Fixing Mint’s Wrong Budget Counts

I have been using Mint for compiling and analyzing my financial history for the past couple of years. It is an amazing product and completely online. It syncs to your bank accounts, credit cards, and even PayPal accounts and gives you a quick snapshot of your spending history. One of its trumpeted features is Planning and Budgets which allows you to set a budget for certain categories and it tracks the progress over the month. For the past couple of months, this budget feature on your Mint Dashboard was wildly off the mark. At the beginning of the month, some categories would go all apeshit and display over-budget amounts by hundreds of dollars. If you click on the category, it would display the correct amounts in the Transactions list for the month which obviously was much lower.

Mint Budget Problem

This was misleading and I pointed it out to Mint Customer Service via email and even posted it on their help forums. Mint even acknowledged the problem and promised me that their engineers are working hard to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Also, I wasn’t the only one with the problem. So far in spite of being a major issue, Mint hadn’t yet resolved the issue when one of the users who had a similar problem posted a possible solution.

Mint Budget Problem Resolution

He simply went to the Planning tab and clicked on the Edit Details of the category that was displaying the wrong amounts and unchecked the ‘Make this budget roll over’ option. The issue resolved immediately. So my question is, does Mint or its engineers know that the fix is so simple and that the roll over option is more confusing than helpful? Perhaps the explanation is so simple that the Mint engineers missed the obvious. Or are they simply fixing the basic problem? Mint could have easily pointed out that the rollover budgets are causing the anomaly after which 90% of the users with the problem would have been satisfied. But does Mint know it was that easy?

5 Comments

  1. This feature is helpful once you know why its happening, i.e its rolling over the extra amount from previous month to next. This way if you want to stay true to your budget if you overspend the previous month then you should compensate for that in the current month. I’ve been using it this way.

    • Agree. But Mint never makes that clear and in fact, even admitted whatever was happening was a ‘problem’.

  2. Thanks for the post!!! You helped me understand how roll over works. But I don’t think this is a problem, not sure what they admitted to. I really like this feature as it is like how Pat pointed out. Anyway thanks for the post and google :) now i know mint is not bugged, it’s just me over spending :).

  3. I understood about selecting the rollover option, but for me even if I change them on the current month. It appears its rolling over from previous months and unfortunately there is no way to go back to the previous month and remove then. So it rolls over the balances from last month, and all the months before. The problem is I haven’t been using the budget since starting it last year so been rolling over every month since then, Even though haven’t been using…sucks!

  4. My problem is I have seen the rollover amount continue to increase with the new charges but do not see the amount budgeted go to reduce the balance. So the rolled over amount increases each month even though I have been spending less than the budgeted amount. This does not seem to be consistent across all budgeted categories, however. Some of them are working just fine.

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