Hey everyone, I’m here today to talk about a very sensitive subject. Some might say it’s the last of the taboo topics since so many people avoid it – when’s the last time you asked your BFF about their finances? But I bet you can remember when you last asked how their love life is doing!
This year I’m focusing on money management because I have the goal of getting out of debt in mind as well as working on my credit score. Today’s post is an introduction to a website (I get zero kickback from this, they are not a sponsor, I just really dig how helpful their site is) called Mint.com.
I’m gonna give you a super personal glimpse into my financial jazz because I’ll be an open book as I go on my journey to debt-free living to hopefully show others that this is something anyone can do – and there are tools out there that make it a lot easier on you. So without further ado, I present to you the very basics of Mint.com and what it can do for you!
- Account Overview – this is where Mint tells you your overall cash value. I’ve linked my bank account, the only credit card I have, my student and car loans, my 401K, and then they have this neat thing where it estimates the worth of your car if you’re paying to own it. Note: Anything in pink is something I entered over sensitive information, Mint shows the bank name, etc.
So you can see here that my net worth is a positive! WOOHOO! That is probably not a big deal to many people out there but for me, after being in credit card debt for a long time, as well as student loans then a car loan, this is a BIG DEAL. This information on Mint is updated every time you log in, so if you put more on your credit card, your net worth goes down, but if you make payments on your debts, you get to see that number go UP! It’s such a great feeling!
- Account Transactions – This function is super helpful in that it forces you to LOOK at what you’re spending on. Now, judge not lest ye be judged, dear friends! Clearly I spent a lot on fast food during this time but by point this out, Mint is giving me the cold hard facts in a way that I can’t just avoid. This also ties into an awesome budgeting feature where I tell Mint how much I’m allowing myself to spend that month on a certain category then it calls me out if I go over budget.
- Budgeting – This is the function that I mentioned just above. I set up this budget based on what I believed I would be spending every month in the categories below. Mint will send me a friendly email notice if I’m nearing the budget for the month, just to let me know “Hey, you’re getting awfully close to your budgeted allowance for fast food, perhaps you shouldn’t buy that cheesy bean and rice burrito on the way home!” You can look at this information historically over several months to see if maybe you need to adjust your monthly budget on a certain category as well, for instance if you keep going over budget on groceries maybe you just set up the
budget without actually knowing your true monthly expenses.
- Spending / Graphs – As a very visual person this function helps me to see where my money is going in comparison to all other categories. There are a ton of other functions that I won’t go into here but they’re really fun (no, seriously!) so take some time to try them all out.
- Email Updates – Every week you’ll get an email from Mint letting you know where all your money went (if you opt to). I like it because it reminds me to go back and categorize my expenses (something you’ll have to do every once in a while to increase the accuracy of the budgeting feature). And again, it’s a nice colorful graph that makes me despise the fact that it’s numbers a little less.
So there you have it, a very rudimentary introduction to Mint.com and how it can help you stay on track of your spending/saving/debt destruction! I really hope that if you haven’t started using this (or another similar site) you sit down and consider it. I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me get my poop in a group (my dear friend’s way of saying “get your sh*t straight” around her kiddos) with something that has seemed so overwhelming for such a long time. Even if you just take 10 minutes a day logging into Mint and looking around to get used to it for the first week, every single baby step is a giant leap toward your financial success. I know so many people like me who have just been floating along down the river of “Meh, it’ll sort itself out” for finances and really, darlings, there is a much better way.
So do it!!!! Sign up on Mint.com!!!! Go and get your financial poop in a group!!!!