For those of you who don’t know, Mint.com is a website that helps put all of your Income and Expenses in one place. With this system, you can view your checking account, savings account, 401(k), Roth IRA, credit transactions, student loans, and much more. You can even set up your personal budget and have Mint.com track it for you automatically as you make transactions with your debit or credit cards. It really is amazing, and I’m happy to say that I just opened up my account yesterday.
When my wife and I decided to dig our way out of debt, we simplified our accounts as much as possible. Once we paid off our credit cards and saved our $1,000 emergency fund, we decided to close those credit accounts and cut up the credit cards. At this moment, the only account we have active is our joint checking account.
So, why did I open Mint.com if our transactions are already simplified?
To be completely honest, I have been a little too relaxed with the budget duties. There are certain areas where we use cash and once the cash is gone, no more money is spent – that’s the easy part. There are other areas that have become more complicated within our budget though, and Mint.com does an excellent job showing you each transaction and graphing your expenses for you!
Also, I am the numbers person in our house. I can review the checking account and properly place each expense within our budget. The final product makes sense to me, but I have an incredibly difficult time explaining the final results to my spouse since she is such a visual learner. Like I said earlier, Mint.com graphs out your expenses and puts them into categories. It will automatically let you know how much money is left within each category of the budget! Now, instead of my wife asking if we have money left within a certain area, she can just get out her Blackberry and take a look at the budget herself. It really is a beautiful thing.
The final feature I enjoy is the Net Worth calculation. On the home page of my account, Mint.com sums up my liabilities (debts) and my assets and lets me know what my current net worth is. I’m happy to say that at this moment, our net worth is in the positive! I know I shouldn’t be all that excited (since we’re a long way from where we want to be), but quite honestly, anyone that has student loans will most likely have a negative net worth for a few years after the graduate from college. We were in that boat for about a year, but now we’re on our way to becoming debt free, and the net worth is rising!
So far, Mint.com has been a great tool for my wife and I to stay on track with our finances. I’m sure it can do the same for you.
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.