Okay, friends – If you haven’t discovered Mint.com yet, I am about to change your life.
I have never been (and still am not) a pro at sticking to a budget – not buying that adorable, new outfit at Nordstrom, stocking up on hand soaps at the Bath & Body Works semi-annual sale…
you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?
Mint.com is here to save the day! And your life.
Here’s what you do – create an account (it’s free & there’s a free app for your phone). Link ALL of your bank accounts, credit card accounts, car loans, mortgages, 401k accounts, IRAs – everything.
(Mint.com prides itself on being a secure site)
Mint.com will create a summary for you – how much you have, how much you owe, the value of your assets, and your net worth. The site will track your spending habits, and create budgets for you in your most common categories. These categories can be bills, groceries, fast food, gas, insurance, etc. The longer you are a member of the site, the better the site gets to know your habits.
Now you can really see where your money goes. Are you spending too much on fast food each month? Should you search for another Internet provider? All kinds of things! Mint.com even searches for ways that you can save money – a credit card with a lower interest rate, etc.
Play around with your budgets, and see how much you should have at the end of the month, if you stick to it. *Hint – this number should be POSITIVE. If it’s not, you need to cut back. Create goals to pay off credit cards, or save for a down payment, and Mint.com will track your progress and tell you how much you need to pay, and how long it will take to reach your goal.
The site even offers a free credit score update every 3-4 months – how awesome is that?! Your credit score will show up on your summary page each time you log in.
Create a regular check-in day (might I suggest Mondays…) to keep on top of things. Seeing where my money goes (and where you need to cut back) makes me think twice about skipping my
home-cooked meal and eating out, or grabbing Starbucks on the way to work. Plan for special occasions and treats, and include them in your budget.
I have been using Mint.com for several years now (just recently got back into regular check-ins), and it has given me such great insight on my spending habits. It’s a GREAT tool for young adults who are starting to plan for large purchases, and for ANYONE. It feels good to feel in control of your money.
Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear other “Mint Monday” success stories.