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As noted above, clicking on the tab Budget brings up a list of my spending by category. However, it also displays my Income and Spending and for some reason these numbers are also totally inaccurate. I cannot explain why this the case but believe that as I use Mint in the weeks ahead those numbers may become closer to reality.
In my case, Mint’s main budget categories are Auto & Transport, Food & Dining (Groceries) and Food & Dining (Restaurants). Then there is Everything Else, which includes categories such as Bills & Utilities (Internet), Gifts & Donations, Business Services (Office Supplies), Health & Fitness (Health Insurance), Home (Lawn & Garden) and Shopping. Unfortunately, I also found errors here. As an example of this, I don't pay anything directly for health insurance, nor do I pay directly for the Internet as it’s in my CenturyLink Prism bill. Also, I don't remember having spent anything in the category Auto & Transport (Service & Parts).
Mint is a great program and clearly represents a very powerful way to manage personal finances. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get a handle on their spending, develop a budget and do a better job of managing their money. However, using Mint does require some work. If you bank with Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank or Citi, you may not have as big a problem getting started as I did but it may take some work. It will also take some work to create a budget although Mint makes it fairly simple as all you do is select a category and then type in an amount. Or you can let Mint set the budget number for you. As an example of this, Mint set a budget of $511 a month for me for Bills & Utilities. I’ll have to review what I actually spent in this category to determine whether I want to accept the $511. Ditto its other budget categories.
Mint can be a great tool even if you have no interest in creating a budget or setting goals. Just the fact that it displays all your important financial information on one screen makes Mint worthwhile – to say nothing of the fact that it will provide your credit score and alert you about upcoming bills, which could certainly help you keep from missing a payment. Mint’s main screen also displays information about your budget for the month and will advise you if it finds a credit card that would be better than the one you're currently using.
In short, Mint can be whatever you want it to be. You could use it to develop a budget, set goals, track all of your spending and your investments. Or you could use it just to see a picture of your finances at a glance. In other words, the more effort you're willing to put into setting up Mint the more it will do for you.