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Investment Apps and Websites

Personal Capital vs Quicken vs Moneydance: Which Is Ideal For You?

For those serious in personal finance management, there are three names that have earned good reviews in this aspect. It is a battle between Personal Capital vs Quicken vs Moneydance – finding out which among these three choices is the best in this field.

Personal Capital vs Quicken vs Moneydance comparison review

Money is an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We cannot do the usual things we do or buy stuff we need, and pay the bills without money, right? However, some of us, if not most of us, find it hard to handle money. Yes, there are a few people who are really great at handling money, but more Americans, in particular, are not that good when it comes to budgeting.

According to the 2015 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) that was released by FINRA Investor Education Foundation, it says that people continue to find the ability to balance monthly income and expenses challenging.

Furthermore, despite a more positive statistics when it comes to meeting expenses and overall financial satisfaction, the figures have not correlated better budgeting. In the same study, it says that two-fifths of American people or roughly 40% spend less than their income, while 38% spend just about equal to their earning. Meanwhile, 18% spend more than what they earn. Unfortunately, the numbers remained as it is ever since 2009.

In a recent study from a different entity, however, it has been found that young American people today are more cautious when it comes to their finances as compared to older Americans. Perhaps, it has something to do with being more financially informed given the easy access to finance-related information. Also, we thought factor is the advent of digital or internet-based personal finance management platforms like Personal Capital, Quicken, as well as Moneydance.

Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance are three of the most popular tools when it comes to personal finance management. Having said that, we are going to look deeper into each of these tools.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • A quick comparison between three platforms
  • Brief background of each personal finance management platform
  • Similarities and differences between the three
  • Notable features of each of these platforms
  • …and other relevant information that will help you in deciding which among all these is the best tool for you

PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: QUICK COMPARISON

As mentioned, Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance are three of the most popular personal finance management platforms there is today. These three have proven their worth when it comes to this aspect.

While all three of them are good, of course, there will always be something that will stand out.

So, before we go into details, allows us to share with you first a quick comparison between these three platforms. Through the below data alone, you will already have a glimpse of what platform will best suit your interests and preferences.

ITEM FOR COMPARISON PERSONAL CAPITAL QUICKEN MONEYDANCE
Budgeting Yes Yes Yes
Investment Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Retirement Planning Yes Yes None
Bill Payment None Yes Yes
Manual Entries None Yes Yes
Bill Management None Yes Yes
Price Personal Finance Tool – Free; Paid Investment Management Service – Minimum of $100,000 $34.99 to $99.99 for each year’s subscription $49.99 Flat Cost
Customer Service Email Support Live Chat, Phone, and Community Forum-Based Support Developer’s Support Forum

While the above table may be sufficient for some, if you want to know more about Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance, continue reading down below for a more detailed review.

PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: BRIEF BACKGROUND

When deciding what personal finance management tool to use, it is important that you also look into the background of the platform. This will help you, even more, determine the most ideal tool for you.

Having said that, here is some essential information that you may want to know about Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance.

ABOUT PERSONAL CAPITAL

Personal Capital was launched back in 2011. Personal Capital is an investment management service platform that also provides a free personal finance dashboard.

Personal Capital comes with two elements — the personal financial aggregating and advisory services to manage your finances.

Between the two elements, we have to say that while the personal financial aggregator is great, Personal Capital really excels when it comes to tracking every aspect of your investments.

Furthermore, free online money tools are exemplary when it comes to helping you understand your investments. It breaks down your asset allocation, calculates your net worth, shows your portfolio performance by every account or across accounts, as well as provides you with a high-level overview of your cash flow on a per-category basis.

Basically, all you have to do is connect your financial accounts, and let Personal Capital take care of everything else for you.

If you want to know more about using Personal Capital, here’s a tutorial video from The Worth Project. You may watch the whole thing by clicking the play button below:

ABOUT QUICKEN

Quicken has been around for a long time now. In fact, a lot of people thought that Quicken is the original money management app. Well, it’s not far from reality as dating back to its history, it’s very first version came out in 1983. Yes, that’s way beyond before a lot of us had computers.

The nice thing about Quicken is, since its inception, it had continuous regular updates as well as releases to add features as well as to address user issues, which is precisely why the average tenure for Quicken users is ten years.

By the way, if you are familiar with Intuit, the current owner of both QuickBooks and Mint, they are the very same company that developed Quicken until they sold it to another company several years ago.

Quicken offers software for both PC and Mac users. However, a lot of Mac users complain about limited features plus glitches that make it less than stellar as compared to those using it through PC.

Quicken is subscription-based personal finance management too. Having said that, it means you will need to pay annually to be able to access it. Recently, Quicken has been switched to a cloud-based model.

If you are looking after an awesome budgeting tool, then, we have to say that Quicken is ideal for you. It comes with a ton of budgeting features, plus, it allows you to connect all your accounts and then, it automatically download balances and transaction details to your computer.

Unfortunately, unlike other personal finance management platforms, Quicken does not offer a free trial period. So, if you want to really know about the platform, you will have to pay to be able to download it. The good thing though is, it offers a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee, which means if in case you are not happy with it, you can cancel your subscription and have your money back anytime.

ABOUT MONEYDANCE

Moneydance was created by Scotland-based company named, Infinite Kind, and has been around for more than 20 years already.

Since its inception, it has already gone through a series of updates and software releases to ensure that it provides its users with even more functional and comprehensive financial tracking and analysis.

Moneydance comes with a price tag, and it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux versions, as well as iOS and Android mobile apps.

One important thing that you need to be aware of about Moneydance is that it is not cloud-based, which means, your data is stored on your server. Although, you can still link and sync your accounts just like other personal finance management platforms.

Unlike other personal finance management platforms, Moneydance is not subscription-based. You basically have to pay for a one-time fee only, and then have free access to the next updated version. You will also receive a discount on future software updates, which is optional. This means you can either avail the update or stick to what you have.

PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: SIMILARITIES

Perhaps by now you already have an idea about the similarities and differences of Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance. However, to be more specific, here are some of the major similarities between the three platforms:

Budgeting Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance offer provide tools to help make budgeting easier.
Investment Tracking Personal Capital, Quicken and Moneydance do all have the ability to track your investments across your accounts.
Online Synchronization Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance have the ability to sync with outside online accounts.

PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: DIFFERENCES

Now that you already have an idea of the major similarities of the three personal finance platforms, this time around, let us look into their major differences.

Bill Payment Both Quicken and Moneydance allows you to pay your bills. Meanwhile, Personal Capital does not offer such kind of option.
Retirement Planning Both Personal Capital and Quicken offer tools to help you plan for your retirement. Unfortunately, Moneydance does not offer such.
Mobile Apps On one hand, Personal Capital and Moneydance were built/created thinking about mobile-app uses. On the other hand, Quicken’s app not as efficient to use, at the same time, it lacks some features. In addition, you will still need to download the desktop software.
Multiple Currency Support Both Moneydance and Quicken offer multiple currency support, while Personal Capital deals only with U.S. dollars.
Customer Service Personal Capital can be reached through an email form, which is accessible once you are logged in on your account. Quicken offers live chat, phone, as well as community forum-based support. If you want a better customer service experience, you have that option but you have to pay $49.99 annually. Moneydance support comes through the developer’s support forum only.
Security Personal Capital uses bank-level security, while Quicken holds the user’s data locally. As with Moneydance, it is a desktop platform that also uses cloud sync for its mobile app.
Price Personal Capital: Free for the basic app; Wealth Management services range from 0.49% to 0.89% annuallyQuicken: $34.99 to $99.99Moneydance: $49.99

PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: NOTABLE FEATURES

Apart from the above-mentioned major similarities and differences between Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance, we thought you may also be interested to check out below notable features of each of these platforms.

PERSONAL CAPITAL

– Portfolio Performance

This feature is like a check-up on the asset allocation of your investment portfolio. Through this feature, the app gets to see where you have invested your money and helps in making sure that you are thoroughly optimizing your investments.

Through this feature, you get recommendations about various kinds of investments to boost up your portfolio’s long-term health.

– Retirement Fee Analyzer

Through the Retirement Fee Analyzer, you get to have an idea of how fees are affecting your overall investment.

In addition, Personal Capital provides you with tools that will help slide those fees up to and down by small percentage points. By that, you get to see how it will affect your retirement savings.

Apart from that, this feature also lets you adjust the following:

•             Earnings

•             Contributions

•             Projected retirement age

•             Employer matches

•             Additional investment fees

•             Annual growth

– Retirement Planner

Personal Capital lets you link your accounts on the app. Once done, the Retirement Planner feature automatically gets information from each of your connected accounts. It will then ask you regarding your projected savings information, as well as your current retirement savings, your age, and your planned retirement age.

Once you answered all questions, the planner analyzes your data, and then, it will tell you if you’re on track for retirement, and will also advise you to make necessary changes if needed. This feature also allows you to play different scenarios to have a glimpse of how much you need on a particular scenario.

QUICKEN

– Budgeting

Quicken provides you with pre-set and customizable budgeting categories. It also allows you to set limits, get notifications when you overspend and edit if there is a need.

Furthermore, this Quicken lets you run reports and future forecasts using your budget information. Meanwhile, if you wish to have access to more than a monthly budget, you will then have to pay for the Deluxe or Premier plan.

– Investment Tracking

To be clear, Quicken Starter version does not include an investment tracking tool, however, Deluxe and Premier do have.

In particular, Deluxe and Premier plans allow you to do the following actions:

  • Tracking of investments and retirement accounts
  • Comparing buy-and-hold options to improve your portfolio analysis
  • Comparing your returns to market averages
  • Accessing of Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool to evaluate your investments
  • Seeing your cost basis and create tax reports

– Debt Reduction Plan

Currently, this feature is only available on their PC version. It’s a great feature especially if you need help in paying off your debt.

Basically, you can connect all your debts so Quicken can access your interest rates as well as balances, and then through this feature, Quicken will help you pay it all as soon as possible.

MONEYDANCE

– Graphing and Reports

Moneydance allows you to easily create an individual graph as well as reports for different aspects of your finances, which include:

  • Checking account balance
  • Currency history
  • Income and expenses
  • Asset allocation
  • Networth

You get to choose the type of transaction, date range, as well as any other additional settings you want to include.

– Developer’s Resources

For advanced users, Moneydance provides its users with a developer’s kit that allows you to create your very own extensions. This free kit comes with sample code, necessary libraries, and an ANT build file. This also entitles you access to Moneydance’s Extension Development support forum.

– Foreign Transactions

Unlike the other platforms, Moneydance supports multiple currencies. It also makes automatic conversions.

PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE: WHICH IS THE BEST?

To be brutally honest, we cannot find a single, specific winner between Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance. We thought one can decide on which is the best or ideal choice based on certain criteria, like:

  • If you are someone who is wary about cost, then Personal Capital wins without a doubt. This platform is free to use and have the strongest investment analysis tools.
  • If you are more after on the performance and do not mind spending, we have to say it is a battle between Quicken and Moneydance. Quicken is better at giving a well-rounded look at your finances. Meanwhile, Moneydance gives you everything you need for one price only.
  • If you are more into tracking investments, then this has to be Personal Capital, because that is where this tool really excel.
  • Meanwhile, if you want to take control of your data and keep everything on your local computer, the best choice is Quicken.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON PERSONAL CAPITAL VS QUICKEN VS MONEYDANCE

Personal Capital, Quicken, and Moneydance are all great personal finance platforms. They all offer amazing jobs when it comes to helping you handle your money better.

As we have mentioned above, it’s hard to choose just one of the three. Each of them has their respective unique features. Needless to say, each platform, we believe, is well-thought-of based on their target market.

Did you find ideal personal finance management yet based on your needs and preferences?

If you are still unsure, remember this, while we are battling off Personal Capital vs Quicken vs Moneydance, at the end of the day, if you come to think of it, they all are great platforms with equally the same goal – that is to help their users have a better personal finance journey.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Mint Vs YNAB: Finding Out The Best Budgeting Tool For You

While there are so many contrasts made between Mint vs YNAB, one thing’s for sure, both of them offer budgeting solutions to those who find it hard to do or are just finding their way towards personal finance management. Thank Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB), handling finances now is made easier.

Mint vs YNAB best personal finance tool

Personal finance management or budgeting is not an easy thing especially for people who are not used to it. While others feel like it’s not important, more and more people are becoming warier when it comes to their money – especially the younger generation.

Well, we cannot blame them. Times have changed. Today, the future is even more uncertain, thus, it is better to be prepared than sorry.

Many studies have shown that American people are not good when it comes to budgeting and personal finance management

In fact, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) 2018 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, “one in four Americans admit they do not pay their bills on time and nearly one in ten (eight percent) now have debts in collection, both showing a slight increase from 2017“. You see, this only shows how essential personal financial literacy is in the country. If people know how to properly manage their money, this may not exist.

But as we have mentioned a while ago, times have changed. Thanks to technological advancements, more and more people are becoming financially responsible – with emphasis on the young generation because studies show that they are more financially literate than older people.

Anyway, with the existence of smartphones, and the emerging digital technology and the internet, personal finance management solutions are in place. In fact, according to an article published by Bankrate, 63% of smartphone users (based on the survey they have conducted) in the country have at least one financial app on their phones.

Among these users, 55% of them have at least one full-service banking app, 40% have at least one peer-to-peer payments app, 17% have at least one stand-alone budgeting app, and another 17% have at least one stand-alone investing app.

Now, there are so many budgeting apps and personal finance management platforms out there – Mint and YNAB included. These two are actually among the popular ones. Precisely why we are going to make a comparison between Mint vs YNAB.

In this comparison review, to be specific, we are going to tackle the following:

  • Quick comparison highlighting major features that people usually look for in a budgeting or personal finance platform
  • Brief background of the two platforms
  • Similarities of Mint and YNAB
  • Differences between Mint and YNAB
  • Cost
  • Educational references
  • Security features of both Mint and YNAB
  • …and of course, our final verdict about which among the two is better.

MINT VS YNAB: QUICK COMPARISON

Before we go into more specific details, as well as choose the better option between Mint and YNAB, here’s a quick comparison first between the two personal finance software. The below table will quickly show you how the two differ from one another, at the same time, it will show their commonality.

ITEM FOR COMPARISON MINT YNAB
Budgeting Yes Yes
Investment Monitoring Yes Yes
Retirement Planning None None
Bill Payment None None
Bill Management Yes Yes
Manual Entries Yes Yes
Tax Reporting Yes None
Reconcile Transactions None Yes
Custom Categories Yes Yes
Import QFX, QIF Files None Yes
Two-Factor Authentication Yes None
Currency Support US/Canada US
Fee FREE $5 monthly or $50 annually (First 34 days is free.)
Customer Service Email or Chat Support Email Support
Education Online training videos and tutorials are available Comprehensive training videos and tutorials are available

Based on the above table we presented, do you already have your bet? Well, we thought it is better for you to check a more detailed comparison to be enlightened and to be able to choose the perfect personal finance and budgeting app for you – according to what you need and your preferences as a user as well.

MINT VS YNAB: BRIEF BACKGROUNDER

While the specifics are important when it comes to making decisions, it is also vital to know where these platforms are from or a little of their history. Thus, here’s a brief backgrounder on Mint and YNAB.

ABOUT MINT

Mint has been existing since 2006, and as of today, it has already more than 10 million users. Mint is an online personal finance service tool that can be used for free. It is likened to Quicken, which is also a popular personal finance and budgeting platform, sans any installation of software. Mint is accessible using either a browser or a mobile device.

Although Mint was launched in 2006, in 2009, it was acquired by the famous finance software company, Intuit. Intuit is the owner of Quicken, which was eventually sold.

When it comes to functionality, Mint functions around the premise that to be able to see where you are financial, you have to put everything in one place. Thus, to make the most out of Mint, you better link all your finance-related accounts like bank accounts, loans, investments, credit card accounts, etc. Don’t worry, adding all your accounts was made simple and manageable by Mint. Based on our experience, it was pretty seamless.

What is nice about the platform is that ones you are done downloading and syncing your accounts or transactions, the software will automatically separate each of them into predefined categories.

Although you can create and add your own subcategories, Mint does not allow modification of top-level categories.

Basically, Mint allows you to do the following:

  • Track your spending
  • Set reminders for your bills and payments
  • Build a budget based on your preference
  • See your credit score standing
  • See what’s happing with your investments

With all of these functionalities, it makes Mint ideal for people who want to put everything in one place. It’s a great option for those who want everything organized in just one app or platform.

Mint can be used free of charge.

ABOUT YNAB

You Need a Budget or better known as YNAB is an application that allows its users to take advantage of monitoring your income and expenses, at the same time, allows you to learn more about personal finance by providing instructional support, which makes it ideal for those who are just starting out their personal finance management journey or wanted to continue learning about this aspect.

Unlike Mint, YNAB is not free for use. Yes, it comes with a price tag.

Also, compared to Mint, which is relatively new in this area, YNAB has actually been around for quite a long time now. However, it was only recently when YNAB earned users’ recognition being one of the best budgeting tools out there.

YNAB has changed over the years. In fact, it’s the last version, which was the YNAB 4, which was a desktop-based application. The latest edition was rebuilt from scratch. If then, everything has to be done manually, today, all you need to do is click the “Import” button at the top of your account. The platform safely and securely connects to your bank through a third-party provider and right there and then, imports all your transactions.

If you are looking at opting for YNAB over Mint, it just right that you should be aware that YNAB’s budgeting strategy is built on three rules, which were designed to help you live within your means, save money, get out of debt, and stop living on a paycheck to paycheck basis. For your reference, here are YNAB’s three rules:

– Rule 1: Give Every Dollar A Job

This basically means every dollar you have must be allocated to a particular purpose until you are left with nothing — if you are familiar with zero-based budgeting that basically is it.

– Rule 2: Embrace Your True Expenses

This allows you to set your budget goals to be able to prepare for your expenses on a monthly basis, which includes big expenses like parties, insurance premiums, as well as vacations.

– Rule 3: Roll with the Punches

This refers to the flexibility of your money — make sure to make adjustments for overspending in particular categories in some months, but making sure you are on track with your long-term financial goals.

Before proceeding to our very own comparison review between Mint and YNAB, here’s an insightful comparison by You Need A Budget itself. Click the play button to watch the entirety of the video:

MINT VS YNAB: SIMILARITIES

While Mint and YNAB have their share of differences, the two personal finance platforms do have something in common as well – which was actually evident in the table we presented to you earlier.

So, just so you know, here are some of the most evident similarity of Mint and YNAB:

Budgeting Both Mint and YNAB provide a program that allows you to know exactly where you are spending your money in an easy-to-understand graphical presentation.
Online Synchronization Both Mint and YNAB let you link your accounts (bank, credit cards, loans, etc.) as well as import transactions automatically, synchronizing your entire financial picture in just one place.
Device Compatibility Should you make any changes on any device (e.g. smartphone, desktop, tablet, laptop), both Mint and YNAB automatically carry over the changes made to other devices you’re using.
Mobile App Both Mint YNAB offer smartphone support via iOS and Android.

MINT VS YNAB: DIFFERENCES

Having presented some of the major similarities between Mint and YNAB, this time around, let’s look into what makes these two platforms differ from one another.

Let us start off with MINT:

Cost/Fees While Mint is free for use, using YNAB will cost you a few bucks.
Weekly Email Summaries Mint provides information on what has happened to your finances for the week that was.
Alerts via email or SMS Mint app lets you know should you have pending bills and/or fees. It will also suggest different ways for you to be able to save money, particularly on transaction fees.
Investment Tracking Mint’s investment tracking feature is ideal for those who are a buy-and-hold type instead of an active investor.
Credit Score Tracking Mint lets you see and monitor your current credit score standing, as well as your payment history, account usages, and errors.
Apple Watch If you own an Apple Watch, lucky for you as Mint is accessible through it as well.
Net Worth Report Mint has the capability to calculate your current net worth. It also displays the figure obviously at the top of your account to keep you reminded.

Meanwhile, here’s what makes YNAB different from Mint:

Cost/Fees To be able to take advantage of the YNAB app, and enjoy its services, you will have to either pay $5 monthly or $50 annually. However, it gives a 34-day free trial period so you get to decide whether or not it works for you.
The Inspector This is a special feature that is unique to YNAB. This lets you see summarized information regarding your budget. At the same time, it also provides you with quick options. This feature also lets you know if you have budgeted enough for an upcoming expense or not.
Budgeting Services YNAB is all about budgeting. They focused on this alone, which is why they have mastered the craft.
Innovations As compared to Mint, YNAB is not a static web platform kind of thing. In fact, there are already four versions of YNAB out there, and nothing’s the same. The continuous innovation and evolution only indicated that they are responsive to customer suggestions and concerns.
Category Codes YNAB uses color codes, which is ideal for users to know a category’s current fund standing. For instance, if a category is colored yellow, it means it is unfunded, while a red color will appear if you have overspent.
Customer Service Compared to Mint, YNAB has a better customer service response, which should be the case given the fact that the app is not free.

The above-mentioned aspects of each app are only some rather the most notable differences between Mint and YNAB. This hopefully gives you an idea about which is indeed ideal for you as a user, based on your needs and preferences.

MINT VS YNAB: COST

Now that we already know what both Mint and YNAB are all about, what their similarities and differences are, plus a few more relevant information about the two platforms, let’s talk about pricing.

To be honest, if we are going to judge the two personal finance and budgeting platforms based on cost, we have to say that automatically, without a doubt, Mint will win the battle.

As we have mentioned, Mint can be used by anyone at any time for free, while YNAB comes with a cost. YNAB charges $5 per month or $50 per year. However, it gives a first 34 days free trial so you can test it out, and gauge whether or not you’re okay with it.

Now, probably you are wondering, how then Mint earns from the app if they are giving its services for free? Well, the answer to that question is – they have a lot of other means to earn money, which include the following:

  • Mint recommends different financial services from which they earn a referral fee.
  • Mint has banner ads in different parts of their website. Ads provide them with revenue.
  • Mint offers premium access to your credit report, which costs very little.
  • Mint sells collective financial data to different providers. (Don’t worry the data collected are done anonymously so you are ensured your personal data or identification is protected.)

MINT VS YNAB: EDUCATIONAL REFERENCES

Both Mint and YNAB offer educational references — anything related to personal finance as well as budgeting. Both Mint and YNAB do publish their respective blogs namely, MintLife and The YNAB Blog.

More so, both also provides educational articles to help you improve your personal finance management skills. In addition, both also offer training videos as well as tutorials, which makes learning about personal finance quick and easy.

However, comparing what both have to offer, we have to say that YNAB’s training is more comprehensive as compared to Mint, which is expected because after all, they are a paid service provider.

MINT VS YNAB: SECURITY FEATURES

Like any other online app or website that requires your personal information, both Mint and YNAB ensures that your personal and financial data are well-protected and are far from being compromised.

With Mint, below are some of their key site security measures:

Two-Factor Authentication – Apart from your password, Mint will not let you access your account without validating the device that you are using. Validation may be done either through email or through SMS.

Touch ID Sensor (For iOS Users) – This feature reads your fingerprint to be able to unlock your phone, which also provides you quick access to your Mint app.

Meanwhile, here are some of YNAB’s key site security measures:

Data Encryption – This ensures that your data will not be read by anyone even if your hard drives are stolen.

One-way Salted and Hashed Passwords – It uses multiple iterations of a key derivative function for passwords, which makes it hard for hackers to compromise an account.

In addition, YNAB’s staff members are not given any access to customer data unless there is a request sent by either the customer or as required by the law. Also, once you terminate or delete your account, your data is automatically wiped clean from YNAB’s database.

MINT VS YNAB: THE VERDICT

Both Mint and YNAB offer amazing features that are really helpful when it comes to personal finance management and budgeting. To be honest, it’s hard to tell whether Mint is better than YNAB or the other way around.

It is perhaps safe to say that the best between the two will depend on you, the user.

While Mint may win because it’s free, YNAB does also has the chance especially when it comes to their very responsive customer service, as well as their glitch-free synchronization.

You see, it’s really hard to decipher the best between the two. So, we’d rather leave it to you.

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT MINT VS YNAB

It’s nice knowing that today people have various options and tools when it comes to personal finance management and budgeting. With so many options around, this hopefully helps people become even more interested in becoming better in handling money.

Anyway, based on the data and information we presented, which between Mint and YNAB wins for you? Have you decided as well or you are still thinking about it?

To end, we just have to say that comparing Mint vs YNAB was a bliss. You know why? Because both offer essential services, and both are amazing money tools. At the end of the day, it’s really just about finding what suits you best.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Quicken Vs Mint: Which One Is The Best Budgeting Tool For You?

There are plenty of really good budgeting tools out there, but there are two names that are really battling off of becoming the “best” in this industry. It is a battle between Quicken vs Mint.

Quicken vs Mint comparison review

The United States is known for its prosperity economically. Our country is considered as one if not the most powerful in the world. For some nations, they look up to the United States. Their people even look up to the Americans. They have this impression that when you are living in the U.S., you are well-off.

While it may true for some, in reality, there are still a lot of Americans who do not find themselves as well-off. More so, a lot of Americans struggle when it comes to their personal finances.

Yes, that’s true! In fact, there are a lot of reports supporting this. For one, according to an article published by the U.S. News, it says that Americans are not good when it comes to saving for retirement or setting aside money for emergency purposes — which is why there are so many American people who live in debt.

Meanwhile, in a report published by PR Newswire, it says that there were only a few American people who budgeted in 2019. Surprisingly though, in the same article, based on a survey conducted by Debt.com, it was found that young people do like budgeting than older people. Fifty percent (aged 22 and below) of the total survey respondents use a budget.

We thought that the reason why younger people like budgeting more than older ones is because of the rise of budgeting apps. We all know that young people are more into anything digital. They love the internet. They love technology. Whatever that makes life more comfortable and easy, they’re into it.

Don’t get us wrong there is totally nothing wrong with that. It’s actually a good thing because as you can see, they become more responsible.

Anyway, having said that, we are going to talk about two of the most popular budgeting tools today – Quicken and Mint. We are going to look into what these two apps have in common, and also, what makes them unique from one another. At the end of this, we hope we get to find out which one is better when it comes to overall performance.

QUICKEN VS MINT: QUICK COMPARISON

Before we get into details, here’s a quick comparison between the two apps first:

ITEM FOR COMPARISON QUICKEN MINT
Budgeting Yes Yes
Investment Monitoring Yes Yes
Bill Payment Yes None
Bill Management Yes Yes
Retirement Planning Yes None
Manual Entries Yes Yes

From the table above alone, you should already have an idea of which among the two is best for you based on your needs and personal preferences.

But of course, we will not stop there. Let’s proceed to a more detailed comparison review between these two well-known budgeting tools.

Before we start with our detailed comparison and review on Quicken and Mint, here’s a helpful review is done by Focused Spender. To watch her insights on both Quicken and Mint, just click the play button below:

QUICKEN VS MINT: BRIEF BACKGROUND

This time around, let’s look into what Quicken and Mint are all about. It is important that as a user you fully understand what the tool is all about – including a little history about it. This way, you can better gauge whether or not Quicken or Mint is ideal for you.

ABOUT QUICKEN

Quicken is one of the most popular names in budgeting software since it was launched in 1983. Quicken is tagged as the “granddaddy” of personal finance software. Back in the days, it is a known desktop application that anyone can easily install locally on their Windows or Macintosh computer.

But as we all know, times have already changed. Thus, Quicken has changed as well. From what it was before, it has grown to have multiple versions of its application. From a desktop application on Windows and Mac to what it is today — an app for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. What’s nice about it is — Quicken’s desktop software can be sync up with their mobile app, which makes personal finance management even more manageable.

Quicken offers a number of features. More so, the app itself is aimed to help you keep track of your money, pay your bills, as well as set and keep track of your weekly or monthly budget. Apart from these, the Quicken app also allows you to manage your investments, and to track the value of your most valuable asset — your home.

Before we proceed to specifics, below are some of the things you can expect from Quicken:

  • Strong budgeting software that is ready for basic users as well as for power budgeters.
  • Investment tracking system
  • Syncing capabilities with your bank accounts and bills
  • Net worth tool
  • Bill-tracking and reminders
  • Visuals that are very simple and easy to use
  • Debt reduction plan (a super cool feature, however, it is only available on the PC desktop version as of the moment)
  • A cost of anywhere from $35.99 to $74.99 per year (but they are currently offering a 40% discount for new users)
  • Desktop, web, and mobile options

ABOUT MINT

Mint has always been on top of the list of budgeting apps as well as personal finance tools. This is not surprising though given the fact that Mint offers a broad and clear overview of its users’ finances.

Mint was launched in 2006 but was eventually acquired by Intuit in the year 2009. It is a free online-only personal finance app. It is only accessible through web browsers, or through its mobile app, which is available both for Android and iOS users. Mint is an all cloud-based service provider.

What makes Mint standout from other budgeting apps and personal finance tools is its ability to incorporate all your financial accounts such as a bank, investment, loans, as well as credit cards all in one place. More so, it provides you with a big picture view of your whole financial situation.

Initially, you are allowed to add your accounts — regardless of how many accounts you have. Don’t worry as the entire process is easy. Once you are done downloading and syncing all your transactions, Mint will automatically separate them into predefined categories. Yes, Mint does the work for you.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to modify the top-level categories. However, you can create and add your own subcategories.

To simply put it, here are some of the things Mint offers its users:

  • Budgets
  • Syncing capabilities
  • Allows you to see your net worth
  • Bill-tracking and reminders capabilities
  • Credit scores
  • 100% Free to use

QUICKEN VS MINT: SIMILARITIES

Although Quicken and Mint are two different things, they do have some similarities. Some of their common features are:

Budgeting Capability Quicken and Mint provide a program that allows you to know exactly where you are spending your money in an easy-to-understand, graphical presentation.
Direct Import/Synchronization Quicken and Mint let you link your financial accounts (e.g. bank, credit cards, loans, etc.). Both tools also allow you to import transactions automatically, and synchronize your entire financial picture in one place.
Multi-Device Capability Quicken and Mint allow you to make changes to your account on any device (smartphone, desktop, tablet, laptop) and the changes will be automatically carried over to other devices you are using.
Credit Report Monitoring Mint and Quicken allow you to monitor your credit score.
Weekly Email Summaries Quicken and Mint allow you to see what has happened in the past week with your finances.
Mobile App Quicken and Mint are available for both Apple iOS and Google Android users.

QUICKEN VS MINT: NOTABLE FEATURES

Now, let’s move on to what both Quicken and Mint has to offer to its users. Let us talk a look at some notable features between Quicken and Mint:

QUICKEN

One of the major strengths of Quicken is that it is one of the most comprehensive personal finance app available today. More so, it stores your information on your own computer instead of storing it on Quicken itself or onto the cloud, which is more common these days.

Quicken does have four different packages available, each with its own services. Some of the major services include:

– Tracking the Market Value of Your Home

By simply entering your home address, Quicken will regularly update the estimated market value of your home. This feature is available on Quicken’s Premier and Home and Business plans.

– Bill Pay

Quicken allows you to pay bills directly from any checking account that you have inputted on the platform. Like the above feature, this is also available on their Premier and Home and Business plans.

– TurboTax Tie-in

Quicken allows you to export data directly into TurboTax for tax preparation purposes.

– Reconcile Bank Statements

Quicken allows you to look into your recorded transactions against your current bank statement.

– The Inspector

This allows you to see a summary of information about your budget, and provide you with quick options. It will also allow you to see if you have budgeted enough for an expense or not.

– Investment Features

In Quicken’s Premier and Home and Business plans, you can take advantage of the following:

  • Track loans, investments, as well as retirement accounts
  • Evaluate investments using Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool
  • Understand how your returns compare to market averages
  • Track investment cost basis as well as generate Schedule D tax reports
  • Compare buy-and-hold options with improved portfolio analysis
  • Create better buy/sell decisions with market comparisons

– Business & Property Management Features

You will get to enjoy below features that are exclusive to Quicken Home & Business edition:

  • Categorize and separate personal and business expenses
  • Keep track your business profit loss and tax deductions
  • Manage lease terms, rental rates, and security deposits
  • Track outstanding and paid rents
  • Add payment links directly to invoices
  • Run Schedules C and E reports streamlining tax time
  • Generate and email custom invoices and estimates
  • Save rental documents directly to the Quicken app

MINT

As mentioned earlier, Mint is a popular personal finance platform and budgeting app as it brings all your financial records in just one platform. With Mint, you can link various financial accounts. Also, every time you visit the site, the system automatically updates the information.

Some of the interesting features of Mint include:

– Investment Tracking

Mint allows you to include taxable brokerage accounts, mutual funds, IRAs and 401(k) accounts — all of these in one place. More so, you can compare your own account performance to different market benchmarks, and see for yourself how you are doing.

Mint also has a fee analyzer service that allows you to see fees being paid to investment advisors, brokerages and even 401(k) providers.

– Bills Tracking

Mint enables you to keep your bills organized in just one place. The app indicates both the due date and the amount to be paid, and also allows you to get bill reminders to ensure you won’t miss any of your bill obligation.

– Mint Find Savings

This feature enables you to find better deals on various service providers. This feature helps you find better deals with bank accounts, credit cards, brokerages, loans, as well as retirement plans, and insurance.

– Net Worth Report

This feature allows you to see your calculated net worth and displays this at the top of your account to stay informed.

– Apple Watch

For those using Apple Watch, Mint is available in there. Yes, you can check your financial status through the watch.

QUICKEN VS MINT: PRICING

Some of us, our primary factor in choosing a budgeting app or a personal finance platform is — cost. If so, then this has to be very easy to decide on.

Quicken and Mint are totally opposite in this matter. While Mint can be used for free (without hidden fees), Quicken retails at $34.99 to $99.99 (although Quicken offers promotions, which you can check on their site).

Perhaps you are wondering how then Mint makes money if they offer their service for free. Well, there are various ways wherein they get to make money. This includes the following:

  • They offer “ways to save” by recommending different financial services wherein they get a referral fee.
  • They offer premium access to your credit report for a very little fee.
  • They do have banner ads located in different parts on their website.
  • They sell aggregate financial data to different providers.

Meanwhile, Quicken offers four different plans to choose from. These are:

  • Starter Plan – $34.99 per year
  • Deluxe Plan – $44.99 (originally at $49.99) per year
  • Premier Plan – $67.49 (originally at $74.99) per year
  • Home and Business Plan – $89.99 (originally at $99.99) per year.

Quicken offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if in case you are not satisfied with their product. You are also allowed to change the plan any time you want to.

QUICKEN VS MINT: CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE

With Quicken, they offer a live chat through My Pure Cloud, which is an app. Through it, you can get in touch with customer service representatives regarding any concerns. Unfortunately, Quicken does not offer phone support.

Quicken does have an FAQ page, Common Help Topics page (under the Learn & Support tab), and the Quicken Community wherein you can ask of find answer to some app-related concern.

In addition, Quicken also provides a Money Management Tips page, which offers personal finance-related topics like how to stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck, teaching your children how to save and spend wisely, how to save money, and many more.

Meanwhile, Mint offers customer service via email or live chat, which is available seven days a week from 5 in the morning until 9 in the evening.

Furthermore, “Mint Help” is also available with a limited number of topics, which are related to the operation of the Mint app.

Unlike Quicken, Mint does not offer various educational resources.

QUICKEN VS MINT: SECURITY

As users, one of our major concerns when using digital platforms is security. All the more in this case when we are divulging not just personal but financial details as well.

Having said that, we looked into both Quicken and Mint’s security details. Here’s what we found:

QUICKEN

Through the below processes, Quicken is able to protect your personal and financial information:

  • Use of 256-bit encryption
  • Firewall-protected servers in its data center
  • Password issued by your financial institution that has to be entered every time you connect to the Internet
  • Integrity checks, which helps ensure that a message received is not changed after it leaves the sender
  • Offers an option to password protect your data files
  • Information is transmitted using an encrypted, secure socket layer (SSL) technology

MINT

Meanwhile, Mint follows below security measures:

  • Multi-factor authentication that requires special security questions or code supplied either via email or text
  • Security screenings using VeriSign, which helps ensure security for the transfer of sensitive data
  • Information in a read-only fashion
  • Four-digit code to look into your information
  • Offers an option to set up your account with TouchID

QUICKEN VS MINT: WHICH IS THE BEST?

Both Quicken and Mint offer amazing features. Based on what we have shared with you, the two apps differ a lot when it comes to pricing or cost.

Thus, if you are looking for a no-frills, and free budgeting app, we got to say Mint wins.

However, if you are after a personal finance app or budgeting app that includes investing activities, then, Quicken is the best option.

As you can see, at the end of the day, the better one between the two will depend on you.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON QUICKEN VS MINT

As we have mentioned, both Quicken and Mint have notable features. Thus, it is so hard to choose between the two.

Basically, you just have to look into your needs and preferences, and based your decision in there. Because we have to say that…

The winner between Quicken vs Mint will be determined based not on what works for us or the majority, but what will work for you according to your needs, preferences, and of course, your financial goals.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Mint Vs Personal Capital Vs YNAB: The Best Personal Finance Tool For You

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?

Mint vs Personal Capital vs YNAB comparison review

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
Budgeting Yes Yes Yes
Investment Monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Bill Tracking Yes None None
Goal Setting Yes None Yes
Retirement Planner None Yes None
Retirement Fee Analyzer None Yes None
Portfolio Performance None Yes None
Manual Entries None Yes Yes
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
Two-Factor Authentication Yes None 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.

ABOUT MINT

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
  • Budgeting
  • Bill-tracking
  • 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:

ABOUT YNAB

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.

MINT

 – Bill-Tracking

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.

PERSONAL CAPITAL

– 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:

  • Earnings
  • Contributions
  • 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.

YNAB

– 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?

At the end of the day, it’s not a battle between what is the best between Mint vs Personal Capital vs YNAB, rather it is a battle on what is the best personal tool for you (the user) based on your needs and your financial goals.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Acorns Vs Stash: Your Guide In Choosing The Best Micro-Investing App

When it comes to micro-investment applications, there are two names that usually stands out — these are Acorns and Stash. While they both seem alike, they are totally different from one another. Thus, this comparison review — Acorns vs Stash.

Acorns vs Stash comparison review

If you are new to micro-investment, it is very important that you fully understand everything first before getting into it. More so, you have to fully know the tools you are going to use. Otherwise, you may encounter problems along the way – which may cause a waste of both time and money.

Just so you know, or perhaps you already know that both Acorns and Stash are apps that aimed at newbies who want to grow their money but have very little or no time at all or the expertise to manage it.

As we mentioned earlier, both apps are very popular in the micro-investment industry. Both of them mixes education and automation to help users understand what they’re doing, and at the same time, be able to reach their financial goals.

But then again, while they seem alike, the question is — which one is the best?

Before we talk about that, here’s a little information that may be helpful for you especially if you are still deciding whether or not to try out micro-investing.

In an article by Business Insider, Chris Concannon, chief executive of stock exchange operator Bats Global Markets was quoted that he strongly believes that “ETF assets will grow to more than $15 trillion over the next 10 years“.

More so, Concannon says that while the number may seem overwhelming for some, this is actually feasible given the fact that there is a new generation of investors in the United States — and yes, we are talking about the young ones.

Concannon said that the millennials (aged 20 to 35 years old) are currently the largest generation in the US. In fact, they are approximately 92 million to date. Guess what? They are actually the “first generation entering the investment arena through the ease of ETF investing“. In the same article, it mentioned that according to Bloomberg, 40% of millennials in the US do own ETFs.

With these predictions and the numbers, it is not surprising that Acorns and Stash are becoming popular. Well, in fact, many of Acorns and Stash users actually belongs to the younger generation – after all, they are more tech-savvy and internet-savvy than the older ones.

So, are you now convinced that micro-investing apps do work? If your answer is yes, then, it’s time to proceed to make a comparison between two of the most popular micro-investing apps – Acorns vs Stash.

But first, allows us to define what micro-investing apps are.

ABOUT MICRO-INVESTING APPLICATION

According to Investopedia, a micro-investing platform or application is an online tool that “allows users to regularly save small sums of money”. These micro-investing platforms “aim to aim to remove traditional barriers to investing, such as brokerage account minimums, to encourage people to invest even if they have limited incomes and assets“.

Typically, the app makes saving very easy. We found Dave Ramsey’s example about the relevance of micro-investing apps very insightful and it actually makes micro-investing apps easy to understand. He says, “When you connect a debit card, a micro-investing app can round up your purchases to the dollar or make automatic transfers for you.”

This basically sums up what micro-investing apps can do for you, and as you can see, it really does make life easier. You let your money grow without having to worry about how to make it grow.

Before we start our very own comparison review between Acorns and Stash, we thought you may be interested to check below video by Everyday Investing wherein he tackles the two apps and gives his very insightful and very informative review. To watch, just hit the play button.

ACORNS VS STASH: QUICK COMPARISON

Now, before we go into details, before dissecting every detail about these two apps, here’s a table that basically sums up some of the most important details that you need to know about these two micro-investing apps:

ITEM FOR COMPARISON ACORNS STASH
Best For Novice investors, frequent & hands-off contributions Long-term investments, asset class-oriented portfolios
Minimum Investment $0 $0
Account Fee Plans at $1, $2, and $3 per month Plans at $1, $2, and $3 per month
Promotion None Up to $560 (cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit)
Portfolio Options 5 portfolio options 3 portfolio options, plus around 60 ETFs and 100+ single stocks
Supported accounts Individual brokerage accounts, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and debit account Individual brokerage accounts, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, debit account, and up to two custodial accounts
Automatic Rebalancing Yes None
Tax Harvesting None None
401(k) Assistance None None
Two-Factor Auth. Yes Yes
Socially Responsible None None

From the table above, if you will look into it, Acorns seems to have a slight edge over Stash. However, it is too early to say yet that Acorns wins it as we are going to still look into the other details that will make us fully aware of what both Acorns and Stash can give – their highs and downsides, as well as their notable features, and costs.

ACORNS VS STASH: BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Before we look into the other details about these two micro-investment apps, let us first and foremost find out what their respective profile is.

ABOUT ACORNS

Acorns is a micro-investing app, however, it offers more of a Robo-advisor experience. This basically means that Acorns will be the one responsible for picking as well as automating your investments.

The app was launched back in 2012, and since its inception, its number of investors has grown to nearly 4 million to date. The app is both available for Android and iOS users, and you may also access it online using your laptop computer.

Acorns offer three different plans, which are as follows:

  • Acorns Core ($1/month) – This one is a personal investment account.
  • Acorns Core + Acorns Later ($2/month) – This plan refers to Acorns’s personal investment account and IRA.
  • Acorns Core + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend ($3/month) – This adds an Acorns checking account.

Please note that the above prices are good for accounts under $1 million only. Should you reach $1 million and more, Acorns costs $100/month.

As mentioned, Acorns is a micro-investing app, and it bills itself as the very first mobile investment application that allows you to open an account using your smartphone. You can definitely do this by connecting your smartphone to your bank accounts as well as credit cards. After, the application will automatically invest your spare change. Yes, you read it right. So, it’s like not wasting any dollar at all! Also, there is no limit to the number of cards and accounts you can link to the app.

Referring to investing your spare change, Acorns calls it as Round-Ups as the number of your purchases are automatically rounded up to the next increment. Apart from it, you can also set scheduled investment deposits according to your preference.

ABOUT STASH

Stash was founded in 2015. This micro-investing app offers investors a diverse set of curated portfolios that allow you to invest based on your interests.

Unlike Acorns, Stash offers several different types of accounts, which include the following:

  • A dedicated investment account
  • Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs
  • Custodial accounts

To date, Stash is proud to say that they have over 4 million users already. Just like Acorns, Stash is also available for both Android and iOS users, and you may also access it using your laptop or desktop computer.

Stash offers three major account plan options, which requires $5 to invest in any of them. These options include:

  • Beginner ($1/month) – This plan includes a personal investment account, unlimited trades, as well as debit account access, and financial education.
  • Growth ($3/month) – This account option includes a personal investment account, as well as a retirement account, unlimited trades, and financial education.
  • Stash+ ($9/month) – This plan includes everything in Growth plus custodial accounts for up to two children, and you will also receive a metal debit card with 2x stock back.

All of the above-mentioned plans come with unlimited trades, unlimited education, as well as online financial coaching.

Unlike Acorns, Stash Invest only makes investment recommendations and does not do investing on your behalf. Stash lets you do the actual investing.

With Stash, they allow your investment portfolio to be a combination of investment themes. This is comprised of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) set in an asset allocation consistent with your chosen theme.

Stash lets you link the app to your bank account, which will enable you to move your money back and forth. Unlike Acorns, Stash allows you to link one bank account only.

ACORNS VS STASH: SIMILARITIES

So, now that we already have discussed what Acorns and Stash are, let’s take a look at what these two micro-investing apps do have in common.

Since both are micro-investing apps, this means investors can take advantage of the following:

The ability to invest in using your spare change. Micro means little, which is precisely what micro-investing is all about. It refers to investing in using very little money, which is really great. After all, no amount is too small when it comes to saving and investing as well.

An expanded portfolio. Both Acorns and Stash assess your risk when it comes to investing, and help you make informed investment decisions. This helps you get rid of regretting your decisions.

A pre-set investment process. The very reason micro-investing apps exist is that they wanted to help people invest without having to worry about how to make your money grow because the app does the work for you.

In addition to the above, both Acorns and Stash offers the following:

– It allows you to invest additional amounts. This means you can fast-forward your investment progress if you want to.

They are available as mobile apps. Since both Acorns and Stash are accessible through mobile apps, this basically allows you to invest anytime and anywhere you want.

Both Acorns and Stash have similar fee structures.

Both Acorns and Stash does not require a minimum deposit. This is probably the best thing of all. This means you can start investing even at a very minimal amount.

ACORNS VS STASH: DIFFERENCES

This time around, let’s look into some key differences between Acorns and Stash:

First off, FEES. With Stash, they charge $1 per month for accounts under $5,000, while 0.25% per year for amounts $5,000 and more.  As with Acorns, they charge $1–$9 a month depending on the level of service.

Second, INDIVIDUAL STOCKS. While Stash allows investing in individual stocks, Acorns does not.

Lastly, SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING. Between Acorns and Stash, Stash is more focused when it comes to investing in designated SRI (socially responsible investing) portfolios.

ACORNS VS STASH: NOTABLE FEATURES

While both Acorns and Stash do have a set of similarities, both micro-investing apps do also have features that are very unique to them – individually. Let’s take a look at Acorns and Stash’s notable features below:

ACORNS

As we have mentioned earlier, Acorns is more of a Robo-advisor, which means it selects a portfolio for you with an asset allocation to meet your financial goals. In addition, it also invests your money in those funds.

Acorns automatically invest your money, and it also rebalances your portfolio. With Acorns, it is safe to say that your investment experience is mindless because they literally do the majority of work on your behalf.

One very unique feature of Acorns is what they called FOUND MONEY.

This feature allows an investor to earn money on purchases made using the Acorns app. Just so you know, Acorns is in partnership with over 350 companies nationwide. The Found Money feature lets you earn a percentage of your purchase of a flat amount. Your earnings will be visible in your account within 60 to 120 days.

Furthermore, here are some other notable features provided by Acorns:

  • Acorns offer unique and fun options to fund your account.
  • Acorn is ideal for investors who do not want to go through the hassle of choosing individual stocks or ETFs.

STASH

Stash does have more notable features as compares to Acorns. This includes the following:

FLEXIBLE INVESTING — Apart from accepting investment recommendations through Stash Invest, you can also increase your portfolio with your own investment choices. By doing so, you have more investment options.

AUTO-STASH – This feature allows your investments to be set on an auto-pilot mode, and automatically invest according to your preference.

STASH LEARN – This feature is accessible both through the app and on their website. This basically refers to Stash providing financial literacy to help teach new investors the basics about investing and also about micro-investing apps so they can eventually do it themselves.

In addition, here are some other notable features provided by Stash:

  • Stash can focus your investments on different themes based on your values.
  • Allows you to decide whether you want to avoid putting your dollars into specific industries, or if you want to focus on particular sectors only.
  • Stash offers over 100 investment options, which are composed of a limited list of both ETFs and well-known stocks.
  • Stash is ideal for new investors who want to learn more about the industry while being guided in building their portfolio.
  • Stash offers a banking solution, which makes it a worthwhile option to hold all of your money.

ACORNS VS STASH: INVESTMENTS AND FUND EXPENSES

When deciding which to go for between Acorns and Stash, apart from taking into consideration the management fees, you should also look into investment expenses charged by the funds themselves.

With Acorns, the use of low-cost exchange-traded funds from iShares and Vanguard, which basically comprise up to seven asset classes such as:

  • Real Estate
  • Corporate Bonds
  • Government Bonds
  • Large-cap stocks
  • Small-cap stocks
  • International Large-cap Stocks
  • Emerging Markets

The fees on these investments average 0.10% — basically just about as cheap as they come.

Meanwhile, with Stash, they offer low-cost ETFs, and also more expensive ones in investing niche themes that might interest investors.

Investment expenses with Stash are averaged at about 0.30%, which obviously is higher compared to Acorns and even among other providers.

ACORNS VS STASH: WHICH ONE IS THE BEST?

To be honest, it’s hard to choose between the two apps as they both have their own weaknesses and strengths. But to put it simply, if you are the type of person or investor who wants to have the freedom to trade individual stocks and take more control over your portfolio, then, Stash is the best option for you.

Meanwhile, if you are the kind of investor who is more interested in collecting money, and you do not need more assets to invest other than a couple of ETFs, then Acorns is a more tailored fit for you.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ACORNS VS STASH

There are a number of micro-investing apps available out there. As we mentioned earlier, investing apps are becoming a trend, especially among the younger generation. Needless to say, it the most accessible, and it’s very easy also given the fact that it allows you to start investing even with just a few bucks.

Between Acorns vs Stash, it is honestly hard to choose because they both have their expertise. Both apps offer different kinds of services that are equally good – depending on the type of investor or the type of person who is going to use it.

Based on the data we’ve shared, have you picked your choice yet?

Remember, when choosing between Acorns and Stash, make sure to also know and take into consideration what type of investor you are, your needs, your values when it comes to money, and of course, your financial goals. Do not forget to assess yourself. This will make choosing between Acorns vs Stash easier.