If you’re anything like me, budgeting hasn’t always come as second nature. I first ventured into the world of budgeting in high school, when I got my first job. Each month I knew I had a set amount of money for gas, and a set amount for random spending. Easy right? Alright, now let’s head into college. Freshman year, a breeze! With dorm points taking care of food, and not needing to pay for gas since I didn’t have a car, there wasn’t much to worry about. Fast forward to now, my senior year of college, living with a roommate off campus and broke as Mark Helfrich’s career. I knew that unless I wanted to start living a stereotypical college kids life by eating top ramen for every meal, I needed to get my finances in order. So, like the self-sufficient adult I am, I called my mom. Fifteen minutes of “yep, mhmmm, yes, ok, yeah I did, okay, yep, love you too”’s later I decided I needed to keep better track of what I was spending. After a bit of research, I discovered a website called mint.com that helps you keep track of your expenses.
Mint is a free (keyword: FREE) service that helps you stay on top of your spending habits. You can use Mint through it’s main website or you can access it through the app. Mint first connects you with all banking services you use. Through that, Mint collects information regarding what you spend your money on. It categorizes it into subjects such as alcohol and bars, food, clothing, utilities, etc. so you see exactly where your money is going.
Besides seeing where your money is headed, Mint allows you to set goals and limits for yourself. You can set goals for how much money you wish to spend in each category per month. By creating a budget, you can track and monitor what you are spending. Setting goals and budgets for yourself can help you maintain a steady balance in your bank account each month.