Mint.com is a great budgeting tool, all things considered. In fact, it’s one I still use myself from time to time. But for some people, it’s not the right budgeting tool.
You may not like the idea of connecting your bank and credit card accounts directly to your budgeting software. Or maybe you want a tool that focuses more heavily on investments than everyday budgeting.
Whatever your hangups with Mint, there are other budgeting tools around to get you exactly what you want. Here are some you might want to try:
For Investment Tracking: Personal Capital
Mint does not offer some investment tracking options. But, frankly, it’s a fun add-on rather than the focus of the software. If your goal is to track your investments closely and even get some free advice, Personal Capital is a much better option.
I like that the interface is as visual as Mints. And it also folds in budgeting capabilities. But it has a much more robust investment tracking option.
I don’t personally find budgeting with Personal Capital as easy as I do with Mint. So it may not be your best option for keeping a super-detailed monthly budget. But if you use a simple budget but need to keep an eye on your investments, Personal Capital is definitely a great option.
Check out our full review of Personal Capital here.
For Longer-Term Budgeting: YNAB
There’s a lot to love about the You Need a Budget (YNAB) budgeting software. But one of the key features that sets it apart from Mint.com is that it allows for longer-term planning. With Mint, you cant change a budget for that month until the first of the month. That gets frustrating if your budget varies by month and you want to plan for that.
With YNAB, though, you can set up budgets for several months in the future. Another key feature is easy goal setting, which I personally prefer to Mint’s financial goals options. Plus, the point of YNAB is to learn to live on last month’s income. It takes time to get to this point. But it’s a worthy goal that can make your financial life much more stable.
For Planning Ahead: Pocketsmith
Pocketsmith has many of the same features of Mint, including the ability to look at all of your accounts in one place. But it also lets you plan ahead better with projected daily balances. Another bonus--it gives you the option to track your net worth! And you can run income and expense statements at any time.
The most attractive part of PocketSmith is its ability to forecast accurately. But it also has a great backward-looking feature in the form of an excellent search engine. This lets you quickly find and pull up any past transaction, which can be handy if you’re looking for something specific. Overall, this is a great option. Check out our full review here.
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For the Envelope Budget: Mvelopes
If you like the idea of the old-fashioned envelope budget, Mvelopes may be the budgeting tool you need. It basically lets you assign your income to virtual envelopes for different spending categories. When you spend money, you assign each transaction to an envelope. When the money in that category is gone, you’ll know you should stop spending.
One of the advantages of Mvelopes is that it has a great app. The app even automatically syncs transactions. So you can see where you are with your category-based spending at any point in time. This could make it easier to budget with a spouse or partner, so you can both be on the same page at all times.
Check out Mvelopes here.
For Dave Ramsey Followers: EveryDollar
If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey, his budgeting software may help you stay on top of the Baby Steps. The EveryDollar budgeting software was created by Ramsey’s parent company. It operates similarly to Mvelopes, since Ramsey advocates for the envelope budgeting method. But it also builds in the Baby Steps, so you can see where you are on the plan at all times.
EveryDollar also has a helpful app, so you can track your spending on the go. And it’s got nice visuals that can help you see where you are at any given time.
Read our full review of EveryDollar here.
For Calendar-Based Budgeting: Money Calendar
Budgeting for all your bills for the month is great. But unless you get all your money on the first of the month, figuring out your actual cash flow can be difficult. Enter Money Calendar. This personal finance tool offers calendar-based budgeting. So you'll know how much cash you should have on hand at any given time.
Money Calendar is a great option if you have enough money to pay all your bills, just not all at the same time. It lets you schedule upcoming bills and expenses in a calendar. And it creates cash projections and daily bank balances for the future.
If you need a calendar-based budget, check out Money Calendar here.
For Traditionalists: Google Sheets
What if you really like the old-school option of budgeting on a spreadsheet? This does give you the flexibility to set up your budget any way you want. And it gets you into the habit of really examining your expenditures, since you have to enter them into the sheet manually.
In this case, I’d suggest using Google Sheets rather than Excel. That’s because Google Sheets can be available to you anywhere, even on your phone. And there are loads of great free budgeting templates on Sheets to help you get started. Just check out the Template Gallery to find a sheet that works for you.
All-in-all, I still like Mint for many reasons. But if it just doesn’t have what you want, check out one of these alternatives that could fill in the gaps for your personal budgeting plan.