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February 10, 2013


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Great advice. Tracking your spending has always helped me get and keep my finances in order.

I recently started using mint, after using spreadsheets for years, and love it. I don't have our investment accounts linked, only bank and credit card.

I don't understand the question. Would you point those of another faith, or non-believers, to a different financial tool? Or was there some sort of connotation in the fact that "tool" was in quotes?

I'll second the comment about Mint. I was never been able to keep things up to date when I was tracking it all myself, and Quicken was a pain to keep upgrading. Mint lets me see everything including my investments at a glance, and the iPhone app is great, too.

A "tool" only works for you if you use it and understand it and not a burden. FMF has used this quicken tool for quite some time so as that pair of comfortable shoes he will keep wearing and using.

Personally I don't think I would keep quicken up to date enough becasue I am not disiplined in that way and Mint I would not trust because it is on line and free.

Something creaps me out that in one location on line knows all of my personal finances information.

Yeah I am that old school.

I highly recommend Mint. I tried using Quicken a while back but ended up abandoning it because it relied too much on my keeping up with the transactions. Once you connect Mint to your accounts (which is usually easy except for some accounts it doesn't support), it just works. You can also setup automatic categorization of transactions, budgets, alerts, etc. And as mentioned, the mobile phone app is excellent.

I like your advice about Quicken and I'll also add another vote for I've been using Mint coupled with Excel for budgeting and tracking for the past few years and I have generally positive reviews. It provides a means to check most of my accounts in one go, the auto categorization works well, and it is pretty intuitive to use. I've had a few issues with it, but seeing that it is free, I can't complain too much.

Not to mention, I have not found a suitable, web-based, free replacement for yet. PersonalCapital is great for investments but limited for other accounts, and I have only recently started trying out Wave's personal finance software. Mint is winning thus far, but that may just be due to familiarity.


Does let you enter bills in advance? One thing I love about my old version of Quicken is that I can set up recurring bills in advance and then enter them in my registers months ahead of time as a way of "forecasting" what my accounts will look like 3 months out. I like entering recurring bills before they happen, not checking them off once they clear. So right now my accounts have all of my monthly bills and income entered through April. I will fill in things like gas/food/shopping as they happen.

I have used Quicken for years. Yes, it is work at times. But for most of past 25 years I have had to keep track of finances in two currencies. I have had multiple checking and credit cards accounts. It is very helpful to up-to-date knowledge of where my money has gone. I have never done much in budgeting. My son uses YNAB, but doesn't have sufficient capabilities in the area of investments. I distrust putting financial information online on Mint.

I use Quicken and Spreadsheet for my budgeting. Here's one interesting fact about Quicken. I use Quiicken 2000 and it still works fine, even in Windows 7. Apparently they hadnt perfected the art of planned obsolescence at that time!

@Angela M: There are not manual data entry options on, so you wouldn't be able to enter bills in advance. That's where I still end up using Excel (actually, now I use Google Docs so I can access the spreadsheet on any computer) to closely track my checking account and associated bill payments.

Mint just provides a good spot to track all transactions and spending in one place. It does a particularly good job of categorization, and allows manual overrides for the categories, so it lets me track spending over multiple credit cards. It's helpful since I tend to change my "primary" credit card based on rewards, particularly for things I want to track such as gas fill-ups and restaurant trips.


I use and love - made by Finicity in Sandy Utah - it has taken the envelope budgeting system and tied it to your accounts where you can access online. I like that it is proactive - I can fund my envelopes when I get paid and see how much I have in each fund to make the decision if I want to purchase something now and see what I am saving for. I also like the bill pay - you can set up recurring bills to be paid automatically. It has a report section where you can see your net worth (I like watching the bar graph line go up), see how much you are spending in each envelope/fund, etc. and there is a debt center that you can put in all your debt (home, car, student loans, etc). and see the pay off date - also what extra payments will do to your pay off date. Best thing is that for our family who was living paycheck to paycheck a year ago we now have $5k+ in savings and paid off over $15k in debt over the last year.

Good response, I have only heard of good responses from users of mint and quicken. I may try to use one my self to track my parents' spending, so I can learn from their mistakes.

I have been using a spreadsheet (Excel) for the last decade. I tried using Quicken and took a look at Mint. I still prefer my Excel spreadsheet. The only drawback is that you have to manually enter data yourself but once it's set up (formulas as well) it does it for you. I'll probably stick with it since it works for me. However, I think as far as advice goes...any of these will work especiall for the undisciplined and not everyone knows excel.

Quicken is a great tool, but I actually prefer Mint. I have it as an app on my iPad so I can take it everywhere. It's really helped me manage my stock investment portfolio and my daily finances as well.

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