We have seen and heard the stories on the news: unemployment rates are at an all time high in the US, the cost of every day living is steadily increasing, while the amount of money that is in our pockets is steadily decreasing. These times call for using the money that we do have in smart, effective ways.
The Frugal Files is a new column for Belle-Noir that will be featured both here and on our new radio show in February. We know that times are hard for everyone-us included. So when we find some great advice on money matters, be it a place to find coupons for the grocery store, a free e-book that you can download, or a website that has great tips on how to make your budget work, we will share it here.
Speaking of personal budgets, we highly recommend you sign up for the free money management & budgeting software over at mint.com. Mint allows you to track your spending and saving across all of your accounts, be it your bank account ("I took how much out of the ATM last month???") your credit cards ("I used my credit card to purchase how many lattes at Starbucks?"), even your 401K and IRAs. It also will help keep you on your set budget by sending you alerts via email or cell phone (note to the iPhone users: Mint has its own iPhone app) when you have spent past your allotted amount.
Now, mint.com can't come and cut up your credit cards and lock your debit card away where you can't spend to your hearts content. But by tracking all of your spending in one place, it will allow you to see where you spend the most and how you can save.
Did we mention that registration is free? If saving money was one of your resolutions for 2009, do more than that by signing up for mint.com today.