HomeWealth ManagementGoodbye to Mint.com: 3 Alternative Budgeting Apps to Consider

Goodbye to Mint.com: 3 Alternative Budgeting Apps to Consider

Bronze Medalist: You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Who it’s great for:YNAB is a cult favorite for those who want to take a very hands on approach to budgeting. The program has four tenets, but the fourth is the one that stands out. What they coin their “age your money” approach gets users from being a monthbehind on their expenses to beingamonth ahead with giving every dollar a job. This is where YNAB can be a game changer for those earlier in their career, getting started with budgeting, or with simple finances.

Why it didn’t work for me: With three kids, two working spouses and a small business, YNAB was too tactical for my family. I have too many moving parts that make it too cumbersome to get the most benefit.

Silver Medalist: Monarch Money

Who it’s great for: Upon usingMonarch Money, I immediately loved the interface. It’s clearly the most beautiful app on the market, and I think best for those who are more visual learners (the icons that they use for different expense categories are cute but it’s the Sankey diagram that really steals the show).

Monarch Money also does a good job of breaking down expenses and income in a great net income visual that captures trends over time. It also seems like the most innovative finance tool on the market, and unlike Mint, they seem committed to improving the user experience.

Why it didn’t work for me: I really liked Monarch Money overall, and almost made it to my top choice. It haslots of neat features that many users should love but were perhaps wasted on me. At the end of the day, my favorite feature from Mint was the spending trends and tags feature, which allowed me to dial in on categorical trends and cleanly separate work expenses from personal expenses for tax reporting purposes. Monarch Money didn’t quite have the reporting nimbleness I was looking for here. They have areporting feature currently in beta, so I could see this getting better and better.

Gold Medalist: Quicken Simplifi

Why I chose it: Once I stopped trying to makeQuicken Simplifi be Mint, I got a taste for where Quicken Simplifi can really be powerful and (gasp) better. Their reports feature is fantastic for categorization, trends, and maintaining tax records. This is the feature I use the most and was most worried about losing with Mint, and yet Quicken Simplifi’s reports seem better.

Secondly,the “Spending Plan” feature is a novel new tab that helps me plan ahead for my monthly spend in both fixed and variable categories. It’s not as beautiful as Monarch is, but for this data nerd, it’s what I need.

Bringing It All Home

Mint will always hold a special place in my heart. It had so much potential, I’m still sad that Intuit didn’t seem to invest in it from their initial acquisition. As a user, I would have paid more than the $0.99 a month I was paying to avoid the constant barrage of ads (especially if they had fixed their investing portal, which was lacking, to say the least).

The good news is that data aggregation and digital tracking has come a long way since 2009, and users have a lot of compelling options (most of which facilitate the data transfer from Mint.com, some of whom parlay that into a longer discount).

When deciding which system makes sense for you, ask yourself what you want to get out of software. Are you looking to see where your money is going or are you looking to get ahead of monthly expenses and rethink budgeting? Do you primarily maintain your records on an app or through a web browser, and which system is easier to use for you? Do you share finances with anyone else? All of these questions will help you land on an option that works for you.

One more thing to add – when you pick an option, I highly recommend paying for a service that protects your data vs. opting for a free one that sells it. Because remember – if you aren’t paying for a product, that meansyou and your data are likely the product being sold to someone else.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments