Before marrying my husband, I was a Nazi when it came to tracking spending. Every little penny counted in my book and I wanted to know where every single penny was going. Handwritten budgets, pay stubs, bank statements; you know, the works. Every single receipt I could possibly acquire (and some hand written ones when the official receipt was not available) was stored in a kid-sized shoe box inside my closet that I meticulously went over at the end of the year.
Then I married my husband and all my budgeting bliss went out the window when we agreed that he would take over the family finances.
I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled at times with not having my hands in the thick of our moolah. This season of our lives has been a growing experience for me to let go and not micromanage every dime and nickel that comes my way, but that doesn’t mean I should not be aware of what is going on financially.
When I discovered Intuit’s free, personal finance website/app, it changed everything for me. If I had known about this program back in my days of receipt hoarding, I would have scanned every single one of those into a money making app (I use Ibotta and Receipt Hog at the moment.) and then pitched them. It’s an incredible thing! I am in love with this app even though I’m not currently at the helm of our finances. And if I was? This would be my ticket to erasing debt and staying on top of our budget.
Here are three reasons your should start using Mint.com (even if you aren’t managing the money, like me!):
Mint is FREE!
What’s not to love about a secure, free software that spits out easy to understand charts? I haven’t looked much into what’s available in the way of personal finance software in a couple of years. but I’m pretty sure there is nothing to this caliber with such an attractive price tag. The website is well laid out and I’ve found the App to be equally simple to use.
Mint lets me check up on all of our accounts at any given moment.
There’s nothing wrong with going to each individual account to check in on the status of things, but it can take a little bit of time to get all of the websites to load. Especially, if the device I’m using hasn’t been used with the account in the past. Mint lets me jump on and quickly look at all of the account statuses, including pending transactions. It also allows me to look at the nitty gritty of what we’ve been spending our money on all the way across the board without crunching numbers from various banking sites.
Mint gives me a budget that automatically shows our spending in each category.
Easily my favorite part of the service, Mint automatically categorizes and totals the amount of money spent in each of my prospective budgets for the month. With a single glace, I can see how much leeway we have and if we need to cut back on certain purchases.
Mint allows me to look over our spending and come up with constructive ideas on how to save more.
Piggybacking off of the budgeting and spending log features, I’m able to quickly identify spending patterns. Just recently, I pulled up the number of times we ate out instead of having packed lunches. Kind of sobering when all of the forgotten morning coffees add up!
Mint lets me set goals and see how well I am reaching them.
Goal setting is one of the many wonderful perks of using Mint. The program allows you to set a goal, lays out how much to commit to that goal each month and then recommends using leftover funds to accelerate reaching the goal in the budgeting section. I was really impressed when I input our car loan with interest rate and the site told me how much to spend for x months in order to have it paid off in just a few years – interest included!
Mint alerts me when a bill is due and sends me regular updates on our spending.
Every few days, I get an email reminding me that there is an upcoming bill (usually within 7 days) and also detailed charts to keep me informed on our spending habits. Mint also offers Mint Bills, a one-stop-shop for paying and keeping tabs on bills. We don’t currently use it at this time, but I’ve looked over it and been really pleased with how convenient it makes bill paying!
Mint allows me to watch our debts go down and reassures me that buying myself a little treat now and then is actually okay.
As the statistic goes, money is one of the most common reasons couples split up and I have no interest in joining that group! One of my struggles is not feeling at liberty to buy little things (even needs!) now and then. Mint has given me the freedom to buy a donut once in a blue moon or pick up a highly-needed pair of shoes that I previously never felt at liberty to buy. Even though I don’t control our money, per say, I feel in control because I am aware of where it is going. Mint has taken a lot of stress off me and I no longer feel like I’m running blind.
I love mint. It’s the best money tool I have found to date. Give it a try, I know you’ll love it too!