Managing your finances can be tough! The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. With the help of an online app called Mint, you can start making sense of your finances without needing a background in economics. The best part about Mint is that it is completely free!
Organize Your Finances in One Place
Like most aspects of life, finances can get overwhelming when you do not have an organization system in place. Mint helps by pulling together all of your financial data into one place.
With Mint, you can track income, expenses, assets and debts all in one place. To get started, you just sign up for a free account and then start linking your online banking service with Mint.
Once you have all of your data into Mint, it will automatically start categorizing your expenses into different categories. It is generally pretty good, but every now and then you will need to train it by telling it what category certain expenses fall into.
This is where Mint is going to come in handy and save you a lot of money.
Start assigning monthly budgets for each category. Be realistic with yourself when setting a number because it will feel rewarding to meet your budgetary goals. My recommendation is to start at a comfortable number and see how well you do. You can then set it lower for the next month and repeat the process until you find an amount that works for you.
The key with setting budgets is to help you control your spending. A lot of people typically spend more than they earn. If you can live within your means, and start saving money; you will be taking the first step to financial freedom.
Mint is like an accountant who is awake 24/7 watching your finances for you. If a big purchase or deposit occurs, you will get an email notification letting you know. This can save you big time if someone were ever to get a hold of your credit card without you knowing. Instead of having to wait for your statement to arrive, Mint will let you know as soon as the transaction hits your account.
If you find the notifications are happening too often, you can change the amounts that will automatically trigger it.
In addition to spending alerts, you will also receive notifications whenever a bill payment is coming up soon or if one of your accounts has a low balance.
Want to find out where all your money is going? No problem, Mint is always comparing your recent purchase history to historical data for your account. If you suddenly spend more, it will let you know so that you can review it.
It is good practice to login to your account at least once a week to review your spending and classify any uncategorized purchases. This takes just a couple of minutes and only needs to be done once.
Bringing It All Together
By utilizing all of the features above, you will be setting yourself up to take control of your finances. This is the first step to eliminating financial related stress by giving you complete awareness of your spending. By providing alerts and budgeting tools to help you manage your finances, you will be ready to start saving up money which can be used for investments or to have an emergency fund.