A Complete Guide to Managing Your Money With Mint's Free Online Tool – Part 4 of 8

Published: 21st December 2011
Views: N/A

Welcome to part four of our eight-part analysis of Mint.com. In the last post, we covered how to use the Transactions page. In this post, we take a closer look at Mint's Budgets page.

Budgets

Clicking on the "Budgets" link in the upper navigation takes you to a page where you can set up various budgets to track your income and spending, as well as see how close you are to meeting your personal savings goals. Continue reading for more info about the budgets page.

Calendar

Near the top of the budgets page you'll find a calendar where you can choose to view an overview of your budget for a particular month, calendar year, or since you started using Mint.com.

Income Section

The income section sits right beneath the calendar. You can track your monthly income by setting up your income budget. This status bar gives you an overview of your expected income and how much you've already received for the time period you've selected in the calendar. You start with a basic income budget by default and can add income subcategories to track the various components that make up your total income.

To add a subcategory, simply click the "Create a Budget" button above the income section. From there, choose the "Income" category and select the appropriate subcategory, or create your own. You'll also have to enter how much income you expect to earn and how often you expect to receive it. If you choose to, you can make the income budget rollover from one time period to the next, much like cell phone rollover minutes.

You can also click on the "Edit Details" tab on your income bar or any of the budgets you've set up for income subcategories. This tab shows you additional information, including the category or subcategory this budget belongs to, how often you receive this income, and your income history for that category or subcategory contrasted against the U.S. average.

Spending Section

The spending section works similar to the income section, except you set up budgets to track outgoing funds rather than incoming money. You can set up budgets to track categories and subcategories, including rent or mortgage expenses, utility bills, groceries, gas, and more. Each budget you set up shows you an overview of your expected monthly expenses and how close you are to reaching your defined limits. By changing the calendar settings you can view your budgets over longer periods of time.

To add a new budget to the spending section, click the "Create a Budget" button above the income section. From there, choose the category or subcategory you want to create the budget for. You'll need to enter how much you expect to spend in the associated category or subcategory, as well as how often you expect to make payments. You can also choose to make the budget rollover from one month to the next—this works great for tracking bills that fluctuate with the seasons, such as your energy bill.

If you want more detailed information on a budget you've set up, you can click on the "Edit Details" tab for that budget. This tab lets you see which category or subcategory the budget belongs to, how often you expect to be billed, and your spending history for that category or subcategory contrasted against the U.S. average.

Goals

If you've defined any goals on the goals page of the site, Mint.com will apply your remaining monthly balance to those goals, showing you how much has been allocated towards each goal for the time period selected in the calendar.

Budget Summary

To the right of the budgets page, you'll find a summary of your budgets. Here you can see your spending and the funds you've allocated to particular goals subtracted from your total income. The summary shows you how much money you have left over and asks if you'd like to apply it to new or existing goals.

This concludes part four of this eight-part series. Next time we'll take a look at Mint.com's Goals and Trends pages.

This article was provided by Anne Zimmarro of Check ‘n Go, an ethical online payday loans and installment loans company. Check N Go is the fourth largest consumer financial service institution offering check cashing and online payday loans in the United States. As a founding member of the Consumer Financial Services Association (CFSA), Check N Go has always been committed to responsible lending and works with legislators to improve the credibility of the cash advance industry.


Report this article Ask About This Article


Loading...
More to Explore