I have heard a lot of good things about Mint.com, but I did not want to post about it until I had tried it out myself. Call me a nerd, but I really enjoy budgeting. I like to see exactly where we are spending our money, because it allows me to see where we can cut back and spend more wisely.
Daniel and I use a free version of Quickbooks for our accounting. We like the wide range of data and reports we are able to generate for us and our accountant, so we will continue using that for our records and accounting. However, there are a few features on Mint.com that I plan to use to help us monitor and stick to our budget and savings goals.
Mint.com is a free online money management program. When you sign up, you are able to link all of your bank accounts and credit cards to your Mint.com account. This helps you to categorize your purchases & create a budget. If you choose, you can receive a weekly email with a summary of your spending. You will also be notified via email if you over spent in any of your budget categories.
Tracking Our Budget
Daniel and I are great at writing a budget. We are pretty good at sticking to the budget. Our problem is that there are a lot of little things that we don't always put in the budget. Little things like gifts, clothes, and eating out are not categories that we spend in every month, so we have a harder time keeping track of that spending.
This is where I got really excited about Mint.com. I have set up our budget with all of our spending categories. I can now log on to my Mint.com account and see exactly how much I have spent in each category to date. I don't have to input the receipts or reconcile my accounts. It is linked to my accounts so that I can see how I am doing automatically.
Daniel and I are really trying to minimize spending and maximize saving for Vet school. We set pretty tough goals, so it really helps to quickly see if we are spending too much.
Setting Savings Goals
Mint also has a tab that allows you to set savings goals. Daniel and I have set up separate ING accounts for each of our big savings goals. We were able to link each account to a goal and Mint will help us track our progress. This helps us to see how much we need to earn each month in order to reach our savings goals.
Cons to Mint.com
One downside to Mint.com is I cannot customize the transactions or create reports from my account. Mint.com is a money management tool, a budgeting tool, and a savings plan tool. It is not made to replace a more detailed accounting software.
If you are struggling with setting up a budget or want help keeping track or sticking to your budget, I recommend that you give Mint.com a try. It is free- so if you don't like it you can delete your account. I am excited to continue using Mint to track our daily spending and how we are coming on our savings goals.
Have any of you tried Mint.com?