Too Scared to Budget?
” I just don’t have the time or patience to track down every expense and make a budget! “
Heard yourself giving that excuse each time you hear some budgeting advice? Isn’t it annoying when someone seems patronizing and wants you to adopt their ways?
Nobody likes being advised every single day to the point where it only appears like a constant pressure to give in. But hey, are you simply ignoring the benefit of this advice?
We have already covered the importance of saving money and avoiding debt in my previous posts, but what steps have you taken since then in order to make that critical BUDGET? No, I’m not going to ask you to maintain a notebook to write down your smallest expense down to the penny, or even create an excel spreadsheet to add to your woes. Nor do I wish to offer you a top 10 list of tools you could use for budgeting, because let’s face it, you don’t want to confuse yourself even more!
Personally, paying for a budgeting tool is stupid. The reason you need it is because you are going over the budget, and getting a paid tool is simply a wasted expense when you have tons of free tools out there. Here’s a simple budget calculator offered by Quicken.
While the free calculator from Quicken can offer a simplified analysis of your finances, for a detailed analysis of your finances you need Mint. I know you want everything available on your smartphone today, which is where Mint can be a useful resource. Download links for Android users and iOS users.
What’s the catch?
I know you thought that! But, the only catch here is that you need to stick to your plan of taking control of your finances and not forget you installed this application on your app-filled-smartphone. [Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Mint in any way, nor has Mint sponsored this post in any form. All my opinions are only based on personal use and offered for the benefit of helping others]
You already know it’s FREE and FREE is good! But here are some useful tools Mint has to offer to help you along your journey to financial freedom.
1. TRACK YOUR BILLS
You hate the end of the month when you need to scan your memory for any forgotten bills. Moreover, a slip in memory can result in hefty amounts in late fees.
Mint offers the ability to track all your bills in one single place – from utilities to credit card payments to paying your rent. Link your accounts and manage your billing woes from one single place.
You can also setup alerts and reminders in order to avoid those late fees. Mint can send alerts related to unusual spending, low account balance and even warn you for exceeding your budget! You sure won’t find your father screaming about your spending habits now, would you?
2. BUDGETING DONE FOR YOU
Sounds like a dream? I know you don’t want to even picture yourself sitting with a pile of bills, bank statements and a pretty calculator to manage your budget. Consider yourself lucky, because after linking your accounts, Mint can categorize your expenses for you!
Tracking your spending in various categories can provide useful insights on your daily or monthly expenses, allowing you to curb your spending drastically. For example, if you are spending too much on dining out, it’s time you hit the grocery store and become a master chef!
Based on your spending, Mint will also offer suggestions for your budget. You could update the suggested budget or simply create your own, but nothing wrong to have another point of view. Did you just save money by not hiring a financial adviser ?
3. WHAT ABOUT MY INVESTMENTS?
You have been consistently tracking your spending, but what about your investments? Every penny of your investment can be tracked using this single tool and you no longer have to maintain multiple records. Track your contributions to 401(k) or simply compare the fees from various investment options, all in one place.
I have discussed the importance of investing your savings in order to build a stable financial future. If you need a start, you may wish to read my posts offering a beginners guide to investing here
We love bonuses, and Mint hasn’t forgotten to offer them. You can now track your credit score for FREE by simply verifying your identity. Moreover, the app offers outstanding security features with multi-factor authentication, keeping your financial information secure.
Creating a budget is easy, but being persistent to meeting your financial goalst can be difficult. Keep your long term goals in sight each time you think of being frivolous with your money.
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship ∼ Benjamin Franklin
Be Frugal, Be Smart, Be Rich!