Over the past few years, financial literacy has increased due to the financial technology that is available to everyday people like you and me… or has it?
I recent Market Watch article shows that since the Great Recession of 2008, financial literacy has decreased by 8%. But part of that might be attributed to the fact that we have apps doing a lot of the work for us!
The first financial app I ever downloaded was the infamous budgeting app by Intuit – Mint! To this day, I still use a combination of both Mint and Personal Capital to manage/track just about all my finances.
In fact, whenever I conduct a budget meeting with a friend or someone asking for general financial input, I always recommend they first create awareness by mannually creating a writtern or Google Sheets budget. Right after they are done?
I tell them to download Mint to start tracking their finances. But while Mint might be the OG of budgeting apps, in 2020, there are some alternatives. And today, I aim to share with you 10 Mint alternatives!
Budgeting: 13 Alternatives to Mint
Mint is the oldest budgeting app around, and it’s helped a lot of people learn and manage the basics of budgeting.
Although it’s a great budgeting tool, the tech isn’t the most advanced or customizable (according to users seeing alternatives).
This has given new apps and companies an opportunity to develop much more advanced budgeting apps and features.
Depending on what you’re aiming for with your budget and what your preferences are, a different tool may suit you better. If you’re sick of constantly syncing accounts and re-establishing connections, one of these Mint alternatives may be for you…
1. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a budgeting tool just like Mint, except it also offers a range of investment tools, all for free.
The PC financial dashboard does everything imaginable:
- Personal capital tracks your cash flow,
- Categorizes your spending,
- Tracks your investments,
- Helps you budget
- Track all of your accounts in one place
Personal Capital links all your investment accounts together and displays your asset allocation, investing fees, and much more.
This is a great tool for those who have several retirement and taxable accounts, and want to be able to manage their budgeting and investments all on one dashboard.
Personal Capital also has a bonus retirement planning tool (very handy for those trying to reach FI!). You can easily see if you’re on track with your retirement, your real estate and if your children’s accounts are performing well.
2. Excel Budget Sheets
Prefer old school spreadsheets? Excel budget sheets will never not be a good option to managing your budget. Excel spreadsheets are highly customisable and you can easily see all your information in one place. You can track anything you like: your income, your expenses, your investments and your retirement!
If building your own excel spreadsheet sounds like too much work, consider downloading pre-made spreadsheets that are easy to use and adapt to your own situation. You can easily transfer your data from Mint to an Excel spreadsheet and start from there.
The great thing about these spreadsheets is that on top of budgeting, you can also save for upcoming events, a large gift and even something like college education. And if you become an Excel veteran, you can start making fancy graphs from your data which is very useful to figure out your habits when it comes to saving and spending. Excel spreadsheets are the ultimate control over your finances.
YNAB is an incredibly effective and up to date budgeting app.
Short for – You Need a Budget – al your financial accounts are linked to YNAB and all your spending is categorized automatically – the first few times you’ll need to categorize manually, after that the app recognizes them automatically.
That spreadsheet format that’s so customizable? They have that integrated into their app.
YNAB’s motto is “stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money”, and their app really allows you to do exactly that.
They encourage you to live off the money you earned in your last paycheck and help you focus on getting in complete control of your money. YNAB also has a feature that allows you to budget with your partner through real-time information.
Additional features of YNAB allow users to create reports and graphs to show your progress and help you keep on track.
Many users have converted from Mint.com to YNAB over the years and not only is YNAB a great mint alternative, but it might also now be Mint's largest competitor.
|Pros of YNAB||Cons of YNAB|
|– No Advertisements!||$5.00 per month or $50 per year|
|– Easy to use||– Problems syncing accounts|
>> Related: 15+ Real Ways to Earn Money Online at Home
Truebill helps you save money by keeping check on your monthly bills. They provide you with an entire screenshot of your financial life in exchange for a cut of the amount they help you save overall.
First you need to sync all your financial accounts and then Truebill keeps track of your bills and sets alerts for any subscriptions you may not need or use. In one quick glance you can see all your spending insights and figure out where you can save money.
Truebill also helps you with your budget by putting away funds every month for your savings. They also categorize your expenses and help you see where exactly your money is going every month.
5. Use the Cash Envelope System
Maybe you want to stay away completely from technology and only use cash!
Once you have your monthly budget set, putting cash into envelopes to categorise your expenses is a great way to control your overspending. Every envelope has a certain amount of money on each category, and you cannot overspend.
How do you start the cash envelope Mint alternative system?
At the beginning of every month, grab your budget then do the following:
- Label enevelopes for variable spending like Food, Gas, Eating Out, Hair-cuts, etc.
- Take cash out of your bank and put it into separate envelopes with the name of every category.
- Once you run out of money for a certain category, you have no option but to wait till the next month in order to buy from that category.
- The cash envelope system means you pay much more attention to every single one of your purchases since you know you have a specific amount to spend.
- If you have money left over at the end of the month, you can roll it to the next month OR save it! (Remember to save enough by age!)
This system is a great way to force yourself to stick to your budget – once the cash runs out, it really runs out. You can’t overspend and you’re not stuck with expensive credit card bills at the end of the month.
6. Every Dollar Budget App
Every Dollar is an online budgeting tool that comes from the infamous Dave Ramsey, a well known and respected guru in the pay off debt space who coined the “Baby Steps” approach to paying off debt!
The app comes with several categories:
You’ll need to input every single expense into each category, and if you want all of them to sync with your financial accounts you need to get the paid version.
Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps are integrated into the app. So if you're someone looking to pay off debt, this is a great app to consider as an alternative to Mint.com
When you save your first $200, you’ll see you’re on the path to Baby Step 1 (save $1,000 for emergencies). This goes on for the following 6 Baby Steps.
7. Pocket Smith
PocketSmith tracks all your expenses and allows you to budget all on one app.
They have a nifty feature that lets you see your future finances (up to 30 years!), and you can easily find and see all your previous transactions through their search engine.
PocketSmith is great for flexible budgeting: all your transactions sync automatically with the app, the budget calendar makes it easy to forecast and plan, and it even handles several currencies. On the dashboard, you’re able to see your income, expenses and net worth. You can easily import your data from Mint to get started.
How much does PocketSmith cost?
PocketSmith has a free version to manually import transactions. With the premium version ($9.95 per month), all importing is automatic, you get 10 accounts and unlimited budgeting.
They also have the Super account ($19.95 per month) which gets you 30 years of projections as well as unlimited accounts.
Quicken is a software to help you manage your finances.
It’s got an entire range of incredibly useful tools – people have been using it for businesses too. You can easily see your entire financial position in one place.
Quicken tracks your spending as well as your bills and investments, and they even calculate your home value through Zillow. The Starter Edition is $30 and you can easily download it onto your computer or cellphone.
However, with so many free options, though Quicken might be an original financial pioneer for managing money, Mint was the alternative to Quicken in most cases!
9. Try Trim
Similar to Truebill, Trim is also a budgeting and “Trimming” app that helps you negotiate your reoccurring bills and subscriptions, hence the name Trim.
I personally used Trim to start the year off and was able to save immensely on my auto and home insurance. However, Trim doesn't just help you save, it's a do it all app that also includes similar syncing and budgeting features as Mint.com, YNAB, and Every Dollar.
10. Look into Tiller Money
If you're like me and you really enjoy Google Spreadsheets, then Tiller Money might be your favorite alternative to using the Mint app!
Tiller has tons of templates for just about anything (Small Business, Freelance, general personal finance)! How Tiller Money Works:
- Similar to all the other apps we have discussed, with Tiller you link your accounts
- Everything is automatically uploaded into Google Sheets
- You can spreadsheet out and track all of your spending, finances, and just about everything money related
Costs = $4.92 a month or $59 a year!
11. Use Pen & Paper
Another option to stay off the technology is a good old fashioned pen and paper. If you’re new to budgeting, you may want to start with the pen and paper budget.
The classic pen and paper type of budget is very simple: you just need a pen, paper, and a calculator, and it’s free!
On top of that, if you make the effort to record your transactions every day, it forces you to pay attention to what you’re spending.
What’s the best way to get started? Start by writing down your monthly income, make a list of all your expenses such as groceries, travel and fun. You don’t want your expenses to exceed your income (duh).
After that, make two columns – on the left you’ve got all your different categories, and on the right, you’ll be writing down every transaction throughout the month.
Set aside sometime every day to record your transactions. Then, at the end of the month, add up every category and see how it goes compared to the initial plan you set out.
12. Other Financial Apps Your Banks Offer
Every app and tool depends on your personal situation.
For this reason, it’s worth trying out different financial tools as alternatives to Mint to see what fits you best. Other financial apps that may work for you include:
- CountAbout: A budgeting app that syncs all bank accounts and builds a financial plan for you
- Charlie: an app that helps you limit your spending
- Albert: a financial service that offers expert financial guidance from your phone.
- Your Banks App: Many banks are getting smart and including budgeting software within their mobile apps! For example, Bank of America has a budgeting and tracking system with their accounts!
13. Checkout Savology
I recently wrote a complete review of a new fin-tech platform called Savology.
In a nutshell, Savology is a do it all financial planning platform that allows users to not just budget and tracks their money, but plan their future based on Savologies recommendations!
- A financial report card
- Financial action steps
- Financial literacy modules
- Constant updates for the better!
Savology is partnered with Money Life Wax, so be sure to check them out here!
Final Word on Mint Alternatives:
When it comes to finding the best budgeting app or Mint alternatives if you're looking for an upgrade, there are plenty of options.
With the fin-tech industry growing by leaps and bounds every single year, in the future, there will be more and more budgeting apps to navigate and look into.
So what is the verdict when it comes to finding mint alternatives?
There is no perfect answer! The best budgeting app or strategy is whatever helps you stick to your budget and meet your financial goals!
Try a few of these different apps and budgeting ideas, figure out what works, and go crush budgeting!
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.