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If you’re looking for help budgeting, there are many apps to help, but which one is right for you? Out of the hundreds available, Mint, YNAB (You Need a Budget), and EveryDollar are the most popular.
Check out our review on the three apps to see which one would work best for you.
What is Mint?
Mint was one of the first budgeting apps available and is now owned by Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks and TurboTax. Mint has always been free (and still is today). They are supported by ads, which are suggestions for you to get new financial products. When you sign up for the financial products suggested by Mint, they make money which is how they keep the app free.
Mint tracks your income and expenses, as well as your investments. It’s a great all-around app to help you track and meet your financial goals.
What is YNAB?
You Need a Budget or YNAB is a budgeting app that works with the zero-based budget program. In the zero-based budget program, you give every dollar a ‘job.’ The idea is to have $0 left at the end of the month, and not because you’re broke, but because you put every dollar to work.
YNAB isn’t free like Mint, but if you follow the zero-based budget, it makes it easy to stay on track and leave no dollar untouched.
What is EveryDollar?
EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey’s program – the financial guru popular for the debt snowball and for living a frugal life, saving for retirement and future expenses rather than putting yourself into debt today.
EveryDollar is free, but if you want to automatically track your income and expenses, it costs $129.99 per year to link your bank account.
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The Top Features
All three apps are great for anyone. They help you budget, track your spending, save money, and even track your investments, but what makes each program stand out from the others?
- Mint – If you’ve never budgeted before and don’t know which budget is right for you, starting with Mint is a great option. It’s free and it links to your bank accounts, credit cards, and even investment accounts so you don’t have to manually budget.
- YNAB – If you want to give every dollar a job, YNAB makes it easy. It includes goal tracking, debt payoff tools, and syncs to your bank accounts. YNAB focuses on breaking down your expenses, even annual expenses, on a monthly basis so you’re never caught by surprise with any expenses.
- EveryDollar – EveryDollar offers unlimited budgets in the free version and it tracks your transactions for you. While you have to pay for the subscription to link your bank accounts, the automation is great. EveryDollar is simplistic, which isn’t surprising since Dave Ramsey is all about simplifying your finances. It’s a refreshing take on financing without making it difficult.
Of course, when we’re talking about budgeting apps, it’s natural to talk about the pricing. Mint, as we said above is free. There’s no option to upgrade, so you never have to pay to use Mint. But, you’ll get a lot of ads, which can get frustrating over time.
YNAB has two pricing options – $11.99/month or $84/year which is a $59/year savings. You can cancel at any time on either plan.
EveryDollar is free if you don’t want it to automatically sync to your bank accounts. If you’d rather automate your budgeting, it costs $129.99/year after a 14-day free trial.
Customer service is important when you’re dealing with your budget. Whether you need help with the app itself or you made a mistake and don’t know how to undo it, customer service is vital.
- Mint – It’s no surprise since Mint has mediocre customer service since it’s a free service. They only offer a chat option between the hours of 5 AM to 9 PM PT 7 days a week.
- YNAB – You Need a Budget offers many customer support options. They encourage you to use their self-help guides, videos, and frequently asked questions first, but if you need more help, you can contact support via their online chat.
- EveryDollar – If you use the free version of EveryDollar, you get email customer service only, but if you upgrade to the paid service, you get phone support too.
Which App is Right For You?
Every consumer has different budgeting needs, here is how the three stack up.
- If you’re looking for a completely free app that tracks your budget, Mint is the right app for you. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, but it gets the job done, especially if you’re new to budgeting.
- If you follow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps or try to live a minimalist lifestyle, EveryDollar couple is a good option. It follows Ramsey’s way of budgeting, is simple, and doesn’t leave a lot of room for excessive spending.
- If you are serious about your financial future, want to put money away for annual expenses, retirement, and any financial goals, YNAB will help you reach your goals by making your money work for you rather than you working for your money.
A Budgeting App Keeps you on Track
Budgeting isn’t fun for most people, but it’s the only way to stay on track financially. If you haven’t set yourself up on a budget yet, it’s time to use an app, free or otherwise, to get your finances in order.
I personally use YNAB and find it the most rewarding. It keeps me on track with my financial goals and helps me track my spending so I don’t go overboard.
Giving every dollar a ‘job’ makes you stop and think before you spend. When you spend money, you take it from another ‘job’ which if it’s a big job, like saving for retirement, a vacation, car, or a house, it’s a big deal.
Try YNAB and receive a free 34-day trial + 1 free month if you choose to continue your subscription after your trial.
If you’d like to continue learning about YNAB, check out this video where I break down 5 reasons why I choose to budget with YNAB.