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A Hint for Mint…

April 7, 2011

Just so you know, this blog isn’t about Mint.com. It only seems like it. As time goes on I hope to not spend so much blog space on Mint. But I do want to share a tiny little hint about what we are doing with Mint today.

At the end of the month, I check to see which categories didn’t get used. Whatever isn’t used is compared with the categories where we went a little over (hopefully that never happens, but you never know). Let’s say we went under our Groceries category by $150, but went over on Utilities-Power by $25, and everything else balanced out the same, then we have $125 extra sitting in our checking account. Rather than let it sit in that checking account, I go online and transfer $125 to our savings account (long-term or short-term, whichever needs it). That is one way we’re using Mint to help bolster our savings.

Here’s the warning, though. Mint’s transactions don’t always “clear” very quickly. So rather than looking at all of last month’s accounts on the first of this month and transferring over the money you’ve saved, I’d say you ought to wait about 10 days to 2 weeks to really reconcile your accounts and decide what money to transfer over. That way you’re sure everything has cleared and no changes will mess up your accounting.

What are some little ways you’re using your budgeting program/plan/ledger/software to help you save little bits of money each month?

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