We are as confused as everyone else… so check out this site
Josh has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Chicago, but that doesn’t mean he’s an expert economist. That, however, hasn’t stopped people from asking him to explain what’s going on with the economy.
The frank answer to that question is: nobody knows. There are a lot of people with way more training, access to data, and professional interest in the current situation who are equally baffled. Some brilliant minds we respect support the proposed bailout, and some equally impressive thinkers are opposed to it.
Falling Dow-Jones aside, the path to financial independence is through spending less than you earn. That said, tracking your finances is a pain. Everybody seems to have 13 different accounts, be them banking, credit cards, investments, loans, and mortgages.
Mint.com is the simplest tool to organize your personal finances that we’ve ever seen. Upon creating an account, it will ask you to identify the various financial institutions with which you do business. You enter your login and password for each one, and Mint goes out and fetches all your recent transactions. Mint becomes a secure central portal where you can view up-to-date information on your balances and transactions across ALL your accounts with one login.
It gets better. The beauty of a web-based solution like Mint (instead of something like Quicken or Microsoft Money) is that it can leverage the wisdom of a large user-base. In a conventional desktop personal accounting application, you have to categorize each transaction by hand. Mint leverages a huge body of users, and recognizes and categorizes the vast majority of your transactions automatically.
With minimal investment of time, Mint provides a comprehensive view of your personal finances, and automatically builds your budget. As you categorize the few outlying transactions, the picture becomes clearer and clearer, and you can view your progress towards your financial goals. It will even email you a weekly summary of your activity!
Mint will help you save a mint. And it’s free!