Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Put Myself on an Allowance: Mint.com






You know that episode of Sex in the City where Carrie finds herself almost homeless after her building goes co-op and she looks at her savings and says to herself "I know I made some money but I don't know where it went". Well I found myself in that situation a few months ago. I technically know where it went and before you judge me know that sometime during my irresponsible "let's travel to six countries a year" faze in my twenties I did manage to open three investment accounts . BUT I should have saved more money and although I consider myself a bargain budget shopper all "budget" goes out the window when you shop frequently. So last January I started a Mint.com account in order to track where my money really goes. As a psychologist I know how important data monitoring and self-monitoring are to changing your behavior. I have to say that Mint.com has helped me see the trends of my spending. There is also a feature that helps you set budgets. For example, you can set $200 for restaurants, $200 for groceries, etc. and once you go over your allocated amount you'll be sent an e-mail notifying you. In addition, a weekly e-mail is sent to you detailing what you have spent your money on this week. Starting a Mint.com has definitely helped me with my shopping problem. The first month I set my budget at $250 a month for shopping, then $200, and then $150. The miraculous thing is this month I have spent ZERO dollars on shopping. In the past month I have purchased NO new clothing, accessories, or shoes. It's kinda of a mini miracle considering I receive 25 tempting shopping e-mails a day (e.g., Haute.com, Ideeli,com, Onekingslane.com, Myhabit.com, etc, etc, etc.). Mint.com isn't perfect and as expected there are glitches from time to time but it's a free service and easy to use. Maybe if Carrie had Mint.com back in the day she may have had enough money to buy her apartment instead of using Charlotte's engagement ring for a downpayment.


3 comments:

  1. I love Mint...I've been using it for 2 years. I just put myself on a budget too!

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  2. Me too - sadly I was spending way too much on restaurants and travel, and a few recurring expenses that I was able to identify and stop. Highly recommended!

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  3. I know! I wish I started using Mint.com two years ago myself! I just re-read this post and corrected all my grammar mistakes. Sorry- my 11 inch Mac Book Air doesn't make editing easy (small print).

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