YNAB vs Mint are the two most popular online budgeting apps in the world. While both core programs are to aid you in budgeting, their approach towards it is different.
If you want to use a budget app to keep track of your finances, it’s important you check the app that meets your needs more effectively. After all, a budget is effective if you are comfortable working with it.
As the entire purpose of online budgeting apps is to reduce the number of sign up you do, running a comparison check between YNAB vs Mint is essential. It will enable you to know the best app to use when tracking your spending, savings, and debt amounts.
To ease your decision-making process, this article provides all details you need to know about YNAB and Mint, the differences and similarities, and alternatives to both of them.
So, let’s look at YNAB vs Mint and see if we can determine which will be the better fit for your finances.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is YNAB?
YNAB means “You Need a Budget.” It is a private company founded by Julie and Jesse that offers personal budgeting software.
As a proactive system, YNAB demands you to be forward-looking and intentional about every dollar you have. While doing this, the app helps you create a budget, understand your spending, and encourages you to save.
In a nutshell, YNAB is an app that provides both the mechanisms for monitoring your income and expenses and educational support to help you address the root causes of financial hardship.
How Does YNAB Work?
YNAB offers budgeting software that can be accessed through a mobile app or online account.
Budgeting with YNAB finally means facing your finances with your eyes wide open. Even if you don’t like what you see, you will have the information you need to take the next step, and then the next.
Once you feel the peace that comes with being in control of your finances, you will never look back.
However, the strategy behind YNAB’s saving and spending principles can be summed up in its Four Simple Rules for Successful Budgeting, which is as follows:
Once you’re familiar with the Four Rules, skip ahead to starting your first 34 days trial.
Here are the key features that YNAB offers:
#1. Proven Method is for new customers to learn their method and be able to budget successfully. Just like a workshop where you will learn how to manage your money.
#2. Budget Together is a feature that helps you access information from any device to share with a partner.
#3. Goal Tracking is a tool in the app that aid you set your goals and still guide you till you reach your goals.
#4. Reports is a feature in tables and graphs that can help you get a comprehensive view of your finances.
#5. Personal Support can be accessed by emailing or you can check their online workshops they offer every week.
You should also check out; 10 Cheapest & Free YNAB Alternatives In 2022 | You Deserve Better
What is MINT?
Mint is a simple personal finance tracking app and budgeting tool. The app started in 2006 and in 2009, Intuit acquired it.
Now, the company has over 20 million users and is known as one of the most popular budgeting apps in the world.
How Does MINT Work?
Mint’s budgeting and spending tools are available through an online account. You can also download the Mint app, which is rated 4.7 stars (out of 5) on the App Store. Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store, where Mint has a 4.6-star rating (out of 5).
As an account holder, Mint will help you link all your external financial accounts to your centralized Mint dashboard. Mint will automatically fill in this information in your account so you can have a complete understanding of your financial situation, all in one place.
Here are some additional features that Mint offers:
#1. Bill Tracker is a tool that allows you to pay your bills always on time. With Bill Tracker, you can easily schedule your bill payment due dates in the app. You will then receive an alert before each due date so that no payment will blind you. Once the bill is paid, you can mark it as finished and move on with your life. Easy!
#2. Daily Budget Planner is an expense analyzer that monitors your daily expenses. This tool helps you see where your money is going by grouping your various purchases into categories – restaurants, car expenses, and utilities, for example.
#3. Credit Score Monitoring is a tool that does exactly what it says: it monitors your credit rating. As a Mint account holder, you will have real-time access to your credit score. The downside is that Mint only offers a free credit bureau’s score. If you want to access your score at all three credit bureaus, you must upgrade to Mint’s credit monitoring service, which costs $16.99 per month.
#4. Portfolio and Investment Tracking is a prominent feature that helps you monitor your investment accounts from your Mint account. This tool will also monitor any investment fees you may pay and help you understand how your portfolio is allocated.
#5. Mint Alerts can keep you informed of various situations. For example, you can set up alerts that automatically notify you if they have hit you by ATM fees or late payments, if your account balances are low, or even if you’ve spent an obscene amount this month at restaurants.
MINT VS. YNAB: Similarities and Differences Between YNAB and Mint
Mint and YNAB have several similarities, but there are differences.
For easy navigation, we’ve grouped them into categories: Budgeting, Cost, Synchronization, Security, Customer Service and Support, and Mobile Access.
Both apps are great for budgeting.
You know where your money is going and you can manage your finances well with any of them. Both services are versatile enough that any budget manager can stop overwriting, implement a systematic way to pay off credit card debt, generate savings, and manage expenses.
Budgeting is everything YNAB does, and that focused mission translates into the platform’s usability and ease of use. Mint’s budgeting software is also easy to use and visually appealing.
Both have been around long enough to be viable options for the basic budget. The two, in fact, are excellent budget apps and are comparable in many ways.
Mint offers more features than just budgeting if you like bells and whistles.
YNAB charges $11.99 per month or $84 per year, with the first 34 days free for you to try.
Using mint is free and there are no hidden charges. You may wonder how they make money. There are several ways:
- The Mint offers “ways to save” by recommending various financial services from which you get referral rates.
- You will also find banner ads in various parts of the website that generate income.
- You can sign up for premium access to your credit report for a small fee
- Mint also sells aggregated (non-personal) financial data to various vendors. Such as consumer spending, average credit card balance, the number of retirement accounts a user can have, etc. The data is collected anonymously and does not refer to any individual user.
Both platforms automatically sync your bank, credit card, and credit accounts with many financial institutions.
While Mint supports more banks and financial services than YNAB, it also seems to have a lot more timing glitches.
This is a constant complaint among users; you might feel your frustration when you read your sync comments on the Mint forums.
Not only does Mint seem to have a lot of disruptive issues, but it also seems to get a bad rap for not fixing sync issues in a timely manner.
Timing is one area where YNAB excels over Mint.
Security is a tremendous concern for anyone using an online budgeting app because their entire financial life could be at risk.
YNAB’s infrastructure is based on Heroku, which is the same technology used by the CIA. The main security measures of the site include:
- Staff members do not have access to customer data, except at the customer’s request or required by law.
- Passwords are salted and hashed one-way, using multiple iterations of a key derived function for passwords, making it nearly impossible for an attacker to determine the exact sequence.
- The data is encrypted and therefore cannot be read even if the hard drives have been stolen.
- When you cancel your account, your data is removed from the database.
Mint also cares about the security of your personal and stored information. The main security measures of the site include:
- Two-Factor Authentication: In addition to password protection, Mint will not allow you to access your account until it validates the device you are using. Either through the email address, you are using when you registered, or by SMS on your mobile phone.
- Touch ID Sensor for iOS: Quickly reads your fingerprint and unlocks your phone, giving you quick access to the Mint.com app.
We believe that two-factor authentication is more secure than a single password and we would prefer Mint over YNAB when considering security protection.
#5. Customer Service and Support
Mint and YNAB offer helpful self-service customer support platforms. I would say that the YNAB platform is easier to use and understand.
If you need help from a real person, Mint offers live chat support seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Time. YNAB offers email support (scroll to the bottom of this page to find the email contact link).
YNAB and Mint offer training videos and online tutorials that make learning easier and faster. YNAB’s training is more comprehensive and their customer service seems more responsive. You can expect better customer service from a paid service than a free service.
I’d say the two companies are more or less related to the customer service category.
#6. Mobile Access
Both applications are very easy to use when you are on the go.
While there are differences in the way they display your information, it really depends on your personal preferences, which one appeals to you the most as a user.
Finally, Mint and YNAB are simply the best.
MINT VS. YNAB: WHICH ONE IS BETTER FOR ME?
Mint and YNAB are designed to show you how and where you spend your money.
Both provide an easy-to-use tool to improve your financial management skills, and your financial future, by helping you budget effectively. Both are now online services and are compatible with whatever device you use.
YNAB has done an outstanding job of moving all its functionality online without errors or interruptions for existing users.
The lack of online features prior to 2016 was one reason we’ve recommended Mint over YNAB in the past. But we recently recommended YNAB because Mint has had a lot of timing issues and poor customer support issues over the years.
Our research shows that users seem to like YNAB’s budget features and one way dislike the Mint syncing issues that have persisted over the years without being fixed.
So while Mint is free, YNAB’s $11.99 per month fee may be worth it for hassle-free syncing and responsive customer support.
Since you’ve made it this far, it should be clear Mint and YNAB offer slightly different services.
ALTERNATIVES TO MINT AND YNAB
Here are some of the more popular alternatives to Mint and YNAB.
How Much does YNAB Cost Per Month?
YNAB costs $11.99 each month or $84 annually. If you pay for the service annually, it works out to $7/month, which is a much better deal.
Is YNAB Worth the Cost?
Yes. I would say that YNAB is probably worth the cost for most people. If you are serious about keeping track of your budgeting and finances, it’s probably worth paying the small monthly fee.
How Much Does it Cost to Use Mint?
Mint is 100% free to use. Unless you opt for Mint’s Credit Monitoring service, you won’t be charged any fees to use Mint.
A clear YNAB vs Mint discussion has revealed a lot to you about these financial budgeting apps and the best one to choose. I hope you make a wise decision.