Mint.com needs to offer two more features to be most useful, in my opinion: (1) the ability to delete the default categories (currently you can create new categories, but can’t delete the ones you don’t want) and (2) the ability to split transactions.
Without those two features, we can’t use it to keep track of our budget. For example, if Heidi goes to Target and buys groceries, toys for the kids, and a DVD, it all gets classified into a single category. You can’t split that transaction into the respective categories that reflect your actual purchase. That makes it impossible to track the grocery budget accurately.
Mint.com is great on so many other fronts. But without those two abilities, it is is simply not functional for us. Hopefully with this acquisition, those functions will be added to it.
By the way: I use the Windows desktop version of Quicken, which does offer the ability to split transactions and delete the default categories that you don’t want. But it has the drawback of only being accessible on a single computer.
So, for example, Heidi has to come to my computer to see our budget status or update any information, since we have Quicken on my computer (I run Windows on my Mac so that I can use Quicken). If we put it on her computer, on the other hand, I wouldn’t be able to see our data or update any information without going to her computer.
So the ability to keep this data online is very important. The unfortunate thing is that no online programs (not Mint.com, Quicken Online, iBank, nor anything else) offer both of the two critical functions mentioned above. On the other hand, the desktop version of Quicken does, but since it is not online the data is not easily accessible within a family.
Intuit can solve this problem by simply taking Mint.com and giving it the two critical features that made the desktop version of Quicken so effective: the ability to create and delete categories at will (including the bad default categories that come baked in) and the ability to split transactions.
My readers have pointed out below that Mint does in fact have the ability to split transactions. So I (gladly) stand corrected. Thank you!
I don’t know if this feature did not exist the last time I gave Mint a detailed look, or if I simply failed to notice the way they’ve implemented it. Either way, this is great news and has me giving serious consideration to Mint now.
For the last ten years, I’ve used Quicken to manage our finances. Last summer when I switched to a Mac, I discovered that the Mac version of Quicken is a much reduced version that is just not up to snuff. So rather than downgrading, I continued to run the Windows version of Quicken on my Mac via VMWare Fusion (which, in my opinion, is the best way to run Windows on your Mac).
This works well enough, but I still find myself wishing that I didn’t have to boot up Windows on my Mac just to manage my finances.
Here’s some possible good news: It looks like Quicken may soon be coming out with a much improved program for the Mac, called Quicken Financial Life for Mac. It’s due out this summer. The website states:
If you know your Mac, you know Quicken Financial Life. Designed from the ground up to unleash the power of the Mac, Quicken Financial Life for Mac brings you the clean graphics and intuitive functionality you expect from Apple software. Built for Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard and newer operating systems.
Hopefully this will be good. Although I don’t know why they didn’t just do it right the first time.
What financial management software do you recommend for the Mac?