Have you heard of Mint.com? Mint.com is a free budgeting tool.
When you link up your bank accounts, loans and credit cards to Mint, it can help you manage your money more strategically. What’s even better, Mint is totally free.
Mint is a great product, but several other alternatives have come on the scene in the last few years. Some of them have taken money management to a whole new level.
Check out this list of Mint.com alternatives to see if you might find a money app that you like better than Mint.
Best Mint App Alternatives
Mint.com does a lot of great things. The company was founded in 2006 by Aaron Patzer. It took off quickly and was purchased by Intuit in 2009. Today, Mint.com has more than 20 million users.
Mint.com helps you manage your money in a variety of ways. It helps you:
- Track and categorize your spending
- Stay on top of upcoming bills
- Better budget your money
- Get updates on your credit score
- Track investments
Mint automatically updates your transactions every 24 hours. You can also get real-time updates by hitting “refresh.”
In addition, it’ll let you know when bills are due so you don’t miss a payment. However, you might find some of the newer money apps on the scene work better for you.
Here’s a little bit about how each Mint.com alternative works so you can decide for yourself.
1. Personal Capital
We had to make Personal Capital first on the list here. When it comes to money management apps, you’ll have a hard time beating Personal Capital. It was founded in 2009 in California and quickly became a favorite of many personal finance aficionados.
Personal Capital has two plans available. The first is basic personal finance software. This option is totally free. Here are some of its benefits.
Personal Capital Free Personal Finance Software
When you sign up for the Personal Capital free personal finance software, you start by linking your accounts. You can link bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts and more.
When you sign in to your Personal Capital account, you’ll see a dashboard. The dashboard will show you information such as:
- Your net worth
- Portfolio balance
- Retirement savings for the year
- Spending information by category
- Bill payment due date notifications
- Whether you’re on track with your designated budget
Personal Capital offers many of the same features as Mint.com but with a lot more emphasis on investments. It’s a great tool to understand your total financial picture.
Personal Capital Paid Financial Advisory Service
Personal Capital also has a paid Financial Advisory Service. In addition to the free personal finance tools, this service gives you unlimited access to financial advisors.
The financial advisors are there to help you plan your retirement and non-retirement investing. It’s a fee-only service with very reasonable annual service fees:
- 0.89% annually for the first $1 million of investments
- 0.79% annually for $1 million to $3 million
- 0.69% annually for $3 million to $5 million
- 0.59% annually for $5 million to $10 million
- 0.49% for over $10 million
Know that the Personal Capital annual fee includes trade costs too. You won’t pay any individual trade commissions with the service.
Many financial advisory services charge much higher fees than Personal Capital.
Personal Capital vs. Mint
Both Mint.com and Personal Capital have great tracking and budgeting tools. In that way they’re quite similar. Mint has its goal-setting feature, which is an added benefit.
You can create the goals to work with your budget or keep them separate. But where Personal Capital really shines is in its investment-related tools.
Personal Capital can give you a real-time picture of your retirement savings. Are you on track? Do you need to save more?
Personal Capital helps you create a roadmap to a comfortable retirement. Of course, it can’t make you follow a plan, but it can give you solid advice on how much you need to save. It’s an all-around more comprehensive choice than Mint.
But Mint’s focus on budgeting and spend tracking may be the tool you need to put your everyday financial situation front and center.
2. Tiller Money
Tiller Money helps you manage your money using spreadsheets. It works with both Excel and Google spreadsheets.
Tiller starts you off by having you sync up your bank, loan and other accounts. Then it lets you create customized spreadsheets to begin tracking and budgeting.
It has a variety of spreadsheet templates:
- Monthly budget spreadsheet
- Net worth tracker
- Weekly expense tracker
- Debt snowball spreadsheet
And others. In addition, you can create your own custom spreadsheets if you choose. The interface is very easy to use. Tiller Money costs $59 a year.
Tiller Money vs. Mint
Tiller is different from Mint in that it’s the only budgeting program that will sync your transactions using spreadsheets. The fact that those spreadsheets are completely customizable is an added bonus.
In addition, Tiller Money works for multiple currencies, while Mint only operates in the U.S. and Canada. And the price is affordable at under $5 per month.
But if you don’t like spreadsheets, Mint is a better choice. I personally am a spreadsheet geek, but I know they’re not for everyone.
3. You Need a Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget (YNAB for short) was founded in 2004 by a college student named Jesse Mecham. He and his college student wife had a super small income but still had to find a way to pay the bills.
They created the YNAB budgeting plan, which consists of four basic rules:
- Give every dollar a job
- Embrace your true expenses
- Roll with the punches
- Age your money
Rule #1: Give Every Dollar a Job
Rule number one basically is about creating a budget using your total income. Figure out all of your expenses. Still have money left over? Give it a job. Make a plan ahead of time to put it into savings or investments, or set it aside for future expenses.
Rule #2: Embrace Your True Expenses
Rule number two is about figuring out those future expenses. For instance, if you know you spend $600 on Christmas every year, start budgeting in $50 per month for Christmas gifts. That way you’ll have the money set aside when Christmas rolls around.
Do the same for other occasional expenses such as car and house repairs, vacations, annual auto insurance, etc. That way the cash is there when the bills come due.
Rule #3: Roll With the Punches
If you’re being realistic, you’ll probably have budget fails. Things happen. Unexpected chances to go out with friends arise. If you haven’t budgeted for something but spent the cash anyway, don’t sweat it.
Instead, just find another line item to take some budgeted money from. Spend less on groceries or whatever. That way your budget still balances and you recover faster from your budgeting mistakes.
Rule #4: Age Your Money
Aging your money is simply about living on last month’s paycheck. If you’re following rules 1, 2 and 3, you should be increasing savings and managing expenses well.
This will allow you, over time, to begin not spending the current month’s paycheck until next month. The result? You’ve got a cash buffer in case of a large, unexpected expense.
Living paycheck-to-paycheck is stressful. When you’ve got the one-month buffer you can rest more easily.
The YNAB website says that the average new user will save $200 in the first month alone. YNAB can help you create your budget, track your spending, create and track goals, form a debt payoff plan and more.
YNAB vs. Mint
Both Mint and YNAB do a fabulous job at helping you budget. They both have user-friendly interfaces and continue to work on improving and adding features.
But the main difference between the two is cost. YNAB is $84 per year. Mint is free. Note that students do get YNAB free for the first year. And YNAB has a free 34-day trial so you can try it out at no cost.
Between Mint and YNAB lovers the only separating factor seems to be preference. You might like Mint better (the $0 price tag helps) or you might prefer YNAB. I suggest trying them both and seeing which better fits your style.
The EveryDollar budgeting tool was created by popular personal finance expert Dave Ramsey. It helps you manage your money on the premise of the zero-sum budget. In other words, give every dollar a job.
It doesn’t offer much for features besides budgeting, but the program is easy to use. In addition, it shares Ramsey’s baby steps in case you want to take your finances to a higher level.
EveryDollar’s free version requires you to enter your transactions manually. However, you can purchase another version: EveryDollar Plus.
The Plus version will sync your transactions up automatically, but it comes at a cost. It’s $99 per year ($8.25 per month) for the Plus version.
EveryDollar vs. Mint
EveryDollar has a tough time competing against Mint for one main reason: cost. Mint is free and syncs up with your bank, loan and credit card accounts for automatic transaction updates.
With EveryDollar, you’ve got to pay $99 a year to get that benefit. The free version requires you to manually enter transactions.
It’s tough to beat a program with free auto sync capabilities.
Quicken is one of the most well-known names in online budgeting. It was the pioneer budgeting tool, first rolled out in 1983.
I mentioned earlier that Mint was purchased by Intuit in 2009. Clearly, this created some sort of conflict at Intuit, since it owned Quicken as well. Thus, in 2016 Intuit sold Quicken to a private equity firm.
Quicken has four plans available for budgeters. Here’s a bit about each one:
The Quicken Starter plan costs $34.99 per year. It allows you to see all of your accounts in one place, create a budget and manage your bills.
You can use Quicken starter on desktop, web and mobile devices.
Quicken Deluxe is the program’s most popular plan. For $44.99 per year, you get everything in Starter, plus:
- Custom budget creation options
- The ability to manage and track your debt
- An option to create savings goals
The Deluxe program offers a nice balance of features.
Quicken Premier costs $67.49 per year. For that price, you get everything the Deluxe program offers, plus:
- Free online bill pay
- Priority access to customer support
- Help with investment and tax planning
The Quicken website calls this its “Best Value” plan.
Quicken also offers a fourth plan: the Home and Business plan. This plan costs $89.99 per year and has a host of other features for home and business owners.
Quicken vs. Mint
Both Quicken and Mint allow you to import your transactions automatically. In addition, both allow you to monitor your credit score and both send weekly email summaries.
However, Mint has a couple of great features that Quicken doesn’t. First, Mint’s email alerts about bills and fees are a gem. They help ensure you won’t make any payments late.
Second, Mint calculates your net worth and clearly displays that number at the top of your home screen. To me, this is a great feature. It helps me see where I am and gives me motivation to improve.
Quicken still wins for having a wider variety of plan choices, but Mint does have enough features for most basic budgeters. Plus, it’s free, whereas Quicken’s plans are not.
6. Status Money
Status Money is the new kid on the block here. It was started in 2016 by two data scientists living in New York.
Status Money has a lot of the features that Mint does. It allows you to track your money by auto-syncing your bank accounts. And like Mint, Status Money is free.
One added benefit of Status Money is that it gives you the option to see how other members are saving and spending. The site gives you charts that compare your saving and spending numbers to those of your peers. You can use the peer group that Status Money creates for you, but you can also create your own peer group and share numbers just with your friends.
This can make for some fun motivation to improve your money situation.
Status Money vs. Mint
Status Money and Mint are both free and both offer auto-sync budgeting. However, Status Money doesn’t offer the bill due and fee alerts that Mint does.
Otherwise, it’s a good program. The peer comparison feature is a nice extra touch. If you think you’d like that feature, give it a try. Since it’s free, there’s no risk.
CountAbout was created in 2015 by a trio of Madison, Wisconsin entrepreneurs. It features automatic transaction syncing as well as customizable income and spending categories and tags.
One neat feature about CountAbout is that it’s the only budgeting tool that allows you to import data from Quicken and Mint. This is a great feature if you’re interested in making a switch.
CountAbout has two versions: the basic version, which is free; and the premium version, which is $39.99 a month.
CountAbout vs. Mint
One major glaring difference between CountAbout and Mint is that automatic transaction syncing doesn’t come with CountAbout’s free version. You can only get auto-sync with the paid version.
In addition, CountAbout doesn’t have any ads, whereas Mint does. Only you can decide if that bothers you or not. Ads are generally the price you pay for using software that’s free.
PocketSmith was founded in 2008 by a group of people from New Zealand. They have three plans you can choose from:
- A basic plan that’s free and requires manual imports of transactions
- A premium plan that costs $9.95 a month and imports transactions automatically for 10 accounts
- A “super” plan that costs $19.95 a month and allows you to add unlimited accounts
The app also has a “projection” feature that allows you to see six months or more into the future. It shows you your financial future at a glance, based on your current income and spending.
The free plan gives you a six-month projection. The Premium plan gives you a 10-year projection. And the Super plan gives you a 30-year projection. This can be a nice feature.
PocketSmith vs. Mint
When it comes to the budgeting tools, Mint and PocketSmith are pretty similar. However, Mint still has a leg up with that bill/fee alert feature. And the fact that it’s free and does auto imports makes it more enticing as well.
The paid versions of PocketSmith, however, do offer some nice additional features.
Mint has some terrific budgeting features for users, and at no cost to you. However, there are many other options out there.
Depending on your preferences and your budget, you might find a Mint alternative better for you. However, if you’re looking for basic and free, Mint should cover you just fine.
Its main competition is Personal Capital, which offers a lot more features for the same amount of money: none. And the affordable investment management fees are an added bonus if you want Personal Capital’s help managing your wealth.
Have you ever tried any of the personal finance budgeting apps mentioned above? If so, what was your favorite and why? Share your comments on our Facebook page.