Mint is an online expense-tracking, budgeting, and all-around financial planning service. The service tracks payments you make with your credit card, PayPal, or other financial accounts, and automatically divides them up by category so you don’t have to manually enter every transaction into a household budget spreadsheet.
But Mint can’t really do much with cash transactions. The service will notice if you withdraw cash from an ATM, but it doesn’t know what you’re spending it on. So if you want to keep Mint up to date, you need to enter data manually from time to time.
Up until recently you had to go to the Mint website to do that. While Mint offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, the apps have historically only allowed you to view your financial data on the go. But Mint recently launched an updated iOS app which lets you add transactions from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
Just tap the edit icon at the bottom of the screen to open the Add Transaction menu. From there you can enter an amount, choose whether it’s income or an expense, choose cash, check, or credit, and enter the name of the business you’re giving your hard-earned cash to. The app will save you a little time by showing recent merchants and suggesting merchants from your list as you type. You can even tell Mint that you’re using money from your last ATM withdrawal so that the service knows you didn’t spend the same money twice.
The mobile app doesn’t let you adjust the payment date — so if you suddenly remember that you bought $3000 worth of collectible plates last weekend, it will show up as a purchase made today if you use your iPhone to enter the transaction.
Of course, in order for Mint to work you need to give the service access to your bank accounts, credit card accounts, and other financial data — something not everyone will be comfortable with. But the company is run by Intuit, the makers of the popular QuickBooks accounting software, so it’s about as trustworthy as any company in this space can be.
The Mint app for Android doesn’t yet allow you to enter transactions on the go — which means that if you’re an Android user your best bet is still to use a third party app such as Hello Expense to track your expenses so that you can enter them using the Mint website once you get back to a computer.