Be your own Mint!

Mint.com is a great online way to track your finances. It links directly to any account that you wish and tracks the income and expenses posted to that account.

The great thing about Mint.com is exactly why so many people use it. It is free and online which makes it available anywhere that the internet can be accessed. Which unless you live under a rock, is everywhere. Then again I know some very technologically advanced caves. There are some great features that Mint offers its users other than just tracking your expenses on accounts.

Mint.com has a goal section. This is where you can create any type of goal whether that is paying off a loan, buying a car, or some other financial goal. Mint then lets you link that goal to an account where it will track you progress towards obtaining that goal. Which is all super cool.

In terms of goals I know a large goal for many people is to pay off a debt. Mint allows you to link not only to bank accounts but also to credit card accounts to track your debt and payments made to it. While there you can also link a goal to that debt and plan out the best way to paying off that debt. All these goals are separated so saving for Jimmy’s college fund and paying off that sweet new Mustang can all be tracked.

No financial software would be worth much without graphs and visual stimulus to help make the numbers make sense. Mint.com does not disappoint in this area. Granted there is a sort of do-it-yourself pride when you spreadsheet out your own numbers and create those nice graphs with excel at home. But the associative graphs at Mint are a tad different in that they are clickabe to trace down your budgets, spending, and income. So as you work you way through the month you can see your graphs changing.

This leaves the best part for last. The budgeting part of Mint is fantastic. Have a stack of bills that are regular like the phone bill and mortgage? simply throw all your expenses and what they cost into Mint and it will track your monthly expenses against what your bills and budget are set to. This allows you to quickly see from your home page where you are financially for the current month. Mint also takes into account the budgets of things that are not a static price. Not buying clothes every month, but need to represent that cost? Tell mint how much a month or year you normally spend on clothes and then break that down. If you don’t end up spending that much you can have Mint roll that budget over into the next budgets. Save this month to spend more next month maybe?

Mint is the online answer for many, many people. It allows professional grade financial budgeting, albeit with a little bit of work entering numbers in setup, for free. All online and secured for you. Why pay more when there really is no need. Save that money to pay for the things you deserve, you earned it right?

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