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Budgeting With

It’s almost the New Year again, and for me, that means reviewing the budget! As the nerd in the relationship, I honestly love studying the old budget and taking a look at some changes we can make in the upcoming year. I was pleasently surprised that my wife shared my same enthusiasm today and was ready to pencil down some options for our new revised budget.

Problems in 2010

This past year, we decided to use cash for most of our every day purchases such as clothing, food, and play money. This worked great because we could tangibly see how much money was left in our fund by taking out the cash. However, when we decided to use as our budgeting tool, it was very difficult to track the cash.

Mint in 2011

We decided to utilize to it’s fullest potential in 2011. In order to do this, we are not going to be dealing with cash any longer (no credit cards either, only the debit card). Each one of our budget categories is going to be posted on our Mint account and we will both be referencing it whenever necessary.

Pay those debts faster!

Also, in an effort to pay off our debts even sooner, we have decided to tighten our financial belt even further in 2011. Until our debts are paid, we are eliminating our clothes money, play money, and gift money. This will allow us to pay an extra $400 or so each month to our debtors!

If all goes according to plan…

If the unexpected expenses will stear clear of us for a while, we should have our debts paid in full by March, 2011!

What are your plans for 2011?

Budget Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I was worried about the likelihood of giving up all fun money, but if you are going to be debt free in 3 months, that is great motivation to stay on track. Can’t wait to read about your success!

    About, do you worry about your financial info being all in one place like that? I would like to use it, but I am too worried about a security breach.

    • Yeah, giving up the fun money is tough for me at this point, but like you said, it’s only 3 months. I think we can make it. It’s extreme, but if it works, we’re going to have a blast paying that final check!

      About, yes, I was a little worried about a security breach, which is why it took me so long to sign up in the first place, but I have only heard good things about Mint since I started looking into them. Based on all the reviews, I am quite comfortable with it at this time.

  2. As for giving up the fun money….I do think we both need to find a hobby that takes our mind off getting new things or spending.

    I am going to plan on you working on your website and writing, playing the wii with me, and swimming now that the pool is heated. I am going to start running, so that will take up a lot of time too.

    I am really excited about this plunge into paying off early! We can do it!

    • Very true! I know it’s going to be tough, but the fact that we are both in agreement on the goal should make it easier to stay accountable! 🙂

  3. When I was reading about giving up fun money, I almost said don’t do it. But 3 months with no play money? Go for it man! Three months is nothing and then you are debt free. Can you imagine all the opportunities it gives you? Go to China! LOL

    • Haha. Your China pictures were pretty sweet, and I do love KFC 😉 (saw it in the pic), butI don’t think that’s our first choice. My wife and I have been eyeing a house that we like, but we agreed that we’re getting rid of our consumer debt first. So, it’s time to buckle down for real!!! 🙂

  4. I love mint! It’s so easy to use. That reminds me, I need to finish categorizing our December transactions. 🙂

    It’s great that you both are on the same page. 3 months is nothing!

    • Thanks for the comment Lindy Mint! I know 3 months is nothing, but it’s going to feel like forever!! Haha. We feel really good about it though – I’m sure we’ll do a great job. 🙂

  5. I have been in the no fun zone for a while … It was a needed intervention though. Now it’s getting back on track. Note that the no fun zone did not compromise on investing for retirement.

    I am enjoying but I can’t say I am a power user yet. I still require Quicken for all my accounting.

    • We really haven’t utilized Mint that much, but we’re going to give it a shot. I think they offer a great service and will help us tremendously with our budget! Personally, I love to manage the budget, but it doesn’t excite my wife (I just can’t understand why. Numbers are amazing! Maybe that’s just me though…). I think that tracking our budget online with automated updates will really help us know where we are with the budget at all times. 🙂

  6. I am an Accountant and I tried Mint and a lot of other personal finance programs and was never satisfied with them. The biggest problem I have with Mint is it won’t import my Wells Fargo card that gives me 1% toward my mortgage. So I created an Excel program that tracks your spending by customized categories, budgets by those categories and forecasts your bank balance. My wife who knows nothing about Excel uses it and loves it.

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