YNAB Isn’t a Mint Alternative—It’s Better
Intuit recently announced that its popular budgeting app, Mint, will be merging with Credit Karma, a personal finance app, in early 2024—but unfortunately for Mint users, the monthly budget functionality will no longer be available. As a result, a lot of people are left scrambling to find a Mint alternative for managing their money.
Change is difficult. It’s time-consuming, it’s disruptive, and there’s a good chance that learning an entirely new system for managing money isn’t necessarily the skill you felt like honing in the new year. You could be using this time to learn something cool, like how to knit kitten mittens! But, no, here you are researching budgeting tools and money management alternatives. It’s infinitely less exciting, and I say that as someone who’s really into spending money. (Which is why managing it is important.)
When being forced to make a change, it’s easy to feel like you just want what you already had. After all, it’s familiar, it’s comfortable, and it worked.
Did it though?
I mean, sure, it was functional. You had more information about your financial accounts when using it than you would if you didn’t. It was definitely easier than maintaining a spreadsheet in Excel. But did Mint change the way you spent your money? Did it inspire you to save more? Were you achieving goals more easily?
As you research the best alternatives to Mint, consider the fact that change is inevitable. There is no carbon copy. YNAB has a lot of the same features you may have liked: You can link your bank accounts, create savings goals, set spending categories, track cash flow, check account balances, review monthly spending, and calculate net worth. Both apps do all of the numbers stuff for basic financial planning.
However, with YNAB, the magic isn’t in the math, it’s in the method. YNAB is designed to change the way you think about money and it does this in a way that inspires long-lasting behavioral change. It’s more about action than analysis—and it works.
Mint is the Past, YNAB is the Future
There are very few time travel plots where the main character just wants to take a look at what happened in the past. The point is usually to initiate some sort of change—to affect an outcome. The Terminator would have been a lot less action-packed if his intent was just to confirm that Sarah Connor did indeed exist. The thing about the past is that there’s not much you can do about it now. Ideally, what you learn will inform your future in some way, but there’s no guarantee.
When it comes to money management, that’s the significant difference between the Mint app and YNAB; Mint is the past and YNAB is the future.
Mint says, “Hey, we tracked spending and it turns out that someone spent all of your discretionary income on take-out last month. The good news is that we caught the culprit. The bad news is that it’s you. Again. Here’s a pie chart as proof.” Mint data helps you solve money mysteries.
With YNAB, you make intentional decisions that empower you to change the course of your future. “Hey, how much do you want to spend on take-out next month? Everything? Or did you still want to cross Machu Picchu off of the bucket list by next summer? It’s up to you.” Instead of solving mysteries, you’re planning adventures (or whatever it is you like to plan. A kitchen renovation can be its own adventure.)
Armchair Quarterback (Mint) vs. Head Coach (YNAB)
The Mint app puts you in the role of armchair quarterback. You have all of the access and information to review the game and figure out what happened. You’re very unlikely to ever be jumping up and down in excitement as someone pours gallons of Gatorade over you in celebration of a big win, but you’ll have a lot to say about what went wrong.
With YNAB, you’re the head coach of a team that has a ton of potential. You decide what plays your dollars are going to make. You’re the one who gives every dollar a job to do, who anticipates and plans for upcoming obstacles and opportunities, who changes the plan as needed, and who makes decisions that align with your goals. If being showered in Gatorade is a priority to you, you can absolutely make that happen.
Here are just a few of the ways that YNAB helps you win:
Spending & Saving Targets
Score goals by setting targets for anything from planning weekly grocery trips to funding dream vacations.
Anticipate Upcoming Expenses
Stop fumbling on big expenses. Break your large or infrequent costs like car repairs and holiday shopping into more manageable monthly chunks.
Source of Truth
Trust your playbook. Real-time syncing, account reconciliation, and mobile app access make it safe to check your YNAB plan instead of your checking account before making spending decisions.
Customizable Spending Templates
Get fired up about funding your priorities with creative category names, emojis, or searchable flags to help categorize transactions for a money management experience that’s tailored to you.
Tackle debt efficiently and effectively by using the integrated loan planner tool to calculate how much time and money in interest you can shave off of the life of your loans.
Managing your money can be a team sport with subscription sharing. Share YNAB, and spending plans of your choosing, with up to five trusted individuals and collaborate on reaching your goals.
Dedicated Customer Support
Need a cheering section? We’ve got that too. Live customer support, online communities, live workshops, guides, a blog, videos, podcasts, and more, all with a friendly, approachable format and tone.
YNAB vs. Mint: Features and Functionality
With YNAB, you can look at the past. However, it’s designed to support living in the present while keeping focus on the future. YNAB encourages awareness and helps you build better spending habits, which provides an opportunity to change your life in many different ways.
Ready to travel into your financial future? Try YNAB for free today. The average new user saves $600 in their first three months and $6000 in their first year. We can’t wait to see what you’ll do with that $6000.