Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 20 of Home Ownership (budget)

Keeping track of costs of a housing rehab is of the utmost importance especially when buying a foreclosure! We could easily spend $30,000 today on the kitchen alone if we wanted. But alas we do not have that kind of cash sitting around. So we made a budget.

Previously we were keeping track of our expenses via quickbooks on our home computer. I really liked it because it was secure in the sense that as long as we had our laptop we did not have to worry about anything. Also our bank allowed us to download the transactions in the appropriate form to import to quickbooks. So there was a little bit of work making sure the correct accounts were charged but it wasn't impossible. Nevertheless, we recently switch to a different bank which formats their documents differently. Resulting in me not being able to figure out the necessary steps to easily update our existing information.

So now we are using Mint again. We previously used mint and it is a great website. The only thing I do not like about it is that they do store your passwords. And if you followed the news at all you will realize how easy it is for a hacker to get your information even when following best practices.

Another knock against Mint is that the bigger it gets the more interesting it is going to be for a hacker. Which was why I left the first time. Mint was blowing up and it had recently being acquired by Intuit. (who I believe also makes quickbooks).

However, you can't beat mint at what it does. It does a great job of going through your online accounts and scrapping the information and putting together budgets.

So as of today we are over $300 over budget! (I purchased a lawn mower for $350).

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