YNAB vs. Mint: Which Personal Finance App is the Best?

YNAB vs. Mint: Which Personal Finance App is the Best?

If you’re looking for online budgeting apps, chances are you’ve come across two popular options: YNAB and Mint. Both these apps have their own unique features and user interfaces, catering to various budgeting styles and preferences. While YNAB (You Need A Budget) focuses on zero-based budgeting and encourages users to give every dollar a job, Mint is more of an all-in-one finance app that tracks investments, bills, and credit scores. In this article, we’ll dive into a detailed comparison of YNAB vs Mint, analyzing each app’s budgeting and investment features, user interface, and pricing to determine which one suits your needs better. So, read on to make an informed decision about which app you should choose for managing your finances.

What is YNAB?

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a personal finance app that uses the zero-based budgeting method to help users stay on top of their finances. Here are some key features of YNAB:

  • Zero-based budgeting method that encourages users to assign every dollar to a specific category
  • Unlimited financial accounts, allowing users to sync all their financial data in one app
  • Goal setting and progress tracking to visualize and prioritize financial goals
  • Weekly live classes and webinars with YNAB experts to help users make the most of the app
  • A mobile app that offers on-the-go tracking and budget updates
  • A 34-day free trial, followed by a subscription-based pricing model at $11.99/month or $84/year

Is there a free budget app?

Yes, there are many free budget apps available. Here are some of the popular and highly rated ones:

  • Mint
  • Personal Capital
  • Budget Tracker
  • Goodbudget
  • Wally

All of these apps are available for free on both iOS and Android platforms. These apps help you track your expenses, create a budget, set and achieve financial goals, and much more. Try one out and see which one works best for you!

What is Mint?

Mint is a personal finance app that allows users to track and manage their finances in one place. Here are some key features of Mint:

  • Automatic categorization of transactions, reducing manual input for budget tracking
  • The ability to track investments, monitor credit scores, and receive bill reminders
  • Customizable budget categories and goal setting for personalized budget management
  • Alerts for unusual spending and budgeting activity
  • A mobile app that offers on-the-go tracking and budget updates
  • Completely free to use, with revenue being generated by displaying targeted ads and financial product offers
Price $11.99/month or $84/year after 34-day free trial Completely free
Accessibility Subscription-based model Free with targeted ads and financial product offers
Goal Tracking Offers both customizable budget categories and goal setting options Offers customizable budget categories and goal setting options
Investment Tracking Offers investment tracking and goal setting options Offers investment tracking and goal setting options
User Interface Many users find the user interface to be straightforward, without any unnecessary frills The user interface is considered to be visually appealing and offers an overall easy experience

How do I use Mint for personal finances?

Mint is a free app that helps you manage your personal finances. Here are the steps to use Mint for personal finances:

  • Sign up for a Mint account
  • Link all of your financial accounts to Mint (bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments etc.)
  • Mint will automatically categorize your transactions for you so you can see where your money is going
  • You can set budgets and savings goals to keep yourself on track
  • Mint offers personalized suggestions for saving money and improving your credit score
  • Regularly check in on Mint to stay up-to-date with your finances

Mint also offers a blog with financial advice and a dashboard to track your credit score.

YNAB Vs Mint: User Interface

Both YNAB and Mint offer user-friendly interfaces, but there are some differences between the two. Here are some factors to keep in mind when considering the interface of each app:

  • YNAB has a minimalist design, with straightforward navigation and no advertisements
  • Mint offers a more visual experience, with graphs and charts to illustrate spending and budgeting patterns
  • Mint’s color-coded system allows for easy identification of specific accounts
  • YNAB’s interface involves more manual input, but is praised for its ability to simplify the budgeting process
  • Mint’s interface may be overwhelming for some users, particularly those new to tracking their finances

Ultimately, the decision between YNAB and Mint may come down to personal preference regarding the interface. It’s recommended to take advantage of the free trial offered by YNAB to experience the interface before committing to a subscription.

What is the difference between YNAB and Mint?

Here are the main differences between YNAB and Mint, two popular budgeting apps:

  • Methodology: YNAB emphasizes a zero-based budgeting system, where every dollar is allocated to a specific category, such as groceries or rent. Mint tracks your spending and helps you categorize your expenses after they occur.
  • User Interface: YNAB has a cleaner, simpler interface that focuses on budgeting and goal-setting. Mint has a more cluttered interface that includes ads and offers from financial partners.
  • Pricing: YNAB costs $84 per year, while Mint is free to use. YNAB does offer a free trial period.
  • Features: YNAB focuses on budgeting and goal-setting, while Mint also offers bill tracking, investment tracking, and credit score monitoring.

YNAB Vs Mint: Budgeting Features

Budgeting is a key feature of both YNAB and Mint, but each platform has unique features that may appeal to different users. Here are some factors to consider when comparing the budgeting features of YNAB and Mint:

  • YNAB uses a zero-based budgeting method, which involves giving every dollar in your budget a job and tracking each purchase to ensure you stay on track
  • Mint offers a more traditional budgeting approach, allowing users to set budgets for different categories and tracking spending within those categories
  • YNAB’s budgeting method focuses on creating and tracking long-term financial goals, providing a more comprehensive view of your financial health over time
  • Mint offers automated budget tracking, pulling transactions from linked accounts and categorizing them for easy tracking
  • YNAB’s mobile app offers the ability to add transactions on the go, which can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to stick to a strict budget

Ultimately, the budgeting approach of YNAB and Mint will depend on the specific needs and goals of the user. Those who are looking for a more in-depth, goal-oriented approach may benefit from YNAB, while those who prefer a simpler budgeting method may enjoy Mint’s more traditional approach.

Why is YNAB better than Mint?

  • YNAB focuses on budgeting and actively involves users in their budgeting process, making it easier to stay on track.
  • YNAB offers live workshops and budgeting courses, helping shoppers learn how to budget effectively.
  • Mint, on the other hand, is an all-in-one financial management tool, which can be overwhelming for those who just want to manage budgets.
  • Mint has a lot of ads and sponsored product recommendations. While YNAB costs $84 per year or $11.99 per month, the app doesn’t sell user data or promote other products.

YNAB Vs Mint: Investment Features

While both YNAB and Mint offer the ability to track investments, there are some key differences between the two platforms. Here are some factors to consider when comparing the investment features of YNAB and Mint:

  • Mint allows users to track various investment accounts, including 401(k), IRA, and brokerage accounts with real-time updates on portfolio performance
  • YNAB, on the other hand, does not offer the ability to track investment accounts within the platform
  • YNAB does, however, allow users to account for investment contributions and dividends in their overall budgeting plan, helping to provide a more holistic view of their finances
  • Mint offers personalized investment advice through its service provider, but this comes with an added cost
  • YNAB offers personal finance coaching as part of its subscription, which may be helpful for those interested in a more guided approach to managing their finances

Ultimately, the investment features of YNAB and Mint will depend on the individual user’s needs and goals. Those who are interested in a more comprehensive investment tracking solution may benefit from Mint’s real-time updates, while those who prioritize overall financial planning may appreciate the investment-related budgeting features of YNAB.

Does YNAB work better than Mint?

  • YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint are both popular personal finance apps that offer budgeting tools and tracking options.
  • YNAB is more focused on helping users create a budget and manage their money in real-time.
  • Mint, on the other hand, provides a comprehensive overview of a user’s finances by linking to all bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment accounts.
  • Both apps have their own unique features and advantages, so the answer to whether YNAB works better than Mint depends on the user’s specific needs and preferences.


Both YNAB and Mint are excellent personal finance apps that offer a range of features to help users manage their money more effectively. While there are some similarities between the two platforms, there are also some key differences to consider when choosing which one to use.

If you prioritize a more hands-on approach to budgeting and financial planning, YNAB’s zero-based budgeting method and personal finance coaching may be a good fit for you. However, if you want a more automated and real-time view of your finances, Mint’s investment tracking and personalized financial advice may be more appealing.

Ultimately, the choice between YNAB and Mint will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider your financial goals, your preferred budgeting style, and whether you have a need for investment tracking when making your decision.

Regardless of which platform you choose, taking control of your finances is an important step towards achieving financial independence and security. By using a reliable personal finance app like YNAB or Mint, you can take charge of your money and work towards your financial goals with confidence.






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