Are you having trouble choosing which app you should use to handle your finances? Are you torn between YNAB vs. Mint? Here is a comparison of the two to see which fits your situation best.
We understand your frustration when it comes to selecting the right financial management tool. It’s always a challenge when you are trying to improve your financial planning and monitoring.
Everyone who wants to develop an effective financial management plan has a tool or an app to help them out. It is really more effective when you are using the right platform. The question is, how would you know which tool is right for you?
Mint and YNAB are the top recommendations when you talk about budgeting apps. Both of them offer similar services and easy-to-use apps. Both can help you with your financial challenges. But which one suits you more?
To help you distinguish among the two best budgeting apps, we have listed their functions, features, cost, and more. We narrowed them both down to their similarities and differences. These factors will show which one may have the edge over the other in the different aspects of financial management.
In this way, you get the idea of which one of them suits your budgeting style and which one can help you lessen your expenses and save more money. Keep reading to learn more about YNAB and Mint.
Summary of YNAB
YNAB’s ethics is that your budget is more important than your account balance. Your role is to track your budget and stay at the course. For instance, if there is any money left in your grocery category at the end of the month, you should not use it to buy and treat yourself.
At first, you might find that you have to shuffle money from one budget to another category, don’t worry. This actually happens to everyone, and you will get used to the process of budgeting as you use it more over time.
If this is not enough, you can go and check our YNAB review and its different services.
How Does YNAB Work?
YNAB works just like working with a financial consultant, and it offers suggestions to allocate your money for expenses, loans, savings, and investments. You don’t have to check every single thing once you are done creating an account.
YNAB has regular updates, and with their latest version, you can now take live courses online and learn how to use YNAB optimally for your situation. Budgeting and, at the same time, learning more about how to lessen expenses and save more is YNAB’s biggest advantage.
Summary of Mint
When you talk about budgeting apps, Mint will always be included. It is a free online personal finance management tool, and you can just install the app to get started.
The Mint app has been around since 2006 and was bought by Intuit in 2009. This platform allows you to connect all of your financial accounts like credit cards, loans, investments, and banks into one digital location for an overall view of your finances.
With Mint, you don’t have to manually update your data or exchange data from the site to the app. It automatically updates your financial information once you visit the site or the app.
Mint looks after your money, so you don’t have to worry about your budget. It also sends alerts via email or SMS for any late fees, due bills, rate changes, or large purchases made under one of your financial accounts.
Check out our full Mint review and how people enjoy using this budgeting app.
How Does Mint Work?
Mint helps its users create and control their budgets by using the information given from the different financial accounts such as bills, credit or debit cards, banks, PayPal, and other financial key accounts. That is to track how much the users are earning and how much they are spending.
After you have made an account in Mint, you can now link your information from any of the US-based financial organizations. You can also add your credit or debit card information and bills you would like to be reminded of and prevent late payment fees.
Furthermore, with Mint, you can monitor your loans, IRAs, 401(k)s, and investments. This is to help users track their progress, check spending patterns, and help save more money.
YNAB Vs. Mint: Cost
Now that you understand how YNAB and Mint work, let’s get down to business. One of the most prominent differences is that Mint is free with ads on their platform, while YNAB has monthly or annual charges after their free trial period.
YNAB provides a 34-day trial. Having a 34-day trial instead of the common 30 gives the user more time to know more about YNAB. Once the trial ends and you like it, you can proceed with the paid subscription of $14.99 monthly or $98.99 annually.
Mint’s free usage is one of the biggest reasons why people are drawn to using it. It does not stop its users from staying because Mint gives you an overview of your accounts and transactions. Although, you might have to deal with the ads popping here and there.
YNAB Vs. Mint: Features
YNAB and Mint provide different budgeting features to help you track and calculate your finances. Here are some of the features they offer and how they work.
- Reports – YNAB gives an explicit report about your transactions using charts and graphs. With these, you can now view your progress, transaction, and overall financial status without having to scroll up and down a spreadsheet.
- Goal Tracking – You can now set up goals and track them at the same time. It can be short-term goals or long-term. With YNAB’s goal tracking, it is easier to split your goals.
- Dual Budgeting – YNAB can do dual budgeting that is to track both you and your partner’s budget, spending pattern, and goals.
- Manual or Automatic Data Entry – YNAB offers both manual and automatic data entry, so if you don’t want to insert your data manually, you will enjoy this feature.
- Budgeting And Tracking – Mint’s main duties are to budget and track your finances. You can link all your transactions and divide them by categories for efficiently managing your budget. This feature is for those who are having trouble with their spending habits. It has sliders to go with every penny spent on a percentage-based budget.
- Organizing Goals – This feature is what you can use for anyone who is having a hard time keeping up with their goals. You can set up your spending limits here, create a target to pay off debt, credit cards, or savings.
- Trends – This feature provides different trends based on your purchasing habits, and Mint allows its users to use these however they want. Whether suitable for you, you can easily make changes, such as making a graph for your expenses.
- Free Credit Score Tracking – Mint recently launched this feature where you can choose to help you monitor your credit standing for your overall financial health. If you want Mint to keep track of your credit score, you will have to present your current credit scores, payment history, and the average age of the credit accounts.
- Investment Tracker – You can say goodbye to checking your investments regularly. Why? That’s because this feature can track it on your behalf through your assets allocation and balances.
- Savings – Mint has many ways to save, and all you have to do is open a savings account and try out their new insurance. Mint also provides different products which you can save more and spend less.
YNAB Vs. Mint: Mobile App
YNAB and Mint are available in apps for iOS and Android users. Using the YNAB app lets you see your overview reports, budget and add instructions.
The Mint app does not allow you to open your financial reports, and you will have to visit the website to access it. However, it will not show an updated report of your finances every time you open the app. Mint also sends alerts whenever you are getting on your budget limits.
Users of both apps have sent out their complaints of slow-moving or buggy performance, and both companies are still working and updating their services to ensure their customers are making the most of their offers.
YNAB Vs. Mint: Security
YNAB and Mint both use bank-level encryption. It has the same level of security provided by financial service providers and banks. Aside from that, it provides two-factor authentication for higher protection, and it does not keep any of your credentials.
Both YNAB and Mint mobile apps have biometric login support such as touch ID, face ID, passcode, or pattern. You can also expect as one of the requirements to reauthorize the connection every time switching in and out of the app.
YNAB Vs. Mint: Similarities
YNAB and Mint both have their similarities, especially with the services but let’s talk about the common ones they share when offering budget services.
- Mobile App – YNAB and Mint both have apps and are available to iOS and Android users.
- Device Compatibility – These two platforms adapt to any device you use to log in to your account, such as desktop, tablet, laptop, smartphone. Both of them automatically transfer over to the other device the newly updated information.
- Online Synchronization – These two software platforms let you connect to your financial accounts like credit cards, loans, banks, or investments automatically.
- Budgeting – They both have a program that allows you to know precisely where you are spending most of your money in an easier graphical way.
YNAB Vs. Mint – Differences
Now you have learned to know about their similarities. It’s time to talk about their differences. This time you will understand where they stand and how far they can go to provide you with what you need when handling your finances.
- The Inspector – YNAB’s features allow you to view a summary of your budget and provide you with different strategies on what to do to keep your budget or lessen expenses.
- Category Codes – YNAB uses color codes to distinguish your categories and even when overspending occurs. Color codes can help you visualize any troubles in your budget faster.
- YNAB keeps upgrading – YNAB has updated to 4 different versions ensuring that you are given a proper plan, strategy and serve you better.
- Everything is budgeting – YNAB does exceptionally well with budgeting, and it’s the center of their provided services.
- Investment Tracking – Mint’s tracking feature is okay but not as good as other platforms. Mint’s investment tracking is for you if you are just thinking of buying and holding rather than being an active investor.
- Net Worth Report – Mint computes your net worth and views it at the top of your account. It gets updated every time you make changes or access your account.
- Apple Watch – you can use Mint even on your Apple watch. How convenient!
- Weekly Email Summaries – You get to be aware of your weekly finances and where you’re using your money.
- Alerts via email or SMS – Mint sends out reminders and notifications about your bills and due dates and will provide recommendations on saving money on transaction fees.
- Credit Score Tracking – With Mint, you can easily see and track your credit score, payment history, account usage, and more.
YNAB Vs. Mint – Which One Should You Use?
Depending on what you are looking for in terms of managing your finances, both the apps display and provide different services that can help you budget your money. YNAB and Mint offer various techniques in taking care of your finances, and both have a goal to save you more money. Both can help you as you navigate through the different challenges you face now and in the future in your financial planning management.
As much as we love to tell you which you should use in the end, it all comes down to your decision. We know how hard it is to choose but pick the one that helps you budget, tracks your progress and offers what you need.
You just need to know where you are now in your financial journey and where you want to be in the future. Once you know this, you will determine which app offers the best services that can help you with your goals.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.