Adsense Code

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Personal Finance Software: Mint versus Quicken rematch

Mint.com or Quicken Personal Finance Software?

Mint.com has been sending me emails again -- very tempting emails that outline my personal finance situation for the past week.  This is a handy summary that hooked me into Mint.com a long time ago.  Right into your email box comes a note that tells you how much you spent on food last week and points out that your car insurance is too high: with a link to quotes for a cheaper rate.   I love the website interface and frankly, the cool green mint color is so clean and groovy.  A nice distraction from the sometimes mundane world of personal finance management. 

I reeived the email based on a re-try of the software I engaged in a few months ago.    And after linking a ton of accounts to Mint.com, with great anticipation that this new upgrade of the software would make the big green Mint finally work for me, I gave up and threw in the towel.  I STILL can't get my ING Direct accounts to load into the program.  Really?  Seriously?  With nine different ING accounts that are critically important to my savings and cash flow management system, it just didn't make sense to try Mint.com again.

By using Quicken and combining it with Neobudget (for micro-cash management a la the classic envelope method), I've got the full suite.  Sorry Mint.  Keep those upgrades coming and those email reminders coming, though.  I suspect the fine folks in the Mint.com IT department will have this solved soon.

Other posts on this topic:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It’s A Wonderful Life. Save a Little.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the main character in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a banker. Okay, so he’s a poor, failed banker. That’s true enough. And the bad guy is a rich, miserly banker.

One of the many messages I hear in the movie is that it’s the little things that make up the purpose of your life. It’s not a huge act that you commit one afternoon. With a bang. Accompanied by white lightening. In front of a arrow that points to a sign that says “oh! This is why I was born!”

Rather it’s the smaller acts of kindness that ripple on without us knowing where they go or how far. Money is a little like that. You never know how much good you could be doing with spending that $10 in just the right way.

Saving that $10 for tomorrow or the next day just gives you more choices that you will exercise later. You will spend it eventually. It will either go to the mortgage, or it will go to your heirs. Or to a latte that might make the day better. Or a gift that might make a friend or a stranger’s day. Or to paying off a student loans. Or it will go to your favorite charity.

That’s why we try not to spend it on things that don’t matter. Because it is a wonderful life. And money can be our ticket to the next great memory.