Mint: Keeping Track of Your Spending
Found In: Tools
Mint is a way for you to keep track of your spending habits, something which is very important in this day and age. With Mint this becomes easy. Mint takes data from your credit cards and bank accounts and uses that data to keep track of what your actual spending habits are. This includes detailing how much money you spend, but also what you are spending your money on, exactly, which is equally important. According to the Mint.com website, Mint:
- brings all your financial accounts together online or on your mobile device
- automatically categorizes your transactions
- lets you set budgets
- helps you achieve your savings goals
Steps to getting started with Mint
There are a few very easy steps that you can follow in order to get started with Mint.
The first thing to do is to engage in the sign up process, which is quick and easy.
- Go to the Mint website, which can be found at www.mint.com. If you are unable to click on the link to access the website, simply copy and paste it into your URL and press Enter.
- This will bring you to the Mint homepage. There are two ways in which to sign up on this page. Next to the “Login” button in the top right hand corner there is a “Signup” button. Click on that. Alternatively you can click on the button towards the left side of the screen that is about halfway down that says “Free! Get started here”.
- This will take you to a form you will have to fill in. If you want to skip the homepage, go to https://wwws.mint.com/login.event?task=S. If you are unable to click on the link to access the website, simply copy and paste it into your URL and press Enter.
- The first thing you will have to fill in is your email address. Your email address is needed so that you will be able to access your account if you ever forget your password.
- Select your country form the easy-to-use drop down list.
- Enter your zip code.
- Enter and confirm the password you would like to use with your Mint account. Remember that the password you choose should be something that is easy for you to remember. At the same time it should also be something that other people will not easily be able to guess. Think about this carefully.
- This will take you to your login page and you can get started!
When you complete the sign up process you will be taken to a screen here you can get started. There are three steps in the sign up process:
- Find your bank or credit card
- Connect it to Mint
- Let Mint do the Work
The first step required you to look for your accounts and credit cards. You can add:
- store credit cards
- bank cards
- credit cards, and
- any other types of accounts
You will have to very specific if you want to add accounts to your Mint account. If there is one small mistake you will be in trouble and the account will not be registered or added. If necessary, do research beforehand so that you know what the exact words and numbers need to be.
You can also add your cars to the list. You can do this even if they are paid off.
If you know your credit score, enter that as well. It should be easy enough for you t find out what your credit score is with a little bit of research.
The last section you will have to fill in is the “About me” section. Once you have completed this section there will be no more questions asked of you by Mint.
A useful overview of your financial status will then appear. Have a close look at this and make sure that you understand it.
You can also set up alerts that can inform you of activity on your accounts. To do this, go to “Emails and Alerts”.
Once you have made all of the desired changes, click “Close”
Making changes to your account
If at a later stage you want to make changes to your Mint account, go to www.mint .com and click on the login option. Use the email address and password that you chose during signup in order to login. Go to the “Accounts” section and make the changes you need to make.
Making a budget
There are several things you can do using Mint, but one of the most common is creating a budget, so we will discuss that here.
- Login to the Mint website.
- The click on the “Budget” option which will take you to a screen. This screen contains some basic information regarding budgets that you may need in order to get started creating yours.
- Click on the link that says “Create Budget” in order to get started creating your own budget.
- Choose from one of the categories, such as “Education” or “Travel”. You will have to work in categories when creating a budget.
- Some basic information will already be included in each category. Edit it apply to your personal situation.
- From then on you will just need to keep making adjustments until your budget is right.
Mint is very easy to use and represents a great way for you to keep track of your spending. Knowing how much you are spending on what and having a budget to guide you through can make your life a whole lot easier and can allow you to avoid bad financial situations. If you are someone who struggles to make a budget and who struggles to keep your head focused on financial concerns, then Mint is the answer to all of your problems. It is absolutely free to sign up for Mint, so it can’t hurt to try.