Seeing Green

As a college student, I try to be conscious of my wallet. To avoid making frivolous purchases, I don’t carry cash with me unless I know I will need it. However, it’s just as easy to swipe a piece of plastic through a machine and end up with an empty bank account after a trip to Target–I  can never leave without a cart full of “necessities.”

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted a better way to track my purchases, rather than just relying on a shoebox stuffed with old receipts. I signed up for mint.com by creating an account that was linked to my bank account. I immediately made budgets for myself that were attainable, yet somewhat restrictive.

mint.com December

I’m able to easily compare my spending from month-to-month, making sure that I stay within my budget. I also receive email notifications when I have surpassed my budget; though helpful, I never like to get those emails! I knew that I would overspend in December, but seeing those numbers was a bit shocking. The only benefit? It made me realize that I needed to cut back a bit this month.

With only nine days left in January, I haven’t exceeded any of my budgets (yet!). Seeing only green is always a good thing.

mint.com 1

Mint.com is a great resource, especially when it comes to making me re-think constant five-dollar purchases that really add up.

I’m headed on a little road trip this morning—one that will seriously challenge my spending willpower—but I’m hoping to catch some of the Ravens game!

Can you go to Target and come out with only the things on your list?

How do you save money or track your purchases?

Are  you watching football today–who are you cheering for?

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24 thoughts on “Seeing Green

  1. I just signed up for it two weeks ago. I totally agree though- every time I buy something now, I think about it a little more, because I’m picturing my Mint.com account. I set up a budget on it for myself in London, which I had to roughly estimate, but I feel like I’ll do better actually seeing what my money is going to rather than just blindly spending it!

  2. I tried using Mint.com a few years ago but got frustrated because it didn’t synch with all of my different accounts. I’m guessing that’s when the program was still pretty new — and maybe had some “bugs” to be worked out — so I want to give it another try!

    I like Sally Anne’s idea of only taking a basket at Target instead of a cart — that’s a good idea!

    See you soon! And you’re right — KOP is a true test of will-power!

  3. Target is the death of me! I’ve had mint.com bookmarked for a while but never signed up. My bank has a pretty good virtual wallet that actually categorizes purchases for me so it saves me time, but I’ve been wanting to try mint anyway. It seems more in depth.

    Rooting for my Giants today! Woohoo!

  4. I love Target so much that it is VERY rare for me to come out with less than 10 random things that I desperately “need” My friend told me that swimsuits are now back at Target so I’m really trying to avoid going.

  5. Target is like Costco to me; I walk in needing one thing and seem to come out with a cart-load of things…I think they are well aware of what their effect is on people too 🙂

    Good luck with your budgeting! The hubby and I use Quicken every month to budget and we always get so excited when we are also in the green.

  6. I should try the site out– I’ve been spending WAY too much lately. I need to better track how much I spend on gas every week, but I normally pay with cash (it’s cheaper than credit) so I don’t think mint.com could help me out in that department :(.

  7. I like Mint.com but I swear sometimes it categorizes things weirdly! I keep myself on a pretty strict budget, so I just try to be mindful! That being said, I physically cannot go into Target without leaving with an entire shopping cart full of stuff. I was rooting for the Niners yesterday but OUCH! We all know how that well in OT!

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