Tuesday, July 1
Useful Online Budgeting Tool
Mint is a favorite budgeting tool of mine. This is in no way a sponsored advertisement, I'm just endorsing the tool because I like it a lot and I think it is extremely useful for getting on and sticking to a budget. The tool interfaces with your bank information (very securely!) using the same encryption that the major banks use. When I say interfaces I mean it actually goes to your online banking website and downloads all the information into mint and separates the charges into categories (to the best of its ability). I had to go in and change some manually, but once you do this a few times mint "learns" what certain charges look like and can place them in the categories automatically!
I use this tool primarily to interface with my Chase account which it does very well, and currently my only other account is an ING Direct online savings account which is having some problems due to ING's recently login change. I have categories set up in my account that break expenses down into various categories and mint automatically loads my charges and categorizes them every evening and tells me how much I have left in that category.
Just FYI this is not a picture of my budget, this is just one of the pictures they had on their website.
One other thing I love about mint is that I can access it ANYWHERE that I have access to the internet. It isn't stuck at home while I'm across the country visiting my parents, it isn't stuck at home while I'm away on business, it is extremely flexible to my schedule because I can always access it!
Another of mints greats features is that it alerts me to changes in the account. It tells me when I've gone over budget, when deposits are available at the bank, when my bills are due, and more. It is wonderful, and I highly recommend it if you're trying to budget your money and just don't know where to start.
I really like this tool and I think that you will too if you give it a chance. The BEST thing about the tool though is that is absolutely free! 100% free!