On a list of things that I typically steer clear of blogging about, finances is hiiiiigh up there!
On a list of things that I typically love blogging about, my favorite things are super high.
So I guess these two lists are colliding today because we’re talking a budgeting tool that we’re totally into and I thought you might be into as well. So many people make financial goals as part of their new year resolutions, so I found this to be timely to share our new favorite thing. 🙂
Back in September we finally set up Mint.com, a free online budgeting tool and app that’s incredibly easy to use.
- Once I created an account, I linked our checking account, credit card account, and investment accounts.
- Then we set up our budgeting categories and how much money to allot to each category.
- Next I went back through our August transactions (that were pulled up automatically after linking our accounts) and put each of them into the categories we’d just set up.
Going back through our August transactions was key because it showed us how much money we were actually spending in each category. It was surprising to see that we were spending less in some categories that we thought we were spending more in, and vice versa.
4. After assigning our August transactions to categories, we went back through our categories and adjusted how much we actually needed to budget to meet our needs and wants.
Jamie and I both put the app on our iPhones and pull it up each day to assign our transactions to categories. We always thought we were decent communicators about finances, but this has been another avenue to keep each other extra accountable as well as on the same page with our finances without actually having to discuss it often.
We’d tried this before…
We’d actually tried Mint.com about two years ago after a couple family members raved about it. We gave up on it quickly because I got frustrated trying to fit our unique transactions into categories (for example, I didn’t know where to categorize a random medical bill, pedicure, hotel stay, or even Sadie’s new car seat), and my personality really needs every transaction to have a logical category for me to stick with something as rigid as this. Aforementioned family member helped me out with this. 🙂 I didn’t want an “other” category. Too broad for me. Having categories such as personal care, gifts, general shopping, home improvements, entertainment, Army expenses, babysitter, etc. have all been very helpful.
There are a million budgeting tools out there. Do you use one? Why or why not? If so, which one to you use? Any tips for us as newbie Mint.com users?
Congratulations to Heather C. and Britt H., the two winners of the prize pack from Susie, a Rodan + Fields consultant. If you’re interested in gifting a regimen to yourself or a loved one, please contact Susie here to get set up!