Duplicate data caused by goals and transactions - how do I fix this?

My monthly budget summary (on the right side of the screen, "You've budgeted..." with Income, Spending and Goals) is inaccurate because the same figures are being shown as both "Spending" and "Goals". For example, I have a goal that includes "Pay off auto loan". When I make a payment each month, the payment is reflected both on my progress toward my goal and as a transaction toward my budget. Again, because of this my "Spending" and "Goals" sections are inaccurate because the same payment is being included in multiple places. This also seems to be the case with credit card payments (I have a pay credit card debt goal) and deposits into savings (Emergency Fund goal).

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Answer

1 person found this helpful

Maybe this explanation will help.

It's because of the way Mint views not only transactions, transfers and accounts, but Budgets and Goals as well.  When setting up a Budget and Goals, it's best to keep them separate.

Credit Cards and Bank Accounts are all considered Cash accounts (negative cash in the case of the Credit Cards).  They are different than Loan accounts.

Transactions include paying for things, services (non Credit Card Bills), Finance Charges (including Credit Card Interest) and Loan payments as well as transferring between accounts.  Transfers from a cash account to a loan account is best considered an expense especially if its a normal loan payment.  A new Finance Charge is a new expense and is therefore part of the Budget. 

Income and Expenses are handled as part of your Budget.  Transfers between cash accounts are not.  So you only pay off existing Credit Card Balances with money left over from your Budgeted (new) Income and Expenses.  This is the main reason to set a budget for Everything Else.  It allows you to plan for all the stuff you don't want to think to much about on a transaction by transaction basis and lets you see what's left for your goals.

Goals are used to help manage your excess money beyond your budgeted expenses.  Goals include adding to your savings accounts and paying off Credit Card balances.  From what I've seen (especially  with savings goals), Goals really only look at the account balance to measure your progress.

I hope that helps to explain it.  For me it helped to figure out how Mint wants to handle these things and not fight it.
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