Happily, Bart and I have been using mint.com for over a year now, so I have many things to say about it (of course, if you read my personal blog, you probably know I would likely have many things to say about it even if I'd only used it one time ever).
Let me say this first - I do not like paper. I do not want to go through all my receipts, I do not want to print anything out, and I don't want to do a lot of work. Basically, I want to do Lazy Person Budgeting. Probably because I am, at heart, a lazy person.
So, for me, mint.com has been a terrific solution. It does a lot of the work for me, it's all online, available from every computer, and I don't have any paper to deal with.
Mint.com is a free online program (nothing to download) that you can use to manage all your bank accounts, loans, credit cards, and assets in one place.You can track your spending on a day to day basis and you can create and stick to your budget there. It also (and this is the biggest selling point for Bart) records every transaction you make, so you know when you pull out $20 from an ATM, or spend $4.27 at the grocery store on a Thursday afternoon or buy $1,000 worth of plane tickets. You can go through and look at every cent you've spent and categorize it.Basically, it's all in one. (And did I mention FREE?)
If you're familiar with Quicken (which my parents have used for years and years), you'll be happy to know that mint.com is their online version. I personally like mint.com far better than I ever liked Quicken. I think the interface is better, it's more user-friendly, and, well, it's just prettier.
Here's what my homepage looks like when I sign in (I've blanked out some things for privacy).
You can add all the accounts you have to the left sidebar, including savings, credit cards, loans, mortgages, and checking accounts. It will automatically update those accounts every time you log in (one less thing for me to do), so you know instantly how much money you have available, how much you've spent on your credit card, and what your ratio of debt to cash is.
At the top there are alerts, things like "You have spent $520 on gas this month. Usually you spend $125," so you have something to tell you if you're way off your normal spending (this happened last month when we got new phones and so our cell phone bill was more than double the normal amount while we waited for our rebate checks).
Then you have the budget section in the center, which has all sorts of handy information available at a glance.
Later this week, I'll talk more about using it to budget (because I know you need some reason to look forward to Friday), and the specific ways that I use it. For now, I'll just reaffirm my love of mint.com and suggest you look into it. Easy, fast, and free? What's not to like?