This post has been a long time in the making. I’ve been an MS Money and later Quicken user since the mid 1990s when I was fresh out of school and really didn’t have any money. I’ve learned to really like Quicken, but as someone who travels a bit, often with different computers, keeping my Quicken data up to date has been challenging….and frankly, I’m losing the motivation to keep up with it. Yes, I know there’s Quicken “Direct Connect” and I use it to automatically download my spending from credit cards and my bank account, but that doesn’t do me much good when I’m traveling for work for 2 weeks in a row, and my personal laptop (my Windows machine since Quicken for Mac doesn’t seem all that fab to me) is sitting at home.
In an ideal world, Quicken would offer some kind of web interface with my Quicken datafile, but I realize the world is NOT ideal, and I can’t imagine the challenges that would entail. With that in mind, I’ve been looking around for some options and decided to try Mint.com, which is of course, now owned by Quicken’s maker, Intuit. I’ve been testing Mint.com for about 2 months while maintaining the currency of my Quicken file. I’m going to continue testing for another month or so, but I have to say that I think I’ve passed the 50/50 line of making the decision to ultimately switch to Mint.com. The interface and budgeting tools are easy, and I love the fact that I can access all my Mint.com data through an iPhone app. Not to mention, I can access it through any computer with internet access. Given that I regularly use a work laptop, personal laptop, MacBook Air, an iPhone, and probably an iPad in the not so distant future, having easy access to my financial data from multiple venues is not a small issue.
On the other hand, I’ve found the investment performance tracking tools in Mint.com to be a little less robust than I’d like. Not to mention, I’ve had a difficult time getting Mint.com to recognize different share lots in investments where I’ve made multiple purchases. It’s taken some coaxing, but I think I’ve mostly gotten that fixed, but it wasn’t easy. All in all, Mint.com is beginning to grow on me. I’m still not completely comfortable that it can replace Quicken for me, but it’s sure starting to look like it could. How do you deal with managing your finances from afar?