Help Using The Free Budget Planner From Mint.Com
So you've signed up for Mint.com's free budget planner...nice! If you haven't, do it now! Go ahead. I'll wait...
Now you need to set everything up.
Free tools are great, but if you can't get them to work quickly (let along correctly), they'll end up in the corner next to your old Go-Bot / Pogo-Ball / Pokemon / toy from the good old days.
I just happen to have your solution.
It's called "The Mint Manual".
What is the Mint Manual?
The Mint Manual is a PDF document that serves three purposes:
- A guide for automating the tracking of all your finances using Mint's free budget planner
- A guide to Mint's great suite of mobile apps
- A treasure trove of tips, tricks, and tactics to get Mint up and running quickly without the normal trial and error
Mint says you can do a bunch of great things with their free budget planner(s):
- See all your accounts in one place
- Automatically update your budget
- Stay safe and secure (although this is more of a must-have in my opinion)
The potential benefits?
- Reduces the time needed to manage multiple accounts (pulls in your data from accounts you want to aggregate)
- Get an overview of all your accounts in one screen, or on your mobile phone
- Allows you to set budgets and track your progress towards those goals
The potential risks?
- Mint's free budget planner is only automatic AFTER you've added all your budget info, banking/savings/trading accounts, etc.
- It has a lot of options. Anything with a lot of options requires a lot of time. So getting everything just right can be time consuming and frustrating.
That is why Tim created the Mint Manual. To show you all the options AND how to use them...saving you time!
Mint Manual Content
Table of Contents for the iPad Section
The Mint Manual contains 108 pages of Minty goodness.
-- Intro (6 pages)
-- What is Mint (2 pages)
-- The Mint Website (29 pages)
-- Mint Apps for your:
- Ipad (15 pages)
- Iphone (16 pages)
- Android Tablet (17 pages)
- Android Phone (15 pages)
-- Cheat Sheet (1 page)
-- Conclusion (1 page)
Here's a screenshot to give you a look at the level of detail provided by Tim's work:
Creating a Budget in Mint
As you can see...not a lot of fluff. The manual revolves around getting you up and running with Mint as fast as possible.
One of the reasons I started the site was to help you save time when it comes to matters of personal finance and investing.
The Mint Manual will save you a TON of time. Guaranteed!
Plus, if you’re not completely satisfied, you can email Tim within 30 days and get a full refund.
What you Actually Get
(And I'm not talking about the PDF)
The Mint Manual is not just a guide to Mint's many features. It's also full of practical advice on how to use Mint's free budget planning capabilities.
For instance, if you use an ATM to get cash, and want to record that withdrawal by itself, Mint's software will let you do that. But Tim points out that this doesn't work very well:
In theory, this is a great way to keep track of cash transactions, but it doesn’t usually work properly – which is why I recommend you avoid using it. [ed - emphasis added]
The new cash transaction tends to appear under your All Transactions screen, but it is not deducted from your latest ATM withdrawal. That means you’re counting the expense twice – once in the ATM withdrawal, and once in the manual transaction. Not good.
Based on the number of complaints on the Mint forums, plenty of users are experiencing this problem. Hopefully Mint will get the message and fix the issue, so this feature can be used as intended.
AND you get a free update whenever the Mint Manual is improved.