If you have been following my blog, you know that there seem to be new promotions coming out on a weekly basis. If you are just starting off as a miles enthusiast, you might also be wondering if there’s a better way to start keeping track of all of your miles or money–especially when you start using more than 5 different miles programs or half a dozen credit cards. This post is dedicated to talking about two of my favorite programs/sites for managing your money and miles.
Mint: Managing Your Money
Mint is a great, free tool I use for managing my spending vs. earnings across the board between all my credit cards and bank accounts. Mint has been around for a few years now, and has particularly become popular over the past two years. Chances are you’ve already heard of Mint, or you already have an account. If not, I would recommend giving it a go. There’s no cost to you. What I particularly like about it, and use it often for, is creating monthly budgets on expenditures and quarterly goals for savings. It helps me keep track of how much I am eating out, and even gives me little alerts when I’m getting close to my budget.
I personally have separate budgets for Restaurants/Dining, Entertainment/Fun, Travel/Gas, Groceries, Business/Work, Charity/Donations, Utilities, and Miscellaneous. My favorite part about Mint, and probably the primary reason I use it, is that it automatically categorizes your spending on linked credit cards & debit cards into categories. That means it’ll know that your recent dinner at your local restaurant files under Restaurants/Dining–or that your last fill-up at Shell Gas falls underneath Travel/Gas. For me, that just means less work later on for taxes and just money management in general.
UsingMiles: Managing Your Miles/Points
UsingMiles is what I am using right now primarily to track my miles. It’s also a free service and does a great job to help you manage how you are doing on your miles across all the programs. For the most part, it’ll show your current miles/points balance as well as when the points/miles expire. Also other two notable miles tracking programs are AwardWallet and MileWise. (The latter being something I recently discovered, but looks a lot prettier design-wise than the other former two!)
Both Mint and UsingMiles also have mobile versions of their website, which are great for folks who are on-the-go or want to be productive while taking public transit on their morning or evening commute. I’ve been using Mint for over two years now, and UsingMiles for half a year now: I love both the programs. There are many others to choose from, so definitely shop around. All of the ones that I have looked at are completely free to use, so you don’t need to be paying extra to get this kind of management!
I’ve always been taught that good money management is a necessity in saving money and being frugal. And since I treat miles as cash, I think it applies to miles too. 😉 Feel free to share in the comments your favorite money or miles management programs!
Note/Disclaimer: Mint & UsingMiles are affiliate/invite-a-friend links, so if you visit the sites from here and sign-up, I will being receiving some sort of compensation. The AwardWallet and MileWise links are not affiliate links. I’m simply using frgl.us (my custom bit.ly :]) to track clicks on all links for my personal knowledge.