Budgets and financial planning for journalists

By KELLY BURNS

I always hear the joke that journalists entered into the profession because they aren’t good with numbers. So, forgive me for feeding into this stereotype, but I’d like offer some help for those who are too busy researching, interviewing and writing to care much about math in their personal lives.

Have you ever heard of Mint.com?

While the name of the website doesn’t exactly provide you with an idea of what to expect, the subtitle of the site is every number-hating person’s nightmare: Budget Planning & Financial Planning. Yes, the idea sounds dry and uninteresting, but Mint.com makes the process exceptionally easy … even for journalists.

Mint allows you to keep track of your bank accounts, bills that need to be paid, and even estimated monthly expenses, in one place. Mint automatically begins to categorize all of your purchases and graphically shows you where you spend the most money. With Mint you can easily see where your money is going monthly and how you can better budget your money within minutes. After creating a monthly budget Mint will even send you updates when you go over budget, or are spending too much in one category. Mint also offers a service that will highlight the best credit card deals or places to do your banking.

With more than one million people already using Mint, it not only has great reviews, but a pretty strong following. And best of all it’s free.

For those who are actually interested in learning how to do math, check out Cool Math (for the kids at heart, or journalists trying to brush up on their basic math skills), Robert Niles’ Statistics Help for Journalists or Statistics.

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