1. We use Mint for expense tracking. It works fine, and over the years I’ve built a ton of rules to categorize common expenses correctly so it’s mostly hands off. We don’t usually buy anything with cash, so all of our spending naturally flows into Mint.

    My purse size? Well… it’s either really small (my wallet), or really huge (my backpack). Going to and from work I have a pretty large backpack to keep my laptop, lunch, rain gear, bike lock, bike maintenance kit, etc… I guess it could be considered my purse. 🙂

  2. Mint is pretty good. I don’t use it because I weird and like to enter the numbers in my spreadsheet myself.

    The backpack makes total sense if you’re on a bicycle and have to carry everything that a car could carry.

  3. I like using a spreadsheet as well – I couldn’t get into Mint. You bring up a good point that it’s not for everyone, either, because they might not be inclined to check it or be an active participant in it. I’m always on the “track your spending” bandwagon, though. You can learn a lot from it!

    My purse is pretty big. I can fit my iPad and a notepad in there! I’m not the biggest fan of their size, but I ordered two online and I didn’t realize just how big they were.

    • Yes, Mint is a great program but it’s really not for everybody. I usually tell people to give it a try, but also to check out other ways and see what works best for them.

      I’m not opposed to big purses, I just feel like sometimes people go way too big. Ya know.

  4. I use Mint for detailed tracking on spending and Excel to keep my budget and track net worth. I monitor our accounts very frequently (mainly to check for fraudulent transactions since we travel more than most). Mint really helps me to centralize the data so I can easily review it.

    • I tried Mint and I see why people love it so much. That’s why I recommend it to some people, but there are others that need to be more hands on with their finances.

    • Hey whatever you use is fine by me – as long as you track your expenses. There are people that don’t need to track their expenses because they are pretty good at handling money, but we’re not all like that.

  5. I use an excel spreadsheet to plug in the main numbers, but I have never had a month where I wrote down every single line item, like every single grocery item, fun money spending, etc. I really think at some point that might be in order, and if I did I would probably use just pen and paper.

    • Whoa, take it easy Tonya. I don’t write down every single grocery item, haha. Just the total amount of the food shopping trip. I’m crazy, but not that crazy.

  6. I use MINT but I also have a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet came first, plus I have a cashflow statement in the file. That’s why I keep it up, even though I also use MINT for tracking against budget.

  7. I used to use Mint, but mainly just make a Google spread sheet now. Tracking spending is really the first step to getting out of debt of building wealth. Everyone thinks they spend wisely until they really look at what they are buying.

    • Tracking spending is really the key. My finances took a good turn when I started tracking my expenses. I don’t think I’ll ever not track them again.

  8. I think tracking is an awesome way to get your finances in order. I have a client who loved using the track your spending app on his phone. I think it was free and the month that he committed to tracking his money was his best month to date. We actually recently met and he said he felt as though he was slipping again and we reinstated the daily tracking as his cure.

    • I know, I couldn’t believe that this was all it took to grab a hold of my finances. Once you know where you’re money is going, you could guide it to the right places.

  9. Thank you for this article! I have the hardest time finding a good way to keep track of everything. I’ll be trying some of these tips for sure!!

  10. I’ve done a little of everything, but we’re at the point where our income is so far ahead of expenses that we don’t track everything anymore. We know how much goes toward investments each month because our expenses are set and rarely change. It took a lot of time and effort to get to this point and you will never get there if your spending is out of control and you don’t really understand the difference between your income and spending.

  11. We use a spreadsheet in Excel and track the different categories. I don’t feel comfortable to use online spend tracking applications like Mint and provide all my banking information to the tool.

  12. We use a gool ol’ ledger to write our monthly expenses. We set an amount for our expendables but should probably start writing down what those expendables are. I am definitely a pen and paper kind of gal!

    • That works too! I started with a notebook, but found that the spreadsheet was much easier to access. I keep mine on Google Drive and can access it from anywhere.

  13. We use pen and paper, haha! We use spreadsheets for all of our business expenses, but for bills and day-to-day budgeting – a pen and paper! I do want to look into Mint, though. I’ve heard great things and would love to give that a try!!

  14. Tracking expenses—ugh, the bane of my financial existence.
    We don’t use software because we are on a primarily cash budget, but I still hate sitting down each week and doing it. I always dread it, but in the end, it really does not take that long.

  15. I use Mint to keep track of all of our transactions and then just export it into Excel at the end of the month (sometimes more). I keep budgets in Excel as well as Net Worth stuff, just because Excel and I are good friends and Mint is more of a casual acquaintance to me. My purse is pretty big, but empty. I like being able to walk to the library and throw a few books in there. It also holds 3/4 of a squirming dachshund.

  16. Great article! Tracking your spending is the foundation of a good budget, which is funny, because I use Goodbudget to track everything. When I first started, I just used it for tracking purposes until I could start setting my budgets. Now I have my entire budget in it and it’s so easy to use. (I use the app and the website)

  17. I use YNAB (You Need A Budget) software to track my expenses. As far as the big purses, I have no idea. I like the look of big purses but I could never find enough “stuff” that I thought I needed to carry with me…until I had kids. Now I have my everyday purse which is small then I have the “Mom purse” aka the big purse which I only brig out when I need to stuff it full of things to keep my kids occupied like the iPad, snacks, drinks, an extra diaper with wipes and a pair of extra boy undies and a zipper bag.

    Great post….as usual! :o)

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