Managing your personal budget is critical homework. But without a robust management system, you can easily lose track of your finances.
For decades, old-school methods like envelope budgeting and computer spreadsheets have been the main management tools. However, they don’t give you a full and updated view of your financial health in a single place.
It’s time to usher in Mint to take the work out of your personal finances.
Let’s take a closer look.
What is Mint?
Mint is a personal finance tool that focuses almost exclusively on saving money by creating and sticking to a budget.
The company was founded by Aaron Patzer in 2006, and acquired by the personal finance company Intuit a mere 3 years later in 2009.
Mint’s app is free and allows you to set up a budget, plan savings goals, and keep track of all your expenses in real-time. Their “ways to save” tab offers suggestions to help you save money by spending less.
Their app also allows you to regularly check your credit score. The app provides information about things that may be having a negative impact on your credit.
Mint offers deals for credit cards and loans, helping you choose lending products that best fit your needs.
Features of the Mint app
You can keep tabs on everything from income to spending and loans using Mint’s robust feature. The result is complete financial transparency.
1. Mint can track your accounts and assets with ease
Mint’s account tab helps you organize and track all your finances from one place. You can set up:
- Bank accounts
- Credit accounts, including credit cards, mortgages, loans, and non-card revolving credit lines.
- Major assets like homes and cars
Just key in the above details in a few easy steps, and the app will display your net worth.
It also does the heavy work of updating your balances by automatically communicating with your creditors and banks.
And thanks to its partnership with Zillow, your real estate values are always up-to-date.
But vehicle depreciation isn’t accounted for. So you need to manually (and periodically) adjust your boat, car, and RV values.
2. Mint can track your investments’ growth
Who doesn’t want to grow financially? Mint’s investment tracker allows you to track your:
- Traditional brokerages
- Employer-sponsored 401k
Every day, it syncs and updates each account’s value at market close, allowing you to know how your holdings perform.
3. Mint will keep every transaction well-categorized
The app also tracks all:
- Debit (purchases) and
- Credit (external transfers and paychecks)
You can quickly peek into your transactions to ensure nothing is off. The dollar amounts spent or received appear in line-item format, the same way your online bank statement does. Also, Mint categorizes most transactions based on their types. Although the program does a pretty good job at categorizing, you may need to manually correct some of them. Don’t worry, Mint will learn and remember your choices.
The uncategorized label takes care of those transactions left out (due to one reason or another) and most paper check payments. You can manually arrange these uncategorized items into appropriate categories during your free time.
4. Mint keeps you on top of all your bills
Mint Bills feature borrows a lot from bank bill-pay systems. With it, you can organize your payees and track recurring bills under one roof.
Don’t let late fees, low cash balances, and past-due bills catch up with you. The trick is to opt-in to the system’s customizable email alert feature to stay abreast with pending bills.
Also, let the feature access all or most of your bank accounts. That way, you’ll have a single source of truth, allowing you to check all your obligations at a click of a button.
Say goodbye to the hassles of logging into every individual account. Hopefully, the app will (in the future) roll out an option of paying off any pending bill right from the platform.
5. Mint allows you to set smart goals
Get your goals right before saving or spending a single dime.
Fortunately, setting well-defined targets in Mint is a breeze, thanks to its predefined goal templates (such as “take a trip”) and a customized template.
The feature also pre-populates every template with some information (like pending credit balances). Just enter other required details (like monthly payment), and the app will determine your target’s total cost and time frame.
6. Mint allows you to create a budget
Mint Budget is your go-to tool for defining budgets. You can set any of these:
- Monthly budgets for the categorized and uncategorized items
- Custom budgets for periods that sit anywhere between 2 months and one year
- One-time budgets for one-off spending like travel and special projects
Mint uses details from the synced accounts to monitor your daily expenditure. It gives you:
- Running totals of your spending relative to the amount you allotted for each category
- The amount left to spend across the categories
The tool allows you to adjust your budgets to reflect your consistent spending.
For a more very dedicated budgeting app, check out YNAB (You Need A Budget).
7. Mint will analyze your financial trends like a pro
With Mint, you’re now your own financial analyst. The platform shows your financial health and changes over time, allowing you to quickly detect unhealthy habits before they affect your bottom line negatively.
Choose pie charts or bar graphs to track your finances over customizable time frames. You can track:
- Net income
- Net worth
You can split these financials into subcategories for more fine-tuned analysis. For example, break down your income based on various money taps.
8. Mint helps you discover ways to save further
While Mint is a free-to-use platform, it also needs to mint revenue to operate seamlessly. That’s where a partnership with Find Savings comes in.
This partnership between Mint and Find Savings brings you a slew of savings tricks and recommendations encompassing various products. These include loans, brokerage accounts, cashback credit cards, 401(k) rollovers, insurance covers, and bank accounts.
Overall, it’s a win-win-win partnership: You benefit from the recommendations, Find Savings get an income through their portal on the platform, and Mint receives an indirect cut. Remember, Mint’s platform’s primary features are free for life.
9. Mint gives you a complete financial overview from your dashboard
Your account dashboard gives you a top-level glance into all your finances: Assets, accounts, savings patterns, spending trends, current goals, monthly budget status, and upcoming bill deadlines.
You can also access a scrollable list of notifications like excess spending, recent deposits, late fees, and interest charges. Mint also includes sales pitches (from partners) in this alert list.
10. Mint sends extremely helpful email notifications
Life’s “busyness” tends to get in our way, and some of us forget to log in to these online accounts regularly. Why not set up Mint email alerts to receive frequent notifications regarding your financial status?
The alerts may include late fees, dwindling account balances, outstanding bills, and spending overruns. You can always opt-out of certain alerts if they ever get overwhelming or annoying.
11. Mint allows you to check your credit score for free
Mint also provides a free and updated FICO credit score. Simply provide your personal details like your social security number and address, and you’re good to go.
Apart from the credit score inquiry, you get personalized recommendations regarding boosting the score, correcting errors, and assessing implications.
The best part? There’s no hard credit pull that can negatively affect your score.
If you need help improving your credit score, check out our DIY credit repair guide.
12. The Mint app has an extremely user-friendly interface
Throw any device at Mint, and all the features will fit perfectly – no scrolling sideways or zooming continuously to access crucial information.
You can download the platform’s app for your iOS or Android, so you don’t have to pull out your laptop while boating. In fact, some users say Mint performs better on small screens.
How much does the Mint App cost?
Mint is completely free to use.
They make their money through advertisements and partnerships. When you use the app to find credit cards, loans, or insurance, Mint gets paid by the companies they recommend.
While it’s nice to have a free app when you’re trying to save money, the advertisements can be annoying.
The Pros and Cons of Mint App: The Pros
Let’s take a look at some of the pros of using the Mint app:
- Free to Use: Unlike platforms like YNAB and PearBudget, you don’t pay a dime to sign up and use Mint. You’ll only spend money when you grab Find Savings’ opportunities.
- Mobile-Friendly Feature: The regular platform’s features can fit any device, allowing you to access your account on the go.
- No Need to Log Into Your Accounts Regularly: Mint’s email alerts and overview saves you the pain of getting into all your individual accounts or perusing paper statements. You can even turn on every email alert to stay abreast with all your financials.
- On-Demand Credit Score for Free: Other behemoths like NeoBudget and PearBudget don’t offer this convenient perk.
- Automatic Syncing: Your credit and debit accounts will always stay up to date after every deposit or transaction. You can say goodbye to missed payment deadlines and overspending.
The Pros and Cons of Mint App: The Cons
Let’s dig up some of the cons of using the Mint app:
- Manual Savings: While you can set savings in a particular time frame, the legwork of savings is yours to do. You have to manually move the amount you wish to save into your savings or investment accounts.
- Lack of Investment Help: The platform does a great job of providing brokerage recommendations. However, it doesn’t offer automated or human investment advisors to assist users.
- Pushy Partner Recommendations: Financial providers’ pitches swarm the whole Ways to Save tab (that is if you’re using a free plan). Plus, some recommendations are just illogical. For example, it can feature an inferior recommendation ahead of a superior one.
Intuit Mint Alternatives
Mint App User Reviews
Mint has exceptional reviews in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. In the Apple App Store, their average rating is 4.8 stars out of 5. On Google Play, they have a slightly lower average, at 4.4 stars out of 5. Most users love that Mint has so many features without charging a cent to users.
Although Mint has exceptional reviews, users note a few things they dislike about the app. Many people dislike the number of notifications sent by the app. While notifications can be turned off, users wish there was an option to reduce the number of notifications instead of stopping them completely.
Users also point out that the app sometimes mislabels expenses. One user said that a restaurant kept getting labeled as a hotel. They would change the label, but Mint didn’t learn from the change. Instead, they have to change it every single time that expense occurs. Despite these minor complaints, most users love that Mint is completely free to use.
Why should you use a budgeting app?
- Better visibility of your finances: A budgeting app can help you see all of your income and expenses in one place, giving you a clearer picture of your financial situation.
- More accurate tracking of spending: With a budgeting app, you can easily track your spending in real-time, helping you stay on top of your expenses and avoid overspending.
- Easy budget creation: Many budgeting apps have features that make it easy to create and customize budgets, allowing you to set spending limits for various categories and track your progress over time.
- Automatic categorization of expenses: Budgeting apps can automatically categorize your expenses, making it easier to see where you are spending your money and identify areas where you can cut back.
- Alerts and reminders: Some budgeting apps can send alerts and reminders when bills are due, helping you avoid late fees and stay on top of your payments.
- Goal setting: Budgeting apps can also help you set financial goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or paying off debt, and track your progress towards those goals over time.
Mint has the potential to be your sole go-to financial tool. This comprehensive app allows you to review your spending, saving, and income, all in one place. Users who mainly want an excellent budgeting tool are likely to benefit immensely from Mint, especially considering the fact that it’s completely free to use.
Their budgeting features are clearly some of the best out there. There’s no more stress in investigating trends, monitoring account balances, and gaining in-depth financial insights.
Is the Mint app the right fit for you? That’s for you to decide. Hopefully, this review helps you out.
If you’ve ever tried the app out, how did you feel about it? Let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.