Unveiling a New Era: Transitioning From Mint to Monarch

Hey there, fellow financial freedom enthusiasts!

It’s been a minute since we shared our journey with you. Life’s been a whirlwind, juggling two little ones and an exciting project that involves bricks, and we can’t wait to spill the beans about it in a future post. As we wrap up the year, we’re thrilled to bring you a significant update on our financial management front. Our long-time ally, Mint, is waving goodbye, and we’ve got an exciting new partner in Monarch.

The Mint Journey

Mint has been our ride-or-die in the financial realm, helping us navigate budgets and track spending since 2010. As it unexpectedly closes its doors, we find ourselves at a crossroads of change, ready to explore new possibilities in personal finance.

In the intricate dance of managing our finances, the Empower dashboard, formerly known as Personal Capital, gracefully leads the way in analyzing our investment portfolio. However, when it comes to the heavyweight categories of tracking expenses and budgeting, Mint held the crown. The Empower dashboard, while powerful in its own right, couldn’t quite step into those shoes for us, leaving a void we were figuring out how to fill. However, it didn’t take us long to find a great alternative to Mint.

Welcoming Monarch with Open Arms

After some serious contemplation, we’ve chosen Monarch as our new financial companion, and boy, are we excited! Monarch feels like the natural evolution Mint could’ve been—a robust, user-friendly app that just gets it right. Here’s why we’re smitten:

  • Sleek Interface: Monarch’s interface is not just easy on the eyes; it’s a breeze to navigate.
  • Family-Friendly Accounts: No more confusing greetings when logging in! Monarch lets each family member have their own login, making financial management a truly personalized experience.
  • Smart Transaction Review: Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to delegate the task of checking and categorizing certain transactions that belong to your partner, perhaps to your partner? Monarch allows us to do just that, offering a smart solution that not only saves time but also streamlines our financial tasks effectively. Now, instead of shouldering the entire burden, you can easily delegate specific transactions for your partner to review, making the process more collaborative and efficient.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Unlike feeling like a product, Monarch treats us like valued clients. Mint evolved into an advertising company, with us as the target. With Monarch, it feels different. Quick responses to support tickets and a commitment to addressing user concerns are well worth the $99 a year.
  • Continuous Improvement: Monarch is a dynamic platform. Since joining in November, we’ve witnessed regular updates and new features, a testament to their commitment to user satisfaction.
  • Founder’s Legacy: With a founder from the original Mint team, there’s a sense of familiarity and trust that comes with Monarch.
  • Friend-Recommended: A sincere endorsement from Leo, a cherished friend and the owner of Abundant Advisors—an esteemed fee-only financial planning and investment management firm catering to Christian families and professionals—added considerable weight to our decision to embrace Monarch.

We’re certainly keeping those folks at Monarch busy lately…

A Monarch Money email providing product updates

Preserving the Past: Moving Historical Data to Monarch

Switching gears is never easy, especially when it involves years of financial data. Monarch makes the transition painless, allowing for a seamless import of historical data from Mint. We transferred a whopping 32,000 transactions, and yes, it took about 23 hours. The secret? Uploading year by year in CSV format to ensure precision and catch any categorization tweaks needed along the way.

Why Monarch?

Monarch stands out for a few key reasons:

  • Intuitive Interface: It’s user-friendly, making financial management a joy for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie.
  • Advanced Budgeting Tools: Tailor your budget to your unique financial goals with Monarch’s powerful features.
  • Enhanced Security: Your data is Fort Knox-level secure, ensuring your financial information is in safe hands.

Savings Rate Calculations!

Here’s a neat little secret from the Monarch money treasure chest that’s particularly exciting for our FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community buddies—introducing the savings rate calculations under Cash Flow.

I must confess, I hadn’t bothered calculating our savings rate since we waved goodbye to the traditional work-for-money routine back in July of 2019. But recently, it hit me like a ton of bricks: even though we’ve bid farewell to the 9-to-5, our money is still on the clock, hustling harder than ever. It’s not just sitting idly; it’s out there, making more than we’re spending, and voila—an unexpectedly positive savings rate for us.

Let’s put some numbers on this magical journey:

  • 2020 Savings Rate: 11.2%
  • 2021 Savings Rate: 25.7%
  • 2022 Savings Rate: 0%
  • 2023 Savings Rate: 27.7%

These aren’t just numbers; they’re a testament to the power of financial freedom. Post-FIRE, our money continues to work for us, creating a financial narrative that goes beyond traditional norms. Because, in the end, it’s not just about retiring early; it’s about living well, financially and emotionally.

Exciting Update: New Report Functionality!

Monarch just rolled out the initial beta version of their new Reports feature, and it’s a game-changer. Now, you can generate custom charts based on your categories, groups, accounts, tags, and more. This not only provides a fantastic way to visualize trends in your finances but also adds a new layer of depth to your financial insights. I missed having this feature from Mint. Well, it’s here now.

A missing feature

As we dive deep into the Monarch money experience, there’s one missing piece that caught our attention—the tracking of investment account transactions. While we got wind of their plans to roll out this feature in an email, it’s a bit of a bummer that it’s not live this month, especially during a significant dividend period. For now, we’re rolling up our sleeves and manually uploading, but here’s hoping for a seamless investment tracking experience on the horizon!

Transitioning Made Easy

If you’re bidding farewell to Mint and considering the leap to Monarch, they’ve got your back. Check out this step-by-step guide provided by Monarch to make the transition smooth.

Join Us on the Monarch Journey

Curious about Monarch? We’ve got a referral link that gives you a one-month free trial. Full disclosure: if you decide to join, we get a month free too. We wouldn’t recommend it if we didn’t believe in it. This post is about supporting you on your financial journey.

Join us in this exciting chapter with Monarch. I believe Monarch can be an instrumental tool in helping us reach our financial goals.

Questions? Curiosities? Slide into our comments anytime. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Until next time…

Cheers, José and Tatiana.

José

After dedicating 13 years of his career to Vanguard, José retired from the corporate world at the young age of 44. During his tenure at Vanguard, he expertly coordinated the production of both electronic and print educational materials for 401(k) participants. Now, he relishes in his early retirement, cherishing time spent with his family, indulging in his favorite hobbies, seeking out new experiences, and savoring meals in the comfort of his own backyard.

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