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Budgeting is cool. Well, at least cooler than it used to be, now that people can manage their personal finances via websites and mobile apps.
Mint - Tool - Intuit - Maker - TurboTax
Mint, the leading online-budgeting tool (owned by Intuit, maker of TurboTax), boasts some 20 million users. Competing services such as You Need A Budget, EveryDollar, and Tiller have strong stakes in the digital money-management marketplace as well. Each of these four budgeting systems —and there are plenty of others — offers a unique mix of features, capabilities, and approaches.
Here is an overview.
Mint - Characteristics - Ads - Mint - Browser
One of Mint's most attractive characteristics is that it's free (but with ads). Mint is also easy to use — via browser or app — enabling you to track expenses across your various credit, checking, savings, and investment accounts (although the investment tracking portion isn't Mint's strong suit). Mint can track cash spending and keep tabs on your overall net worth.
When you sign up, you'll be asked to connect Mint with your accounts. From then on, Mint will retrieve your transaction data (via Intuit's data-collection system which uses "bank-level security"). Each time you log in you'll see your latest transactions posted and categorized.
Transactions - Mint - Category - Split - Transaction
You can correct any transactions that Mint posts to the wrong category and also "split" a transaction if a purchase encompasses multiple categories (for example, an expenditure that includes both groceries and household products).
Although Mint works well for tracking what you're doing with your money (and generating related spending reports), it doesn't offer much help with budget coaching — i.e., showing you how to develop a spending plan in the first place. If you already have experience with budgeting and simply want to track implementation — while also keeping an eye on your overall financial picture — Mint is a solid choice.
Budget - YNAB—pronounced - Why-nab
You Need a Budget (YNAB—pronounced why-nab) is...
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