Dave & I started with a budget sheet kept on the fridge and wrote down every expense under the appropriate category. This was fine, but we wanted something that would show us how much we had left in each category after each expense. We took Dave Ramsey’s budget sheet and entered it into an excel spreadsheet and set up a few formulas that would deduct all expenses from our income. We were able to see how much was spent in each category and how much was left. Once again, this was fine, but when we discovered Mint.com, it made keeping track of expenses MUCH easier.
Mint.com allows me to see all of my accounts in one location and keep track of expenses. Every time I log in, I see the updated amounts I have in my checking, savings, credit card, 401k, and loan accounts. I can set limits for each category in my budget and I see a thermometer-like feature that is green when I’m under budget, yellow when I’m reaching my limit, and red when I’ve gone over. Seeing a pie chart that breaks down our monthly expenses has been a helpful evaluation point to analyze and compare with the budget we strive to follow.
This site saves us so much time from having to write down every expense and enter it in to an excel sheet. If you want to learn more you can check out my interview with Mint on the topic of couples and finance.
What tools do you use to keep track of your expenses?