Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
User avatar
danielc
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:48 am

Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by danielc » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:39 pm

I'm trying to find personal finance software. My main constraints are:
  • My computer runs Linux. So the software has to either be web-based (e.g. Mint) or run on Linux (e.g. GnuCash, kMyMoney, HomeBank, etc). I slightly prefer web-based.
  • I want it to automatically download transactions from my banks. A lot of software seems to have trouble with my Capital One 360 account.
  • I just want to make a pie chart of my expenses. I just want to know where my money is going.
The first software that meets these requirements is Mint itself. Mint is a candidate, but I'm not happy with it. It has a lot of ads, I find the text a bit hard to read, and it seems to be geared toward getting me to do other things like applying for new credit cards, setting up bill payment, real estate, credit score, etc.

I have googled for "alternatives to Mint" and I have tried several (Buxfer, PersonalCapital, CountAbout) but they all have trouble getting data from Capital One. The only other service that seems to be able to talk to Capital One is YNAB (You Need A Budget). The website is much nicer than Mint. It really wants to guide me toward making a detailed budget and I haven't decided how I feel about that. I'm a bit annoyed that it doesn't want to download past transactions, and the $6/month is a bit more than what I'd prefer. But I don't mind paying for a better service.

So... that's what I've tried so far. Is there any other software that you think I should try that I haven't mentioned yet?

User avatar
pondering
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Location: 412-977-3526, originally 718-273-2422

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by pondering » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:41 pm

You have to be very determined to keep up tracking expenses. About a third of the people here seem to do that.

My biggest challenge is split receipts which no tracking system handles well.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

User avatar
danielc
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by danielc » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:48 pm

pondering wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:41 pm
You have to be very determined to keep up tracking expenses. About a third of the people here seem to do that.

My biggest challenge is split receipts which no tracking system handles well.
I did that years ago. It wasn't fun. Now I'm looking for a shortcut. I buy everything with credit cards or debit cards, so I hope to get a system that involves very little manual input.

User avatar
camillus
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by camillus » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:09 pm

I'd say stick with Mint. And I say this as a YNAB evangelist. YNAB does require a monthly fee and is "high touch."

Mint gets around the monthly fee by providing ads. Mint also requires a little bit of setting up and maintenance, but not nearly as much as YNAB. If you want neither ads, nor maintenance, I suggest you go entirely without any program. Tracking expenses is over-rated.

User avatar
plannerman
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: NC Mountains

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by plannerman » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:26 pm

Have you looked at "Moneydance"? I use it to track our expenses. I can't tell you if it downloads transactions from Capital one or not, but it downloads transactions from Citi card and our bank.

plannerman

User avatar
danielc
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by danielc » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:35 pm

Thanks for all the help.

lazydavid
Posts: 1658
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by lazydavid » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:47 am

Sounds like the real problem is Capital One. If they don't work well with any of the software/services you're interested in using, find a different bank. Then you can have your pick of all the options.

User avatar
danielc
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by danielc » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:52 am

lazydavid wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:47 am
Sounds like the real problem is Capital One. If they don't work well with any of the software/services you're interested in using, find a different bank. Then you can have your pick of all the options.
I have no loyalty to Capital One. The reason we started using them is that we're new to the country and Capital One is one of the few banks that would give us a credit card. We figured that it made sense to start building a credit history. Our first account in the states was with a credit union, but when we decided to get credit cards they said that they did not give cards to foreigners.

bungalow10
Posts: 2198
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by bungalow10 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm

danielc wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:52 am
lazydavid wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:47 am
Sounds like the real problem is Capital One. If they don't work well with any of the software/services you're interested in using, find a different bank. Then you can have your pick of all the options.
I have no loyalty to Capital One. The reason we started using them is that we're new to the country and Capital One is one of the few banks that would give us a credit card. We figured that it made sense to start building a credit history. Our first account in the states was with a credit union, but when we decided to get credit cards they said that they did not give cards to foreigners.
Capital One is a great bank for anyone who spends time outside the country. No ATM fees anywhere (and the debit card works everywhere!) and exchange rates are the best I've found. Their Venture card also doesn't charge exchange fees and is very competitive on forex.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

jlcnuke
Posts: 434
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by jlcnuke » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:57 pm

Personal Capital pulls my Capital One info without a problem... :?

seawolf21
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by seawolf21 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:07 pm

CapitalOne 360 works fine with Mint and Personal Capital. You have to use an login/Access Code instead of login/password.

User avatar
danielc
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:48 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by danielc » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:27 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:07 pm
CapitalOne 360 works fine with Mint and Personal Capital. You have to use an login/Access Code instead of login/password.
Yeah, I know. I did. Maybe I was just unlucky? I'll try again later.

Edit: I tried again. Still no luck. I've actually tried many times on different days, different browsers, different computers... It just doesn't like me.
Last edited by danielc on Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onourway
Posts: 1120
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by onourway » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:36 pm

I use YNAB but it's really designed around tracking cashflow, not simply tracking expenses. It is a bit hands-on, but I probably spend between 0-5 minutes a day managing it.
pondering wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:41 pm
You have to be very determined to keep up tracking expenses. About a third of the people here seem to do that.

My biggest challenge is split receipts which no tracking system handles well.
YNAB handles split transactions easily, but it is a budget, rather than a tracking system.

Edit: I also meant to say that I have constant issues with YNAB importing from Capital One 360. It basically doesn't work. My understanding is import is handled by a 3rd party system.
Last edited by onourway on Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

armeliusc
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by armeliusc » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:39 pm

danielc wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:39 pm
I'm trying to find personal finance software. My main constraints are:
  • My computer runs Linux. So the software has to either be web-based (e.g. Mint) or run on Linux (e.g. GnuCash, kMyMoney, HomeBank, etc). I slightly prefer web-based.
  • I want it to automatically download transactions from my banks. A lot of software seems to have trouble with my Capital One 360 account.
  • I just want to make a pie chart of my expenses. I just want to know where my money is going.
The first software that meets these requirements is Mint itself. Mint is a candidate, but I'm not happy with it. It has a lot of ads, I find the text a bit hard to read, and it seems to be geared toward getting me to do other things like applying for new credit cards, setting up bill payment, real estate, credit score, etc.
Try mint a little longer. It does have ads but I don't find it too intrusive. I've ignored the Bill Payment feature and everything else and if you keep closing the notification or whatever it's called when it asks you about it, it stopped doing that. I basically use Mint just to track expenses (and I run Linux also).

Once a year I download the whole year transaction to as CSV file and keep it locally.

User avatar
CollegePrudens
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:43 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by CollegePrudens » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:09 pm

armeliusc wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:39 pm
Try mint a little longer. It does have ads but I don't find it too intrusive. I've ignored the Bill Payment feature and everything else and if you keep closing the notification or whatever it's called when it asks you about it, it stopped doing that. I basically use Mint just to track expenses (and I run Linux also).

Once a year I download the whole year transaction to as CSV file and keep it locally.
Same for me but on a Mac.

I have been using Mint with Capital One (360) and my credit cards to track expenses for a couple of years. Beginning 2017, I have paid more attention than earlier to categories and the like. It has worked quite well and the (small number of) ads don't seem to bother me too much.

For something that is free, I have gotten a lot of value from Mint. The act of tracking expenses has had the effect of dropping my expenses (somewhat) as well.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever - Gandhi

lazydavid
Posts: 1658
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by lazydavid » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:12 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm
Capital One is a great bank for anyone who spends time outside the country. No ATM fees anywhere (and the debit card works everywhere!) and exchange rates are the best I've found. Their Venture card also doesn't charge exchange fees and is very competitive on forex.
Meh. I haven't possessed an ATM card in 15 years (don't spend even close to 4 figures in cash on an annual basis), and I have more than one credit card with no forex fee at all.

I've got nothing against them personally, but have no compunctions about switching to competitors when a company makes it difficult in some way for me to utilize their service in the way I'd like. It sounds like the OP is experiencing some friction with this account, so I suggested switching as an option.

seawolf21
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by seawolf21 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:39 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm

Capital One is a great bank for anyone who spends time outside the country. No ATM fees anywhere (and the debit card works everywhere!) and exchange rates are the best I've found. Their Venture card also doesn't charge exchange fees and is very competitive on forex.
Slight correction concerning ATM fees. While Capital One does not charge ATM fees, they don't reimburse either. If you are in Canada, you will very likely get hit by operator ATM fees as it is common. Schwab debit would be a better choice.

Jags4186
Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:45 am

Yea I'll give another thumbs up for Mint.com. It has its issues but it's better than the rest of the field with regards to tracking spending and, of course, it's free. I use Personal Capital to track investments and I don't have my credit cards or checking accounts synced with that.

With regards to split receipts, Mint does allow you to split transactions and even hide parts of transactions from your budget and trends. Once you have a system down it's pretty good. I ignore the ads.

bungalow10
Posts: 2198
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by bungalow10 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:57 am

seawolf21 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:39 am
bungalow10 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm

Capital One is a great bank for anyone who spends time outside the country. No ATM fees anywhere (and the debit card works everywhere!) and exchange rates are the best I've found. Their Venture card also doesn't charge exchange fees and is very competitive on forex.
Slight correction concerning ATM fees. While Capital One does not charge ATM fees, they don't reimburse either. If you are in Canada, you will very likely get hit by operator ATM fees as it is common. Schwab debit would be a better choice.
hmm... I use my CapOne debit in US, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Siciliy... no fees. I can't remember if I used it in Canada though...
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

shaX
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 2:42 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by shaX » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:51 am

pondering wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:41 pm
You have to be very determined to keep up tracking expenses. About a third of the people here seem to do that.

My biggest challenge is split receipts which no tracking system handles well.
I track all of my expenses in Excel. I have also found that split receipt/transaction is the the thing that requires me to keep doing it manually in Excel. I also just enjoy doing it so that helps. :happy

IndexRookie
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:41 pm

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by IndexRookie » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:57 pm

I use Mint just for the transactions and trends feature to see where my cash flow is going on the micro and macro basis. The rest of the site goes unused. I've yet to find a better solution that does with automatic feeds.

As for ads, I think I see one at the top each time I log on but a quick click of the X makes it go away. I don't see any other ads. For reference, I'm using Firefox with 3rd party cookies disabled and the uBlock Origin extension set to block all 3rd party scripts and frames. Not sure if that makes a difference on the ads part with them.

seawolf21
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Personal finance software / Alternatives to Mint.com

Post by seawolf21 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:07 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:57 am
seawolf21 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:39 am
bungalow10 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm

Capital One is a great bank for anyone who spends time outside the country. No ATM fees anywhere (and the debit card works everywhere!) and exchange rates are the best I've found. Their Venture card also doesn't charge exchange fees and is very competitive on forex.
Slight correction concerning ATM fees. While Capital One does not charge ATM fees, they don't reimburse either. If you are in Canada, you will very likely get hit by operator ATM fees as it is common. Schwab debit would be a better choice.
hmm... I use my CapOne debit in US, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Siciliy... no fees. I can't remember if I used it in Canada though...
If you make a withdrawal using your CapOne card in US at a non-CapOne financial institution ATM (eg TDBank/Chase/BoA etc), you will be promoted to accept/decline a fee which CapOne does not reimburse.

No fees in those European countries because those countries ATMs don’t usually charge an ATM operator’s fee (against an US card anyway).

ATMs in Canada are similar to US. The ATM operator generally would charge a fee if using a debit card not of that bank or using 3rd party ATMs (eg deli, hotels). They would prompt you to accept/decline the fee (same as in US) before completing the withdrawal. This fee is not reimbursed by CapOne unless it is an AllPoint network ATM which there are not as many of in Canada.

Schwab and Fido would reimburse these fees regardless of whether the withdrawal takes place in US, Canada, Europe, Asia etc.

Post Reply