Budgeting your finances is one of the most annoying yet important tasks for a college student. Keeping track of all your receipts manually and putting them all in a piece of paper or even an excel spreadsheet isn’t our favorite thing to do, even for the “organized types” amongst us. Here’s where Mint.com comes in, a site and associated mobile apps that helps you manage your finances while helping you prioritize and cut back on your expenses.

mintSigning up for Mint is easy and free. Once you have signed up you can connect all your accounts: savings, checking, credit card and for different types of loans to Mint using their respective passwords. Don’t worry about the security of your account, Mint connects over APIs offered by the banks and financial institutions and doesn’t actually see your password. Moreover, it’s owned by Intuit, the same people that own Quickbooks and Turbotax, so they are reputable.

Once Mint collects all your financial information, it automatically categorizes your expenses. If you are a visual type like me, the various graphs and pie charts are very useful in understanding the various facets of your finances. For instance, there’s a very handy pie chart that shows you where you are spending your money. You can view a wide range of graphs and charts by selecting your time frame and the type of graph or chart you’d like to see.

Mint also lets you create budgets based on which it alerts you if you have exceeded the budget for a particular category during a month.  One nifty little add-on is the ability to compare your spending to the US average, which tells you where exactly do you fit in within the 99% (or the 1%, what do I know?). Another feature Mint offers is goals, which might be something you’ll use more once you have graduated.  There are several preset goals like Pay Off Credit Card Debt, Take a Trip, or Pay Off College.  You can also create a customized goal with an end date or a monthly amount.  Mint will help you track and accomplish your goal.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and sign up for mint and start budgeting. And once you have done that download their apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Android tablets. If you are looking more choice, Pageonce (https://www.pageonce.com/) is another option to look at.

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