Mint vs. YNAB

What's the difference between Mint and YNAB? Which one of them is best for you and offer the best features for the price? Here's the ultimate comparison.

Mint and YNAB, which stands for You Need A Budget, are two of the most popular budgeting programs on the market.

Both assist customers in keeping track of all their costs, categorizing, determining how much goes where and making future allocations.

However, as you’ll see, these two apps have significant variations, including completely different budgeting philosophies and price methods.

YNAB gives not only an app, but a whole new way of thinking about what you can do with each dollar you make to anybody who is determined to create a powerful new plan to help them reach financial objectives such as getting out of debt, spending less, or just saving more.

Those who just want to keep track of their spending and receive a real-time picture of their overall net worth in one location, on the other hand, may prefer Mint’s more basic approach.

We thoroughly investigated the features, simplicity of setup and usage, compatibility, cost, and more to put out a head-to-head comparison of these two popular tools to make it easier for you to determine which platform is ideal for your needs.

What Do They Offer?

Mint

For most people, Mint is the go-to personal finance app. It’s been operating since 2006, the company behind TurboTax, owns it.

Mint is based on the idea that in order to understand your financial situation, you need to see everything in one location.

To get the most out of Mint, you need to connect all of your accounts, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, investments, and so on.

You can keep track of your spending, set bill reminders, create a budget, check your credit score, and monitor your investments.

Some of Mint’s significant features include:

  • Bank Accounts: To open a bank account, you must first input the account number and routing number and then go through the verification procedure.
  • Credit Accounts: Loans (such as mortgages), credit cards, and non-card revolving lines of credit fall under this group. The process is identical to that of setting up a bank account, but you’ll need to provide loan numbers and perhaps other relevant information, such as account logins.
  • Major Assets: Physical assets, such as vehicles and houses, are examples of significant assets. To obtain an approximate value for each asset, you’ll need to complete some basic details (car make, model, year, miles, or house location). You may also manually change the value of an asset.

YNAB

The YNAB program is designed to be intuitive and straightforward to use. However, the planned transactions feature, accounts used for budgeting, off-budget, and closed accounts are hidden on the sidebar.

At the beginning of each month, the program consolidates budget data, and YNAB includes an autosave option that saves data often. If you make a mistake, you may also go back to a prior version of your budget. There are also the following features:

  • Printing is simple.
  • Changing between several budgets without having to restart
  • Wizard for account reconciliation
  • With QIF file import, there are no duplicate transactions.
  • Flexible data export has been improved.
  • New reports that allow you to dive down into the specifics quickly

Price

Mint

Everyone may use Mint for free, and there are no premium versions of the app. You can easily enjoy all of the app’s features and benefits by creating a free account.

Mint makes money through brilliant relationships with other businesses, so the app includes advertisements and offers for other financial services.

The product offers may be obtrusive to specific users, and there is no paid alternative to eliminate the advertisements.

YNAB

YNAB is a subscription app, and it’s one of the most expensive to use.

Users may join up for a monthly membership for $11.99 per month or a yearly subscription for $84 per year. If you aren’t pleased with YNAB, you can get your money back.

You may also try YNAB for free for 34 days to determine whether it’s a suitable fit for your budgeting requirements.

Signing up for the free trial does not need a credit card.

Budgeting

Mint

Mint is a free budgeting tool that connects all your financial accounts in one digital area, giving you a high-level snapshot of your financial health.

Users may also use the app to keep track of their spending and savings and establish and monitor budget objectives.

Users are free to link their bank accounts, money management accounts, retirement and investment accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts with Mint.

Mint also allows you to keep track of all of your monthly payments and receive reminders so that you can pay them on time.

Mint analyzes your transactions and categorizes them into budget categories when you connect your bank accounts, making it easier to keep track of them.

Users can use Mint’s preset categories or build their custom categories to suit their requirements.

You may also add tags and restructure transactions as needed for extra personalization to better manage your expenditure.

If you’re like most users, many transactions don’t necessarily fit into one of these categories.

Mint allows customers to break down a single transaction into numerous categories, including any costs incurred.

Mint is designed for individual users, therefore shared Mint accounts are not available.

Two persons with shared financial accounts, on the other hand, may each set up their Mint account and sync their accounts to see the same data.

YNAB

Budgeting is approached in a proactive manner using YNAB. The app’s users take an active role in creating objectives, inputting costs, and changing their budgets as necessary.

You can start with the default budget categories, but you can also build your own to suit your needs.

You can link a bank account to YNAB for automated transaction import, but it’s not needed.

Remember that manually entering transactions into your YNAB account might take a long time and effort.

The foundation of YNAB is four distinct budgeting principles:

  • Rule 1: Give each task a dollar. You take the money flowing into your accounts, which you’ll link after signing up, and allocate every dollar until you’re back to zero.
  • Rule 2: Accept your actual costs. Setting objectives to aid you with impending high costs, such as Christmas spending, an emergency fund, and so on, is what this is all about. You establish a goal for yourself and allocate a specific amount of money to each area.
  • Rule 3: Be flexible and roll with the punches. This entails having the ability to transfer money around if you overspend in one area. Spend less on groceries than you anticipated, then put the difference in savings.
  • Rule #4: Let your money mature. The idea is that you don’t spend everything as soon as money enters your account. They’d like you to get to the point where you’re spending what you made the previous month to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

Although you may establish bill categories in your budget, YNAB does not offer an internal bill pay function.

It simply permits you to set aside money for specific costs. You may create a credit card payment category and use it to filter money from other categories when you input transactions if you use credit cards to pay for purchases.

If it sounds like a lot of effort, that’s because it is. It’s a lot more complicated than many other budgeting applications.

Security

Mint

Mint and its parent company, Intuit, place a high premium on security.

Mint uses the most up-to-date security methods, such as robust encryption, multi-factor authentication, and other security procedures to keep user information safe.

Users may also add a four-digit security code to their mobile device to protect their Mint account.

From their account, users may manage their mobile access.

You may switch off mobile access or cancel your account remotely from your online account if your mobile device is ever lost or stolen to keep your information safe.

YNAB

When you link financial or personal information to third-party applications, security is always a top consideration.

To safeguard consumers, YNAB follows industry-standard security and safety best practices.

It safeguards your personal and financial data using the most up-to-date encryption technology, increased login security, and other security standards.

If you have any security-related queries or concerns, you may also email YNAB’s security staff.

Comparison Table

Mint YNAB
FeaturesExcellentGood
PricingFree$11.99 per month or $84 annually
Ease of UseGoodGood
CompatibilityiOS, Android, Apple watches, Google Assistant, Android watches, web browseriOS, Android, Apple watches, Google Assistant, Alexa, web browser
ReportsSpending, net worth, and income vs. expenseSpending, income, assets, debts, net worth, net income
Ideal ForForward-thinking budgeting by “giving every dollar a job.”Spending categorization, creating a monthly budget, having an overview of all your financial accounts.

Conclusion

Mint and YNAB are two ideal budgeting apps that offer similar services to users. However, YNAB aims at helping you manage your finances and save more.

It provides you with guidance on how to create a budgeting strategy.

On the other hand, Mint helps you keep track of spending habits and achieve your saving goals.

Related Reads

Moneydance Review

Matt Castillo Bennet is a former banker and restaurant worker. After paying off $30K of student loan debt and saving up for a couple of years, he left his job to manage Cash Math full-time and help others achieve financial freedom.