Mint always asks me to rate the app, but I can’t really articulate in a few words why I’m so frustrated every time I use it, and how I’m not able to use it to it’s full potential. My main money management strategy is based on my bi-monthly paychecks. In the beginning of the month, I use my paycheck to pay rent, student loans, and my subway card. The second half of the month, I use my paycheck to pay for utilities, phone, and my credit card. Anything left over from each check is for food or shopping. Each paycheck I transfer money to my savings account, too. So that’s been my management since I’ve had to pay bills. I think a lot of general advice thinks in terms of monthly management, but I have never been able to think that way about my monthly income. So overall, that’s my biggest problem.
What does work for me:
I still use my app because I can track my purchases and categorize them in digestible charts. There’s even a chart for income vs spending, which is helpful for me to look at. Tracking is not perfect because it doesn’t account for cash purchases, which I don’t make often, but still an issue. Categorization is not perfect because sometimes purchases show up under one category when they are not even related. The visualization is useful to me for these two aspects of Mint.
What does not work for me:
I have a list for this!
- Reminders – I actually use my Google calendar for this, plus I get email reminders for bills, too, so this feature is repetitive for me.
- Over/Under Budget Alerts – There are some days/weeks/months where I buy something out of the ordinary, like in August when I bought our new bed, but there’s not really a way to acknowledge this without getting a notification. Also, I literally do not need a notification about my interest charges on my credit card. I get so many notifications. I KNOW THAT I AM SPENDING MONEY.
- Goal Management – I have multiple goals, but only one savings account, can’t I have multiple goals with one? This seems like it should be fine, but is somehow a problem for Mint to deal with.
- Net Worth – I have a bajillion student loans that I have to deal with so I purposely leave this off my Mint account because I’d rather focus on my net worth of just my credit card and bank accounts. I just wish that there was a way to customize the account to acknowledge that the loans are there, but I don’t have to calculate it for my day to day spending (besides my monthly payments, obv).