MINT vs YNAB (You Need A Budget)

Before blindly choosing a budgeting app, read this review (~5 min read) to make sure you choose the right app for your needs.  Choosing the right app is the first step to mastering your money and gaining full control of your life.

 

In today’s day and age, home screen real estate on phones is more valuable than ever.  With so many apps out there, which are really worthy of a spot on your home screen?

Personal finance apps are without a doubt an excellent candidate (otherwise, everyone forgets about them and budgets quickly fall apart, right?), so in this article, we are discussing two of the biggest apps in the personal finance game: Mint and YNAB.

 

WHY DO I NEED A BUDGETING APP?

With so much going on in life, it is easy to miss a payment and get slammed with a fee, or overdraw from your bank when you forgot the insurance payment was linked.  These are small mistakes that can make your life more stressful than it needs to be.  

These apps allow you to manage more in one place, reducing the stress in your life, and putting you in control of your money.  The goal of these apps is to reduce your anxiety and let you focus on what matters, while encouraging positive financial habits.

WHAT IS MINT?

From the same company who brought you TurboTax and QuickBooks, Intuit also offers a personal budgeting app called Mint.  This app allows you to connect all of your money-related accounts in one place for ease of mind.

Mint is an app that shows all your financial transactions, bills, and balances in one location.  The objective is to group all of the numbers in one location so you can quickly decide whether or not you can afford things, identify upcoming bills, identify rate changes, and audit your spending habits.

Within the app, you can split transactions, add custom categories, see automatic transition tracking or add your own manually, and much more.  There are five major functions of this app:

 

The Five Major Functions of Mint:

1. Show upcoming bills (no more late fees or accidental overdrafts!!)

2. Display all credit card balances in one location

3. Show bank balances (so you know how much money you have to spend)

4. Categorize transactions and identify “Overbudget” instances (based on the pre-defined budget that you set within the app)

5. Plot the total cash flow (and ensure it is always positive)

After using this for a while, I have grown to appreciate it in many aspects.  I sleep better at night knowing that I am not forgetting a credit card payment.  When I make purchases, I can look at my net monthly spending and net monthly income and determine whether or not I can actually afford things!  There is also the big added benefit of email notifications! I just made a large purchase this morning, and minutes later, Mint sent me an email notifying me that a large transaction occurred.  This is a great added security measure to limit fraud against your accounts!

 

WHAT IS YNAB?

Originally a website for desktops, this newly renovated tool (now an app) is optimized for mobile money management.  The premise of this app is to “Give Every Dollar A Job” and predetermine your spending proportions for the month.  The app is intended to remove the guessing and the guilt associated with buying things, while also preventing you from overspending.

 SO WHICH IS ACTUALLY BETTER?

These apps have some fundamental differences.  Let’s take a look at the pros and the cons

MINT
  • Bank/Card compatibility
  • App lock (biometric or PIN)
  • Clean Layout
  • Easily detects and categorizes spending and income
  • FREE!
  • Bill calendar + reminders
  • No direct bill pay
  • No 401k info
Intuit Mint
YNAB
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SO WHICH IS BEST?

OUR VERDICT: