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So what about Mint?
November 10, 2010 7:57 AM   Subscribe

I like Mint.com and I want to use it. My wife, she disagrees. This has caused some consternation. Maybe you can help.

So, I like the idea of Mint.com. It's one of those things I signed up for and I was like, "Huh, that's kind of cool! I'm going to make a budget and get really organized and really get my ducks in a row and become super responsible....right after I finish this game of Fallout.." by which I mean to say that I have Mint, but I never really use it for anything. However, I can really appreciate the potential and the power of a service like Mint.. if I ever gathered the motivation to jump into it feet first.

My (then) girlfriend had a completely different take on it. She was all with the "I don't know how you can give all your financial information to some online entity. What happens when they get hacked or something and then someone drains your bank account and you're ruined! What then!"

So, it was always one of those things. She didn't sign up for Mint. I did. Our finances were separate. It wasn't a big deal. We're just different like that - I kind of tend to throw my personal information at sites like that without a second thought, whereas she's obviously much more concerned about the security of her personal information. Different strokes and all that.

Except now we're married and she closed her bank accounts and we put her name on formerly my bank account and now we have a joint account. Mint is still enabled on the account.

She wants me to disable it. I can't really argue a whole lot, because, hell, as I said, I don't really even use it. But the thing is, I can really see using it - especially if she gets on board, as she's our chief financial officer (so to speak). I have this fantasy vision of us both logging into Mint together and crafting this glorious budget and planning out all of our finances in intricate detail and really getting a handle on things. Which is not to suggest that we don't have a handle on things now, because we do, sort of - we're not like running out of money - but we could certainly both do with a more complete sense of our how our finances are plotted month to month.

So:

1. She's chiefly in charge of our finances. She's uncomfortable with Mint. I don't actively use it. I should shut up, cancel the account, and that's that.

2. I can somehow convince her not to fear Mint. I've read the threads about Mint on AskMe already. The general consensus seems to be "it's safe until the day it gets compromised and everyone who uses it is fucked" which doesn't make me feel great, nor does it make a really compelling argument.

What do you think? For those of you who have used, like, really used Mint - is my fantasy a pipe-dream or is it really a powerful tool that will let us see where our money is going month to month in exacting detail and help us plot a really complete budget that will improve our financial livelihood?

The last question about Mint security was from May of last year. Is it still pretty much a "it is until one day it isn't" proposition? Are there compelling arguments for the security of the service that I could use to convince my wife that it's reasonably safe?

Thanks!
posted by kbanas to Human Relations (45 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
You don't use it yourself, and she controls the money? Give it up, man.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:59 AM on November 10, 2010 [22 favorites]


You're not actually using it so why risk a fight over it? You can live out your glorious budget and finance fantasy on a spreadsheet if you'd like to give it a try.
posted by ghharr at 8:00 AM on November 10, 2010


You don't need Mint or any internet-based solution to do what you want to do- you could buy personal finance software to use directly on your home computer.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:01 AM on November 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


There are a number of software packages that aren't web-based that do pretty much the same things Mint does. I'd say get one of those for your fiscal responsibility pipe dreams and preserve domestic harmony.

I use Mint, and it's handy in some respects, but it's not worth a fight, really. Their budgeting tools are pretty primitive and it requires an annoying amount of work to categorize everything properly. I like the all-accounts-one-look aspect, but I don't really use it vigorously enough to defend it.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:01 AM on November 10, 2010


She's chiefly in charge of your finances. She's uncomfortable with Mint. You don't actively use it. You should shut up, cancel the account, and that's that.
posted by caek at 8:02 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ok, so, two things:

1. What's an excellent application or application package that lives locally that we could use toward this end?

2. I think what bothers me is the fact that she's uncomfortable with it and I'm not and I don't think she should be, regardless of how much I want to use it. Like, you know how a dog doesn't want a toy until the other dog starts playing with the toy? Maybe I didn't even want to use Mint until she started to talk about how unsafe it is, and then I wanted to use it just because I'm the polar opposite in terms of online "sharing" and I want her to be the same as me, which is a pretty doomed proposition, I know. Oh well.
posted by kbanas at 8:06 AM on November 10, 2010


"I think what bothers me is the fact that she's uncomfortable with it and I'm not and I don't think she should be, regardless of how much I want to use it."

Do you want a relationship in which disagreements of principle that have no practical consequences become teachable moments? Maybe get a dog.
posted by caek at 8:09 AM on November 10, 2010 [21 favorites]


I had the opposite problem (kind of) - I love Mint and have been using it for two years. My boyfriend was uncomfortable with the idea of giving some anonymous online entity his log in information.

Then Mint got bough by Intuit (makers of Quicken, TurboTax, etc) and then he decided they were trustworthy. Does your wife know that it isn't just some anonymous online company anymore, and is in fact owned by a reputable finance technology company?

Re: your awesome idea of a super powerful financial tool, in a word, yes. Best free thing I have found to manage my money. I set a budget every month, it auto categorizes my spending, and I can use the financial tools to view trends in my spending over time. I have every financial account in my name linked up to it - checking, savings, credit cards, investments, 401k, etc. I love getting to have the big financial picture all in one place.
posted by CharlieSue at 8:10 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. All your account information is already on an "online entity." In my experience (having visited bank data centers, though only hearing of Mint's policies), Mint is just as secure.

2. If you track your account information through spreadsheets and do not encrypt it, in my opinion, you're in a worse position.

3. You will not win this argument even if you had fucking Bruce Schneier come in and explain it to her.
posted by geoff. at 8:10 AM on November 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


My wife is very suspicious of anything that exists on-line or in "the cloud." A lot of her suspicions are based on not really understanding what it means, or scary news stories about hacking. My strategy is to point out how it's much more likely that someone could physically steal our laptop, with everything on it, than hack into our account somewhere on-line. This would be far more damaging.

My strategy doesn't work, she still has her suspicions, and I've decided it's not worth the battle.

I think you need to take one for the team.
posted by bondcliff at 8:13 AM on November 10, 2010


What happens when they get hacked or something and then someone drains your bank account and you're ruined! What then!

1) What happens when your bank's online site gets hacked and someone drains your account?

There's no difference between the two. Frankly, I'd trust Mint, a young, agile company with strong performance in internet and security, over your bank, which is often a generally a large, bureaucratic behemoth that's trying to learn this stuff on the fly. Banks in general also have pretty horrible records when it comes to breaches of personal information.

2) It's not unreasonable to ask her to explain her fears and gently explain why they're irrational. That said, if she's not the kind of person that responds to rational discourse, then you'll have to consider whether this fight is worth having.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:15 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I think what bothers me is the fact that she's uncomfortable with it and I'm not and I don't think she should be, regardless of how much I want to use it."

Do you want a relationship in which disagreements of principle that have no practical consequences become teachable moments? Maybe get a dog.


I understand. Obviously, there are no practical consequences here, and she may, in fact, be perfectly reasoned in her stance to not want to use Mint. It's pretty clear as I re-read my question and your answers as a whole that I should probably just shut the fuck up about it and close the Mint account. I mean, there's a larger divide here, obviously, in the relationship that may crop up again - if not with Mint then with other online services related to finances and or, just, well, online sharing of information, which is a whole other question.
posted by kbanas at 8:16 AM on November 10, 2010


What bothers you is your problem, not hers. You tried to convince her; it didn't work. This is not about Mint.com, it's about respecting her legitimate privacy concerns.

Also, you are not dogs.
posted by pants tent at 8:16 AM on November 10, 2010


I'd identify what it is you really like about Mint.com and convey this to her. By this I do not mean explain why you like the website, but explain what it provides you that you like: "I like to know exactly how much money I've spent on eating out" or "I like the clear budgeting factor." Tell her why you like knowing this information on a day-to-day basis or on a long-term planning basis. Then ask her what she thinks about exploring other ways to get this same information to you- and let her offer a suggestion or two. Perhaps a compromise is a different program she's more comfortable with, whether that's a spreadsheet (which is a lot of work for her) or Quickbooks, etc. But ultimately, I'd let her decide how to proceed if she's the one handling the finances, and compromise on the how you get information instead of what information you get. Having a larger abstract fight about internet security won't go nearly as far as a discussion about your financial goals and how you two manage your money.
posted by questionsandanchors at 8:23 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


What makes this easy to answer is the fact that you don't use Mint and your wife is chiefly in charge of your finances. Stop worrying about it and just disable the program.

All you said reminds me of those things a person keeps around forever because they might end up coming in handy some day. In reality, that thing will most likely never get used, and in the meantime all it is is a burden, and in this case it is hurting your marriage. Let it go.
posted by wondermouse at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, FWIW, Mint doesn't actually allow you to move/spend money. It will let you view your accounts, but not do anything. If you want to write a check or make a transfer, you have to do it through your bank.
posted by desl at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"it's safe until the day it gets compromised and everyone who uses it is fucked"

If someone gets into your Mint account, you know what they can do? They can see how many times you bought coffee this month. That's it. You can't move money around with Mint, you can only look at it. That is the opposite of scary, that is boring.
posted by soma lkzx at 8:34 AM on November 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


For what it's worth, Mint's got a better security record than most banks do.

And, really, I'm not remotely interesting enough for some giant corporate entity to want to poke around my personal finances. Ooooh! Schmod spend $37 more than usual on groceries last month! Now we know his secret!
posted by schmod at 8:35 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I mean, there's a larger divide here, obviously, in the relationship that may crop up again - if not with Mint then with other online services related to finances and or, just, well, online sharing of information, which is a whole other question.

One thing that might help is taking more of a utilitarian stance than an absolutist stance. If you take the stance that putting stuff online is never a concern, and she takes the stance that you should never put stuff online, that is going to cause serious problems. Instead, realize that having any kind of account (including the normal bank account that you already have) comes with the risk of unauthorized use. Try to figure out what likely outcome of unauthorized access would be (with a credit card, for example, the charges are almost always reversed without much hassle) and figure out if those possible consequences are worth it. In this case, since you aren't actually using Mint at all, it would seem that the risk is not worth it, even if your idea of the risk is less than her's.

For those of you who have used, like, really used Mint - is my fantasy a pipe-dream or is it really a powerful tool that will let us see where our money is going month to month in exacting detail and help us plot a really complete budget that will improve our financial livelihood?

I use Yodlee Moneycenter, which has been around longer and is the backend that Mint uses, but the benefits should be roughly the same. By far the most useful thing about it is that, as long as I keep my cash transactions to a minimum, it will track each individual transaction, so that I can manually assign each one to a spending category, and then match that up to budget goals that I set. I could save receipts and manually enter the same information into offline budget tracking software, but based on how similar projects like that have gone I think I would eventually get lazy and stop doing it. So for me that's the only way that I could realistically see a report showing how much I've spent in the last 12 months on gas and whatnot, which is extremely helpful for getting an overall view of where my money is going and which types of spending I should control. You can do it offline though, it just takes more work. Either way, the key part is tracking what you actually spend and making decisions based on that, rather than coming up with a vague budget first before you really know where your money is going.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:38 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


If someone gets into your Mint account, you know what they can do? They can see how many times you bought coffee this month. That's it. You can't move money around with Mint, you can only look at it. That is the opposite of scary, that is boring.

I don't know about what Mint's interface lets you do because I haven't used it, but I do know that on the backend Yodlee keeps your login information so that it can log into your accounts regularly and scrape data. So if the actual database is compromised rather than just your account, they would have the ability to access any of your accounts directly.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:41 AM on November 10, 2010


kbanas: "Ok, so, two things:

1. What's an excellent application or application package that lives locally that we could use toward this end?

2. I think what bothers me is the fact that she's uncomfortable with it and I'm not and I don't think she should be, regardless of how much I want to use it. Like, you know how a dog doesn't want a toy until the other dog starts playing with the toy? Maybe I didn't even want to use Mint until she started to talk about how unsafe it is, and then I wanted to use it just because I'm the polar opposite in terms of online "sharing" and I want her to be the same as me, which is a pretty doomed proposition, I know. Oh well.
"

I'm going to, yet again, recommend You Need a Budget or YNAB to its friends, as absolutely the best budgeting package I've ever come across. It's built on Adobe Air so it works exactly the same across platforms, it has an iPhone app, you can sync your budget between computers using Dropbox and it's got a really strong zero-based budgeting methodology that makes it more than just a checkbook register.

Seriously, this program has got me out of some middling-to-serious debt and helped my wife and I manage an incredibly tough few years financially.

It's also got a really strong community and forum around it and the guy that owns the company is really responsive and pleasant. It also has (manual) transaction import from most major US banks. I think it'd be a perfect middle ground between your (notional, future) use of Mint.com and your SO's issues with privacy and data protection.

Take a good look around their site and make sure you check out their four 'Rules'. They're smack your head obvious in retrospect, but when I first came across them it was like seeing the light at the end of a very long dark tunnel for me.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:44 AM on November 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


If you were either chiefly in charge of the finances OR had actively been using Mint since you signed up, I'd think you have an argument.

You've got neither.

In terms of the larger discussion of what's ok to post on the internet, that is something you will need to work out, and probably before you do something the other person is uncomfortable with. In my relationship, the person in favor of more privacy always wins. We're generally on the same page in terms of online banking and the amount of information we post on LinkedIn or forum websites, but we're not, for example, "married to Each Other" on Facebook. The person who doesn't want personal information on their Facebook page doesn't have any, and the other person is content with having a social status of "married". Respect for the desire for greater privacy as a general rule means that things like Mint don't become A Hill To Die On.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 8:44 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have this fantasy vision of us both logging into Mint together and crafting this glorious budget and planning out all of our finances in intricate detail and really getting a handle on things.

Forget your fantasy.

Who cares if it's more secure than this, or less secure than that ... live in the reality: your wife takes care of the work that you don't want to do. Support her. Show your appreciation for her work by not questioning her, not trying to show her that you know better.
posted by aroberge at 8:47 AM on November 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


We've discussed the whole mint thing before. See my earlier comment here and one by a Mint employee.

The bottom line is this. Mint holds no personal information about you. They don't know your name, SSN, address etc. So there is no possibility of identity theft. Also, Mint does not maintain explicit links between user/pass and financial institutions and even in the worst case scenario, a hacker can really only see where you charged your credit card but do little else without knowing more info about you. In that situation, they really don't need your online account information.
posted by special-k at 8:47 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my relationship, the person in favor of more privacy always wins.

I think that's a good rule of thumb.
posted by kbanas at 8:47 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


But my last comment is besides the point. If your partner is uncomfortable using Mint, no amount of proof that it is secure will change her mind. Pick your battles dude.
posted by special-k at 8:49 AM on November 10, 2010


Except now we're married and she closed her bank accounts and we put her name on formerly my bank account and now we have a joint account. Mint is still enabled on the account.

You don't have to keep just a joint account. You could keep your own account, and use Mint one day if you ever get around to it to manage the things you're responsible for, and she could keep her own private account. You could maintain a joint account that you both deposit to, just for shared savings and paying shared bills. And in this scenario, you wouldn't link the shared account to Mint. Just yours.

She wants me to disable it. I can't really argue a whole lot, because, hell, as I said, I don't really even use it. But the thing is, I can really see using it - especially if she gets on board, as she's our chief financial officer (so to speak).

If she's the CFO, she gets to choose the accounting methods. It could very well be that it's not just security she doesn't like about Mint - perhaps she's got a system that works and that she's very satisfied with Mint. I agree with the commenter above who said Mint was "primitive" - I tried it out this year after years of managing money with my own system, including an income/expense spreadsheet I created, and was really disappointed with how clumsy and hamhanded Mint is. Categorizing is definitely hard, it's quite difficult to customize, and so much of my budgeting is based on exact categorizing of expenses that their system just doesn't make sense for me. I was spending far too much time trying to "teach" it to budget the way I wanted instead of getting anything useful out of it. So consider the idea that her system is doing everything you dream of Mint doing already, minus the pretty graphics. If you aren't paying attention to the money anyway, that shouldn't bother you. I would say that if you haven't actually used Mint to try managing your own money, you don't have a true sense of what it does, and your expectations for what it can offer an already-good budgeter might be quite overblown.
posted by Miko at 8:52 AM on November 10, 2010


I can really see using it - especially if she gets on board, as she's our chief financial officer (so to speak).

On the question of "should we use Mint," clearly the answer is "no," because you don't actually want to use Mint (or you already would be). You want her to use Mint.

On the larger question of "should I try to convince my wife that she is wrong and I am right," whether it's about security in the cloud or anything else.... well, I'll just say that a good way to stay married is to learn pretty quickly how to spot which issues are worth making an issue out of and which ones aren't.
posted by ook at 8:54 AM on November 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm going to dissent here and say that I don't like your wife's attitude. She sucked you into agreeing to let her control your finances, and she's using that to control YOU.

I don't think it matters whether you use Mint, or any other particular online service. But, how many of these "arguments" do you plan to lose before you realize that she's beating you over the head with money that you yourself have earned? I think that she's being unfair in principle, whether she's right or wrong about the privacy issue.

Perhaps your response should be to reassert some control over the family finances? Yeah, it's a pain in the butt to go through the monthly payment drudgery, but you shouldn't let yourself be a victim of your own laziness. (Which is a part of what's happening here, since you haven't actually been using Mint for anything, anyway.)
posted by Citrus at 9:33 AM on November 10, 2010


But the thing is, I can really see using it - especially if she gets on board, as she's our chief financial officer (so to speak). I have this fantasy vision of us both logging into Mint together and crafting this glorious budget and planning out all of our finances in intricate detail and really getting a handle on things.

If she's the chief financial officer, she's the one who gets to decide on budgeting software, because she'll be the one primarily using it. (Of all the battles you pick in regard to the touchy subject of finances, I can't say that "neato-in-theory Mint" would be my top pick.)

However, perhaps you two should consider going to a financial planner to talk about setting a budget and managing your now-shared accounts.
posted by desuetude at 9:45 AM on November 10, 2010


I think what bothers me is the fact that she's uncomfortable with it and I'm not and I don't think she should be

Consider the possibility that you're not uncomfortable enough.
posted by rhizome at 9:46 AM on November 10, 2010


I'm going to dissent here and say that I don't like your wife's attitude. She sucked you into agreeing to let her control your finances, and she's using that to control YOU.

I don't think it matters whether you use Mint, or any other particular online service. But, how many of these "arguments" do you plan to lose before you realize that she's beating you over the head with money that you yourself have earned? I think that she's being unfair in principle, whether she's right or wrong about the privacy issue.


Jumping to conclusions like this isn't really helpful. The OP said nothing of the sort. They made a decision to combine finances and let one person manage them. No one is being controlled here, just one person being (rightfully, if a little misguidedly) concerned and the other not so much.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:02 AM on November 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


I have this fantasy vision of us both logging into Mint together and crafting this glorious budget and planning out all of our finances in intricate detail and really getting a handle on things.

I think that's a great fantasy to have. And I agree with Citrus above that if that is your fantasy then you need to pursue it. Mint isn't the only answer here. How is she tracking the family money and budget? Does she have a system? I'm in charge of family finances and I use Quicken to track and then I have a spreadsheet I created that outlines our general budget and expenses. I use that spreadsheet to have discussions with my husband about our financial picture and goals. We probably sit down with it quarterly and play with the numbers. If you want, memail me and I'll send you a spreadsheet blank and you can see if it works for you. After we fuss with it we feel like personal finance superheroes. I wish I were exaggerating. :)

It's very important, even if you're not in charge of the day to day that you also have a strong understanding of your household finances. Anyone taking money out is responsible for what stays in. Mint is certainly an option for tracking though I haven't used it. I was also uncomfortable with the idea and I was one of the people who signed up when they were in beta. Plus, I have a system that works for us. As our situation is about to become more complicated as we add to our family, I've been thinking more and more about trying out Mint. I need my husband to be able to make decisions based on the big picture without my constant oversight. It can kind of be a drag to always be in charge of the purse.

So, have a discussion about how you can be brought up to speed on things. Mint is just an application. It won't change your relationship dynamic!
posted by amanda at 10:11 AM on November 10, 2010


This is not a question about Mint.

I would be comfortable putting my info in there (they don't store the info, it's handled by the same backend that services other banks), but Mint doesn't meet our needs because of how it handles cash. We tried Yodlee but then they changed their interface and it really sucks. I don't think Mint is really going to work for your glorious fantasy, it seems more focused on trying to automatically analyze the past than trying to plan for the future. And, it sucks to use cash with it.

My wife, who handles the budget, complained bitterly about the new interface. *I* want something with online access, but I gotta agree--the new interface sucks. And I'm not the one using it mostly, so why should I have the final say?

We just bought YNAB. She likes it. I can recommend it. More importantly, I can recommend deferring to the person that actually has to use it more often.

(I really, really, wish I didn't have to manually sync to the iPhone though. I can't be bothered to manually sync anything.)
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:17 AM on November 10, 2010


Oh, by the way, consider just setting up a Google spreadsheet and calling it a day.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:18 AM on November 10, 2010


When you get to control [the thing], then you get to control how it's done. [The thing] could be the car, walking the dog, or any of a number of things. If there's a serious problem with [the thing], like really bad driving, then you have grounds to tell the other person to knock it off and do it yourself.

You don't generally get to tell someone else how to do a job that they're doing, unless they're doing in a harmful manner. Doing it differently to how you want it done does not equal doing it harmfully.
posted by Solomon at 10:26 AM on November 10, 2010


@OP: "1. What's an excellent application or application package that lives locally that we could use toward this end?"

I never really used financial software for budgeting per se, but for expense and general account/net worth tracking I used AceMoney for quite awhile and loved it. It's simple, intuitive and flexible. It's not as full featured as Quicken or MS Money but it's a great basic expense tracking package.

I don't use it now because I've switched to my iPhone to track expenses. I use the app named "Accounts".
posted by moxiequz at 10:45 AM on November 10, 2010


kbanas: “I think what bothers me is the fact that she's uncomfortable with it and I'm not and I don't think she should be, regardless of how much I want to use it. Like, you know how a dog doesn't want a toy until the other dog starts playing with the toy? Maybe I didn't even want to use Mint until she started to talk about how unsafe it is, and then I wanted to use it just because I'm the polar opposite in terms of online "sharing" and I want her to be the same as me, which is a pretty doomed proposition, I know. Oh well.”

Heh.

My first reaction here was: yeah, welcome to marriage. But then it occurs to me that, of course, I'm divorced; so maybe I'm not giving the whole thing a fair shake. I think that in reality this situation, though it's somewhat common, is actually somewhat complicated.

The line you have to walk is this, I think:

On one hand, this whole thing – budgeting software, mint.com privacy, etc – is a really little thing. It is not a big deal, and it's clearly not going to cost you anything (worry, respect, etc) to disable Mint.com on the account. And as you've said, a lot of us tend to want what we can't have – I really believe marriage is a long process of training yourself to handle those feelings responsibly, and to be able to approach this kind of situation rationally and take the practical option, putting feelings like "gee, I really want to use this trivial web site I never really wanted to use in the first place" to the wayside. I think you know that.

On the other hand, lots of people sacrifice communication for tranquility, and there's a lot of jaded advice out there regarding marriage. For example, lots of people will say something which actually frankly pisses me off a bit sometimes; they'll tell you that a man's role in a marriage is to learn to say "yes, dear." This is apparently because women are "more controlling" or "more demanding" or "more organized" or whatever. But while it is true that learning to serenely acquiesce to a partner's wishes in certain circumstances is a great skill, that kind of simple appeasement is totally unhealthy. I think people give this advice because their own marriages are generally unhealthy in this way; and it's very common, of course, for people to assume that all men are like them, and all women are like their wives.

The ideal is to be able to let a partner know how you feel about a given decision, and then move past that. things get delegated, but these decisions have to be shared as well. So the feelings you're talking about here... well, what I think has to happen is, you have to be able to tell her, briefly, how you feel about it, and to communicate how important it is to you. In this case, it's not too important, and you sound like you're fine disabling mint.com on the account; but you should let her know, in a dispassionate way, that you disagree with her. And then you should be able to let it go. Being able to disagree on things like this and still move on in a functional way is a sign of having a very healthy relationship. And that communication of your feelings on it, even if you're fine with letting it go, is important because when you come to something you feel strongly about, you want to be able to speak up and say so, and let her know it's important to you.
posted by koeselitz at 11:02 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


FWIW, Mint is cool but isn't very accurate. Budgets are totally off and sometimes the transaction imports show doubles. If I was the one managing my money, I'd have ditched using Mint already.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:21 AM on November 10, 2010


I was a user of Mint.com -- I was skeptical about the security but had heard they were incredibly secure, so I gave it a shot.

Last month, they sent blank emails to all of their users, one for each account they had in their system. They said it was a QA glitch and that none of our private information was there -- however, it did have our email addresses and knew the number of accounts we had. They were very nonchalant, failed to initially report it on the website (only on a 3rd party ticket system that you had to search Google for) , and then gave a lackluster "We're sorry..." (reminding me of the joke on South Park about the BP President)

I got all of this in Quicken locally to my machine. I wouldn't recommend Mint.com.
posted by devilish at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2010


Can't you open a personal account with which to play around with Mint? Must there only be one single joint account? Can't there be two or three (if she'd like her own personal account)?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:00 PM on November 10, 2010


I tried very hard for about three months to like Mint, and I ended up giving it up as a lost cause and disabling my account. It was constantly miscategorizing and double entering inputs, and there were several types of transactions, like payments across accounts/credit cards, that it handled poorly. Also, about every other log in, it had trouble syncing about half of my accounts. It was a PITA.

So while I think you should give up your fantasy because she's the CFO and she doesn't want to use it, I also think you should give up your fantasy because Mint just isn't as accurate at many things as it could be, though it's a neat idea for those of us who like to centralize data in the cloud. After seeing how poorly it did with my not-that-convoluted banking, there is no way I would trust it with anything complicated.
posted by wending my way at 1:58 PM on November 10, 2010


I agree with those saying that you have to get beyond "Mint is cool" to what your actual dream is here. Does it have to involve a web-based Ajax-y interface? (Is it still Ajax? Maybe that was 2004.) If it's that you dream of getting organized and doing planning together, that is great. Perhaps you could ask your CFO wife to deputize you as her accountant and give you some grunt work to do while you learn the ropes of the software.
posted by salvia at 4:27 PM on November 10, 2010


If you're on a Mac, check out MoneyWell. Easily the best budgeting app I've used. Load in a couple of months of payments, do some categorization, and discover just how much money you spend at the coffee shop.

All the data is on your machine, no worries about sharing it with a third party web app.
posted by kaefer at 9:15 PM on November 12, 2010


Dissenting voice here. Living according to a partner's fears can be crippling.

The money is shared. Do either of you normally hold equal veto power on stuff like this? Does your partner allow you to access your shared account info online?

If you care strongly, are prepared to take the heat from your partner, and are willing to be upfront about what you're doing, create and use the Mint account.

Otherwise, of course, don't.
posted by zippy at 8:46 PM on August 8, 2011


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