Using Mint for your personal finances
One of the most difficult things for people to do is to stay on top of their personal finances, and ministry leaders are no exception. And rightfully so, as it can sometimes feel so pointless and it takes so much time to do well.
If you feel like that, you’re not alone. But nothing can be further from the truth. Whether you are scraping by, or have more than you know what to do with, it’s important for you to keep track of your personal spending. By recording your spending, you can see where you’re putting your time, and compare it to what matters most to you. It’s also a great way to find where you’ve been spending too much and to compare month to month to see any trends that should be changed.
I’ve already written about how I handle receipts, but I want to tell you about my favorite personal finance system called Mint. This isn’t a good option for businesses, or all that great for people who use a lot of cash, but it’s awesome for those of us who primarily use cards or checks.
The best part about Mint is that they pull information from your bank and so you NEVER miss a transaction (and you never have to put one in either). The way I use Mint is that I have a tag called “reconciled” which I use after I confirm a category of a transaction with my receipt. All I have to do is review all the transactions that aren’t tagged yet (by searching “-tag:reconciled”) once a week. This goes very quickly since Mint automatically categorize transactions as well, and it’s really good at it too (it even learns what future transactions should be categorized based on your corrections).
And there you have it! From there I can setup a budget to have a close eye on the categories we use, or I can just view a report of all expenses whenever I want.
I hope that helps you organize your personal finances and get back on track on knowing how much you spend, and where you spend it.