Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Dreaded Budget!

Everyone knows how important it is to budget.  I imagine that you have told yourself a million times that you need to do better at budgeting, but when it comes down to it, you always fall short.

Why do we always fall short? I think the main reason for this has to do with the amount of time and effort that it takes to create and implement a full-fledged budget. It's SO tedious and most of the time it just makes you angry because you realize that on top of spending hours analyzing your finances, you will need to spend hours finding ways that you can make your expenses meet your budget restraints.  It's not an easy process.

There is a better way though!

For the past 14 months I have been using this FREE service to help me manage my finances.  It's so simple and it's saved me hundreds of dollars over the past year or so.  Basically, this program links with all your financial accounts (checking, savings, investment, loan and credit card) and categorizes each transaction, allowing you to easily set budgets and track your progress toward meeting you financial goals.

Back in September, Mint sent me an email saying "you have exceeded your budget on groceries".  I logged in to see just how much we had spent that month.  It blew me away - $ one month.......for two people!  Since then we decided to watch our grocery budget much closer and Mint gives us the ability to see how we are doing towards reaching that goal.  Let me show you a screenshot from my Mint account.

Since September we have been doing better at keeping our grocery spending under control. As you can see we hover around that $300 mark, which isn't too bad. This month we are going for $250 though....we've clipped quite a few coupons!

Take the time to make your primary budgeting tool.  You won't regret it for a second!

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