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Make your cash a each day routine

Starting a new routine in any area of ​​life can be challenging. Whether it's changes in your finances, exercise habits, health, or any other type of new routine, one of the best ways to increase your chances of success is to make it a part of your existing daily routine. Making small changes to something you already do dramatically increases your chances of sticking to a new habit. Here we look at some ways you can integrate finance into your everyday life.

Set yourself up for success

If you are planning or have already set a goal or resolution to improve your finances, Mint can help. With Mint, keeping track of your finances feels less like torture and more like a natural part of your day. Instead of feeling like you just have “one more thing” to do each day, there are many moments in which you can take care of your finances in the background. This makes you much more likely to stay on track.

Keep making progress

The hardest part about making progress is making progress all the time. It's really difficult to stay in the same place. So if you're not always moving forward, you may find yourself moving backwards. All you have to do is keep up with the pace — and luckily, Mint makes that easy.

One thing to watch out for is making a mistake and then giving up on your new financial goal entirely. It's unrealistic to think that you won't even make a mistake – so if you set the mentality of perfect or nothing, you will most likely end up with nothing. Instead, remember that the road to financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. If you're over budget for a month, don't give up — instead, review what went wrong and strive to improve next month.

Keep track of your expenses

Probably the most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for good financial health is to keep track of your expenses. That means not just keeping track of your big items like rent, mortgage, utilities, and other loan payments, but EVERYTHING. There are many different ways to keep track of your expenses, and each of us may prefer a different method. The most important thing is to find the path that works best for you and stick to it.

You can go as low-tech as a paper expense journal, where you write down each expense and then budget them. If you prefer something more advanced and automated, Mint might be a great option. When you connect your bank accounts and credit cards to Mint, your purchases are automatically tracked and categorized for you based on the merchant. You can also set up a weekly or monthly budget and get alerts when your spending approaches or exceeds your budget.

Use Mint to keep track of your spending

A great way to use Mint to fit your finances into your daily routine is to set a reminder to check Mint regularly. Once or twice a week is probably a good cadence for many people, but if it's easier you can just repeat it daily. Find something you do regularly and make checking your Mint account a part of it. This could be during your lunch break, your morning coffee, or anything else you already do on a regular basis.

When reviewing your Mint account, there are a few things to look out for:

Look for fraudulent or unauthorized charges – If there is an accusation that you do not recognize, you should investigate where it came from
Look for miscategorized purchases — Mint uses the merchant you make a purchase from to assign it to a budget category. Check that all your purchases are correctly assigned
Check your budget — Take a look at your budget and see how your spending history is doing. Make any adjustments that make sense.

The final result

Every change in your life requires mental and physical adjustments. Changing your finances is no exception, and the best way to make a change is to incorporate checking your finances into something you already do as part of your daily routine. Mint can be a great tool to help you stay on top of your finances and stay on budget. And remember, no matter where your day takes you, there's always time for Mint.

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Dan Miller (91 posts)

Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a website that helps families travel for free/cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 children.

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