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Investment Apps and Websites

Zeta Review: A Finance Management App Designed For Couples

In this Zeta review, you’ll see how this financial management app helps couples specifically in handling their finances. We bet you’ll love it.

Zeta Review: A Finance Management App Designed For Couples

Marriage is such a beautiful thing. Do you agree?

It’s nice knowing that you have someone with you for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death you part.

But successful marriages do not come so easy. It definitely is not a walk in the park. Truth is, it takes a lot of hard work to make a marriage last.

A couple deals with lots of problems and challenges along the way, and unfortunately, one of the common causes of conflicts among them is — yes, you guessed it right! Money.

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In a study entitled, “For Richer, for Poorer: Money as a Topic of Marital Conflict in the Home,” which was published online at the United States National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, it says:

Contrary to findings from previous laboratory-based surveys, spouses did not rate money as the most frequent source of marital conflict in the home. However, compared to non-money issues, marital conflicts about money were more pervasive, problematic, and recurrent, and remained unresolved, despite including more attempts at problem-solving.”

Meanwhile, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis, 22 percent of all divorces in the United States were caused by money issues.

So, you see, while money is not the primary cause of failing marriages and relationships in general, it does take a big part of the picture.

But, you know what? There is nothing in the world that cannot be resolved, right?

Every problem comes with a solution or at least a way to make things work.

There are actually a lot of things that couples can do to not let money get the best of their relationship.

One of the many ways to make things work in terms of handling finances between married couples is using a financial management app like Zeta that is specifically designed for them.

While there are lots of financial management apps out there, the majority of them are for personal use. But this one, Zeta, was designed to help couples be better in handling their money as one.

Are you curious now to know more about this app? Well, in a couple of sections, we are going to share with you key information about the Zeta app.

In particular, this Zeta review will provide answers to the following questions:

  • What is Zeta?
  • What makes it different from other financial management apps?
  • Who is Zeta best for?
  • How does Zeta work?
  • What are the best features of Zeta?
  • How to get started with Zeta?
  • Are there fees involved?
  • Is Zeta safe?
  • What to like about Zeta?
  • What not to like about Zeta?

WHAT IS ZETA?

While most budgeting apps are great for solo users, Zeta is a financial management application that was specifically designed with couples’ needs in mind.

It was founded by Aditi Shekar, a family finance expert with a mission to “help couples get smarter about money.

Zeta is a great financial tool that allows couples to stay on top of their finances as one. You know, promoting teamwork between couples, which is actually what it should be.

Anyway, the Zeta app helps couples merge their finances, set common goals, as well as track their financial progress together — not leaving the other behind.

Zeta is a free app, which honestly makes it even better!

Zeta can be accessed online or through a mobile app, which makes it even more convenient to use. So, even if you two are apart, you can still see what’s going on with your money with just a click.

Using the app, you can connect all of your accounts including checking, savings, investments, as well as debts — all in one place.

Although you can opt to let your partner see all your accounts, you also have the power to choose only what you want to share with the other person while still using the app to manage the others without them knowing.

On a business note, Zeta is backed by world-class investors, which include “a group of diverse, experienced and hands-on operators and venture investors from financial and consumer industries.”

If you’re interested in knowing more about what the Zeta app is about and what it has to offer, here’s an insightful video by Money at 30:

WHAT MAKES ZETA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT APPS?

Similar to other money management app out there, Zeta has features that make it easier for users to track income and expenses.

The app allows you to customize how you categorize several expenses and allows the user to review transactions, check bills calendar, as well as ensure that the expenses are within the budget.

However, what makes Zeta different from other apps you see in the marketplace is that it specifically focus on helping couples manage their finances together at different stages of their relationship.

As mentioned earlier, one of the major triggers of marriages that do not work is money issues. The main founder of Zeta wishes to address that by providing a tool that will help couples become more transparent with each other in terms of finances.

Moving on, Zeta has features that allow users to categorize transactions as “his,” “hers,” and “ours” (tagged with names, not with pronouns), which makes it easier to track shared as well as individual expenses.

By the way, Zeta also includes a savings bucket, which is not common among budgeting apps.

Furthermore, the app is flexible enough that couples can share as much or as little with the other person as they want. It allows users to still have that personal space.

The app allows you to link all your accounts at the same time, letting you choose only the ones you want to share with your partner and manage the others on your own without the other person knowing.

WHO IS ZETA BEST FOR?

Obviously, Zeta is specifically designed for couples. Whether you are married, engaged to be married, or living together, this app is best for you.

Well, of course, for as long as both parties are in for this shared financial management journey, this should work.

As mentioned, while it primarily promotes “shared” financial management, couples can still use the same app to manage their “personal” accounts. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, yeah?

As for single people, you can still use the app although of course, you cannot enjoy the majority of its features because, again, it’s designed for couples.

HOW DOES ZETA WORK?

If you have used a budgeting app before, then it should be easier for you to get familiarized with how Zeta works.

However, if you are totally new to the whole financial management app thing, then this part of our Zeta review is for you.

Basically, like any other financial management apps in the market, Zeta tracks the user’s income and expenses.

To be able to do that, you either sync your transactions automatically or do it manually.

Zeta helps couples simplify their finances.

Once the user adds an account, he or she could mark it either “personal” or “shared.” Obviously, when you share the latter that means your partner gets to see it as well.

The software updates spending in real-time. More so, it allows couples to create their own budgeting categories or opt to use the preset ones in the app.

Zeta has a feature that allows users to track shared financial goals at the same time, keeping expenses separate.

WHAT ARE THE BEST FEATURES OF ZETA?

In this part of our Zeta review, you will see the best features of the app so far. This includes the following:

Bill Splits

Some couples prefer splitting the bill between each other. To be honest, this could sometimes be a headache when you do not have a system in place.

But, with the Zeta app, couples can easily keep track of bills that are meant to be shared, at the same time, keep track of who owes what.

Bill Calendar

Obviously, this feature allows couples to stay on track of their monthly financial obligations specifically — bills.

This feature shows when a bill is due to help ensure you do not miss paying anything.

Budgets and Goal Setting

Using the Zeta app, you can set up budgets and goals together. At the same time, track their movement.

Having budgets and goals will surely help you as a couple to stay motivates, make adjustments when necessary, and celebrate wins together.

Memos

What’s nice about the Zeta app is that it comes with this feature that allows you to leave a memo for your partner.

You can use this when making a purchase that the other person does not know about, or when you want to ask your partner about a particular expense.

Net Worth Tracker

One of the best ways to improve your financial situation is by tracking your net worth. This allows you to spend within your means and not go overboard.

Net worth refers to the value of your assets after subtracting your liabilities. With the help of Zeta, the process is simplified by syncing all your accounts in one place and doing the math on your behalf.

The tracker lets you see your net worth go up and down based on you and your partner’s choices.

Joint Cards

This is actually the company’s attempt at couples banking. By partnering with Radius Bank, Zeta gets to offer a joint bank account that comes with two debit cards allowing each couple to manage their finances and goals with the tools provided by the app.

Zeta Joint Cards allows couples to merge all or a part of their money. For some couples, this helps them manage their finances better. It makes things easier, in fact.

The Zeta Joint Cards provides the following features:

  • No Account Fees or Minimums
  • Account-holders could earn 0.14% APY
  • FDIC-Insured through Radius Bank for up to $500,000
  • Instant notifications
  • Early Direct Deposit
  • Allows transferring money from an individual or joint accounts
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Digital checks (write and send)
  • Access to 32,000 ATMs for free
  • Contactless payment via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal
  • Unlimited transfers
  • Bill pay

To avail of this feature, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Tell Zeta about you and your relationship.
  • Invite your partner and have their information confirmed.
  • Receive your respective Zeta Joint Card.
  • Start spending and saving as a team.

The Zeta Joint Cards is ideal for married duos, the newly moved-in, families, trusting roommates, or any other case where a joint bank account is handy can work.

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH ZETA?

Signing up with Zeta is pretty simple. All you have to do is go to their website, look for the Get Started button, and click it.

Provide all the information that will be required from. They’re basic information such as your email address, name, address, phone number, etc.

Also, you will be asked to link your financial accounts, and then, invite your partner to join in.

The whole signing-up process does not take long. In fact, you can finish it within 10 minutes.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?

Now, here’s one of the most important things about the Zeta app — anyone can use it absolutely for free!

To be honest, it’s quite surprising since some of the most popular budgeting apps out there come with a cost.

By using Zeta, couples get to enjoy all the perks that come with the app without having to worry about paying for the services they use.

Zeta is a powerful budgeting tool that allows users to do automatic transaction importing, net worth tracking, the ability to customize categories, as well as a bill payment calendar, and keeping track of your personal and shared accounts and expenses.

IS ZETA SAFE?

Since users will have to link their accounts to the Zeta app, it is important that in this Zeta review, we also look into how secure the app is.

So, how secure is the Zeta app?

Zeta uses bank-level security measures to ensure that your personal information is secured.

None of your logins are stored in the Zeta app. They also use reputable third-party technology to link your financial accounts to the app without storing information anywhere.

Once you invite your partner to join, there is a two-step identification process in place before the other person can see the shared information. Rest assured that Zeta will never access your account unless you permit it to.

Meanwhile, we mentioned earlier that one of the perks Zeta users can enjoy is the Joint Cards, a joint bank account that comes with two debit cards allowing each couple to manage their finances and goals with the tools provided by the app.

Once you enroll for the said account, your money gets insured through Zeta’s partner bank, which is an FDIC member. All deposits are insured for up to $500,000 in the event of a bank failure.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT ZETA?

There are a lot of things to like about Zeta especially if you and your partner are so game with sharing financial information and are willing to work as a team.

Some of the things that really stand out are the following:

  • Free App – Zeta is available for all for free! Imagine getting all the perks it offers without having to pay a cent!? That’s great, right?
  • Financial Management App Designed for Couples – Unlike the majority of budgeting apps you find in the market, Zeta is specifically designed to help couples be better at handling their finances together. This, hopefully, helps saves marriages from breaking up because of money issues.
  • Zeta Joint Cards – This feature allows couples to have a joint bank account that comes with two debit cards allowing each couple to manage their finances and goals with the tools provided by Zeta. This one’s nice to have for couples, really.
  • Zeta Joint Cards are FDIC-Insured – What’s nice about this feature is that all deposits are insured by the FDIC through Zeta’s bank partner. The insurance is up to $500,000 in case of a bank failure.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT ZETA?

While there are a lot of things to like about Zeta, it also has its share of drawbacks.

In this section of our Zeta review, we are going to share with you some of the drawbacks of this financial management app for couples. It includes:

  • Work In Progress – Zeta app is still a work in progress. New features are still being added, which is actually good because it means there’s a lot more to look forward to.
  • App Tends to be Slow – Well, we thought, since the app is still a work in progress, this explains why some users find it slow. Don’t worry, though, because the team is working on speeding things up. Also, we thought it’s fair to be a little forgiving since this one’s a free and a newly-built app anyway.
  • Tracking Progress on Savings Goal Falls Short – Unfortunately, in case you are saving up for something, Zeta does not update your progress automatically at the moment. So, you have to do it manually instead. We, however, believe that the team is also working on it.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZETA

Zeta is a financial management app designed specifically for couples. The app provides a number of helpful features to help couples be better at handling their finances together.

Since the app is relatively new (needless to say, it’s free), there is still a lot of work in progress. But, imagine when it’s done and the app is already very functional. It would definitely be a big help.

So, given all the information we shared, are you thinking about downloading the app already?

Overall, with all the information provided in this Zeta review, we thought the app has so much potential. There’s so much to look forward to. Also, it definitely tries hard to provide what they think will help their users in terms of budgeting and goal setting.

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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.