As you know, I’m a huge fan of Mint.com (try typing “mint” into my search box and see how many posts come up). I’ve been meaning to do write about budgeting for awhile, but I got a great reminder this week and you need to be reminded too, if you’re not already a habitual user.
The first thing I do every morning is check my email on my iPhone. Then I start up my Mint app and see my recent transactions update and how my budget is doing. I can’t get enough of seeing my budget and seeing those transactions from a few days ago roll in. It keeps me in touch with my finances. Some say it’s overkill. I say it’s 30 seconds in the morning while I’m still in bed.
I was speaking to someone about their spending about 6 months ago, and I told him to sign up for Mint (it’s free!). He said he was afraid to see how much he spends on coffee for work (the team goes out every day and they flip coins to see who pays) and how much his wife spends on clothes. In his own words, “This is going to be a disaster.”
Since we also discussed Lending Club in the conversation, I told him that if he doesn’t track his finances, he won’t know how much he could be investing on a monthly basis. He begrudgingly agreed, and less than a minute after signing up sent me this message (unedited, I promise):
“This interface is awesome. So simple.”
Has anyone ever had anything bad to say about Mint?
Obviously I can’t get enough of it, but there are plenty of other options out there. Mint happened to be my first budgeting software and I’ve had no need to explore other options. That being said, I know people who have had success with their own homemade excel spreadsheets. If you’re not up to the task, you can also read thisÂ Moneydance review that has great things to say about the software. One difference is that you have to pay for the software, so you’ll have to determine whether the list of features are worth the extra cost.
This post isn’t just to promote software. Just the opposite. It’s to promote those who are reading who don’t have a budget and those who have bad experiences to get up and take action to improve.
Getting your finances together can be scary, but once you jump in, you’ll realize that just by merging your accounts into one place, you’re in a much better position.
Readers, do you use budgeting software? If you don’t, why not?