“Passive” budget tracking tool
I’m going to start by sharing my favorite tool with you: www.Mint.com.
I recommend it to all of my clients to utilize for passively tracking their expenses every month. Both Jim and I have been users since 2008, and we couldn’t be any happier.
Who likes to spend hours, even months, collecting receipts, adding them up and then categorizing them, (e.g., household items, eating out, personal care, etc.) to come up with the total spending picture for that month?!
I don’t, and I am a financial planner! Allow someone else to do it for you.
Since I started using Mint’s website, I don’t need to collect receipts any more. When I use my debit or credit card, all transactions will be automatically accounted for. One feature that Mint needs to improve (I think they are working on it) is categorizing checks that you write by hand.
Here are the most important features that I like about Mint.com:
- Automatically aggregates and categorizes all spending transactions, as well as investment accounts, and updates your net worth every day
- Allows you to set up a budget and then tracks all spending against this budget
- Sends email or phone notifications when unusual transactions happen
- Sends bill reminders
- Allows you to set, track and achieve financial goals (e.g., buy a new car, take a nice vacation, etc.)
- Provides bank-level security, so your bank and credit card log-ins and passwords are protected
If you’re concerned about security, take a look at this article:
Should you trust Mint.com
The best feature of all is that Mint is FREE!
The way Mint.com makes money is by sending you targeted ads, because you fit in certain category or show a certain spending pattern (example: free checking account at competitor bank).
If you would like help setting up your Mint account, let me know.
Give it a whirl. Happy spending and tracking!