Featured, Theory & Essay

The Mint App Is An Unreasonably Petty And Penny-Pinching Ho

New Years’ 2016 came around just a little under three months ago. And with it, yours truly had yet again created a set of seemingly attainable goals for the subsequent 365 days in an feeble attempt to become a fully actualized adult.

Some of the list has been fairly simple to execute. For example, I’ve committed to putting more effort into my daily appearance, and so far there have been far less Mondays of me rolling into the office looking like the woman who lived in a bodega inside of a shoe. Other items went out the window as soon as I breathed them into existence; I swear a loaf of french bread and some hot wings appeared in my respective left and right hands as soon as I tried to commit to a carb-free lifestyle. (Speaking of which, I want my money back for purchasing The Secret. These repeated attempts to affirm my new diet are as effective as those waist shapers on Instagram.)

Relatively superficial goals aside, one thing I really wanted to commit to for the upcoming year is increased financial solvency. While I am doing fine on a day-to-day basis, I wanted to be prepared for the moment my office collectively looked up and realized that they were tired of paying me semimonthly just so I could afford the data charges I was receiving for tracking Serge on my Instagram notifications. Study after study shows that most Americans don’t have enough in savings to accommodate even relatively minor emergencies, and I didn’t want to be caught out here without a roof over my head just because the checks stopped coming for a month or two. Plus, a few relatively frivolous purchases — I definitely needed a new laptop, but I didn’t necessarily have to shell out for the Macbook pro with all the bells and whistles — after my last raise left me with a bit more credit card debt than I care to have for an extended period of time. So I put my best adulting foot forward and started trying to cut expenses and save more. Starting by downloading the Mint app.

Y’all, I say this with all intended respect. Fuck Mint.

Mint is truly that judging ass auntie who doesn’t let you have any fun. You tell the damn thing that you want to put aside a couple hundred bucks every month and it hates on EVERY nonessential decision you make via petty emails. You go out to happy hour one night and have a couple of cocktails because you are an adult who likes nice things like bourbon on the rocks, and first thing in the morning you get an email from Mint, player hater supreme: “Girl, you bought damn near the whole bar last night. You okay boo?”  It was only 4-5 drinks! Okay, maybe 6-7. Mint makes me feel worse about my alcohol consumption than the raggedy form I have to fill out on my drinking habits at the Doctor’s office.

Other consistent questions I get the morning after: “I thought you weren’t spending money on fast food anymore…was this 2 AM order at Popeyes from you or nah?” “How did you spend almost $500 on restaurants this month when you still have damn near $15K of student loans to pay off?” “All this debt and you think you deserve an appetizer, entree, AND dessert? That’s might interesting.

I swear, if I wanted all this judgment at seven in the morning, I would not have moved out of my mom’s house. At least then I’d be actively slashing the eternal albatross of paying monthly rent in New York City.

The austere overlords of Intuit don’t just send judgment on the Lord’s day either. The second any major direct deposit hits my account, here comes hating ass Mint: “I’m really happy for you. I’ll let you finish, but you got a car payment in three days so don’t think you caking like that.” Damn, Mint, back at it again with the party pooping.

Almost anything that I consider to be a necessary expense stays being questioned by this godforsaken app. “Did you really need to spend $100 at Sephora the other day?” YES, Mint. YES I DID. For one, anyone who’s ever been to Sephora knows that’s really only like four things. For two, please refer to the earlier resolution to stop looking like what the cat dragged in at the office. Unfortunately, I am not Beyonce and I do not wake up flawless; I am a Mascara, BB Cream, Bronzer, and Eyeliner away from juuuust hitting presentable.

Mint is basically the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag in application form, and I am tired. I feel more judged than the time I told people I had never seen the Diana Ross and Michael Jackson version of The Wiz.* I thought being an adult living on my own meant I only had to answer to myself, but the nosy lames who calculate the algorithms are hellbent on reducing my life into a downtrodden, meal-planning, sober existence. If this is what being fiscally responsible feels like for the indeterminate future, I want out. I’ll just marry Serge, er, rich or something.

*This has since been rectified, so you can put down the pitchforks.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • Me

    Wait, so before I go check this app out, are those e-mail quotes for real or nah? I need a slick talking check yourself type of app in my life even though my finances are on fleek (as the youngards would say) if I must say so myself…

    And if they’re not real quotes, I’ll write you the best referral letter ever whenever you decide to apply for their VP of E-Mail Response Wordsmith position.

  • skinnynow

    Mint: the app that says “Eff yo life! We got life PLANS!”

    Like…maybe I just needed a break and Delta had a sale on tix to Rome. Who am I to say no?

  • $$west

    So the only question I have: are there really 24-hour Popeyes? Where they at? Cause a 2 piece at 2 AM would be clutch on some long nights.

    • Kas

      You and I know how to pull the gems out of an article. My first thought as well.

    • miss t-lee

      I have been to the Popeye’s buffet, but never a 24 hour one.

      • Marc.J.H.

        Where?

        • miss t-lee

          Lafayette, Louisiana.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            What you know about Lafayette? Catch me at Prejean’s having a heart attack…

            • miss t-lee

              Not much. Have a few friends down that way though.

            • porqpai

              TELL DEM!

          • Marc.J.H.

            ?Makes sense.?

            • miss t-lee

              Indeed.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Buffet?
        Sounds like the promised land

        • miss t-lee

          Oh, it was.

      • $$west

        Popeye’s buffet? This is a place that exists? I’ve been living my life wrong for a long time apparently.

        • miss t-lee

          If you’re ever in Louisiana, make it a point to go.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Popeye’s has a buffet.??? I just gave up fried foods. I guarantee there are NO six packs in that heavenly place. I don’t even wanna know, I’m trying to keep my four and a possible..lol.

      • Val

        Thank God I do not live anywhere near a Popeye’s buffet. I really don’t think I have the kind of self-control needed not to be there 3 or 4 times a week. Lol

        • miss t-lee

          I’m also glad I’m nowhere near it.

    • Kat

      In New Orleans….

    • Kat

      Remember when Popeyes did breakfast?

    • God Shammgod

      There are a few in BK that are open until 2-4 AM. It’s a glorious thing.

      • Akaria Gale

        Empire Blvd by the park when you got that late night craving for biscuits and red beans & rice!

        • Brother Mouzone

          That’s just wrong…lol.

    • porqpai

      There’s a drive through I NOVA that doesn’t close until 1am on the weekends. But I haven’t seen later than that.

    • RhetoricalReverie

      And in Harlem until 2

  • TeeChantel

    I really tried to work with Mint but I can’t keep up with all the notifications and emails and it competes with all the other apps on my phone. I’m content with tracking my monthly budget the old fashioned way: pen and paper.

  • Betty

    I applaud you for this honest post about your finances! Black folks never want to be real about finances unless they’re send out a gofundme. I like Learnvest and Level because both give you a weekly spending amount for yourself.

    • Mizwest

      I just downloaded Level to my phone and I like it already! Going look into Learnvest also.

  • Kat

    My bank does this. And the amount of money I spend on stupid stuff inspires me to pull cash and just let the bank guess but I’m to lazy to do more than swipe and sign. So…….yea. I already got a momma.

    • Do you mind me asking which Bank?

      • Kat

        USAA

    • miss t-lee

      Yeah mine does also.
      I made the mistake of clicking on it once and saw a pie chart with some f*ckery and said…nope!

      • Kat

        I played with it at first. Setting goals and spending limits. Crushed my spirit when it stayed saying you done over spent on food..clothes..gas. No ma’am…I’m popular and you not gonna convince me I’m not.

        • miss t-lee

          GIRL!
          How you gonna try and cramp my style? Nope…gotta go!

    • LMNOP

      Sometimes I use cash in envelopes, with different ones set aside for what I want to spend it on, but if I decide that I actually want to pull $20 from summer clothes and put it in “fun/waste” no one is going to say anything. The envelopes never question my judgement.

      • Kat

        I actually think I’m worse with cash. Just flows out of my fingers.

  • AnswerMe

    Put my monthly earnings in an app that is meant to teach and suggest how and what to save…saw that the rent amount was almost half what I pay. Yeah that’s not going to work for me *uninstall* I feel like I don’t make enough to have fun ever and an app will prove this. But how will I move forward, become more responsible, and save money? I won’t, so I’ve decided to get it all the way together.

    • Kat

      You don’t need that type of negativity in your life…

      • AnswerMe

        At all. I take full responsibility if I’m broke. Shed an evaporated tear over all the brunches I could’ve said no to and eat peanut butter sandwiches until payday.

  • I am my own Mint app cuz i sure won’t buy an appetizer or dessert unless somebody else is paying. #thanksstudentloans

  • Detroit Skater

    aaahahahahahahahaha >>>> “Girl, you bought damn near the whole bar last night. You okay boo?”

  • MissMiamiHeatNation

    One of my little prepaid cards has a “built in” app that shows you where your money goes…I hate/love it because it showed me how much i like to go grocery shopping only to still spend a couple hundred eating out…I think seeing where your money goes can be a motivator to not be so lazy and cook once in a while lol.

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