Happy Anniversary – 10 Years of Using Mint!

The last line was what caught my eye...

The last line was what caught my eye…

A couple of weeks ago I was poking around the “Edit Accounts” section of Mint.com trying to see if I could add our new Vanguard Donor Advised Fund to the list of accounts we track in Mint, and I happened to look to the right and see the summary of our accounts. It was mostly a blur of all the numerous items that Mint has tracked. At the bottom of the list, though, was a bullet point that caught my eye. I had 3635 days of history in our mint account – just about 2 weeks shy of 10 years with Mint!

So, I did what any personal finance dork would do and added a calendar alert to remind me when my 10-year anniversary would be – and that day is today!

Happy Anniversary, Mint!

I want to take a little time today to tell you how much you mean to me.

We’ve been through a lot together. From paying off my student loans, to getting married and getting Mr PoP fully on board with budgeting, to setting savings and debt-payoff goals (which we ended up exceeding!), you’ve been invaluable. And I couldn’t appreciate it more.

I briefly flirted with another (Personal Capital), but didn’t care for them.  Luckily it was brief enough that you didn’t seem to notice and kept downloading all of my transactions in the meantime.

The internet tells me that these days the 10-year anniversary mark is celebrated with gifts of diamond jewelry. Luckily, we’ve always had a much more frugal relationship going, so I don’t think either of us expects a shiny surprise – and luckily trips down memory lane can be incredibly frugal.  So let’s take one together!

Did Mint and I Have a Meetcute?

Well, like a lot of relationships, ours started when one of my coworkers (JR) introduced us. JR was a year younger than me, and as such, hip to all things with new-tech. He told me about Mint sometime in late 2007. JR was using Mint to track his expenses and make sure he was splitting out business reimbursable expenses from personal ones charged to his credit card – all part of a little scheme to maximize his rewards points on his credit card.  (In case you can’t tell, JR was on top of his stuff!)

Unlike JR, I wasn’t immediately enamored. I was busy, I wanted to read more up on it, my grandfather died and I had to go out of town for the funeral… I’m sure I had all kinds of excuses the next time JR asked me about it, which he did – because JR was awesome like that and always wanted to share his “lifehacks”, even before the “lifehack” was a word.

But a couple months later something happened which ticked me off. I got hit with a late-fee on a credit card payment. It was a $39 late fee on something like a $10 credit card balance. I was ticked.  And it was totally my fault.  I had paid the balance in full the day before the statement had closed instead of the day of, then had a small charge that I didn’t realize was on the account from the previous billing statement when I waited several weeks to make a payment on that card again.

It was a stupid mistake – and one that Chase forgave (and reversed the fee) when I called in and explained. But it was still annoying and I didn’t want it to happen again. So I talked to JR again. It went something like this.

Me – “What was that site that you use to keep track of your credit card charges and payments?”

JR – “Mint.com. It really is the best!”

Me – “I think I’m going to go for it and sign up.”

JR – “Yeah? You’re gonna love it.  I promise!”

And with that, Mint and I were on our way…

What Was Our Earliest Transaction?

Our first is an $11 charge to go to the cheapie movie theater near where I used to live.  As best as we can tell, this is probably when I treated Mr PoP and I to a date to see Sweeney Todd.  Luckily my relationships with both Mint and Mr PoP have outlasted the movie theater, which appears to have gone out of business 4 or 5 years ago.

But our second  transaction? Our second is Chase reversing that $39 fee was the final impetus to push me towards Mint in the first place.

What Was My First Big Milestone?

It was probably paying off my student loans, which I did less than a year into my relationship with Mint.

Mint was also there for some other big milestones along the way. 2009 was a particularly big year for us with…

Seriously - Was he not adorable back then?

Seriously – Was he not adorable back then?

  • My trip to Petsmart on May 17, 2009 to buy a litter box and other assorted kitten supplies when Kitty PoP came into our lives as an adorable <2lb kitten!
  • The escrow deposit check that kicked off the process of buying our house was cashed by the title company on July 10, 2009!  We closed on the purchase of our house about a month later.
  • Getting legally hitched to Mr PoP (which happened a couple months after our Mexican elopement) was commemorated by adding Mr PoP’s bank accounts to my Mint! The earliest charge from his accounts was $7.75 spent at Chick-Fil-A back in September of 2009.  (I cook better than I used to in 2009, and he eats less at Chick-Fil-A.  I am not convinced those two facts are unrelated…)

 

Mint has helped us keep our monthly net income in the green way more often than not…

A few months in the red, but not many in the last 10 years!

A few months in the red, but not many in the last 10 years!

Which contributes to our strong savings rate, and not coincidentally, leads to a net worth that has had a pretty solid upward trajectory too!

Our Mint Net Worth Graph, which is very similar to what we show in our posts, but not perfect because of a few items that Mint doesn't link to or that we update separately (like property values).

Our Mint Net Worth Graph, which is very similar to what we show in our posts, but not perfect because of a few items that Mint doesn’t link to or that we update separately (like property values).

 

 

Is My Relationship With Mint Perfect?

Well, no. Sometimes Mint has its quirks – like the fact that the charitable account I was trying to add that led me on this trip down memory lane doesn’t seem to work with Mint, so will now be missing money from our “Mint Net Worth”. But I put in a help ticket for it, and I’m hoping the functionality gets added at some point.

In the grand scheme of things, though, Mint has made our lives so much easier and more financially productive over the past 10 years that I’m willing to overlook the imperfections and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

 

So Happy Anniversary, Mint! May we have another beautiful 10 years together!

 

What financial tracking software have you been using?

10 comments to Happy Anniversary – 10 Years of Using Mint!

  • I hope JR gets his referral fee. Sounds like he really earned that one.

  • What a lovely relationship!
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted..RBOCMy Profile

  • Congrats to 10 year!

    Tell me more about the 22 credit cards.
    Leah recently posted..So, you’re having a baby: diapers (and wipes)My Profile

    • Ha! I hadn’t even noticed that part. It does look a bit excessive, I don’t think we’re too crazy on this front.

      We have 3 cards that I consider our “main” rewards ones
      – Amex Blue Cash Everyday, Discover, and a Chase Visa

      Then we have 3 cards with old histories (no rewards) that are linked to old checking accounts that we keep around.

      Mint also counts our HELOC as a credit account

      So I guess I would count the “current” list at around 7…

      There’s a couple of old cards in there that were intentionally cancelled, too… like the old credit card that was joint with my dad from college.

      Then we churn maybe 1 or 2 cards per year for miles or other rewards (the first couple of years it might have even been 3 or 4 before I got annoyed with doing it). It’s not a lot compared to some serious churners, but it does start to add up to a decent list of old cards after a while, and Mint stores all of their histories!

      So I assume that’s how they got all the way up to 22! 10 years x 2 people for most of that time… It sounds less insane that way, right? =)

  • That’s an incredible amount of time to use a single app. I can’t think of anything I’ve used that long…I’m not even sure I have the same internet browser that I did back in 2007.

    I’m married to our Excel spreadsheet, partially because I don’t love giving out my passwords…but the rational side of me knows it’s probably no additional risk, given how much security places like Mint have. And the automation of all that stuff sure must be nice!
    Done by Forty recently posted..A Peek at the FutureMy Profile

    • Excel is pretty marvelous, and I’ve been keeping track of our monthly summaries in Excel for almost 6 years now (since we started the blog), but I really have to hand it to Mint for keeping Mr PoP and I on the same page financially for so many years. We’re both always up to date on everything, so we don’t get surprised at the end of the month when the credit card statement comes through if one of us forgot to tell the other about a purchase or threw away a receipt. I know that works for some people and a lot of people feel like it’s better to be more “active” and enter it yourself, but this way works for us and it’s hard to argue with that. =)

  • Speaks well for Mint: they haven’t bollixed up in 10 years!

    For many years, I used Quicken. Then I switched from a PC to a Mac and discovered it was only marginally compatible with Apple’s OS. Stumbled along with it for awhile until another accursed OS update made it totally incompatible. Then I went over to Quickbooks, which was difficult to learn but at least it was in the Cloud and presumably was not going to magically become useless.s

    Wrong. Next, Intuit engaged on a program of updates that broke everything that didn’t need fixing. These changes resulted in a program that is so complicated and so brain-banging frustrating to use that I just can’t operate it at all. This year, even my CPA, who has to take annual coursework to keep up with QB, announced that she was going to cease keeping my books in Intuit and instead use the downloads I make from bank and credit-card accounts into Excel. This will simplify both our lives immeasurably.

    Really: if you have Excel, WHY do you need anything else?
    Funny about Money recently posted..Ouch!My Profile

    • mrplantingourpennies

      While Mint hasn’t screwed the pooch over the years, we’ve actually dropped cards (lookin at you Chase!) because their banks decided to make it difficult for Mint to connect to their systems. Rather than dropping Mint, we dropped these cards.

      I think Mrs. PoP mostly uses mint to keep track of my spending on a daily basis =)