People who’ve never used a budget usually hate the idea. They think of a budget as the wicked witch of personal finance whose sole purpose is to drive any semblance of fun right out of their financial life.
In truth, it’s just the opposite. A budget, or as I prefer, a Cash Flow Plan, is the single most powerful tool we can use for wise, effective, even joyful money management.
There are several different budget tools available. The one we’ve chosen in our household is Mint.com, which automates a lot of the tasks related to using a budget. If you’d like to try it, this video will show you how to get set up.
Mint is free. The service makes its money through advertising. Since it sees which bank or credit card you use, it might recommend one of its sponsors that offers better rates. But I don’t find those recommendations intrusive at all. To me, it’s a small price to pay for a great service.
If you have any concerns about security, watch this interview I conducted with Mint’s security architect.
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