Budgets? Spreadsheets? Oh definitely, I tried and tried and failed miserably each and every time. I would pull out my checkbook and try to use the little booklet in the back to write down my transactions. Who designed that thing? It is way too much work and responsibility for this gal.
Then I discovered mint.com. I want to encourage everyone to give this site a chance. Is it perfect? No. But it is an amazing aide in the pursuit of staying on budget and knowing what is happening with your money. Mint provides a one stop portal to see all of your accounts and identify your transactions. I’ve been using it since February 2009 and haven’t had my accounts hacked once. I know privacy is a big concern but I have not encountered any problems with identify theft. I implore you to check into it if you use debit or credit cards to pay for purchases and bills in your daily life. You can add cash transactions too but transactions through your cards will be automatically added to your mint.
The moral of this story is: if you want a hand in the rather daunting, monotonous and necessary task of tracking your purchases please give mint.com a try. It will leave your budget spreadsheet minty fresh and glistening.