Tracking spending is extremely important for good financial planning and historically was one of the most difficult challenges we as planners faced, even as recently as only a few years ago. For those who didn’t want to keep receipts and add them into an Excel spreadsheet or put cash into various envelopes for monthly spending, there weren’t many options.
Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue and furnished those without the time or the inclination to manually track their expenses with a simple solution. The best way we have found to set a budget and track expenses without a lot of work is by simply using the website: www.mint.com.
Mint is a digital aggregator that allows you to link all of your accounts through their secure system. Once your bank, credit cards, mortgage company, and anything else you can imagine are linked, Mint pulls all of the data of your balances and transactions every time you log in, keeping your spending and savings data up to date and organized.
In addition to tracking your spending, Mint allows you to create budgets and receive alerts when you have exceeded those budgets. Simply log onto their website or download their easy to use smartphone or tablet app to categorize your transactions once a week. Mint takes care of the rest.
We have been using Mint personally for several years and recommending it professionally for almost as long. It is safe, secure, easy to use, and even taught in the CFP training course. If you’re having trouble tracking your expenses month to month, Mint may just be the right solution for you.