Moving From MS Money to Mint.com?
Back in June 2009 MS Money was officially killed off so it is only a matter of time before I need to find a new tool to help manage our personal finances. Given I had some time it seemed like the start of the new year was the perfect time to start looking at alternatives tools.
After a quick review I thought my best potential options were Mint.com or Quicken Home & Business.
Pros: Free! Web based so no software required and could access on any computer. Web design seems very slick for categorizing expenses, etc.
Cons: Transactions limited to web access financial accounts. No real ability to keep up transactions in other accounts or "buckets" in your personal finances. Reporting features seem more limited to what I am use to with MS Money. No ability to import the years of data I have with MS Money.
Quicken Home & Business
Pros: More similar to MS Money. Can import MS money data (not sure how well). More reporting features. Seems more designed for those looking for spending control.
Cons: Its not free - looks like it costs around $60. Not web based so technically I can't install it on my work pc making it more inconvenient to use.
Ive decided to start by giving Mint.com a try. Given it's free to use I figured I could try to use Mint.com and if all else fails I could consider purchasing Quicken Home & Business.
Pretty simple to get up and running. Took about an hour to enter in all my web based account info. Its was a bit weird entering all my authentication information into Mint.com (usernames, passwords, secret questions), but that was quickly forgotten once I saw how much of a better job Mint.com was doing pulling my transaction data from my accounts. Very nice.
I did have a couple accounts (Emigrant Direct, ESPP) that had a lot of trouble remembering all the authentication data (especially the secret questions) and still need to resolve.
First Impressions With Mint.com
My most immediate problem is I haven't found a way to create an offline account other than create a "asset" account and assign it a value. For instance my HELOC with First Citizens doesn't have a web access account. I can create a "asset" for my HELOC account and assign it the HELOC balance, but there is now way to enter transactions associated with my HELOC, I can only update its value.
While the reporting/trend information is limited to mostly income vs spending analysis my initial impression is the reporting feature is nicer to what Im use to in MS Money. Its much easier for me to review reports/trends on our spending patterns than is was in MS Money.
Reporting Monthly Net Worth
Since I have almost all our existing accounts loaded in Mint.com I think I can just update our net worth spreadsheet to utilize the data I can export from Mint.com to report our net worth.
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