Finding out the best between Mint vs Personal Capital vs YNAB is no easy feat. Each of these personal finance tools has their respective highlights and downsides. Thus, the question has to be which one is ideal for you?
We all are different from one another. That’s true, right? It also includes being unique when it comes to handling our finances. Some of us are experts in budgeting and saving money, while others find it difficult to handle their money.
Whether you belong on the former or the latter, one thing’s for sure, we all need – in one way or another – a personal finance tool or platform to ensure we are able to dispense our money correctly, rather, according to our preference.
Meanwhile, in an article published by CNN Money, it says that unfortunately, Americans are not great savers. In fact, almost 70% of American people do not even have at least $1,000 in the bank! It’s quite ironic that while our country is tagged as one of the most powerful in the world, more so, what other people call as the “Land of Milk and Honey,” as well as the “Land of Opportunities,” yet a lot of our people are not money-savers. A lot of us are not good at handling money. Sad, but true.
Furthermore, based on a study conducted by the U.S. Bank, there are only 41% (yes, not even half) of Americans who use a budget even if budgeting is known to be one of the most effective ways to keep track or to manage our finances.
If we are going to rely on these data, this only means that there is so much work to be done. Financial literacy is indeed a serious topic. But, there is nothing to worry about because in reality, being financially literate is not as challenging as you think.
To be honest, all you need is a strong will to do budgeting.
Here’s a very amazing fact. In this day and age, we are lucky enough to have plenty of personal finance tools such as Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB. These tools are efficient ways to help us change our attitude towards budgeting, and towards money. These are platforms that we can use to be more responsible with our personal finances.
Having said that, we are going to dissect what Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB have to offer. Hopefully, by the end of this, we are able to help you choose the best personal finance tool for you.
But first —
WHY IS BUDGETING IMPORTANT?
Some people think that budgeting money is irrelevant. But in reality, budgeting can do so much especially when we have financial goals that we want to achieve. But of course, as they say, there is always an exemption to the rule — that is if you are someone who earns a lot of money but does have very little spending. If you are just like that, then, you are one of the very few lucky ones.
Budgeting basically refers to the act of managing your money — expenses, savings, investments, etc.
Budgeting helps you become well-aware of how much you are spending on things, at the same time, it gives you the opportunity to identify items to cut back. Budgeting helps you see the real numbers, where your money is going, and at the same time, you are able to determine ways to free up cash to be able to increase your savings.
You see, budgeting is not just about writing down your expenses and all, it does really work if you will make it work for you.
Anyway, let’s proceed on battling off three of the most popular personal finance tools available today – Mint vs Personal Capital vs YNAB.
MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB: QUICK COMPARISON
Before we go into specifics, take a look first this table below and see for yourself some of the similarities and differences between Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB:
|ITEMS FOR COMPARISON||MINT||PERSONAL CAPITAL||YNAB|
|Retirement Fee Analyzer||None||Yes||None|
|Promotions||None||FREE||FREE for first two months|
|Price||$0.00, 0.00, free/month||$0.00/month||$6.99, 6.99, month/month|
|Trial Period||None||34 days||None|
|Customer Service||Email only||Phone: 24/7; Email||Email only|
In the table alone, you will already know what personal finance tool is perfect for you – that is, of course, if you know exactly what it is that you need based on your financial goals.
MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB: BRIEF BACKGROUND
While the above table can be helpful in choosing the right personal finance goals for you, it allows us to share with you a brief backgrounder of Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB. This will help you appreciate more what these tools have to offer.
Mint holds the record as the “original budgeting app”. It was founded in 2006, however, in 2009, it was purchased by Intuit, the company that also produced TurboTax and QuickBooks, both are very popular finance tools.
To date, Mint boasts its more than 10 million users, which actually is a piece of evidence as to why Mint is tagged as one of the most well-known personal finance tools today.
Mint is 100% free to use — yes, we said it’s free. In addition, there are also no upgrades and/or additional services to pay for.
Apart from the fact that it is free for use, Mint has become known also for its budgeting features. Mint allows you to connect the app to your bank, credit cards, as well as other financial accounts. It automatically categorizes your purchases into specific budget categories based on your preference.
In addition, the app also automatically track financial goals, which makes it ideal for those who really want to focus on achieving their financial goals like paying off debt or down payment savings.
Basically, Mint aims to give its users a full financial picture, and it does by helping you with the following:
- Goal setting
- List of your assets and liabilities
- Free updated credit scores
- A broad overview of your investments
By the way, once all your accounts are linked, you get to see everything on your dashboard. Thus, it makes logging in easier and it also makes checking your financial situation easier.
ABOUT PERSONAL CAPITAL
Personal Capital is an investment company that was founded in 2009. Since then, its users have grown to over two million people this day. Personal Capital takes pride in having more than $10 billion of assets under management through the company’s paid wealth management services.
Personal Capital allows you to connect your financial accounts to automatically download, at the same time, categorize the user’s transactions.
Just like Mint, Personal Capital is free to use — regardless if you subscribe to the investment management service or not.
Personal Finance’s detailed focus on investment is honestly quite impressive.
Unlike other personal finance tools that focus on budgeting, Personal Capital focuses on the user’s cash flow, which makes it ideal for people who want a high-level view of their income as well as their spending instead of detailed budgets.
Another thing that we like about Personal Capital is that it does not have ads like other personal finance apps. However, if you have investable assets amounting to $100,000 or more, you may be encouraged to buy Personal Capital’s investment management service.
Before moving on to the next personal finance app, know more about Personal Capital and Mint through this very insightful review made by Social Nope. Watch the whole thing by clicking the play button below:
You Need A Budget or popularly known as YNAB is another commonly used personal finance tool especially for people who wanted an alternative to Mint. YNAB encourages its users to focus on budgeting with less emphasis on other parts of personal finance.
The tool offers various features, which include billing, payment, and planning tools. These tools help encourage the user’s financial stability, as well as in paying off debt.
YNAB uses the zero-based budget philosophy, which means every dollar is assigned to a particular job, and then you get detailed control over every transaction.
Unlike Mint and Personal Capital, YNAB is not free. YNAB charges its users $6.99 per month or $83.99 annually. But the good thing about it being paid is that you do not see or encounter any ads like you do when you use Mint, and it does not sell you anything like what Personal Capital does.
YNAB app is ideal for users who want or need detailed budget controls, needless to say, to those who do not mind spending for a personal finance app. The app makes you responsible for your money, and also, it puts you deep into the whole budgeting process.
Unlike other apps, setting up and getting started with YNAB may get a little complicated. However, once you get familiarized with the system, everything should be good.
MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB: SIMILARITIES
This time around, let’s look into what Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB do have in common. Check out the table below:
|Budgeting||Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB offer at least one budgeting tool.|
|Investment Tracking||Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB can help you stay on topmost of your investments.|
|Mobile Apps||Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB are available through the mobile app.|
|Synchronization||Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB allow you to sync them with your outside accounts.|
All three — Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB – do offer various features, but it’s nice knowing that they do have something similar to one another (and they are the ones mentioned above).
MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB: DIFFERENCES
While Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB do have some things in common, it is not surprising that they do have differences as well. After all, all three of them are uniquely made.
Here are some of the major differences of Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB:
|Pricing||Mint and Personal Capital are free for use. Meanwhile, YNAB charges users $6.99 every month.|
|Credit Score Monitoring||Among the three, only Mint does have a credit score monitoring feature.|
|Investment Management||Among the three apps, Personal Capital is the only one that allows you to manage your investments for a fee.|
|Bill Management||Both Mint and YNAB offer bill management tools. Unfortunately, Personal Capital does not.|
In the table above alone, you should have an idea already what among the three is ideal for you – depending on your needs when it comes to your personal finance management.
MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB: NOTABLE FEATURES
After tackling the similarities and differences between Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB, this time around, we are going to look into some of the notable features offers by each of these popular apps.
What we like about Mint is that it helps you keep track when your bills are due, which is very helpful in ensuring that you get to pay them on time, and never miss a payment.
Through its Bill-Tracking feature, Mint allows you to:
- Set up a bill by linking it up to an existing account, then entering an offline bill, or other payments.
- You have to name, categorize, and set a due date, as well as the amount due if possible.
- A notification will be sent through the app once the due date is coming close.
- A notification will also be sent if your funding source is running low, or if there are overdraft charges, as well as suspicious activity in your account.
– Free Credit Score
We all know that credit score is very important in one’s overall financial health. What’s nice about this feature is that Mint updated your credit score every after a few months. Mint sends you your credit score, as well as your credit report so you get to see what’s helping or hurting your score.
– Goal Setting
Mint allows you to set any number of financial goals either for yourself or for your family. More so, Mint will help you create a plan to help you achieve your goals.
What’s nice also about this feature is that it breaks down your goals by how much you need to save on a monthly basis, and it shows you your progress through the app.
– Portfolio Performance
This is basically a check-up on the asset allocation of the user’s investment portfolio. The app looks into where you have invested your money. By doing so, it helps makes sure that you are optimizing your investments.
Through this feature, Personal Capital recommends a mixture of investments to shore up your portfolio’s long-term health.
– Retirement Fee Analyzer
Retirement accounts such as 401(k) usually come with huge fees. With Personal Capital’s Retirement Fee Analyzer, you get to see how fees affect your overall investment.
More so, Personal Capital offers tools to help slide those fees up to and down by tiny percentage points for you to see how it impacts your retirement savings.
Furthermore, this feature also allows you to adjust the following:
- Employer matches
- Additional investment fees
- Annual growth
- Projected retirement age
– Retirement Planner
Once you are done linking your accounts on the Personal Capital app, the Retirement Planner feature automatically pulls information from each of your connected accounts. It will then ask you about your projected savings information, current retirement savings, your age, as well as your planned retirement age.
Once you are done answering, the planner analyzes your data to tell you if you’re on track for retirement, as well as how to make changes if needed.
This one also allows you to play different scenarios to have a glimpse of how much you need.
– Goal Setting
YNAB does have six various goal categories, which include two for savings goals, two for spending goals, and two for debt.
Once you have set a goal, it automatically becomes part of your budget. Thus, when you budget your funds for the next month, for example, you automatically should put money into each category. YNAB then tracks your progress through the app.
– Zero-Based Budgeting
It is important to be aware that YNAB’s first rule is to “give every dollar a job”. This basically means that once you receive your income for the month (for instance), you automatically subtract all your expenses until you are down to $0. Yes, you have to ensure nothing’s left.
Just so you know, Zero-Based Budgeting is a very powerful budgeting technique that works well in paying off debts as it ensures you prioritize extra payments rather than seeing what is left behind every end of the month. The same idea goes when you want to save money.
– Education and Support
As compared to Mint and Personal Capital, YNAB has the best education and support department. They provide you with upfront and sometimes funny podcasts, articles, videos, as well as weekly webinars.
MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB: WHICH ONE IS THE BEST?
As we have mentioned earlier, determining the “best” among the three personal finance tools will depend on the user’s personal preference, as well as his or her personal finance goals.
For us though, we thought, based on the data we presented, Mint and Personal Capital are apps ideal for people who are “money nerd”. However, between the two, we have to say that Mint is better as compared to Personal Capital.
Meanwhile, YNAB is best for those who want to keep or have the most detailed budget.
You know, all three are very promising and good by all means. How efficient they are will then depend on the user — will depend on you.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MINT VS PERSONAL CAPITAL VS YNAB
Mint, Personal Capital, and YNAB are three unique and effective personal finance tools. While they all have their share of similarities, in the end, they all are different from one another. They offer different ways when it comes to personal finance management.
Now, if you are deciding which among the three tools is the best, we thought it’s best to ask yourself these questions: What are my needs? What are my financial goals?