Jan 3, 2012

Several Budgeting Resources For 2012!!


Cutting back on your monthly budget is always one of the biggest new years resolutions every year.  I guess in general people overspend on the holidays (hopefully none of you did! 🙂 ) and try to hunker down in January to live off as little as possible to make up for the excessive November and December spending.

So, I thought I would use this week’s Survival Tip Tuesday post to tell you guys about a few great resources to help with your budgeting goals for this year.

1.  Mint

Mint.com Mint.com is owned by Quicken and gives you a one stop place to see all of your banking information for FREE.  You add your checking accounts, savings accounts, paypal accounts, mortgages, credit cards…. and they give you a complete summary of your spending.  You can set up a monthly budget for different categories and Mint will give you updates on if you are meeting your budget or going over.

And the best part? (…at least for me)  I didn’t have to do a THING after I created my account and entered my info!!  I can log on at any time and it pulls all of our updated info so that I can see exactly where we are financially at all times.  Yeah, I’m not very good at keeping up with financial information that I have to enter on a daily, or really any kind of regular basis.

They have bank-level security on their site, so it is extremely secure.

You can sign up for your FREE Mint.com account here.

2.  Manilla

 Another great FREE option for having all of your accounts in one place is Manilla.com!  It works very similarly to Mint, is also extremely secure, and adds the feature of being able to add in all of your rewards accounts, loyalty programs, Groupons (yes, you can see your available Groupons there!), Netflix subscriptions, and more.

Manilla grabs the information from all of your different accounts and consolidates it into one organized website. It lets you know your current balances, payments, upcoming bills, rewards points available, etc… all in ONE place!

You can find more information and sign up on the Manilla Website.

We are actually signed up with both Mint and Manilla because I really like the features of both (and they are both FREE)!

3.  Budgeting Spreadsheets

Overall Budgeting Spreadsheets

There are a ton of options for budgeting spreadsheets that you can download to your computer.  Here are a few that were listed on Get Rich Slowly, but I’d definitely recommending heading over to see the full list of budgeting spreadsheets:

  • Of Zen & Computing has a very bare-bones budgeting spreadsheet that you can use with any spreadsheet program for free.
  • Pear Budget is a GREAT online tool for having a budget that’s completely done for you where you don’t have to mess with a spreadsheet at all.  There is a fee of $4.95 per month, but you can get that fee waived for each friend you refer to their site.  You can also do a free 1 month trial to test it out, AND you don’t have to input any credit card info for the trial which is nice!
  • Microsoft has many different finance templates for Excel including several spreadsheet templates for budgets!  The ones I saw (there are several) looked really nice with pretty colors and everything.  🙂

Grocery Spending Spreadsheet

I remember the first time I saw my friend Stephanie over at Couponing 101‘s grocery spending spreadsheet (yes, we are friends in real life too!)  🙂  I was completely blown away!  She has EVERYTHING that she spent on her grocery listed out by week, as well as how much she would have spent, and how much she saved.  WOW!

Sound complicated?  Actually it’s not complicated at all because she has the spreadsheet set up to do all of the adding, subtracting, and percentages for you.

You can click here to download the Grocery Spending Spreadsheet.

Meal Planners With Expense Tracking

Erin over at $5 Dinners has a ton of great meal budgeting resources (of course!)  If you’re looking for ways to help with keeping tracking of what you spend for specific meals, check out this great list of meal planning resources!

Not only does Erin have a Grocery Shopping List with Meal Plan and Expense Tracking printable, but she has handy printable organization sheets for overall meal planning, pantry staples, and even planning for your garden!

What do you use to keep track of your budget each year?  Do you use an online website, spreadsheets, or pen (or pencil) and paper?

Let us know what you use in the comments below!

*NOTE:  The giveaway has ended.* 

This post is part of the Survival Tip Tuesday series! Be sure to check out more Survival Tip Tuesday articles!

Official rules: There will be ONE winner for the $25 Amazon Gift Card!  Limit 1 entry per person. This giveaway will end on Wednesday January 4th, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST.  The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email. No purchase necessary to win.  You must be 13 or older to enter and have a mailing address within the United States to enter.  Odds of winning depend on number of comments. Employees of Surviving The Stores are not eligible for participation.  CrossNetwork Media, LLC is not liable for any injury or damage to persons and/or things as a result of the acceptance of the prize offered. This contest is in no way associated, administered, sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.  Feel free to also check out our disclosure policy!

Print this post This post may contain affiliate links. Click to view full disclosure policy.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. betsy barnes says:

    I use weekly/monthly budget sheets, however, I am going to start using the grocery spreadsheet.

  2. Cecily Mangum says:

    I’ve got my own spreadsheet that I use for budgeting, but I love the idea of being able to pull all my online account info at once. I’m going to check out manilla – I’m so tired of spreadsheet tracking my mileage accounts. Hopefully those can be pulled too?

  3. I made my own Excel spreadsheet, been using it for over two years now, 🙂

  4. We use a paper and pencil. It almost sounds too simple, but it works for us. Another “tool” we have developed is for both my husband and me to sit down and financially plan for the upcoming year. We talk about what we are hoping to achieve with our money, what we want to pay off or save up for, and set goals for the year. With goals we are both working towards, we are much more likely to be in synch with the rest of the finances. Communicating about our finances has strengthened our marriage and our pocketbook.

  5. I am doing a menu for the week!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I always go to walgreens with all the sale items wrote down which ones give register rewards. I then ring up the rewards combined with coupons first, i then ring up the second set of items and use rewards along with coupons this enables me to stock up for as little as possible.

  7. Angela Marklin says:

    Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. We took the class when we first were married but I think we could use a refresher!

  8. I use an old fashioned ledger. I buy a new one every January and keep very good records of how much i spend every month. I have done this for years and can go back and look up how much my gas and electric costs were in 1980! I also keep track of my usage. Because all my bills are recorded, i never miss a payment because I know what is due when.

  9. I have created an excel spreadsheet that I can update daily/ weekly/ monthly when there is incoming and outgoing funds or something to plan for. I also alter it when need be so that I can remove items that no longer need to be purchased- like diapers!

  10. We use Mint.com!

  11. I have used Mint for a little over a year and love it.

  12. I just use a simple excel spreadsheet but it works for me!

  13. Jessie C. says:

    I use excel spredsheet.

  14. My husband and I use a combo of Quicken and Excel to match up our actuals to our budgeted each month. We’ve been cash based since 2007 and still going strong. Thanks Dave Ramsey.

  15. I’ve signed up for a few of the others, but I have my own designed spreadsheet!

  16. Bianca Roman says:

    I use Mint.com and I also try to use the envelope system as much as I can!!

  17. We use the Mint.com (so easy to track expenses this way!) and the envelope system. You only take your budgeted amount to the store and that’s all you can spend!

  18. I use my credit union website to stick to a budget.

  19. I don’t have one. Sad huh? I just keep a general idea of where the money goes, though I am sure if I actually started to keep a real budget I would be able to see more clearly where the money is going. I need to really start this. I think I am going to set that as one of my goals for this year.

    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

  20. Jennifer Hallberg says:

    I use a combination of Quicken, coupons, my bank’s website, and paper and pencil to help me stay on budget.

  21. I use pen and paper, this year I would like to get a better spread sheet though.

  22. I use YNAB (You Need a Budget) and LOVE it! Our church’s stewardship dept recommended it to us and it has revolutionized our budget. I left Walmart tonight thinking again about how much I love it – because I know EXACTLY how much I have to spend in each category, and I know the bills are taken care of. I’m not going to bounce the electric bill because I spend too much at Walmart; it’s all mapped out! They have a mobile app too so you can enter transactions on the go. The website is http://www.ynab.com

  23. The mint and manilla sites seem a little sketchy to me, but i’m definitely trying out new budget spreadsheets to see what works best for me. thanks!

  24. We use spreadsheets. My husband is the budget person at our house.

  25. dawn abel says:

    I had a family child care for 20+ yrs. Being on the USDA food program, my supporting agency provided a calendar with a recordkeeping system. It kept things simple, easy to follow & it was all in one place. Now that I’m retired, I am looking for a replacement.

  26. Oceanic17 says:

    I use old fashioned pen and paper! Maybe it’s time for an update for 2012! 🙂

  27. we use monthly spreadsheets for our budget

  28. My husband started an excel spreadsheet when he was in college and, with many a tweak, is still using it today. I use the most basic Quicken to itemize all transactions but it is an accessory to the spreadsheet with monthly worksheets and annual savings (along with worksheets for house expenses and children’s budget/savings sheets). Each year he adds the monthly sheets to the archive file keeping the original spreadsheet manageable.

  29. Erin Dupree says:

    I use Mint.com

  30. We use pencil and paper. We own a business, so it fluctuates from month to month quite a bit sometimes. But, the grocery savings spreadsheet above excites me! I know I am saving each week, but it will make it worth the time invested in couponing to see it on paper I think.

  31. Sarahanne says:

    I haven’t used a budget per say yet, so these are great! Thanks!

  32. Lyric Lain says:

    I keep a very detailed spreadsheet of my family’s budget, but I really want to get on board with meal planning and organizing our meals better for time management sake. I will be returning to school this upcoming semester, so planning meals will be more important than ever!

  33. I love mint.com! I also don’t have my savings and checking at the same bank… it really helps me to NOT have them linked in a way that I can just use savings to pay for other things so easily. I can transfer money back and forth but it takes a few days – so it helps to not buy things on impulse.

  34. TraciMurray says:

    I use excel.

  35. I love using Mint! Now that I’ve used it for over a year, I have some nice options to review a year’s worth of trends in my spending patterns. Super easy to set up and maintain.

  36. ruth ogden says:

    My husband and I use mint and create our own excel budget spreadsheet. I will definitely be checking out $5 dinners!

  37. Erinn Sluka says:

    I use a spiral notebook and pen…a tally I make of my own. [email protected]

  38. I like to use my husband’s brain…and my internal expense monitor. Whenever I spend any money, my husband disapproves. And I know when I’m spending more than I should…both of those combine to make us very frugal!

  39. I use Quicken for the overall yearly budget, but also use coupons and MANY coupons sites to help me save the max. I set a monthly goal for groceries, keep all my receipts, and make sure I stay within that budget.

  40. Marianthy says:

    I just signed up on Manilla…here’s to hoping this thing can help me budget!!!

  41. Deb Solis says:

    This is our second year using Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover budget, and it’s going great! Best decision we ever made.

  42. Another vote for YNAB! I’ve been using it for more than a year and it’s a great tool.

  43. Destiny McGuire says:

    I use Manilla.com and do far love it. Only downside is it doesn’t have all accounts on there to subscribe to. But I am lolling forward to trying the others listed on the blog Mint.com looks resourceful

  44. My wife and I use our online banking. I would like to have something that contains all my accounts in one though.

  45. I use an excel spreadsheet that is on my google docs so I can access it from any computer including my iPod touch! The convenience of it means it’s one less mental hurdle to overcome when I input daily expenses… Or somethin’ like that 🙂

  46. I use a series of Word documents with various budgets in them. I have separate files for the school-year budget and the summertime budget since our needs are different during those times.

  47. Our bank has a cool pie chart that breaks down our spending, but usually we use the good old excel document for expenses and the budget

  48. I use Mint.com and I also have my own spreadsheet that I use to keep track of bills that have been paid and need to be paid. 🙂

  49. Pen and paper.

  50. I use Quicken 2012 Home and Business Edition. I’ve used Quicken for over 10 yrs. Intuit has finally made the budgeting and reporting more user friendly. I wish I had known about Mint.com before upgrading my Quicken version to 2012… Oh well, I still like having Quicken data protected by me (call me old fashioned). 😉

  51. Michelle Von says:

    Excel spreadsheet. We’ve been using it for 5 years now so it’s pretty well fine tuned.

  52. I never heard of the two sites mentioned – Mint and Manilla…but will definitely be using them now! Thanks!

  53. I use an online service for my bank info, as well. And, I am about to look into Manila; thanks for the info!

  54. nakia george says:

    i use an excel sheet.

  55. Crystal K. says:

    I use an Excel spreadsheet.

  56. I don’t have a full budget per se but have a bill sheet that we do with a combination of computer and pen and paper. I know I should expand it to a budget though. Maybe one of the sites will help. I’ll check them out.

  57. I have a grocery budget and use an excel spreadsheet for our monthly spending/budget.

  58. Niece Boyer says:

    We use Quicken

  59. I hate to admit it but I use paper and pencil but not consistently. I am trying to get better and have a little bit each year over the last few years. I have tried using some software but it is always too much retrieval of info. Mint.con sounds perfect for me!! I plan to start using that!!

  60. we use a spreadsheet like the pear budget one. so awesome to be able to tell at moment how much we have left for the month in each category. we have saved sooo much this way. we dont spend it if we dont have it left.

  61. I use budgeting spreadsheets

  62. I just use an Excel spreadsheet that I created but I’m headed over to check out your friend’s grocery spending spreadsheet … sounds like a great tool! Thanks for this opportunity to win an Amazon GC. 🙂
    reducefootprints at gmail dot com

  63. I still prefer the good ole paper and pencil budgeting. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but this seems to work for me. I actually type my budget and monthly bills online, then print a checklist to use when each bill is paid each month. Having it in front of me on paper seems to help keep me on track.

  64. I am checking out Mint.com now, what a great idea, i had never heard of this site, thanks for always having great tips!

  65. After paying all necessary bills, I take the amount that I will need for the rest of the month and place it in my checking account. the rest goes into my savings which I had NOT linked to my atm card, so I can’t just get the money out of my savings unless I really need it!

  66. I just use plain old Excel. Nothing fancy for me.

  67. We just started using Manilla. Thanks for sharing these resources and the giveaway!

  68. Susan Stahley says:

    We use a spreadsheet to keep track of our budget. It would be so much easier if my husband made the same amount each week.

  69. shannon oelrich says:

    I dont currently use anything but I really need to start. We should have a lot more money in savings than we do.

  70. old fashioned pen and paper thanks

  71. I just use a plain Google Spreadsheet to keep track of things.

  72. Most of the legwork is done by me all year long but to make sure my numbers are correct and for a quick deposit, I use turbotax online. I really like handling my own taxes and preparation – it helps us see where our money is going and better ways to handle it in the future. Great giveaway!

  73. We started using mint.com last year at your suggestion and have been very pleased so far. We just need to use it more! 😉

  74. Heather Y. says:

    I just use an Excel spreadsheet

  75. I use quicken and excel spreadsheets.

  76. I already use Mint. I totally love it.

  77. I usually don’t use anything to help with budgeting or tracking receipts. That’s why I appreciate this post so much. I’m going to download the tracker from your friends website and start with that. THANKS!!! You website has been invaluable.

  78. Alicia Knowles says:

    I use several spreadsheets I created after attending a budgeting class, but I’m definitely going to check out some of the tools you listed. Thanks!

  79. Tracie Trump says:
  80. We use our own spreadsheets for budgeting. I’d love to be entered to win!
    lindsey (dot) m (dot) bell (at) hotmail.com

  81. we “use” an app on our phones called NeoBudget. I say “use” because the hubs signed us up for it and I am the one doing all the spending… It confuses me because I use the credit card for all the purchases (we pay it off each month) but I think we need to just use our debit card instead.

  82. I just started using Manila!

  83. Just good old excel spreadsheets to track all expenses!

  84. Andrea Smith says:


Leave a Comment