Living Frugal: Track spending with Mint.com

I wanted to re-post this because the holidays are hear and we are all doing our best to stay on budget. Mint might just be the best Holiday gift there is!

My husband is the one who tracks our finances. He tries to keep me in the loop of what we’re bringing in, and what we’re spending. Especially since I’m the one who spends most of the money on groceries and household shopping. I’ve written about how moving back to San Francisco affected our lifestyle. We still get to do all the things we like, but some expenses are steeper here. With our expenses climbing, we wanted and needed to create a budget to keep our discretionary spending in check. We just hadn’t found the right tool to make budgeting easy.

We’ve been usingĀ Mint.com for a few months to monitor our various accounts and track spending all in one place. But we hadn’t explored the budgeting section until recently. Now that we’ve set a few budgets in Mint, we wonder why we hadn’t been doing that all along. Not only does Mint track your spending and automatically assign categories to each transaction, it also makes creating a budget for any category super simple.

Mint is a free web app that can automatically sync with your checking, savings, credit card, and investment accounts. You choose which accounts you want Mint to track. The more accounts you sync with Mint the better picture you get of your spending. When Mint syncs transactions with your accounts, it attempts to intelligently name the transaction and assign it a category. If either of those aren’t correct, you can manually correct them, then tell Mint to automatically apply your corrections to all other past and future transactions of the same type. It’s a brilliant tool that you can access from any computer.

Of the features I love most about Mint, their mobile iPhone app tops my list. (Mint also just released an app for Android.) Not only can I check in on our spending and our budgets whenever I’m out and about. I also get notifications on my phone if we reach our monthly limit on a specific category. Our coffee budget is very low. Kinda a bummer when I get that alert before the end of the month! If you’ve been neglecting keeping track of your finances, and don’t have the time to manually enter every receipt, Mint is the way to go. Try it, it’s free!

About Frugal Day

Frugal Day is a place to share the ideas, coupons, and deals that make it easy to live and shop responsibly. I love to save, and I believe that …

 
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