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Quicken or Mint November 14, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Financial software, Mint, Quicken.

You might me be asking, What’s Mint?  Well, before I tell you, I’ve been a Quicken user for more years that I can count.  For all of these years, something in the back of my mind has always asked why I buy the updated version of Quicken every year.  Also, I always wondered how I could use Quicken easily while not at the computer that contains the software. 

 Aren’t we in the age of the internet?  Isn’t there a web based, secure, financial app that I could use that might replace Quicken?  Well, last night I started testing one to hopefully make a clean break from Quicken.  It’s called Mint.  I initially read about it in the Wall Street Journal.  As I get a little more familiar with it, I’ll give you PTIers an update.

I think TI is a Quicken user too.  But of course he’s a “hard-headed, never try anything new until it’s obviously better than what I’m used to using” kind of guy.  So if Mint is something that’s a good alternative to Quicken, it’ll be years before he knows.


1. Fast Follower - November 24, 2007

It’s been about 3 weeks or so, and I have haven’t used Quicken. I’ve allowed Mint to download my bank and credit card accounts. And I use my bank account’s website to pay bills electronically. So far I haven’t missed Quicken. I’m about to eliminate the $9.95 per month my bank charges me for the Quicken access as well.

2. Tell it like it TI is! - November 26, 2007

Cmon, Fast Follower…you can try to convince PTIers that you are a leading edge risk taker, but I know better. You are using Mint cause your mystical, magical Mac won’t allow you to use the software you are used to.

Tell me again uncle Fast Follower…tell us about how all the peripherals work, tell us how you had to install software that allowed you to do everything that you were used to doing on the PC, tell us how everything worked except Quicken. Tell how you were forced to change your financial software after years of reliable performance..tell us how you were a risk taker, always on the leading and you convinced everyone that this was true so you didn’t have to admit the paying extra $$$$ didn’t answer all of your issues!

Hey, I am just telling it like it is!!!

3. Fast Follower - November 27, 2007

Not at all true. My mystical, magical Mac (as you put it) runs Windows with Quicken 98 installed flawlessly. In fact, Quicken runs better on my Mac than it did on my old Dell desktop.

I know that you somehow hope the Mac would require me to stop using Quicken. But that’s just not the case

You keep focusing on the Mac $$$$. But 1) Apples to Apples from a hardware comparison perspective, Macs aren’t much more expensive than PCs (it’s just that Mac sells very few stripped down cheap computers);

…and 2) even if I can’t convince you of the price argument, some people are just Kia people. While others are Cadillac people. The Cadillac people want high style, great quality, excellent customer service, and cool useful features. The Hyundai people (you) just want to get from point A to point B. They don’t mind popping the hood to change their own oil. They don’t mind a bad dealer purchase experience…or less than convenient service department. In fact, they’re mostly swayed by price (or in automotive terms, the rebate.

I don’t hate Kia people. I used to be one. But once you taste a little luxury, you wonder how you ever lived without it.

4. Fast Follower - December 21, 2007

I’ve been using Mint for a little over a month now, and it’s very useful. It’s not a full replacement for Quicken, however. To get the most out of it, I found that I needed to begin using my web banking account to pay online bills as well. The combination of Mint and an online banking account that allows you to pay bills is essential if you really want to replace Quicken – which I have now fully accomplished.

The beauty of Quicken, is that it can contain almost 100% of your financial life in one easy to use place. The downside is that 1) you have to be on the computer that has the Quicken software installed to benefit from this, and 2) it’s not free.

Quicken charged me at least $10 per month for access to my bank account for paying and downloading account info (maybe my bank charged me for this). When I download bank info into Mint, or use my bank’s website to pay bills, it’s all FREE. Also, I can accomplish all financial tasks any time I have a computer connected to the internet – at work, at home, on the road.

I’ll continue to update the PTIers on my Quicken-free life as I get a little more experience.

5. Fast Follower - January 4, 2008

Mint is definitely not a full replacement for Quicken (in fact, Quicken will launch a Mint competitor on January 8 call Quicken Online). Mint only tracks my bank accounts and credit card accounts. Presently it does not track investment accounts. The beauty of Mint is that the bank account and credit card account info is in one web-based place that you have access to as long as you have web access. It’s also automatically updated every evening. The downside is that all financial information isn’t contained there, and you can’t pay bills from within Mint. Thus, I’m paying bills using the online bill paying service of my bank account (which is free….Quicken charged $10 per month). And I now use the web sites of my investment accounts to track my investments.

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