I have always considered myself frugal, but I have never been good at keeping a budget. I live within my means and know when I can afford something and when I can’t. But a hard-numbers budget allowing me to only spend a certain amount on one category is not something I have done well in life, married or single. My current budget is essentially an amount that I want to save each month. If I can stash away that amount in the bank each month then I know that I am living within my “budget.” My hesitation to have a more established budget may stem from fear that if I want to see a movie or go to dinner one night my budget may not allow me. I want to be freer than that.

But recently I have discovered a free, online budgeting and financial tracking program that allows its users to sync their online accounts and helps keep track of them. The program is It helps me know how much I spend for each category and allows me to create customized reports. Linked to my mint account are my checking and savings accounts, the credit card I constantly use and my Scottrade account. From the assets and liabilities of these accounts, mint recalculates my personal net worth each day, an interesting, if not humbling experience. New programs such as are continuously being launched online, luring new users through free registration and use. I have signed up for other programs before, such as, but have failed to stick with them for long periods of time. My relationship with, however, is different, and although the program is far from perfect, I may be a mint user for years to come.


One Response

  1. I’ve been using myself for about a year or so and I’ve really liked it too. I used quicken for a number of years but I like that I can access mint anywhere and it updates all my accounts for me. I’m a mint fan as well.

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