2016. A new year. Time for new thoughts, new goals, new mindset. Resolutions often center around health and fitness. I can’t tell you how many detox plans I’ve seen over the past few weeks. (If this is you, we’re right there with you!) But, another important part of healthy living is responsible finances. If you watch Suze Orman (we used to DVR and watch on occasion), you know that she claims your financial situation has a huge impact on other areas of your life. People with health problems often have money problems as well. This viewpoint takes holistic living to a whole new level! But, I have to say that I agree with it. Anyone who is having money troubles will most likely be stressed, which leads to other health problems. So, if you’re looking to be healthier in the new year, don’t forget to think about money!
I’ll admit, we’ve been pretty bad in our house about money recently. Hubby pays all the bills (not to mention, earning the money to pay the bills – thank you!!), and I USED to track all of our spending and keep track of our budget. USED to. Since I’ve been home with Munchkin, I just can’t seem to stay on top of it. I think part of it is the fact that I’m just not in front of the computer like I used to be. It used to take me a few minutes here or there to open up our account summaries, log in the info to our excel spreadsheet, and see where our money was going. It’s a lot more difficult on an iphone. So, I just haven’t done it. That changes now!
Part of resolution success lies in accountability, so I’m putting it out here now. I will stay on top of our budget! Another part of resolution success depends on the ease of execution. This is really what I want to share with you today. There are two things that I’m hoping will really help me execute my goal of staying on top of our finances this year: the budget box (which I’ll share with you next week) and Mint. We’ve actually been using Mint for many years. (Our transactions go back to 2008!) If you haven’t already checked it out, it’s awesome!! You can pull all of your accounts into Mint, and then you can see all of your charges in one place. We’ve always used it to track our transactions, but this year we’re also taking advantage of the budget feature. Hubby and I sat down to come up with our monthly budget, and then, I was able to enter the categories into Mint. Now, I can easily see if we’re over budget in a category, and easily see what transactions caused the overage. You have the ability in Mint to categorize all of your transactions, and you can even split transactions between different categories. I’m trying to be a little more broad this year in my categorizations so that this part of budget tracking doesn’t take too much time each week.
Go ahead! Sign up for an account! Word of warning: there’s a little bit of time involved in setting up your accounts and budget, but after that initial time investment, it’s very easy to maintain.
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