A Spending Plan: Because You Don't Need to Review Your Whole Financial Life to Buy a Cup of Coffee

I love mint.com. My husband and I use it to help plan our finances on a pretty regular basis. Mint is a great tool and I recommend it to people getting started with their first budget. I know that sounds weird coming from a person who just made a planner with an integrated spending plan. But, I use both.
      
We have EVERYTHING hooked up to our mint account. And it is great for looking backwards on your spending. Once you hook up a bank account you can go through tagging purchases into budget accounts to get a good understanding of how you spend your money. This information is incredibly useful as you decide what habits need to be changed.  But, it can also be overwhelming. I have a hard time not going down the rabbit hole of financial questions when I log into Mint. How are our savings accounts doing? Did our 401k just lose money? Did we save enough for the kids’ college???
    
That's where the paper spending plan comes in. You aren't tracking everything you spend in your spending plan, just those categories that need special attention. For me that's definitely my coffee spending!
     
At 3:30 on Thursday when I am sitting at my desk desperate to go get a cup of coffee the last thing I want to do is a review of my whole financial picture. I just want to walk to the coffee shop confident that I’m not blowing my whole budget. The Spending Plan built into the Evolve Planner lets me do that. With a quick glance I can see where I am at for the week without getting overwhelmed by my life’s financial status. And if I am going to go over budget with this coffee trip, I can flip the page and see my Goal Pages. It reminds me of what is most important and gives me the boost I need to get through the day without that fancy coffee. I stay on track. And, the next time I log into mint.com I am pleasantly surprised with the increased balance of my savings account!

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