Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday - How I (a financial idiot) organized our personal finances

Mint.com

It might have been a WFMW that first mentioned mint.com to me, but I'm not sure. In any case, I heard that it was a free website that organized your finances for you and divided it all up into categories, produced pie charts, recommended ways to save, and compared you with other people in your area.

Now... Isaac and I both are pretty horrible with organizing our finances. I hate numbers and Isaac hates organizing, so together we have made a horrible match, and the only reason we survive is because we're pretty frugal people because of our backgrounds, so we generally don't over spend even when we aren't budgeting ourselves. And as for budgeting - spreadsheets scare me. I'm just sayin'.

How cool is that? I thought it sounded too good to be true, but I checked out the website and then stopped when it asked for the password to my bank account, since that sounded fishy. I went and talked to my CPA friends (thanks Lauren!) and got their advice. Turns out they use mint.com themselves, and highly recommend it.

Mint.com steps up...

So - I synced my mint.com account with our bank accounts and our credit card, and BAM... within minutes it had organized it all so that I could see it in pie-chart form. Since there was a pretty big "miscellaneous" tab, I clicked into it and was able to re-designate everything that had landed in that tab to where it properly belonged. Then, since Isaac's tuition payments were dominating the pie chart, I just took them off the list so that I was just analyzing our monthly living expenses.


Mint does crazy things, like tell you where you've been spending the most (this is not my account):
Mint.com calling me out

I compared our shopping, utilities, and rent payments to others in Dallas, and we come out pretty evenly with the average. AND it alerted me that my personal checking account was nearly empty.

(this is not my account - thank you again, flikr)
mint.com

5 comments:

Suz said...

Looks like a great program, but I shudder at the thought of giving anyone my bank password! Don't know if I could get myself to do it.

Sarah Eliza said...

Oh yes, I love Mint. It's definitely a great site!

LOL about using the puppy dog / helpless female routine to get things done... that technique definitely has its place and can work beautifully... But I don't want it to be my only recourse, hence the working on at least being capable of being assertive, even if I then choose not to be. ;)

Your other sites are really fun too! I'm really glad I stumbled across you :)

Jaimie said...

Yeah, the bank password, yikes....

Kaycee said...

This is really cool. There's nothing in my bank account to steal, so I'm not too worried about the password thing.

~Sara said...

Looks like a great site. Thanks for sharing!