I just found out that when I reply to comments via e-mail, they are not being received by the commenter. Shoot. I’m sorry to all who have commented on my blog. I swear I wasn’t ignoring you. For those of you who use Blogger, how do you respond to comments?
Moving on…A crucial part of getting out of debt and/or saving money is to keep track of your spending, usually in the form of a budget. I’ve tried a few different routes, such as Mint.com, an Excel spreadsheet, and old fashioned envelopes. I didn’t like Mint because it only showed me where I spent my money, not what I should do with the money I currently have. I need to be proactive, ya’ll! I enjoyed the Excel spreadsheet and envelope strategies because it was very clear how much money I had allocated for everything I needed. However, envelopes required cash only, which is not safe and the Excel spreadsheet was too much maintenance with manual data entry for every penny I spent/earned.
Anyway, yesterday I decided to try out Mvelopes.com. This is completely my own doing and I don’t think Mvelopes has any clue who I am let alone sponsor me to write this. I just wanted to share what I found.
I loved the concept of the envelope strategy online. I was stoked when they said it was free. Why not give it a try? Within 2 minutes on the site, I had hesitations and ultimately I will not be using it as a budgeting strategy for me.
- When they say “free”, it means a free 30-day trial. Alright, fair enough.
- When they say “free 30-day trial”, they actually mean only if you have 3 accounts or fewer. I have one checking account, one savings account, one credit card account, and 4 student loan accounts. Once I registered my first 3 accounts, I was told I needed to upgrade to a premium account for only $9.95/month! Umm…I thought it was supposed to be free??
- Registering accounts was actually quite difficult and pretty invasive. It was kind of creepy giving my personal and account information to a site like this. I read reviews and I’ve heard great things but I usually remain skeptical. After I got over those heebeejeebees, I had to try 3 or 4 times to get my bank information to register. It was very frustrating and time consuming.
Once it told me I couldn’t go any further without paying $9.95 I left the site. Honestly, I don’t even have $9.95 to my name right now and if I did, it wouldn’t be spent on a service to manage my money. I’ve always believed that it shouldn’t cost you money to be smarter with your money. I may not be great at it but if the point is to get out of debt, I’m not paying $120 a year on a service when I can put that money towards debt!
Matt has developed yet another Excel spreadsheet that is a bit more automatic (he is a smarty pants with math and Excel!) so that’s next on my list to try. Something has got to work well for me though, right??
How do you keep track of your money? Any suggestions of resources to try??