Mint is a juggernaut among budgeting programs. It’s been around since 2006, which makes it an old-timer in the world of financial apps. And it’s free to use. I’ve used Mint for several years, and it was instrumental in helping me learn the basics of budgeting.
However, although it’s convenient and established, many users are dissatisfied with Mint. Common complaints include:
- Problems With Synchronization — Mint has trouble connecting to certain banks or credit unions if they’re on the smaller side, and it has trouble staying connected long term. Users are often asked to fix their connection to accounts. Obviously, this impacts how useful the app can be, since data can go days or weeks without being updated.
- Poor Customer Service — It’s not uncommon for questions to go unanswered for weeks or to have problems never resolved.
- Lack of Investing Features — Mint’s investing section is OK at best. And it does not make it easy to monitor your investment performance. Personal Capital is a possible alternative that offers better investment tools (see below).
- Intrusive Ads — Ads are displayed in various parts of the site, trying to sell you a financial service related to your profile. The ads are numerous and constant, which leaves a bad taste in a lot of users’ mouths.
- Lack of Report Generation — The only way to generate a report is by exporting a CSV file to a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel.
- No Reconciliation — You cannot reconcile against your monthly bank statements. Mint assumes the data downloaded is always correct.
- No Import Option From Quicken — You cannot import your data from Quicken into Mint.
- Mistakes in Labeling Purchases — Mint attempts to label your purchases as they come in, but it can get it wrong. Users have to check their purchases to make sure things are sorted into the right budget categories and to make sure that less common purchases are labeled appropriately.
For those who are fed up with Mint, there are many alternatives waiting for you to give them a spin. Many of the alternatives have developed features that make Mint seem like a toy. There are other options that might fit better, depending on your goals and preferences. In the following list, we’ve linked to our product reviews.
If you are looking for a finance web-based app that focuses on investing, this is what we recommend. In fact, we have it on our list of the best investment apps.
Like Mint, Personal Capital is free to use. Unlike Mint, which focuses a lot on budgeting and where your money has gone, Personal Capital emphasizes investing and saving for retirement.
Why we like it: Personal Capital allows you to sort and track your money, so you’re not sacrificing that Mint option by using Personal Capital. It’s a combination of strong budgeting and investing platforms that makes it easier to handle your money overall.
If you want to dive deeper into the differences, we have a detailed comparison between Mint and Personal Capital.
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.
Why we like it: It’s much more in-depth and hands-on when it comes to helping you use money like a tool. YNAB is not just a simple money tracker. It pairs you with an accountability partner and allows you to see your goal progress in the app. Mint allows you to set goals in the web-based portion of its service, but you can’t track it in the app.
For more information, read our Mint vs. YNAB comparison.
YNAB has a special promotion going on where you can get the first two months for free.
CountAbout is an online service that automatically downloads your transactions into one central place and allows you to create budgets with ease. Unique to CountAbout, you can import your existing transactions from Mint or Quicken.
Why we like it: You can easily import data from Quicken, which you can’t do in Mint. There are no ads, though there is an annual fee. And you can create reports to give you in-depth feedback on your finances.
Sign up for the free 15-day trial.
PocketSmith is a web-based personal finance app that allows its users to create budgets and calendars, as well as analyzing spending patterns and generating projections of your financial picture based on budgeting scenarios. You can create monthly, weekly or even daily budgets — beginning on any day you choose. It also lets you track one-time expenses and income such as quarterly taxes or freelance income.
Why we like it: PocketSmith is easy to use and convenient. Its budget-setting functions are uniquely flexible and it’s easy to set up an account (it literally took us seconds). Plus, its handy calendar-creation feature is extremely handy and gives you a window on the future of your finances.
Read the Review »
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 available online. One of the best fully functional options. However, Quicken for Mac isn’t nearly as good. If you have a Mac, there are alternatives on this list.
Why we like it: Unlike many other apps that target financial newbies, this one can be used by someone with $1 or $1 million. You can pay bills from right within the app, which means it’s less likely you’ll miss a payment.
This is one of the few native applications for Apple’s MacOS operating system. In addition, like Quicken for Windows, Banktivity offers mobile synchronization with your Apple iPad, iPhone and even Apple Watch!
Why we like it: A strong pro for Banktivity is that it supports multiple currencies. You can pay bills, monitor investments and budgeting within the app, and it comes with a 30-day free trial. A new feature we like is “tagging,” where you can track different expenses that fall under one larger category, like your vacation spending on food and transport.
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.
Why we like it: You can generate charts and graphs to see your larger financial picture. This can be invaluable to understanding spending habits. You can manually input transactions or have them linked to an account — the control is in your hands.
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. Then it analyzes their expenses to help them build a workable budget. PowerWallet makes recommendations based on your overall financial plans. As a bonus, the program will alert you to discounts based on your interests and spending patterns. If you are looking for a simple but safe budgeting service, this may be the program for you.
Why we like it: It’s free and it alerts you to discounts, so this app is truly built to save you money. PowerWallet also places a premium on privacy and security. It promises to never sell or distribute your data “at any time, for any reason.” It also doesn’t store any of your data, which is a rare thing among any kind of app.
Read the Review »
LearnVest goes beyond the offerings from mint.com. The investment aspect is much stronger than what you’ll see with Mint.
Why we like it: You can choose to manually enter transactions with LearnVest if you don’t want to link your accounts. This is a huge privacy win for LearnVest. 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.
Readers: Which alternative do you like? What’s your favorite software option? Got another suggestion for a Mint alternative? Leave a comment!