For the last month and a half I’ve been using Mint for my budgeting. It was something that I’ve wanted to try for quite some time, but couldn’t in the UK. It wasn’t available. Since moving to Canada, it’s been opened up to me so I’ve been able to give it a shot.
While I’ve used it for personal budgeting, I can see it working extremely well for business budgeting. So I wanted to share my Mint review for all to see. This way you can see if it will work for you.
Let me get the main negative out of the way: it’s only available for those in the United States and Canada at this time. I really hope they bring it to other parts of the world very soon.
I did write for Mint a few years ago—and will be getting back in touch with them this year to see about projects. Personal finance is a topic that I enjoy, especially when it comes to budgeting, saving, and making money. I also really love the app and fully recommend it if it’s in your area, so I want to write for the company again.
Available on Computer and App
One of the best things about Mint is that it’s available as both an internet site and a mobile app. I can check my budgets on the go while making more detailed plans on the computer version.
The app is a little limited but it is good for the actual budgeting. I don’t get to see my savings goals, but I have the chance to keep track of all the budgets that I set to see how close I am getting to them. When you’re well within the budget, you get a green line. As it gets close to the end, you have a yellow line to alert you to the upcoming issue. If you go over the budget, even by $1, you get a red line.
Okay, so it’s not going to magically make you stick within your budgets. You have to make a conscious effort to stick within the budgets and it can take some work.
The set up works for me, since I hate not achieving something. I went over one budget by just $2 and had to look at the red line for the rest of the month. It was awful and I made sure I didn’t go over any of the others at all.
You do need WiFi or an internet connection to see the most up to date budgets on the app. However, you can see the last updated ones without any internet connection. I don’t have a mobile data package for my phone and only use it through WiFi, but I was able to quickly check what the last budget was looking like to see if I had the income for something.
It’s going to be good for business budgeting. Before you make any type of business purchase, you can make sure the money is available. You can also set a budget for client wining and dining or for your outsourcing needs and make sure you have the money available.
No Intricate Tracking Needed
Everything is attached to your bank account. There’s no need to put the information directly into the site. You just have to spend your money and the app will get the information immediately. This was the important for me. I’ve used so many other budgeting trackers, but then forgotten all about them.
The automatic tracking also helps to save you time. All you have to do is make sure the spending is included in the right budget. Mint didn’t realise I had a Christmas budget, so I had to move things into that manually. There are Uncategorised expenditures, so you’ll need to move them, too.
It took me a few days to get used to the layout. I played with both the computer and mobile versions to get used to everything and see what I needed to do.
The trickiest part is getting rid of preset budgets and creating your own. I wanted a Christmas budget for December, since we’d saved a certain amount for all things Christmas related. That is a budget that I’ll not get rid of for this month.
It’s worth playing around with it for a few days and getting used to everything that is available. There’s a credit checker section somewhere, but I’ve not found it yet. I’m also still getting used to the savings sections, since I only have the one savings account.
Full Control Over Your Budgeting
As I said, I set up my own Christmas category. There are budgets automatically set up, including Restaurants, Clothing, Fast Food etc.
You can delete the ones that you don’t want and set up new ones that you would prefer. You can also set up new categories within the system. My Christmas category was added in before I set the budget for it. Before my addition, there wasn’t something for that.
There is an income and a business spending section within the app. Clearly, the people behind Mint accept that a lot of people will run their own businesses or need to buy items for work.
You can get as detailed as you need to personalise your Mint app as much as necessary.
It’s Completely Free to Use
Mint clearly get the money from the adverts that are placed on the app and online, because the whole app is completely free to use. This can help with your business budgeting, since you don’t need to worry about keeping track of this expenditure.
There may be other better business budgeting tracking software out there, but they can cost a fortune. However, one thing I will point out in my Mint review is that it doesn’t replace your accountant. The software is just for setting budgets, setting savings goals, and working out what your expenditure is like.
It’s designed for personal finance rather than business finance. For my business accounts as a sole trader it’s excellent. I can’t say what it would be like for a larger company.
Get Trends and Alerts for Your Spending
Wondering where most of your money went one week? You can get a quick overview with the Trends section. This is also emailed to you at the end of each week.
I’ve found the Trends section helpful. I know where I need to reduce my spending and see if there was a purchase that I really shouldn’t have made. I also see if there’s an area that I need to budget more for, such as the household spending.
One of the powerful tools is the Alert functions. Alerts can come through as push notifications on the phone and emails to your account connected to Mint. As you get close to one of your budgets, you will get an alert pushed through to warn you. When you go over, you get an alert to tell you just how much you’ve gone over by—and will get getting alerts each time you spend more in that budget.
There are alerts for when you have a bill coming up. This is slightly flawed. The only bill date I was alerted to was the credit card statement. It couldn’t tell me when my electricity or internet bills were due. But those aren’t directly attached to my bank accounts, so I can see where it can fail with this. I’ll have to check to see if there is a way to add reminders for bill dates to push the alerts through.
A Few Things I Haven’t Tried Yet…
I can only tell you about the sections that I’ve played with. Since I don’t have any investing accounts, I can’t play around this section. But there is at least a way to connect to your investing accounts if you have them. This could be an excellent way to track how well your financial investments are doing.
There is apparently an option to split purchases. I wish I knew this in December! There were a few purchases that I made that were joint normal and Christmas related.
Anyway, this is something I haven’t tried yet but will be looking into during January. I’ll report back here with my findings once I get a chance to play around with it.
NerdWallet has shared reviews into these two elements, so I’ve included that Mint review. It may help you with these decisions.
Overall Mint Review Conclusion
So, overall, I highly rate the Mint app and site. It’s an easy way to track your spending and create budgets and savings goals. It’s available on the computer in full, but the app versions are scaled back to just the budgeting and trends side.
I really wish that I could connect some of my UK accounts to Mint or there was a UK equivalent to Mint. I’d use it in a heartbeat to track all my business decisions and personal financing.
Yes, Mint is for personal financing, but it will also work for business budgeting, especially for a small business. Download it for free and definitely give it a try.
Please note that the screenshots have identifying and financial information omitted for privacy reasons.