Monday, March 8, 2010

Control thy expenditures

Control thy expenditures. This is synonymous for budgeting and is the second of the seven rules that George S. Clason lays out in The Richest Man in Babylon.

Like the first rule, this one is pretty simple.

If you don't have it, don't spend it.

But alas, also like the first rule, the second rule is easy to understand, but harder to practice.

Fortunately, there is a tool that makes budgeting a snap: Mint.

Mint is a wonderfully revealing tool that will amaze and scare you. When you sign up, Mint will ask you to add all your accounts and assets, including home, vehicle, investments, checking accounts and credit score. You also can specify your income and your debts as well.

Based on this information, Mint will track your spending and credit a budget for you. It literally tracks everything you purchase.

You can modify the auto-generated budget, and Mint will warn you when you get close to crossing into the Red on one or more of your budgets.

What gets measured, gets improved. And Mint does a phenomenal job of measuring.

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