Get a grip on your spending with free financial tracking tools at

One of the first steps towards getting your debt and spending under control is to know exactly where your money goes each month–and I found a fabulous free tool for budgeting and tracking finances at Mint comes to us courtesy of the folks at, who created Quickbooks, Quicken and Turbo Tax.

With Mint, you can:

  • See all your accounts in one place (checking, savings, credit cards, investments, etc)
  • View graphs and charts of your spending
  • Set and track your budgets to help you achieve your goals
  • Receive hundreds of dollars in personalized savings (they send you offers based on your spending habits)

It doesn’t take too long to add your accounts–a little while if you have a lot of different types of accounts–but it’s worth taking the time to do this. It’s secure, and best of all–FREE. You can log in from anywhere to see what’s happening in your financial universe at any time.

Sometimes we don’t realize exactly where we’re spending–or how much–and Mint will help you get a good handle on your finances. They send you a weekly snapshot of where you are (basically your current status as far as debt vs. assets) and even better, you get offers from Offermatic for rebates, as well as discounts from other Mint partners.

For instance, because I’m a big-time Amazon customer, and Mint determined this after 3 months of analyzing my spending, Offermatic sent me two $10.00 rebates already–which is fantastic for me! I’ve already used one and I’m about to redeem the second one.

So…with the holidays descending upon us, now would be a great time to sign up at
and take the first step towards a healthier financial future!

Let me know if you try Mint, and if it helps you as much as it’s helped me…

Bank of America Customers: Get free admission to select museums!

Whether you’re looking for some family fun, or to enjoy a little culture in your own backyard without costing  an arm and a leg, now’s your chance! On the first full weekend of every month, Bank of America customers can get free admission to participating museums, zoos, science centers and botanical gardens with their Museums on Us program!

And it couldn’t be any easier–all you have to do for the free admission is present your photo ID and any valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card. To find participating venues near you and enjoy a FREE day out, check the Bank of America website.  There are now 126 participating cultural institutions nationwide. The next eligible weekend is November 6-7, 2010. And you can sign up via email to get reminders of each upcoming weekend.

Here in Ft. Lauderdale, you can visit the Museum of Discovery and Science (mainly for kids, but a fun day out for “grownup kids” too) or the Museum of Art, both located downtown. You’ll save $11.00 per adult on the MODS admission, and $9.00 per child. That can add up if you have a large family (especially when you factor in lunch and snack costs). The Museum of Art costs about $10.00 per person.

In Miami, you can visit the Miami Art Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Miami Science Museum (admission costs $15.00 per adult and $11.00 per child) and the Museum of Contemporary Art. So even more great savings back in your wallet!

And these are excellent ways to treat an out of town friend or family member to some sightseeing! 

So now you have yet another way to save big. If you’re not a Bank of America customer, I bet you have a friend who is…or simply apply for one of their credit cards, and you’ll be in like Flynn…


FREE book on Amazon Kindle for a limited time: Trent Hamm’s The Simple Dollar

Simple DollarIf you have an Amazon Kindle, there’s a great freebie out there at the moment for a limited time. You can get a copy of Trent Hamm’s  The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams [Kindle Edition].  Regular print price is $19.99, and digital list price is $15.99, but right now you can score a Kindle copy for free.

Amazon doesn’t say how long this offer will be available–just “for a limited time”, so I would snag this asap if you’re even remotely interested.

I haven’t read this book, but the average customer review on Amazon is 4 out of 5 stars.  Here’s the scoop on it, according to Amazon:

Trent Hamm found himself drowning in consumer debt, working in a job he couldn’t stand… and figured out how to escape that debt and build the fulfilling career he’d always dreamt about, all at the same time.

Hamm shared his experiences at—and built it into one of America’s top personal finance websites. Now, The Simple Dollar is a book: packed with practical tips, tools, and lessons you can use to transform your life, too.

This isn’t just “another” personal finance book: it’s profoundly motivating, empowering, practical, and 100% grounded in today’s American realities. Trent Hamm will show you how to rewrite the rules, creating healthier relationships with money… and with your loved ones, too. With his help, you can get out of debt, start moving forward, and build the strong personal community that offers true happiness—no matter what happens to the economy.

Sounds like an interesting read, and I’m going to check out his website at too. Might just be able to pick up a few more tips on saving money!  If you read the book anytime soon, or have already read it, let me know what you think!

Oh, and it seems there are a few free Kindle books out there at the moment on good ol’ Amazon–including one titled “Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: Reaching for the Soul of Beer and Brewing“. LOL. You’ll find the current list at this link.  I’m going to add a few to my collection now (but not necessarily THAT one!).