Does anyone out there use mint.com? Anyone? Bueller?

Well I gotta say, I think it’s pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ve tried to budget before using Excel, and I always get really excited about it at first, but then I realize that it’s not fun to look at all your transactions from your bank statement, decide which category they all belong in, then type the amounts manually into the spreadsheet.

Mint does it for you! It knows what most of your transactions are for; if you go to Mae’s Diner, it automatically puts in it “Restaurants”. If you go to Shmo’s Market, it automatically puts it in “Groceries”. How smart! (Sometimes I do have to go in and manually correct it- since I get my gas at Smith’s it thinks it’s Groceries, but I can easily change it to Gas/Fuel, for example.) And if you’re not organized enough to make separate budgets for “Personal Care Items” and “Random Crap I Want To Buy” and “Oil Changes”, you can totally make a budget for “Everything Else”- Mint won’t scold you for it!

I feel a little weird sharing how much I spend on stuff with the whole Internets, but I really want you guys to see how easy it is. And besides- what would blogging be without a little oversharing?

Green = Yay! You can still spend money on this this month!

Yellow = It’s okay, you haven’t gone over yet. But no more spending!

Red = Bad Manda! You spent too much on this! Cut back in other ways and try harder next month.

And since it syncs automatically, you never have to bounce back and forth between your statement and your Excel spreadsheet. You can see where you are with your spending in real-time! You can create budgets for anything you want, and if you go over, they let you know (if you want). They also alert you when those sneaky banks try to pull a fast one on you by charging some ridiculous “Account Management fee” or something.

I have every account on there- my mortgage, 401(k), student loan, checking/savings, credit card…  anything you have a log-in for, Mint can sync with it. It’s pretty cool to be able to see it all in one place.

Some people are worried about security, but honestly, I’m not any more worried about it than I am with my Amazon account, or my regular ol’ bank log-ins. I just chose an extra super tricky password for Mint, and this is pretty comforting.

No, I’m not being compensated by Mint for this tout- I just wanted to share because it really has been life-changing. I can log in so easily to check my budgets, and being able to see everything in real-time has really altered my spending habits. I just wish I’d had it sooner- I’d probably be richer!

PS- I can’t not mention how awesome you guys are for being understanding about my being in a blogrut (that is now a word). You really helped take the pressure off! And just as I predicted, after posting that I we finished a couple of projects. Ain’t that life?

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