I hate to say it, but I think Mint.com and I are about to break up.
It hasn’t happened yet. I still get chirpy little emails from it, telling me I could save more if I moved my money to another bank, or asking me if I’ve thought about refinancing my mortgage yet. It frequently reminds me in a helpful way to transfer money from one account to another before my bank hits me over the head with overdraft fees. We even seem to be, though I don’t quite remember how it happened, intimately connected on Facebook.
Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that I’m ungrateful. But I have to admit that when I see its name in my inbox, my heart sinks just a bit, because I know, deep down, that I’m guilty of not paying it the attention that it deserves.
Mint does keep a useful record of my purchases, and if I would only take more trouble to categorize my expenditure every month, it would give me a very helpful overview of where the money goes, without me even having to ask. But the trouble is that, although I’m sure it’s full of good intentions, it doesn’t really tell me anything that I couldn’t already tell from my bank statement, if I cared to find out.
The sad truth is, it’s not you, Mint; it’s me. You offer me information that I already had access to in a previous relationship. And although your colorful screen is more readable, easier to understand and, well, cosy – the fact is that I’m still the same old person who doesn’t want to track day-to-day expenditure.
Like I said, it’s me. I am always going to keep an eye on the topline – how many dollars do I have in the bank? Am I going to run out before the end of the month? – but equally, I’m always going to be fundamentally lazy about checking this month’s grocery bill and comparing it to last month’s. And, to do myself some justice, that’s because, in the end, my lifestyle just isn’t that exciting. The outgoings for myself and my family each month are fairly predictable. And if we begin each month with steak and have to end it with vegetable soup or the unlabeled surprise from the depths of my freezer, well, I’m not convinced that life would be significantly improved if every day was a well-budgeted, middle-of-the-road lasagne kind of day.
I’m sorry, Mint, though, I really am. You tried so hard to give me everything I could possibly want, but I couldn’t change my ways, even for you. I feel bad about it, but I guess sometimes a relationship just isn’t meant to be.