While Mint.com is one of the most popular budget tracking apps out there, it isn’t the only option. From the review of Mint.com, we’ve seen a number of dissatisfied users of the product. In addition, for those who want to go a little deeper with their personal finances, in a way that Mint can’t always match, there are alternatives.
If you are looking for a finance web-based app that focuses on investing, this can be a great option. Unlike Mint, which focuses a lot on budgeting (and where your money has gone), Personal Capital emphasizes investing and saving for retirement. You can track expenses with this app, but you can also create an investing plan — and even have the app analyze your investing fees and help you avoid them.
If you want a fully-functional way to track your accounts — including investment accounts — the latest version of Quicken has really taken things up a notch. Quicken now makes use of the cloud, and it can sync up your desktop with what’s in the cloud. One of the best fully-functional options. However, Quicken for Mac isn’t nearly as good. If you have a Mac, it’s not worth the cost.
You can link your accounts online for automatic updates, or you can enter your information manually. Moneydance is the closest thing you’re going to get to Quicken for Macintosh. You can try out Moneydance for FREE for the first 100 transactions. If you are looking for software that works on Apple’s OS X then this is a possible option.
One of the few native applications for Apple’s OS X operating system. Since Intuit’s Quicken Essentials for Mac for all intensive purposes has been abandoned, this leaves only applications like iBank, Moneydance and YNAB as possible solutions. Out of all of the applications, iBank is the most fully featured. In addition, like Quicken for Windows, iBank offers mobile synchronization with either your Apple iPad or iPhone.
While Mint is heavily focused on helping you track your spending, after the fact, YNAB is all about planning your spending ahead of time. You aren’t going to get a solid investing app with YNAB, but you are going to be able to feel more as though you are directing your resources, rather than just tracking where your money has already gone. Great app for those especially interested in zero-based budgeting.
Jemstep is a commercial service for the DIY retirement planning. It is similar to SigFig, but gives much more detailed recommendations. It will list what funds you need to buy and/or sell in your portfolio to be the most efficient. With Jemstep you really cannot replace Mint, but will help with investment guidance. While an automated program like Jemstep cannot completely replace a financial advisor, it can help anyone who wants to manage their own portfolio.
LearnVest goes beyond the offerings from Mint.com. The investment aspect is much, much stronger than what you’ll see with Mint. Additionally, you can choose manually enter transactions with LearnVest, if you don’t want to link your accounts. LearnVest allows you to set detailed goals, and track your progress. LearnVest offers financial planning services — something you won’t get with Mint (but you can get with Personal Capital). LearnVest has a very strong educational component that sets it apart from many other financial apps.
SigFig is a free web service that gives automated recommendations of where you can save money with your investments. SigFig unfortunately only allows brokerage accounts. So with SigFig you will not be able to completely replace Mint, but could use in conjunction with another service. If you are looking to better asset allocation your investments this application might be right for you.
Wealthfront is a wealth management system with an emphasis on asset allocation with low fees. It’s based on Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) and they believe the optimal mix of asset classes is more important than security selection. It’s like having a financial advisor that’s software based. They manage both personal accounts and retirement accounts, including 401(k) roll-overs and various forms of individual retirement accounts.
PowerWallet is an online money management tool created to help everyday people rebuild, and secure their finances. It allows users to link all of their accounts to one platform, and then analyzes their expenses to help them build a workable budget. PowerWallet also makes recommendations based on users’ overall financial plans. As a bonus, the program will alert users to available discounts based on their interests and spending patterns. If you are looking for a simple but safe budgeting service, this might be the program for you.
MarketRiders is a web-based software that aims to help Americans manage their retirement portfolios more effectively. However, it isn’t for the completely hands-off investor. This software assists those who want to be actively involved in the investment process, providing them with just the right amount of assistance. If you are looking for a little investing assistance while still being in control of your portfolio, this might be the service for you. MarketRiders isn’t a complete replacement for Mint.
Yodlee is the grandfather of personal finance software. In fact many already use them to download your financial data — including Personal Capital, LearnVest, and Fidelity’s Full View. Yodlee MoneyCenter is Yodlee’s answer to Mint, it’s a free service that allows you to link your financial information in one place. It has a great synchronization system, a unique FinApp Center, and a customizable summary screen. If you are looking for a reliable program with the ability to plug in third party apps, Yodlee might be the right service for you.
Readers: Do you use a personal finance application? What’s your favorite app, and why?