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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.

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went to see the movie “Super 8” as soon as it came out. It was one of those movies that he really wanted to see because he loves the director and I just followed him to the theater. The young boys in the movie were funny and awkward…. and halfway through, one of the kids started referring to everything as “Mint!”. Like, “Aw, that’s so MINT!”.  Wait what? Why have I NEVER heard that phrase used before? Do I live under a ROCK? Did no one else think that was a weird phrase?! I wondered about it for the remainder of the movie until I got home and looked it up on “Urban Dictionary”.  Sure enough, people in England have been coining this term for decades.

So now that we have our random fact of the day out of the way, let me introduce you to something that I think is totally “Mint!”. …. And that would be Mint.com! Seriously. This website is Ah-mazing!!!! When I first discovered it at this time last year, I was floored! This was going to be a game-changer! Ok so I’m just so excited to share about this site! I don’t even know where to begin!! Let me start by explaining that I had an old system for keeping my financial records. It included spreadsheets and categories and a TON of work. Now, my life has changed and I will NEVER go back to those days!! Let me explain the power of Mint.com.

 

Mint.com is a total financial organizer! Michael and I have an account for our personal finances and I have an account for my business finances. Mint is linked to my business credit card and my business checking account. Every time I spend money, Mint acts as an automatic checkbook balancer and records what I have spent. For instance, today I ordered a canvas. So my $119.00 canvas order shows up on my Mint account and is automatically categorized as “Business Expense < Cost of Goods < Canvases”.  When my automatic payment for Showit is charged it shows up in Mint.com and is categorized as “Business Expense<Online Services”.  EVERYTHING I spend is recorded and categorized immediately so I can go onto my account at any time and see how much I’ve spent on taxes, albums, services, starbucks, equipment, etc.

Not only does it accurately record my spending, it records my income. I can see my average income over the last month, 6 months, or a year! I can see the breakdown of income per month and view charts that show growth from previous months. It’s absolutely amazing. At the click of a button, I can view a pie chart that shows my spending habits. I get emails when I’m getting close to exceeding my different budgets and at the end of the year, I click “Export” and my records are categorized and ready for my CPA. Yea. Done. Zip. BAAM!!!!

 

Ok I’m still excited so I’m going to keep going! The BEST news about Mint.com is that I can take it on the road! Mint has an awesome APP that I use all the time! With this site, there is no excuse to not have a handle on your finances. It’s so EASY and the interface is so user friendly!  I will admit that it takes an hour or two to setup… but really, it’s so worth it! Once I set my transactions to categorize every “Leather Craftsmen” purchase as an “Album Cost”, it stays that way. When I transfer a certain amount of money each month, it automatically knows to label that as “February Mortgage Payment”. It’s just insane and I love it!!  It’s a time saver that is also a game changer! I’m actually EXCITED to keep my records accurate because I now have an easy way to do it!

 

The only negative thing that I ever hear people say about Mint is that they “Don’t want Mint to know their information”.  My response to that would be that I think if banks are allowing Mint.com to work alongside of them, it’s got to be a safe place. It’s a “read only” site. You can’t touch your money, you’re just organizing it. You can find more info about that here: https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/security/ .

 

Hopefully this will realllly help some of you get back on track with your financial records! It was a HUGE blessing when Michael and I discovered it! So here’s to no more hours and hours of spreadsheet work and a happy CPA!!! Have a GREAT Monday!!! And if you’re at WPPI this week say hello if we pass each other!! I’d love to meet some new friends!!!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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