By Dan Miller, WCI Contributor
Mint, the popular online budgeting and personal finance app, will cease to exist by early 2024, according to its parent company. Intuit, which bought Mint back in 2009, originally said that Mint would no longer be available as of January 1, 2024, but has since walked back that date. As of this writing, a specific end date has not been announced. I am among the many users of Mint, so it's now time to look at Mint alternatives and what apps and sites to use for budgeting and financial tracking.
Mint Is Going Away – When and Why?
Intuit announced in early November 2023 that Mint was being “reimagined” and that “some of its most popular features will be moving to Credit Karma.” Credit Karma is primarily thought of as a site where you can check your credit score and rebuild your credit, but Credit Karma does offer some personal finance tooling as well. Credit Karma was also purchased by Intuit (in 2020), and this seems to be a sort of consolidation of functionality within the Intuit platform.
As Intuit said in its announcement, “We are reimagining Mint as part of Intuit Credit Karma, expanding our collective capabilities to deliver upon our mission of championing financial progress for all. Mint is going away, and we have phased communications and user migration by design so the product team can ensure a smooth transition for Minters who decide to onboard to Credit Karma.”
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How I Have Used the Mint Budgeting App
There are many different ways to use Mint, and I personally have used Mint for more than a decade. I have enjoyed the ability to track all of my transactions. I have many different bank accounts and credit cards, and Mint has been a great place to safely and securely monitor all of my spending, no matter which card I've used. Mint allows you to connect all your accounts and view transactions in one convenient dashboard.
Mint also offers a comprehensive budgeting platform, where you can set a budget in various spending categories and track your monthly spending in each category. That can be helpful as you plan throughout the month. Getting a notification that you are approaching your total budget when the month is only half over can help you adjust your spending. While I personally used Mint primarily at Mint.com, Mint is also available (for now) with the iOS and Android apps.
Why the Disappearance of Mint Is a Problem
Intuit's announcement of Mint going away (err . . . “being reimagined”) has the potential to be a big problem for many households that have used it for years to track and budget their finances. While you can continue to use Intuit's Credit Karma or look at Mint alternatives (which we'll cover in a minute), any friction in the budgeting process runs the risk of mistakes or errors slipping into things. After all, when you “put your finances on autopilot,” what happens when the autopilot goes away?
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The Hidden Cost of “Free” Budgeting Tools
Before we talk about some of the Mint alternatives out there, it's important also to understand the concept of TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). Mint was free to use (though there was also a Mint Premium version), while many of the Mint alternatives charge a one-time or recurring fee.
Whether paying for a budgeting tool will make sense for you will depend on your specific situation, but understand that even free budgeting tools come with a cost. Some free budgeting tools make money by selling your data to advertisers. That may be an acceptable tradeoff for you—it's just important to understand that this is happening and to make the decision that makes you most comfortable.
Best Mint Budgeting App Alternatives
Now that Mint is scheduled to go away in early 2024, you have a couple of Mint alternatives to consider. Here's a look at a few of them:
- Credit Karma – The simplest path will be to continue with Intuit. You can migrate the last three years of your Mint data over to Credit Karma. As Intuit said when it announced Mint would be closed: “Credit Karma is on its way to becoming a full-service financial platform where we take stock of members’ financial profiles, connect the dots for members, and identify saving opportunities to act on, at the right time.”
- YNAB – Formerly You Need A Budget, YNAB has somewhat of a cult following among personal finance enthusiasts. It also offers practical advice on how to rethink how you approach money. YNAB costs $14.99 per month or $99 annually.
- Rocket Money – One of the unique features of Rocket Money is a subscription management service that helps you cancel monthly services that you're no longer using. There is a free tier, but Rocket Money Premium costs $4-$5 per month when billed annually.
- Quicken Simplifi – A budgeting and financial tracking tool from Quicken, Simplifi costs $3.99 per month, and it's offering a three-month free trial for Mint users.
- Empower – Formerly known as Personal Capital, Empower is a good option to track your cash flow and portfolio, particularly if you wish to view your investments across all of your accounts to better understand your overall portfolio makeup.
- Monarch — Another Mint alternative is Monarch Money. Monarch claims to sync with more financial accounts than any other competitor—which allows you to more easily pull in your transactions, no matter where they are. Plus, Monarch has Mint import tools to move all your Mint data, and you can use code MINT50 to get 50% off your first year and a 30-day free trial.
- Just use a spreadsheet – If you never used some of the more advanced budgeting features of Mint, you could be OK by just using an Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
No matter which tool you use, Mint has promised the ability to download all of your past and existing Mint transactions.
The Bottom Line
Intuit has recently announced that powerhouse financial tracking and budgeting tool Mint will be going away in early 2024. If you are a long-term Mint user (like I am), it's now time to start looking for a new home for your finances. There are several different alternatives. But remember that each comes with its own pros and cons. Either way, having a way to look at your financial picture is important. As we've written before, “If you don’t track where your money comes from and where it goes, it’s like driving a ship blindfolded . . . It may work OK for a while, but you’re bound to run into trouble eventually.”
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Do you use Mint? How disappointing is it that it won't be available for much longer? What are you going to do now? Comment below!