Tim and I signed up for www.mint.com this weekend to organize our personal finances. Leaving Quicken which I used for over 10 years was a bit like breaking up. But part of the problem is that there was so much old data, accounts, categories, etc that it was a bit messy at times. Plus we only had access from the old laptop our bookkeeper uses in my office so it took energy and effort to access it. Plus we wanted to be able to access our data from multiple locations so that both of us could take responsibility instead of one person being in charge just piling the receipts in the in basket.
Setting up mint.com was pretty darn easy - unfortunately we weren't able to start with Jan 1, rather we could only go back 89 days which the bank allowed. It doesn't appear that Mint.com allows old transactions. Of course I only wanted the transactions that I need for tax purposes so I suppose come next January I'll be digging back into Quicken for a bit. But having easy and from anywhere access is more important so that it becomes an ongoing habit to mark or add transactions versus waiting until I had time to pull out and power up the other laptop.
What was interesting is that Mint.com is now owned by Intuit aka Quicken - which I saw when I looked first to see if Quiken had an online version. But once on Mint.com I saw no indication of this fact.
What I like is:
- clean interface
- always in real time (cash, investments, our bottom line) - with pictures and month to date where we are at a glance
- both of us can access and update it - in the past I did it, then our bookkeeper did it...and with both us us connected I hope to simply be more aware and in conversation
- I can use my iphone because there's an app - you know I love that
- it will get us back in touch with our earning and spending
- I flagged a budget for the bigger categories
- now that our categories are up and going it will be a breeze
What I'll miss
- Our business bookkeeper has been managing our personal expenses for the past few years and all I can say is thank God because I don't know how I would have gotten through all of the invoicing, etc that happened with Breast Cancer. In addition to Quicken I had an excel spread sheet which I needed to pull back up when Swedish re-billed my chemos and such from 2008. But we've been looking at ways to cut costs and hopefully save more money in our retirement and I think this will do it.
- Mint.com doesn't reconcile - so it will take some manual work on our end each month, but since it keeps up to the minute info from the bank it should be pretty easy.
What I did in addition, perhaps because I like excel, is create a month at a glance list of when bills are due like: mortgage, electric, life insurance etc and broke it into first half of the month, second half of the month and also totaled it. It's color coded to remind me what comes directly out of our account (since I won't get my quicken reminders with balance), what is payed on a credit card, and what I need to manually set up for electronic payment. I love this sheet!
Here's to a new start with our relationship with mint.com and may we continue dating for a long time, especially since I don't want to have to pull a mulligan during the year!