With your Big Day quickly approaching, wouldn’t it be great if you could set aside your wedding budget tracking concerns and concentrate on the million and one other things that you need to get done? Since online budget tools are designed to help people manage ALL their spending in just minutes a month, they can certainly save you time and effort in tracking your wedding expenses. Here’s our take on how you could use Mint.com to keep tabs on your Wedding expenses.
If you’re a Bride- or Groom-to-be (or paying for someone else’s wedding!), we’d love to hear how you’re using Mint.com or other tools for your wedding budget planning.
Tracking all your Wedding Expenses in One Secure Place
Mint.com collects all of your checking, saving and credit card transactions in one secure place, and then updates that data automatically every day. This means you don’t have to collect receipts and bank statements, or visit multiple bank web sites, or build Excel spreadsheets to understand what you’ve spent. Or it means you don’t have to feel guilty anymore if you’re not already doing that bookkeeping! With Mint.com, you have a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date place to see all your wedding expenses online, anytime.
Understand Wedding Expenses by Category
As soon as you’ve added your bank and credit card accounts to Mint.com (learn How Mint Keeps You Safe), you’ll see all of your expenses for the past few months organized by spending category on the Trends page.
Your catering expenses will be automatically grouped in Food and Dining, dresses and accessories in Shopping, honeymoon tickets in Travel, all with amazing accuracy. But feel free to recategorize your expenses, if you prefer. For example, if you are having your wedding at a hotel, you can easily recategorize your payments to that hotel from Travel (where Mint will typically categorize hotel expenses) to another category.
Note: As Mint doesn’t currently have a Wedding category (you’ll be able to create custom categories later this year), you may choose to categorize all of your wedding expenses under a category that you don’t typically use. That way, you can see your total wedding spending in one “pie chart” on your Trends page. If you choose to use Hobbies, for example, just click on the Shopping slice and then on the Hobbies slice to see your total wedding expenses, by merchant.
You may also want to label your expenses. Labeling makes it even easier for you to track and manage your wedding expenses in the way that makes most sense to you. Just check one or more purchases on your Transaction page, click on Label and select Add New or Multiple Labels from the drop down menu. You can add multiple labels to a single transaction, or request that all transactions from a certain merchant get the same labels with a Rule.
It’s Easy to Find and Summarize Purchases
Can’t remember how much you paid the hotel as a room deposit for your wedding reception? Just search on the name of the hotel and you’ll find the date and amount of that deposit. Want a summary of all the payments you’ve made to your wedding planner? Just search on his or her business name to get the full list.
Want to know how much you’ve spent on your Bridesmaids? If you’ve labeled purchases as being for your Bridesmaids, just search on that term to see the total you’ve invested in the women who’ll be standing up for you (and telling stories to your Groom that you may be living down for quite a while).
Wedding Budgeting Made Simple
At this point, you’ve got your past wedding expenses well organized. Now, how do you stay on top of what you’ll be spending in the future? Mint.com can help you out here.
Mint.com automatically calculates a budget for you in five big spending categories, using your average monthly spending as guide. You can add categories, or change any monthly budget amount. Just click on the Add Budget link from the Overview page to make your choices. (If you’ve decided to collect all of your wedding expenses under the Hobbies category, just click on the Add Budget link and navigate from Shopping to Hobbies from the drop down menu.)
You can choose whatever dollar amount is appropriate for that month…probably a small percent of your total wedding budget if you’re more than 6 months away from the Big Day. You should expect that 30%-60% of your expenses will hit in the month of your wedding. See our recent post, Simple and Elegant Wedding Budgeting for a sample budget.
Wedding Expense Alerts
Mint.com also makes it easy to stay on top of what you’re spending, and to eliminate wedding budget tracking surprises, by sending you alerts via email or SMS text message. Some alerts that might be helpful:
- Your Bank Account Balance is Low. You want to avoid bouncing checks to your caterer and finding you have no entrees for your guests.
- Your Credit Card Bill is Due or Your Available Credit is Low. So you can be sure your card is approved when you’re picking up the tuxes at the last minute.
- You’ve Exceeded one of Your Defined Budgets. Remember, you can set budgets for any Mint.com category.
- Large Purchases or Large Deposits. Be the first to know when a big charge hits any of your accounts or when the check from his parents to cover your rehearsal dinner clears your account.
Click on the Set up Alerts button at the top of the Overview page to create your customized alerts.
At Mint, we’re always happy to hear from users that they’re feeling more on top of their spending because of our free, online budget tool. We are doubly happy when we hear that we played a small role in making a user’s Big Day easier, less stressful and even more affordable.
Mint Asks: Are you already using Mint to manage your wedding budget? Any tips to pass along? A pair of Mint t-shirts to anyone sending us wedding pictures from their Mint-managed nuptials!
Related Mint Links:
Create A Budget Online
Personal Finance Software
Free Money Manager