Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Budgeting for the Busy

Budgeting is a huge part of our lives. John and I embody those statistics that randomly pop up about how much a marriage discusses/revolves etc around money. Today alone we have exchanged 16 texts about finances and our budget. Thankfully we are on the same page about how we should manage our money so we aren't (usually) in the statistical group that fights about finances.

My very favorite budgeting tool is YNAB - but just as I said in my YNAB post, "it takes dedication and work" to log each and every transaction into the program. Getting behind even one day can throw off our budget by quite a bit.

Life has been really busy here of late. We've gotten moved and are working on settling in and setting up house, but I'm also ginormous pregnant! If I'm struggling to keep up with recording our finances now, I doubt it will get much better come October when we have a little-one in tow. So, we have regressed to our old days of budgeting and I'm so happy!

Before our days of YNAB and now that I need to take a step back, we are using Mint.com to manage our finances. 

Unlike other programs and softwares, Mint automatically updates your transactions and codes them for you. The most I ever have to do to manually enter information is occasionally correct where an item was applied (ie a haircut being applied to the grocery budget) or split a transaction between more than one category. 

Safety?  While I'm not an expert in computer stuff, I feel perfectly safe giving my information to Mint to compile my finances in their program. I know several other people who use this program and none of them have ever had issues either. You can't actually move or touch your money through the program - all you can do is see what you have done with it.

This is different than other budgeting ideas in terms of you are only seeing what you've already done with your money. SO, if you go a bit crazy on a weekend shopping spree Mint is only useful as a tool to tell you where your money went, you're not telling it where to go or giving it a "job". BUT, Mint does have a budgeting tool! You lay out how much you will spend in each category & you can get email alerts as you are nearing (or exceeding) the allotted amount in that line item on your budget.

Privacy: A feature that I really like is the log in - for YNAB you can just click on the icon & there's all your account balances and information from the past however long. It doesn't show account numbers, but someone can see how much money you have & where it is. With Mint you have a username and password to access your account. Much like your bank website or other financial institution, if you're inactive for a certain period of time it logs you out.
(Handy if you're at work and get distracted & walk off from your desk!)

OH - and did I mention that this is FREE?!? Mint.com is 100% free! I am a firm believer that everyone should have a budget! Even if you make way above your cost of living - you need to have a plan for that money honey! The only way to make your money work for you is to plan out where & how you spend it! So, if you're new to budgeting and just want to get your feet wet, this is a great way to do so! 

(All of these images are screenshots from Mint.com not my actual account information)

1 comment:

  1. We don't budget (gasp, I know), but I really want to start. I think I will have to check out Mint!!


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