I’ve already confessed my distaste for actually knowing what is going on in my bank account. My money management skills consisted of an organized wallet and “balancing my checkbook” by checking my online balance to make sure it hadn’t dipped below some amount I had randomly decided upon.
It’s not surprising then that one of Mark’s bigger fears was that I would not take my fair share of the responsibility of our financial health. He was afraid he’d be navigating the waters of bankruptcy and wealth all alone.
And there was little I could do to assuage the fear because I kind of expected him to be the financial leader on this team. I promised that I was not a big spender and that I would be really, really good… please don’t make me look at our finances. Please?
He agreed and was ready to basically carry this load on his own. I’m telling you, my wife skills are lacking severely.
Things are different now, though. Life has made a dramatic turn.
Because now we have www.mint.com.
Mint.com is a free financial management website. We put all our account information in and are able to see where everything we spend goes!
The best part? I can see what we are spending in the form of the niftiest pie chart EVER! Yes, all pie charts are inherently awesome (can I get an ‘amen’, Perot?), but this one beats all others easily.
You click on any slice of the pie, i.e. spending category, and it (this is the cool part) folds out into how that spending category is broken down. Say I click on the slice of pie labeled “Auto”, it will fold out into a NEW pie chart made up of slices labeled “Car Payment”, “Auto Insurance”, “Auto Maintenace” and “Fuel”. My heart is beating faster just thinking about it!
Everything is synched up to your online banking accounts so you never have to input information, unless you’re using cash. And you’ll have to check and make sure items get categorized correctly (for example, sometimes I get gas at Kroger’s and Mint.com would automatically label it as food instead of gas). Otherwise, it is the simplest program I’ve ever used. A real dream come true, I tell you.
I hated paying attention to simple money matters before this nifty little website was introduced to me. And now? I love money. I love not being afraid of it. I love knowing what we can afford, being able to say no to what we can’t, and having goals for our money. Oh, how I love having goals for our money!
I know this is a simple tool, and I probably shouldn’t be so excited, but I really feel like this is the first stepping stone for us on the road to financial savviness.
Seriously. Go there. And sign up. You won’t regret it.