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Don't Touch That Checking Account!!!

February 1st, 2011 at 11:48 am

I have completed my first full month of writing down everything I spent and keeping track of my income and expenses in Mint.com. It has been a great month as I set up a spending plan at Mint.com and lived within it.

I noticed that in some areas, like gas and food, I was under budget and in a few other areas I was over (like restaurant food). Mint.com is wonderful because in addition to allowing you to link your checking and charge accounts and exactly track each expenditure, it allows you to set a yearly budget for each item which rolls forward. For example, my clothing allowance is $150 a month or $1,800 for the year. In January I spent nothing on clothes, so that amount will roll forward...this month I now have $300 in that catagory...next month $450, etc.

Our spending plan is based on DH and me living on what I make and banking his salary. Due to catagories in which we didn't spend last month (like lawn care... since we had snow, not grass...and home improvement), we were $2000 under budget overall so that extra $2000 is now sitting in the checking account waiting to be spent in months in which we will have lawn care or need clothes.

In the past, seeing a high checking account balance meant "WOO-HOOO!!!! I HAVE MONEY!! LET'S SPEND!!!" Now, it just means that I have the future money needed for bark chips in the spring or our vacation next summer (I have a monthly catagory of $300 for vacation which rolls forward).

Now, my fat checking account balance is largely meaningless as it no longer means I have a license to spend! I concentrate more on the spending plan I have set up in Mint.com. If I watch the pennies there, the dollars in the checking account take care of themselves...the beauty of financial sanity!

This is really neat. Who knew it could be so much fun to live on a budget?

Well, better sign off. The timer just dinged on the granola I am making! Yum!!

7 Responses to “Don't Touch That Checking Account!!!”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I am very impressed with how you are doing!! I have not converted to mint.com yet, but you sure make a great case for using it. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. mjrube94 Says:

    You've done a fantastic job this year! You should be really proud of yourself! Congrats, and keep it up.

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    I'm so glad you had a successful budgeting month! You're doing a great job. I am a new mint user too, and also feel that it is helping me immensely.

  4. scottish girl Says:

    You're doing a great job!

  5. Ima saver Says:

    You are doing great, keep up the good work!

  6. Savings Queen Says:

    You guys...THANK YOU SO MUCH for the encouragement!!! This is a whole new world for me, being actually good with money. I had years of being very bad! I get sort of nervous about it and worry about not being able to keep it up but then I remind myself that I just have to write down my numbers and live within my spending plan just for this day...one day at a time.

  7. Shiela Says:

    GREAT JOB!

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