While there are similarities between YNAB (You Need A Budget) software and Mint, there are differences that will help you decide between the two. Of course, one of the similarities is that both are used for establishing budgets. They also offer availability to mobile devices and they both offer customer support. However, the differences are many.
v The obvious difference is that Mint is offered online and YNAB is downloaded onto your computer.
v Mint is offered free but does have all manner of ads for brokerages, life insurance, credit cards, and bank accounts…constantly bombarding the user. YNAB does run about $60 but provides a secure and safe way to budget you money without all the mumbo-gumbo of advertisers.
v Mint offers budgeting while YNAB offers a flexible plan for breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle, getting out of debt, and saving more money.
v Mint tells you where you have been and YNAB tells you where you are going as far as budgeting in concerned. YNAB users are paying off all their debt, building emergency funds, and investing for their future.
v Mint connects directly to your bank and allows you to see real-time transactions and balances all in one place. YNAB does not directly connect to your bank on purpose. Directly connecting to your bank kills awareness by encouraging a “set it and forget it” mentality that allows you to not revisit your budget for months, leaving you right back where you started. Instead, YNAB will import transactions you download from your bank to make sure you’ve captured every transaction in your budget.
v Mint will track investments with easy to read charts and graphs. YNAB does not offer this feature because it is not necessary for good budgeting. YNAB knows if you handle your cash flow—the basic ins and outs—the rest of your money takes care of itself. When you follow the YNAB Method, you can accelerate your debt pay-down strategy, and have more to invest and save.
So there you have it. These are probably not the only differences but they are the major ones. So the decision is yours. If you want an online program that offers budgeting as well as all manner of reporting tools which you may or may not use, then Mint is for you. If you want budgeting software that provides a “living” budget where you plan ahead, pay off your debts, and eventually start living off last month’s income, then YNAB is for you. The choice is yours.