
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I used mint for a while and found it pretty useful -- i can't figure out how to set up the credit union 'i joined so
I don't use it too often. And I don't have a smartphone to use the app.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:22 am 
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Does anybody know offhand if any of these can handle budgets using accounts in multiple currencies? I downloaded YNAB and it doesn't seem to be able to. Asking because I have accounts in £ and US $


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 Post subject: Do you use Mint or Yoodle? Tell me about them!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:46 pm 
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I never heard of such websites until today and I'm really intrigued. I'm terrible at managing my money and bills and would love a place to see all my accounts, due dates for cc payments, and to pay all my bills from one place.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:16 am 
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I don't know our Mint log in so I just get emails telling me we have no money or we spent too much money in one area and it makes me want to die.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:35 am 
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Limone wrote:
Does anybody know offhand if any of these can handle budgets using accounts in multiple currencies? I downloaded YNAB and it doesn't seem to be able to. Asking because I have accounts in £ and US $



I dont know the answer to your question. I do know it's very limited with overseas accounts, as it was unable to find my overseas bank and is pretty much an American-bank only program, at least at this point.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you use Mint or Yoodle? Tell me about them!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Little My wrote:
I never heard of such websites until today and I'm really intrigued. I'm terrible at managing my money and bills and would love a place to see all my accounts, due dates for cc payments, and to pay all my bills from one place.


Yeah, these sites sound pretty cool. I only have a loan payment and one credit card payment every month (besides rent and utilities) so I don't usually forget things. But I like the idea of getting alerts or seeing where my money goes. I'd be nice to get reminders like "You are spending too much on food!" or "stop going out to eat!" or "You can't go to the bar tonight, you're broke"


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:46 pm 
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I use Mint, but I don't think I use it enough if that makes sense. I signed up because I was sucking at figuring out the whole overdraft thing (it's different in America than I was used to with my Canadian bank) and kept getting dinged with charges when I thought I had put the money in the proper account to cover it. It has definitely helped me avoid those charges.

I hate the "low balance" alerts and need to figure out how to change the low balance threshold. I got one the other day, and it was telling me I only had $300 or so in my account. When I got the message, I freaked out, thinking, "but I have $300 in there!" I forget that for some people $300 in their account is panic-worthy.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:00 pm 
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i use mint. It helps me. I am not afraid of my info being stolen because they don't actively store information but I need to use it more often.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:10 pm 
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if any of you are looking for something just to remind you to pay bills:
mybillq.com
I use the free version. It sends me text messages telling me to pay my bills, if I haven't yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:42 pm 
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I use Mint too. I like it especially near the end of the month shen I start seeing how much I've spent and where I should cut back.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:45 am 
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I just downloaded and starting using YNAB. I have bank accounts in € and $ and I haven't figured out if it can show my U.S. bank account budget. I had to choose the currency up front.

My goal is to only use my U.S. bank account for my student loans, credit card payments, VPN and Netflix, though right now a few things are coming out there (Spotify, iTunes, etc.). Most of my accounts and transactions are done in my European account, so it's not that big of a deal right now, though I will be doing periodic transfers to the U.S. account to make these payments. It would be nice to be able to budget that account, too.

I'm looking forward to using the YNAB app with my partner. We were doing a shared Google Spreadsheet, but it was too much effort and we kept forgetting to use it. I actually like that YNAB isn't automatically connected to our accounts like Mint, because manually entering it will require us to look at the budget and how much we have left in a particular category (or "envelope").

I just started it today and am setting things up, but I really like the concept and philosophy behind the software. It's a bit steep initially ($60 for the desktop software), but I'm considering it. They have a 35 day free trial and a lite version of the mobile app so you can try things.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:38 am 
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we use mint and althugh i dont keep track of it i know we've never had any security issues with it. my husband logs in and looks at it and tells me stuff like "we spent like $8M on pets last month and $3 on clothes"
he seems interested in my grocery/food spending. lol.

you can be as anal or as general as you want i believe. we have food broken down into groceries and then other food like restaurants, takeout, coffee etc.
for the pets i think we have it so it breaks down to like vet costs and then seperately into food/toys/supplies, and we also have a training/class one becuase both our dogs go to doggie school and one of them does a doggie sport

we dont use it for budgeting per se but it's good to look at to see where your money is going. it helped us see we were spending way too much on food.

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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:26 pm 
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I use mint, but I haven't been logging in lately. I guess that's not helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting a budget (mint.com and others)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:37 pm 
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ok, we had struggled with EEBA (which has recently renamed itself to goodbudget) for 1.5 years, and it finally got to the point that it wasn't accurate or making sense anymore. it would be great for people who don't have credit card debt nor are using credit cards strategically in order to extend a 0% APR or get $ back from purchases or something.

YNAB was on sale for $15, so we decided to start fresh. (lucky for mr. carrot that we wiped the slate clean just after he managed to get $1000 in the hole for entertainment. ;-) happy holidays to him!)

oh my goodness, YNAB is so much more detailed and i no-longer have to account for situations when to record a credit card payment as $0 (because the balance started at $0 at the beginning of the month, and i'm only recording cash paying off what's already been recorded as purchases that past month) versus payments going toward a card that had a pre-existing debt.

EEBA finally gave free users the ability to schedule recurring transactions, but at that point i was already frustrated with it. (and the limit of 20 envelopes [split evenly across monthly and yearly expenses] was still not really useful.)

now if YNAB releases a chrome app (because i use a chromebook), it'd be perfect. but it's not a huge deal to fire up the desktop when i need it.

constantly seeing the balances of the credit card debt will be another big motivator.

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