Happy Sunday friends!
I don't normally post on the weekends but I wanted to let you in on a little secret weapon that I've been using over the past few months. It's called Mint.com and it's a user-friendly budgeting tool. You can add all of your bank accounts, savings accounts, or any other accounts you have so that you can view them all in one place. We use two different banks so sometimes it's hard to keep track of everything. We also having a Kay's card so we've added that to our list. It's a view only tool, so all of your money is safe. There is no way to move around your money or see your account information, only what you've spent and what's left.
My favorite part of this website is the app that I downloaded. It has all the same information without having to visit the website. I love that I can just click on this app to see when my bills or paychecks have gone through. It's a serious pain to visit our banks' websites so this has helped me with getting all of our purchases written down. I originally created my account through the app but I frequently go to the website on my laptop. All of the information is as up to date as your online banking. M downloaded the app so he can see all of the information as well.
I made an account in November but only checked it a few times a month. Recently I've been wanting to see where our money was going to so I could set up a reasonable budget. Let me tell you, one thing I wish they would have taught in school is how to set up a budget. It's not easy! Mint categorizes all of your purchases for you so you don't have to label each one. Some times I re-label purchases if they've been miscategorized but it's not something I need to do very often. You can customize the categories that they offer so you label each purchase the way you want to.
Because Mint puts everything into a category, it's very easy to use their budgeting tool accurately. When creating a new budget, it shows you how much you typically spend in a month on each category. You can add as many categories to the budget as you'd like or delete ones that it's already set up. You choose the dollar amount that you'd like to budget for the category and it tells you how much you've already spent. There is a little "meter" for each label that fills in (green) to visually show how much you've spent. When you're getting near the end of your allotted amount, the meter turns red in that area.
On the right side of your budget it shows how much your income is (you can set this), how much you've "spent" according to your budget and goals, and what you have left that isn't already in a designated area. It's always nice to have a little wiggle room in your budget for unexpected expenses or a splurge here and there. If your budget is over the amount that your income is set as, it will show a negative number in red at the bottom.
You can also choose savings goals which can be personalized. I chose a general savings to start off with, but will be starting an emergency fund savings in the near future. You set the amount you want to save. I chose $1500 over the next year. You can choose the date you'd like to have all your money saved by. It will automatically calculate how much you need to put aside monthly to reach your goal. When you're making your budget, it automatically adds this to the total so you can see how much you'd have left after adding to your savings. I often forget to add money to our savings so it's a helpful reminder.
This has been such a time saver for someone who does not know how to budget at all!
How do you budget?
I was not compensated for this post in any way by Mint.com. I have written my honest opinion in hopes that it will help others.