Frugalistas, I need your strength, help and concern. I’m normally the person who my friends/blog peers turn to to talk about budgets, but today, I need to confess to you all!
After years of doing my finances independently, I signed up to use budgeting website, mint.com. Using the site is like having a money nag, right there in your wallet! Once you connect all of your accounts (credit card, savings, checking, loans) to the site, it takes over your life. Mint.com set me up on a budget and now I am paranoid that I won’t come in under budget for the month of April. I have
$189 $76 (my utility bill just cleared) to last me until Friday. It SHOULDN’T be a problem, but I know that mint.com will let me know if I don’t make the cut.
Where I was good (Gold Star): I didn’t spend my $10 allotted for coffee shops and I haven’t shopped for clothes this month. I still have $60 left on my gas budget, and I will have no problem staying under that budget. I still have $67 left in my grocery budget.
Where I was not-so-hot: Mint.com has sent me nasty grams aka “alerts” for going over the cell phone by $72. I have a new cell phone plan that I’m getting used to and I had a few unexpected conference calls, sending me over my minutes. My restaurant budget, well, I’m $20 over it. Bad Frugalista! Bad Frugalista!
So, after going over the restaurant budget, I’ve been cooking like a little chef. I still have money left in the grocery budget and I won’t let this darn personal finance website get the best of me! I’m determined to come in under TOTAL budget this month, even if I blew two categories (cell and restaurant). I will win! I will win! Can’t stop, won’t stop!
I never knew that signing up for a personal finance site would be such an emotional investment. Could there be a method to the madness? I’m already determined to come under budget for May. I’m watching every cell phone call that I make. I’m halfway through my cell phone billing cycle and I’ve only used 60 minutes and I have 450 left. Take that, mint.com!
Anyway, do you use mint.com? What do you think about the “alerts?” How do you manage your budget? Do you use a program? If so, which one? Am I paranoid?
P.S. If you hear a loud scream/howl on Friday, it’s probably because I blew the budget. Send help, immediately. Kthx!