Knowing where your money is going and how much you spend each month is paramount to financial success.
If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck or struggle with paying your bills, creating a budget will open your eyes and help you stay on track each month.
I’ve used Mint.com in the past and found it to be intuitive and effective in tracking my personal expenses.
Mint offers users a way to not only create a budget but keep track of their daily income and expenses. Will it work for you? Read this Mint Canada review to find out.
Financial Management Application
Mint provides users with a clear way to keep track of their income and expenses while staying within their budget.
- It’s free
- Automatically syncs with your bank
- Get alerts when bills are due and on ways to save money
- Regularly experiences syncing issues
- Hard to reach customer service
What Is Mint.com?
Mint is a popular budgeting app that regularly finds itself on Best Budgeting lists. With over 25 million users, Mint helps take away the headaches associated with budgeting and tracking your finances.
It’s such an attractive option because it’s free and easy to use. Mint is a cloud-based service, meaning you can access it through a mobile app on your phone or online via a web browser.
You can link up your bank, investment, and retirement accounts that will automatically sync up every time you log in. From there, you can create a budget and keep track of your daily transactions within default or customizable categories.
Mint was founded in 2006 and purchased by the software giant Intuit in 2009. It launched to Canadians in 2010 and is currently only available within the U.S. and Canada.
To help with budgeting and setting goals, Mint offers the following features:
As mentioned earlier, Mint is free and available to anyone. When you sign up, you have access to all the features. There aren’t any premium versions requiring payment, adding to its appeal.
At its core, Mint is a budgeting app. The app guides you through making your budget and using either predetermined categories or ones you can customize. From there, you can sync up your bank account and add your transactions to the appropriate categories.
Over time, Mint will recognize and automatically place transactions into the correct categories, but there are times when you will need to manually move them yourself.
If you use a debit or credit card for most of your purchases, Mint will quickly memorize those regular transactions. However, it doesn’t have the capabilities to categorize checks or cash withdrawals – those usually need to be done manually.
In addition, Mint will send you reminders to pay your bills and let you know if you overspend within a specific budget category.
Mint also offers its users a way to create and manage their goals. It could be as simple as paying off your car loan. You’d just need to enter the loan amount and how much money you’d like to set aside each month to pay it off. From there, you can track and adjust your progress going forward.
Considering you’re adding in vital private information like bank accounts, it’s normal to wonder if Mint is trustworthy. However, the company’s website takes pains to keep their customer’s information safe and secure.
Because Mint is a part of Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, the company constantly deals with protecting secure information. They use strong encryption codes and multi-factor authentications to guard all data against any threats.
You can access your Mint account either on its website or through a mobile app. The mobile app is available for download via the Apple Store or Google Play.
Mint.com is full of helpful resources to get control of your finances. From budgeting tips to financial planning, there are loads of articles that anyone can access.
The website also features different tools and calculators:
- Retirement calculators
- Credit card payoff calculators
- Grocery budget calculators
- Loan calculator
- Home affordability calculator
Mint Vs YNAB
One of the biggest differences between these two budgeting apps is that Mint is free, and YNAB requires either a monthly or yearly subscription. YNAB does include a 34-day free trial and has a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the service.
Here’s the pricing structure per the YNAB website.
Both sites allow users to sync up their bank accounts and track transactions. The main difference between the two is that YNAB includes more guidance and coaching than Mint.
YNAB might be better for users overwhelmed by debt and looking to not only keep track of their finances but also get some help. On the other hand, if you just want to keep track of your spending and set future goals, Mint might work for you.
While linking up bank accounts makes it easier to track transactions, both Mint and YNAB users have complained about syncing issues. Sometimes users experience duplicate transactions or just an inability to sync at all.
While frustrating, it seems like this is a common occurrence for most budgeting apps and something users should know about.
Mint does try to quickly notify its customers of any issues regarding syncing. There’s an entire section of their website dedicated to “Known Issues” with many of them regarding connectivity to various banks and financial institutions.
Mint Vs Quicken
Another name that’s been around the personal finance management game for many years is Quicken. Quicken allows you to budget, keep track of investments, and plan for the future. If you’re looking to analyze your finances, Quicken offers over 50 reports, something that Mint just can’t compete with.
The drawback with Quicken is that it isn’t cloud-based, meaning you need to install it onto your device. It does have a mobile app you can add to your phone or tablet, but it isn’t necessarily as convenient as cloud-based software.
Quicken isn’t free either, there’s an annual fee, and even if you pay for it, you might not get all the features unless you upgrade to one of the more expensive plans.
The pricing is competitive and might be worth it if you intend to use all the added features, but if you’re just looking to make a simple budget and keep track of your spending, Mint is the better (and cheaper) option.
Wealthica is an investment and net worth tracking site. It allows you to see all your investments in one place. Like Mint, it’s free to use and supports a wide range of Canadian financial institutions. You can link up your accounts and have your transactions pulled in.
Unlike Mint, Wealthica isn’t a day-to-day budgeting tool. It’s used to keep track of your investments and net worth. With a variety of different graphs and charts, Wealthica paints a visual picture to see how you’re doing each month.
But if you’re looking for a tool to keep an eye on your daily spending, it’s better to stick with Mint.
Wally is a personal finance management tool similar to Mint that allows users to set a budget and track their daily expenses. Just like Mint, you can sync up your bank to get all your transactions automatically pulled in and categorized just how you like them.
In addition, Wally has a currency converter, a great tool if you have any foreign bank accounts.
Wally is free but does offer premium accounts for a price. These higher-end accounts offer the ability to link joint accounts and provide more specific categories. The currency converter also comes at a price.
Wally is easy to use, but like Mint, users often complain about its connectivity and glitches. Because they offer premium accounts, not all features are included in the free service, so make sure you know what you’re getting before you sign up.
Wally is a good app to start a budget and keep track of expenses. It has similar issues to Mint, but the additional premium services you need to pay for giving Mint the edge in this budget competition.
The reviews on Mint are fairly mixed, and the reasons for that might not be the program itself but what is important to each user. People that gave Mint high marks weren’t looking for an in-depth review of their finances.
Instead, they wanted a program that would give them a general overview in comparison with their budget.
Reddit users had these positive things to say about Mint:
Some of the more common complaints regarding Mint were about their customer service and issues with syncing causing duplicate transactions or not pulling them over at all.
Many users complained that Mint’s customer service just wasn’t up to par and that using the chat feature located on their website usually made them more frustrated.
Reviewers complained that the chat usually didn’t solve their problems, and there was no way to speak to a service representative on the phone. In addition, connectivity is a big issue that left plenty of users with bad taste, leading to them deleting their accounts.
Mint is a solid budgeting and financial tracker, but it does have some downfalls that other newer budgeting programs have exposed. The mixed reviews mean it’s not necessarily for everyone but does a solid job of instilling financial discipline so users can hit their goals.
Before you can start budgeting and taking control of your finances, you need to set up an account with Mint. After your account is created, you can link up your financials, including bank and investment accounts and even credit cards. This step can take time if you have many.
After syncing everything you’ll have a clear picture of your finances, including your net worth. From there, setting up a budget is the next step. This will take some time as you’ll need to categorize all your income and expenses.
This is the time you’ll also want to set goals – like paying off your credit cards or saving for your next big vacation.
Finally, you’ll need to review all the income and expenses that show up in your account. You could do this daily or weekly, whatever works best. You’ll find that some of your expenses show up in the uncategorized section, and you’ll need to manually adjust those.
Over time, Mint will automatically memorize your regular transactions and categorize them accordingly.
Every month you’ll get a picture of your spending habits and how they compare to your budget – some of it can be eye-opening! From there, you can adjust your budget accordingly and continue to work towards your financial goals.
Learning to live within your means is an important lesson and one that many people don’t understand. Mint.com helps its users see exactly where all their money is going. Sometimes, it’s an eye-opening lesson but a necessary one.
Mint makes it easy to track all your savings and spending. It’s easy to understand and best of all – it’s free. With many budgeting apps on the market, Mint is a great choice if you want to get a big picture of your spending habits and try to save for future goals.
If you’re looking to take control of your finances, check out these top budgeting apps to help you out.