Monday, November 28, 2011


No, I'm not talking about the wonderful herb that drives my cats nuts and tastes great in chocolate. I'm talking about When I guest posted recently, talking about our frugal habits, I mentioned, and was surprised to see a couple of people who were interested in but hadn't heard of it, so I thought I'd talk about how much I love Mint.

I can't remember who turned me onto it, but I think it was another blogger. Who knows. Anyway, when we first got married we tried to budget on our own, and it did not work out. At all. We were looking for a house, so we were getting home late and eating out a lot, and generally it just wasn't great money-spending. Then we started paying our mortgage and got serious about money.

Mint is made by the same people who do Quicken (I'm pretty sure) and it's one of those certified safe sites, which is great, because you give it ALL you bank information. I know, sounds crazy, right? Well I can assure you in the almost a year that we've been using it we haven't had a problem. My favorite part of Mint? It's free! I also like that both Geoff and I can log in online, and there's also an iPhone app (with password protection!) so I can always check out our budgets and accounts.

Anyway, onto how Mint works! I'd have screen caps for you, but I don't think you need to see all our financial information. So you put in your monthly income information, and all your bank and credit card information. (Yes, seriously. It's safe, I promise!) As you spend money in your budgets, there are little bars that go from green, to yellow, to red. It tells you how much money you have left in your budget too, which helps me visualize how we're doing.
The budgets help you see where your money is going, and it also helps to keep you in the green every month. For example, if we stuck with all our budgets, we would have about $80 left over in our monthly budget.

Another thing I like about Mint is the goals feature. We have goals set up for furniture, our Hawaii trip and emergency savings. I love this because it's so fun to see our goals rise. I also like that you can tell Mint where you are going on vacation, and it will actually set your budget for you (this is how we did Hawaii).

Overall, Mint has been a wonderful addition in our life, because we are both able to keep up with how we are doing with our budgets. Since Mint logs into your bank accounts, there's no way we can conveniently "forget" that we went to Starbucks more often than we should have one month. Lately, we've been loading Starbucks cards with our coffee budget which helps, because when that card is empty then that's it! {Sorry, this is a digression}.

Have you tried Mint? I highly recommend it. If you use it, what do you think about it?

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