Hmmm.. so where should I start? Mint is just an amazing tool that I have used for a few years. It is essentially a budgeting tool that helps you track income and most important of all: EXPENSES!!
I first came across mint when while browsing through some of Financial Samurai’s posts a few years ago. During this time, I worked for a small business in the Uptown Minneapolis area and I was just getting a taste of the whole personal finance business. I read about Mint and it grabbed my attention INSTANTLY.
I have to admit that I was, and still am, a newbie to the world of personal finance. I knew nothing about it! I carried large balances on high interest paying credit cards and foolishly paid hundreds of $$ in interest. Then, by chance, I stumbled upon hardcore personal finance websites like MMM (Mr Money Mustache), The Dividend Guru and most importantly, Financial Samurai. This changed my life FOREVER! Thus began my journey towards financial independence. I will keep this post short and move to budgeting and Mint.
Budgeting is essentially estimating what your monthly income and corresponding expenses are. If you spend more than you earn, you are running a budget deficit (not good!). If your expenses are less than what you bring in, you have a surplus (high-five!!). If you are used to collecting receipts, writing down your expenses or entering them in a spread sheet and trying to figure the math, this is where Mint come in handy.
In a nutshell, Mint allows you to link various forms of checking, savings, credit cards and investment/ brokerage accounts and gives you a convenient snap-shot of your spending/saving habits and most importantly, your net-worth. The coolest thing about all this is that imagine you were a business (ex: Sir Isaac & Co.). By linking to your very various accounts, Mint creates your very own Income statement (by tracking your income and expenses) weekly and provides you a balance-sheet (by breaking down your assets and liabilities and showing what your net-worth is).
Some features in Mint that I like:
- Ability to obtain a free credit report
- Money saving recommendations (current balance transfer offers etc)
- Ability to go back in time and view you spending trends
Sir Isaac’s financial picture:
Okay, so things are not looking the best at the moment. I ll spare the details and get into the most important item, Net-worth (NW).
Current NW per Mint is $8,876.56. However, I have not linked a CC account with debts of $1,900.00. Mint does not also show a liability which is a personal debt I owe amounting to roughly $450.00 This leaves me with an actual NW of $6,526.56!!
The above screen shot of my actuals shows the neat and easy to navigate interface that Mint has. The budgeting tools shows you what you have spent so far vs your estimates and if you’re over the limits (and undisciplined like me!!) the bars are highlighted in red. Yellow shows that you are within the limit you budgeted and Green would be spending under what you budgeted or in the case of earnings/income, above the estimate.
This is my update for July and as a part of my journey towards financial freedom, I will continue to update this monthly and share my NW.
Well, I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee and it’s already 7.00 pm. Have a great week guys and don’t forget to check out Mint if you have not already!
– Sir Isaac