Mint Review – Budget, Save and Take Hold of Your Finances

Mint is a personal finance app that can help customers manage their finances, save money, track expenses, and much more. The mobile app is free to use and comes with plenty of tools and resources to help simplify your money and get your finances on the right track.

What is Mint?

Mint allows you to create custom budgets, track your spending, and organize and analyze your finances, along with a whole host of other features. If you’re new to budgeting and are trying to get a handle on your finances, Mint makes it easy to visualize your cash flow and see where you’re spending money and where you could cut back. Mint is one of the most popular of a whole host of personal finances tools, with competitors including Quicken, YNAB, and Personal Capital.
Using Mint, you can set up reminders to pay bills, receive alerts when you’ve overspent in a particular category, and even monitor your credit. Mint is designed to be a one-stop-shop that helps you manage every aspect of personal finance, from paying your bills on time each month to paying down debt and investing in the future.

How does Mint work?

Mint helps customers gain control over their finances through its sophisticated personal finance app. You can download the app for both iOS and Android phones. You can also sign up directly through Mint’s website.
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To get started, you’ll need to connect your financial accounts to Mint. To get the most accurate picture of your finances, you should connect as many accounts as possible, including checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts.
Once you connect your accounts, you can view a holistic overview of your whole financial picture, including your account balances, how much money you have saved up, how much money you owe, your net worth, your credit score, and more.
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Aside from allowing you to gain a bird’s eye view of your finances, Mint also recommends financial products that could help you achieve your goals. Since Mint doesn’t charge any subscription or account maintenance fees, these partners are how they make money. You can find recommendations for loans, credit cards, retirement accounts, and more.
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How much does Mint cost?

Mint is completely free to use. Mint makes its money by recommending partner services to you, like loans and credit cards. If you’re looking for a free budgeting and money management tool, Mint is one of the best free tools on the market.

Mint features

Mint has plenty of great features that make it a popular tool for people looking to gain a handle on their finances.

See your complete financial picture

One of the best features of Mint is that it allows you to see your complete financial picture, rather than switching between different banking accounts and apps. Mint aggregates all your financial information in one place and allows you to see exactly how much you have in cash, credit card debt, student loans, investments, and property. You can view your total net worth, your spending, your credit score, and more all on one comprehensive page, with no need to click around to find information.
Especially if you have a lot of different balls in the air when it comes to personal finances, Mint makes it easy to stay on top of everything and gain a holistic understanding of your financial picture. This can help you analyze spending, set savings goals, manage your money, and more.

Track expenses

While Mint is great at providing a bird’s eye view, it’s also great at zooming in to the super granular details of your spending. Mint allows you to track all of the expenses from your linked accounts, debit cards, and credit cards. Mint automatically categorizes these expenses, allowing you to see exactly how much you spend in different categories. While the categorization system isn’t perfect, it’s still a handy tool that lets you gain deeper insights into your spending patterns.

Monitor your credit

Trying to improve your credit? You can get a free credit score through Mint and continually monitor your score. In order to access your credit score, you’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself, including your name, address, birthday, and social security number. While you can access your credit score elsewhere through other banking products and online services, as well as credit bureaus like Experian and Equifax, it’s a nice extra perk that Mint offers.

View your net worth

Mint automatically tallies up all the money you owe, along with all your savings and assets, in order to determine your net worth. Whether you’re working to pay down debt and get out of the negatives, or focused on growing your wealth over time, Mint’s net worth bar is a great motivational tool to help you work towards achieving your financial goals.

Get notified when bills are due

Never miss a bill payment again with Mint’s monthly bill reminders. Just let Mint know what your monthly expenses are, and Mint will automatically send you a reminder each month. Paying your bills on time in full can also help you to improve your credit score and save on late fees.

Unusual spending alerts

If there are any large or suspicious transactions associated with any of your accounts, Mint will send you an alert to let you know. While this is a feature that’s likely already offered by your bank or credit union, it’s nice to have an extra layer of security when it comes to potentially fraudulent charges.

Set custom budgets

Trying to save money and budget your spending each month and tired of tracking everything in a boring old excel spreadsheet? With Mint, you can create custom budgets that allow you to track expenses, plan spending, and more. While Mint’s budgeting tool may not be quite as robust as some other services, it’s still a handy way to keep track of your money and plan for the future.

Receive personalized insights

Another great feature that comes with the Mint app is access to personalized insights about your earning and spending. Not only does Mint make it easy to access the big picture view of how your finances are doing, but they also offer helpful advice and information to make sure that you make the right financial moves going forward.

Take advantage of product recommendations

If you’re looking for recommendations for financial products like bank accounts, credit cards, loans, insurance, and retirement accounts like IRAs. Mint has plenty of suggestions to choose from. Mint does make money off of these recommendations, so you should take them with a grain of salt and always be sure to compare rates and terms from different lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. That said, if you’re overwhelmed by the choices available to you, Mint makes it easy to narrow down your options.

Mint and Intuit

Mint is owned by parent company Intuit, which means that it’s easy to use your Intuit account to take advantage of other Intuit products like Quickbooks and TurboTax. However, Intuit has been involved in shady practices concerning their free version of TurboTax, and has lobbied the government to prevent the IRS from offering free, simple tax filing. Whether Mint’s association with its parent company is a pro or a con depends on how you feel about Intuit.

Who is Mint best for?

Mint’s robust selection of financial tools makes it a good all-around money management app.

People who want to get a full picture of their finances

If you’re tired of toggling between loads of different websites and apps just to keep track of your money, Mint makes it super simple to see everything in one place. Mint’s overview page contains all the financial information you need to know, including your savings, debt, credit score, net worth, upcoming bills, budget, and more.

People looking for a free budgeting tool

Serious budgeters may prefer some of Mint’s paid competitors, but for consumers new to budgeting looking for a comprehensive free tool, Mint is a great option.

People who already use and like other Intuit products

If you’re already a fan of Intuit’s other products, like TurboTax and Quickbooks, it’s easy to use your existing Intuit account to set up an account with Mint.

Who shouldn’t use Mint?

While Mint is a great tool, it’s not for everyone.

People looking for more robust budgeting software

Mint is great for budgeting, but budgeting isn’t Mint’s only focus, and that does show when it comes to the complexity of Mint’s budgeting features. Some consumers might prefer a tool focused solely on budgeting, like YNAB.

People who already have a good handle on their finances

For people who find personal finance overwhelming, or who like to get down into the nitty-gritty details of their personal finance situation, Mint makes it easy both to obtain a holistic view of your finances and to zoom in on individual transactions and spending categories. That said, if you’re already accustomed to managing your personal finances on your own or using a different tool, Mint may not have that much to offer.

Pros & cons

Mint pros:

  • Free to use: Unlike some other budgeting software, Mint is free to use, with no monthly fees.
  • Holistic picture: Mint is great for getting an overall sense of how your finances are doing.
  • Automatic syncing: Mint syncs with your bank accounts to provide up-to-date information about your spending and saving.

#Mint cons:

  • Average budgeting tool: Mint’s budgeting tool is great, but isn’t quite as laser-focused as some personal finance apps that are focused solely on budgeting.
  • Miscategroization: Some users have reported that their expenses are often miscategorized, which can make it hard to keep your budget completely accurate.

Mint vs. competitors

PlatformCostFocusLinked accounts
MintFreeHolistic picture of your personal financesYes
YNAB$84/yearFocuses solely on budgeting and money managementYes
Personal CapitalFreeFocused on long-term financial planningYes

YNAB

YNAB, also known as You Need a Budget, is one of Mint’s main competitors. Unlike Mint, YNAB’s sole focus is on budgeting, which makes it the superior tool for many customers when it comes to creating and sticking to a budget. YNAB describes itself as a “proactive” budgeting system, where budgeters are intentional about every dollar. Rather than just keeping track of your expenses, YNAB encourages you to make a monthly budget in advance and stick to it, which can help you to save money and consciously reign in your spending. YNAB is definitely pricier than other similar tools, however; an annual plan costs $84, and a monthly plan costs $11.99 per month.

Personal Capital

Like Mint, Personal Capital allows you to link your checking accounts, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, and other accounts like loans and credit cards in order to get a big-picture look at how your finances are doing. But where Mint focuses on day-to-day spending and saving, Personal Capital has a stronger focus on investing and long-term savings. It’s a great tool for planning for retirement and managing your investments, with tools to compare your portfolio’s allocation and check up on your investments. Like Mint, Personal Capital is free to use, but you can secure the help of an experienced financial advisor at an additional cost.

FAQs

Do you have to pay to use Mint?
Mint is completely free to use. Instead of charging a fee, Mint makes money based on its in-app product recommendations.
Is Mint safe to use?
Mint is generally safe to use. Although Mint does require you to link your bank accounts, your financial data is protected by multi-factor authentication and other safety features.
What features does Mint offer?
Mint offers a wide range of personal finance tools, including budgeting software, money management tools, expense tracking, and a free credit score.

The bottom line

If you’re trying to get a handle on your personal finances and aren’t sure where to start, Mint is a great resource that can help you to better understand your saving and spending habits. Mint allows you to get a zoomed-out view of how your finances are doing, and it also lets you laser-focus on specific transactions and spending categories. Best of all, Mint is free to use, with tons of helpful tools and strategies for improving your financial health.

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