mint.com scares me! | The Frugalista

mint.com scares me!

by frugalista on April 27, 2010

mint 300x149 mint.com scares me!Frugalistas, I need your strength, help and concern. I’m normally the person who my friends/blog peers turn to to talk about budgets, but today, I need to confess to you all!

After years of doing my finances independently, I signed up to use budgeting website, mint.com. Using the site is like having a money nag, right there in your wallet! Once you connect all of your accounts (credit card, savings, checking, loans) to the site, it takes over your life. Mint.com set me up on a budget and now I am paranoid that I won’t come in under budget for the month of April. I have $189 $76 (my utility bill just cleared) to last me until Friday. It SHOULDN’T be a problem, but I know that mint.com will let me know if I don’t make the cut.

Where I was good (Gold Star): I didn’t spend my $10 allotted for coffee shops and I haven’t shopped for clothes this month. I still have $60 left on my gas budget, and I will have no problem staying under that budget. I still have $67 left in my grocery budget.

Where I was not-so-hot: Mint.com has sent me nasty grams aka “alerts” for going over the cell phone by $72. I have a new cell phone plan that I’m getting used to and I had a few unexpected conference calls, sending me over my minutes. My restaurant budget, well, I’m $20 over it. Bad Frugalista! Bad Frugalista!

So, after going over the restaurant budget, I’ve been cooking like a little chef. I still have money left in the grocery budget and I won’t let this darn personal finance website get the best of me! I’m determined to come in under TOTAL budget this month, even if I blew two categories (cell and restaurant). I will win! I will win! Can’t stop, won’t stop!

I never knew that signing up for a personal finance site would be such an emotional investment. Could there be a method to the madness? I’m already determined to come under budget for May. I’m watching every cell phone call that I make. I’m halfway through my cell phone billing cycle and I’ve only used 60 minutes and I have 450 left. Take that, mint.com!

Anyway, do you use mint.com? What do you think about the “alerts?” How do you manage your budget? Do you use a program? If so, which one? Am I paranoid?

P.S. If you hear a loud scream/howl on Friday, it’s probably because I blew the budget. Send help, immediately. Kthx!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Ayesha April 27, 2010 at 9:25 am

I signed up for mint in October on my path to becoming a frugalista and it has changed my life. It feels like having a mom shaking her finger and tsk tsk’ing me when I am bad and go over my clothes or ‘personal care’ budget. But even better, I know exactly what my expenses should be every month and how much I need to bring in in order to cover them which is very helpful when you are running your own business. Two thumbs up to mint.

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Andrea April 27, 2010 at 9:31 am

I love the idea of Mint.com but I am way too trepidatious to hand over all of my financial information to a website.

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Moneymonk April 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

I like Mint.com also. The alerts are fine. If it’s a bother you can always turn it off. I think the Mint is the best software around for personal finance.

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Frugalista April 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

@ayesha: I had signed up months ago, but I was scared to use it. I can tell that it trains you to become disciplined. I’m going to stick with it.
@Andrea: i was nervous about a site knowing my entire financial picture, but I figured it was time for me to get more sophisticated. Did you hear about blippy? http://mashable.com/2010/04/23/blippy-credit-card-numbers/
@moneymonk: Well, I’ll tell you, it for sure works. As much as I’m complaining, I’m not turning off the alerts -yet. There’s value, if not annoyance, in them.

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Mizz Niecy April 27, 2010 at 10:36 am

Is it a safe website? Because I want to sign up for it.

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Mizz Niecy April 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

Is this a safe website? Because I want to join up.

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Frugalista April 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

@MissNiecy: Here is the link to mint.com ‘s privacy: http://www.mint.com/privacy/
So far, so good for me.

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Smarty P. Jones April 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

I think I’m afraid of this Mint.com, but I’m more afraid of being broke. So, I think I’ll join – around June. May is my birthday month! I gotta have my last hoorah, right? Right?!

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dfm April 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I REALLY DONT FEEL COMFORTABLE GIVING THEM MY PASSWORDS AND BANK AND CREDIT CARD INFORMATION. ANYBODY OUT THERE HAVE PROBLEMS.??? SHOULD I TRUST THEM, AND WHY ARE MY ACCOUNTS WITH THEM NOT FEDERAL INSURED LIKE THE BANKS???

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Andrea April 28, 2010 at 9:56 am

@ Frugalista: I hadn’t heard about blippy and now that I have, I’m not reassured about detailing my financial life on the web. I understand and agree with the need for sophisticated budgeting but for now, I’ll stick with the program on my home computer.

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Danielle May 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

I’ve been using Mint.com for a year and a half and I LOVE it! It keeps me so organized and on track with my budget. I like that it shows you how much you’ll be saving for the month if you stick to your budget.

Now I’m just waiting for them to come out with a Blackberry app…

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Kandace (DoGoodDiva) October 10, 2011 at 10:50 am

I use Mint and I LOVE it!! However it is not for weak or faint of heart. If you’re not serious about getting your finances in order, don’t waste your time setting it up. I’ve become so anal about it that I use the mobile app too. I LOVE the real time updates and the ability to create a budget. I’m taking the Dave Ramsey course right now too and Mint really helps me with the accountability. You can’t deny where your money is going when it’s right there in front of you!

The alerts don’t bother me because I’ve customized them a bit to only get certain ones. I also set up bill reminder alerts which is life-saver for me!

Can’t wait to read your follow-up post with an update!

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btantu October 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Ok. I’m serious about my finances and I’ve just completed setting up my profile on mint.com. I’m so ready to get this under control and really believe that this tool will help. thanks for the advise. by the way, I bought the book and I love it. hope you do tours or speaking engagements in the Central Fl area. Or I may just have to ride to WPB to see you and have you sign my book. I’m empowered to make a difference. Thanks for being so inspirational!

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LaurynDoll February 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I currently love Mint.com … but I never really log in and look at it… for anything. They email me and SMS me every time ANYTHING…. and I do mean anything happens.

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