Thursday, February 4, 2010

Life for Less: Intro

Like I mentioned in my welcome, I'm a bit obsessed with personal finance. I get really worked up about things like budgeting, emergency funds, health insurance, oh yeah... and taxes. On more than one occasion, I contemplated collecting my thoughts on paper and relieving my husband of being the only object of my rants. So if you're reading this, Matt thanks you. I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have enough knowledge/experience/common sense and want to share what little I've learned with my friends.

Before I get started on a particular topic, I want to introduce one of my favorite things: 
One of the most powerful things you can do to take control of your personal finances is figuring out where you money goes. It's nearly impossible to meet your goals without being realistic about your spending.
Kudos to my good friend, Liz Fay, for introducing me to A free, secure, online aggregator of your various accounts. Instead of visiting 4 or 5 different web sites to check your credit card(s), debit card(s) & investment balances, transactions, etc... just visit Mint.  "Mint downloads and categorizes your balances and transactions automatically every day— making it effortless to see graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth." 
Did I mention Mint is secure? & it makes simple graphs? & it remembers how you've categorized spending in the past? & it will create a budget for you based on your historical spending? & it alerts you when there are large or unusual transactions? & it's intuitive? I used Quicken for awhile, and I must admit that I don't miss it at all. I plan on spending an entire post gushing about Mint, but for now, do yourself a favor and check it out!


  1. Nate and I love the Mint too!! We've been using it for a few months now and it has definitely made combining our accounts a much easier process and much easier to tell how much we have and where it is. I love hearing about your life too!! We miss you guys!!

  2. I love that you're doing this series - keep it up! I don't use personally (I prefer Excel and control) but Kyle uses it and he really likes it. Can't wait to read this series as you develop it.

  3. Thanks, Emily! I actually use a hybrid - Mint + Excel (Mint doesn't do EVERYTHING I want it to do for us). I've neglected my little 'life for less' series for a bit... but thanks for the encouragement :)

  4. Jason and I have been using Mint for a few months. I like it, but I'm having trouble really integrating it into my daily/weekly/monthly planning. Its there in the background and I check it once in a while, but I don't feel like I'm using it to all its potential...

  5. It's hard to rely on Mint ENTIRELY. I keep an offline budget in excel and just use Mint to aggregate all of our spending and then I plop the totals in our excel budget. I used to try to keep track of our spending by keeping our receipts and it was a disaster! It's just simplified tracking everything for me.


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