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!

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  1. Michelle Von says:

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

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

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

  4. nakia george says:

    i use an excel sheet.

  5. Crystal K. says:

    I use an Excel spreadsheet.

  6. 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.

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

  8. Niece Boyer says:

    We use Quicken

  9. 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!!

  10. 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.

  11. I use budgeting spreadsheets

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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!

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. old fashioned pen and paper thanks

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

  22. 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!

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

  24. Heather Y. says:

    I just use an Excel spreadsheet

  25. I use quicken and excel spreadsheets.

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. Tracie Trump says:

    Use dave ramsey and envelopes, tracietrump@yahoo.com

  30. We use our own spreadsheets for budgeting. I’d love to be entered to win!
    lindsey (dot) m (dot) bell (at) hotmail.com

  31. 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.

  32. I just started using Manila!

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

  34. Andrea Smith says:


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