YNAB vs Mint: Which Budgeting Tool is Better? - Savology (2024)

Creating a budget (and sticking to it) is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you’re managing your money correctly. Yet so many people are reluctant, and often nervous, to incorporate this step in their financial plan. While budgets tend to be associated with restrictions and unnecessary hassles, there are numerous tools that can help ease the process.

If you’re looking to rein in your monthly spending and get your finances under control, using a budgeting app may be worth your consideration. However, there are dozens of options to choose from, with each one having something unique to offer. It’s helpful to know which ones are designed with your needs in mind while still offering exclusive features.

If you’ve been considering incorporating a budgeting app into your financial plan, but aren’t quite sure where to start, we’ve taken the first step for you.

This article will take a look at two of the most popular budgeting apps on the market;You Need A Budget (YNAB), and Mint.

Keep reading to find out which of these budgeting apps is the best for you and your money.

An overview of Mint

As one of the oldest and best-known budgeting apps (it has been around since 2006), Mint has a pretty solid reputation. It’s owned by Intuit, the same company that makes Quickbooks and TurboTax. This budgeting tool operates on the idea that to see where you stand financially, you need to see everything in one place. To get the most out of the Mint platform, you’ll need to link all of your accounts, including any checking or savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards, loans, investments, etc.

In Mint, you’re able to build a personalized budget, track your spending, set any necessary reminders for bill payments, monitor your credit score, and see how your investments are performing. Every time you log-in, your financial data will update automatically, and you’ll be able to see your financial information in a sleek, user-friendly platform. One of the most well-liked features among users is that the budgeting app automatically categorizes your transactions from linked credit and debit cards and will track them against a budget that’s customizable to your needs.

Mint is an incredibly helpful tool because it keeps an eye on your finances, so you don’t have to. You can sign up for alerts that will be sent directly to your email or smartphone regarding late fees, bill reminders, over-budget spending, rate changes, and more. You also have the ability to track spending by specific categories and can look at your monthly cash flow to see an overview of where your money goes on a month-to-month basis.

How much does Mint cost?

One of the best aspects of Mint is that it’s 100% free to use and you don’t have to worry about any hidden fees. Yet this brings up the question of how this budgeting platform makes any money. Mint generates its revenue through four separate channels:

  • Advertisem*nts that appear on their website and app
  • Premium accounts offering credit-report monitoring in exchange for a user fee
  • Recommendations to save using various financial services from other institutions and companies where in return they receive a referral fee
  • The sale of user data such as consumer spending, the average credit card balance, etc. This data is collected anonymously and doesn’t refer back to any individual user.

Pros and Cons of Mint

To help you make a better assessment of whether or not Mint is the right fit for you, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons:

Pros of MintCons of Mint
Ease of useLack of investing features
Free to useIntrusive ads
Financial summaries and alerts via email or text messageProblems with account synchronization
Free credit score courtesy of EquifaxLack of bill pay feature
Email or text alerts for unusual account activity, bill reminders, and low balancesDoesn’t support multiple currencies
Easily customizable, digestible financial reports
Automatic categorization of downloaded transactions
Can’t assign multiple savings goals to one account
Easy-to-find help and support

Overview of You Need A Budget (YNAB)

Compared to other budgeting apps on the market, You Need A Budget (YNAB) has a unique approach. YNAB steers users away from relying on traditional budgeting buckets and instead recommends building a budget based on individual income, giving every dollar a job in your budget. This is similar to what’s known as a zero-based budgeting technique.

YNAB’s budgeting strategy is built on four main rules that have been designed to help users live within their means, get out of debt, save money, and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. They are as follows:

  1. 💸 Give every dollar a job. Every dollar you earn (and have in your budget) should be allocated to a specific purpose.
  2. 🧘 Embrace your true expenses. Similar to a sinking fund, reduce your stress by taking those large, less-frequent expenses and break them into manageable, monthly bills.
  3. 🥊 Roll with the punches. Be flexible and allow yourself to move money around if you overspend in an area. Stay on track with your long-term goals by anticipating and adjusting for overspending in specific categories in some months.
  4. 🗓️ Age your money. Be more purposeful about your spending, consistently spend less than you earn, and be more than prepared for the future. Stop spending everything the minute it goes into your account, quit living a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, and get to the point where you are spending what you earned last month.

By following these four rules, YNAB believes you can gain total control of your money.

How much does YNAB cost?

YNAB charges $11.99 per month or $84 annually, with the first 34 days free so you can try it out for yourself. If you choose to pay for the service on an annual basis, it works out to a better deal of 7$/month.

While all of us are quite too familiar with the free trial model, where we forget about them and let the first charge go through, YNAB doesn’t require your credit card information upon signing up. A refreshing change if you ask us.

Pros and Cons of YNAB

Still not sure whether your financial plan would benefit from YNAB? Here are our most important pros and cons of the platform:

Pros of YNABCons of YNAB
Easily pulls in your financial information
The fee of $11.99 per month or $84 annually
Switch between multiple budgets without restartingNo investment tracking feature
Flexible data exportCustomer service only available by email
Syncs with over 12,000 banksNo bill tracking or bill pay features
Syncs with multiple devicesNo bill tracking or bill pay features
Easily track spendingLack of reporting
Free for 34 daysDoesn’t do a good job of showing your overall financial health
Customizable categories

Mint vs YNAB: Which app should you choose?

The question of which service is better depends on your unique situation. Both Mint and YNAB provide a user-friendly tool to improve your money management skills—and financial future —by helping you budget effectively. They’re both designed to show you how and where you spend your money, but it’s clear they offer slightly different services. So the question of which budgeting tool is better depends on your unique situation.

If you’re looking for a tool that can easily organize your financial data in one place while monitoring both your credit score and net worth, the answer is Mint. It provides you with a good overview of your financial situation and offers more services and features than YNAB does.

However, if your primary focus is to set and build a budget, YNAB is the service you’ll want to use and will be worth the cost if you need extensive help in this area. It also teaches its users how to be proactive with their money, whereas Mint has a more passive approach.

At the end of the day, there doesn’t specifically need to be a winner between either YNAB or Mint. The reason being is simple; both budgeting apps are helping you manage your money, and that’s the most important feature.

Keep in mind that it’s also okay to use multiple tools for managing your money, so nothing is stopping you from using both if that’s what helps you out in the long run. With YNAB’s free trial and Mint’s 100% free platform, you can try both for the first month to determine which of these budgeting tools is best for your financial situation.

You can also read our recent comparison of EveryDollar vs Mint for more considerations when it comes to budgeting tools.

YNAB vs Mint: Which Budgeting Tool is Better? - Savology (2024)


YNAB vs Mint: Which Budgeting Tool is Better? - Savology? ›

However, if your primary focus is to set and build a budget, YNAB is the service you'll want to use and will be worth the cost if you need extensive help in this area. It also teaches its users how to be proactive with their money, whereas Mint

Mint's primary service allows users to track bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances and transactions through a single user interface, as well as create budgets and set financial goals.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Intuit_Mint
has a more passive approach.

Why is Intuit shutting down Mint? ›

In less than two weeks, the budgeting app Mint — which once had 3.6 million active users, including me — will shut down forever. According to its parent company, Intuit, Mint wasn't making enough money, so Intuit began the app's closure in January.

Should I use YNAB or Mint? ›

While there are differences in the display of your information, it really comes down to personal preference as to which one appeals more to you as a user. Mint and YNAB are the best. TIE — Mint and YNAB are both good choices for mobile access.

What are the disadvantages of YNAB? ›

Cons. The biggest drawback to YNAB is that you'll need to do some manual work. This might include entering transactions (if you don't link your accounts or you pay in cash), categorizing transactions, and assigning funds to each budget throughout the month.

Is Mint going away in 2024? ›

Mint will go offline March 23, 2024.

The Mint budgeting app officially shut down on March 23, 2024, and users can no longer access their data on the app. Intuit®, which owns Mint and other personal finance platforms like QuickBooks® and TurboTax®, suggested users migrate to Credit Karma, which it also owns.

What are the disadvantages of Intuit Mint? ›

Pros and Cons of Mint
Pros of MintCons of Mint
Ease of useLack of investing features
Free to useIntrusive ads
Financial summaries and alerts via email or text messageProblems with account synchronization
Free credit score courtesy of EquifaxLack of bill pay feature
3 more rows

Why did Mint fail? ›

The original personal finance dashboard, Mint.com's relatively meager ARPU of $2-$3 proved “they had the wrong business model”, said ex-Mint.com product manager and Monarch Money CEO Val Agostino—giving the product away for free and monetizing off referrals .

Why is Mint better than YNAB? ›


YNAB does not offer credit score monitoring. Mint offers credit score tracking and shows you trends over time. Both apps offer budget reports related to net worth and spending.

Why is YNAB so popular? ›

By assigning every dollar to a category right when you get paid, you no longer feel like you can spend money on frivolous purchases even though you technically have money in the bank. That's the beauty of YNAB: it makes you feel like you have less money than you do, which makes it much easier to save.

Is there a better option than Mint? ›

Monarch is better than Mint ever was. Mint would consistently have trouble importing data from several of my accounts. Every month or two, I'd need to reconnect my accounts to Mint. Those same accounts stay linked up in Monarch.

Can I trust YNAB? ›

All data sent between your computer and YNAB is bank-grade or better encryption. YNAB forces your browser to use an encrypted connection and won't let your computer talk to our servers unless that connection is secure. Specifically around the traffic encryption, we use 128-bit encryption (AES_128_GCM).

Is mint going away? ›

The popular budgeting app Mint is going away on March 23. Intuit says app users can transition to Credit Karma, but it won't have the same budgeting features. If you used Mint to make budgets, here are seven alternative options.

Is YNAB or EveryDollar better? ›

YNAB excels in promoting zero-based budgeting and offers real-time tracking, while EveryDollar simplifies budgeting with a structured approach based on Dave Ramsey's principles and provides a free budgeting option.

What to use instead of Mint budget? ›

  • Best overall replacement. Rocket Money. See at Rocket Money.
  • Best for debt payoff. PocketGuard. See at PocketGuard.
  • Best for an overall snapshot of your finances. Quicken Simplifi. See at Quicken Simplifi.
  • Best app for serious budgeting. YNAB. See at YNAB.
  • Best budgeting app for couples. Monarch. ...
  • Best for expert advice. Albert.
Mar 28, 2024

What is the best app to replace Mint? ›

8 Mint alternatives
Budgeting AppCostLinks to accounts
Quicken Classic$3.99 to $8.99 a month; all products now 50% offYes
Simplifi by Quicken$2.39 a month; 50% discountYes
Rocket MoneyFreeYes
4 more rows

Is Credit Karma replacing Mint? ›

As of 3/23/2024, service for Mint Canada has ended as we have officially moved to Credit Karma. We acknowledge that this is a big change. We recommend that you download your Mint transaction data.

What is the Intuit controversy? ›

The Federal Trade Commission has issued an Opinion and Final Order that Intuit Inc., the maker of the popular TurboTax tax filing software, engaged in deceptive advertising in violation of the FTC Act and deceived consumers when it ran ads for “free” tax products and services for which many consumers were ineligible.

Can Intuit Mint be trusted? ›

Mint is a personal finance app that is safe to use. The company has safety features including multi-factor authentication and security scanning tools to keep your account and personal data safe. Does it cost money to use Mint? Mint is free to use and includes many useful features.

Is Mint Mobile shutting down? ›

Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money. Visit your My NerdWallet Settings page to see all the writers you're following. Intuit Inc. announced that it will shut down Mint on March 23, 2024.

Is Intuit getting rid of payroll? ›

We have two updates regarding the QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT) payroll services discontinuation. First, after May 31, 2024, all QBDT 2021 software will be discontinued. Including all 2021 versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions v21.


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