How Not To Run A Money-Tracking Website

I’ve been trying to make it work with Mint because Wesabe closed their accounts tab. So far, it’s been like a rebound process–all I can see is how it’s different from my last relationship. I will probably stay with it because it is better than going back to Quicken, but there are a few things I hate right now:

  1. A bossy back-end. As soon as I let Mint upload my transactions, it had labeled them. This is probably post-break-up insecurity, but I did not appreciate Mint deciding the $43 credit-card transaction named “Coach” should be labeled “Shopping: Clothing.” Not only was it wrong to assume I had spent nearly $50 on a new purse, its presumption made the actual purpose of that money–an ultra-budget, round-trip bus ticket to New York–seem shabby by comparison.
  2. Automatic budgeting. While I am sure some people like to click the “Budget” tab and have all of their spending goals determined by a program, I like planning my own spending. But Mint went further–not only did it decide what categories I would track myself in, it told me in bright red graphs that I was overspending the limits it had decided I should have.
  3. Even once I had chosen my own goals, Mint does not seem to allow me to choose the period over which I will save for them. This lead to an ugly email a few minutes ago, where Mint informed me I was a month behind in saving for my wedding. This is not because I am slacking–but because from the moment I set the goal, Mint assumed I was responsible for all of July’s contributions.
  4. No way to upload the last 2 years of my bank transactions. Wesabe was great about always allowing me to download my records and upload them again; Mint fails in this department.
  5. Its hard-sell of free credit reports. During my initial set-up, Mint kept pushing a check-list–did I have loans, credit cards, savings accounts, investment accounts? I could not check-off the section on my credit score without going to one of the websites for which they kindly provided ad-space, and so was under 100% complete in my set-up until I complied.

On the plus side…it’s better than Quicken. For now.

Inspirational Quote:

“We come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”–Sam Keen

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