Personal Financing with Mint

So, as some of you know, I (Ross) am typically responsible for managing our personal finances. Being a pretty detail oriented person, I like to keep detailed records, and as you may imagine, this can take some time. Some have seen the crazy Excel sheet that I used for awhile. Then, at the beginning of 2008, I decided to try out a different finance application called ChaChing. It was okay, but really just okay. At the same time I tryed a web app called Mint, but just stuck with ChaChing.

Well, just this week, I randomly decided to give Mint another try, and I have been pretty pleased with it. I am not sure if features have been added or if I just overlooked them back in January.

Here are some of plus and minuses that I have found using Mint for the past 3 days:
+ easy and quick to setup (as I mentioned I have just been using it for 3 days)
+ automatically gets your transactions and categorizes them (saves a lot of time)
+ works with a lot of major banks
– difficult to manage cash transactions
– its all in the cloud (so if you aren’t online, you can’t access your data, and I know that this makes some people weary)

I guess that I should also mention that Mint is free to use, and from what I have heard it has a pretty good reputation in terms of usability and security. So, if you give it a try, let me know what you think.

One final aside, I was just noticing how this post kind of started being about personal finances and then it has really turned into more of a software review. I guess now you know that I am detail oriented and have an affinity for info tech.

Holiday Weekend in Review

We’re back from a busy holiday weekend, so take a sneak peak at the pictures below to see what all we did.

On Thursday evening, we went to Birmingham, Michigan to see fireworks with our friends Dan and Krysta. See the picture above. We tried out a tripod with our camera – helpful.
After the fireworks in Birmingham, Heather and I made a late night trek to Lake of the Woods to see my parents. As you can see above, our dog, Parker, has on his patriotic gear. So cute!
Heather’s pregnant! Just kidding, as you can see, she is just carrying Parker in a pouch. Funny, I know.
The sun wears you out, and did I mention that we made a late night drive to the lake. So Parker and I took a nap on the pontoon. I am really sleeping and so is Parker.
If you didn’t know, Heather’s birthday is on the 5th of July, so there were multiple holidays to celebrate. Heather got a pretty sweet New Kids on the Block watch from my parents. It was mine as a child, and a family joke.
So, what do you do at the lake? Well, Heather and I both took a shot at skiing. We both got up relatively quickly for it being our first time for the season. My Dad skied as well, and put us both to shame with his skills.

Overall a good weekend, happy 4th to the US and 5th to Heather. And thanks to the Baughmans and Chaseys for hosting us.