Tired of the pen-and-paper approach to tracking your spending? Sick of using a spreadsheet to budget?
A mobile app can help you stay on top of your finances on-the-go and take away some of the tedious work of maintaining your budget.
If you’re looking for a budgeting app, you may have heard of Mint. But are you aware of all its features to help users manage their money? In this Mint app review, we’ll run down the notable functions of this financial tool and highlight its advantages and disadvantages. That way you can decide whether downloading Mint is the right move for you.
What Is Mint?
Mint is a popular budgeting app created back in 2006 and is said to have been downloaded by 24 million users. Intuit, the financial software company that owns TurboTax and QuickBooks, acquired Mint in 2009.
You can sync your financial accounts — including your credit and investment accounts — to Mint to keep track of your cash flow and overall net worth. The automation means you don’t have to think about where you swiped your debit card throughout the day. Your transactions are recorded without any manual input.
Mint then takes your spending history and helps you create a budget based on your past expenses. The app comes loaded with a bunch of default budget categories, but you can customize it by naming subcategories that fit your unique needs — whether that’s a category for painting supplies to fulfill your artistic inclinations or a spending bucket specifically for boozy brunches.
Mint has other helpful features, including:
- Reminders about upcoming bills
- Money alerts that warn you when funds are low, if you’ve gone over budget or if suspicious activity has been detected
- The ability to split transactions for purchases that fall within more than one budget category
- Free, unlimited access to your credit score
- Investment tracking
- The ability to set savings goals
- Custom tips on ways to improve your finances
- Graphs and charts to visualize your spending habits
How Does Mint Work?
Mint is a free budgeting tool. To get started, download the app from the App Store or from Google Play. You can also sign up from the website and use Mint from your desktop computer.
Because Mint is free, the company makes its money by recommending financial products and through ads.
To get started using Mint, you must link one or more of your financial accounts. Mint uses various security measures, including encryption and multi-factor authentication, to keep your information safe.
Once you enter your income information, you can get started setting up your relevant budget categories and designating spending limits. You can edit or delete elements of your budget as your needs change over time.
The Pros and Cons of Mint
Mint is a good tool for tracking your spending and creating a simple budget based upon your spending habits. It’s helpful if you have multiple bank accounts and want to easily sum up how much money you have available.
This budgeting tool is also useful in reminding you about upcoming bills so you don’t incur late fees. If you’d like to keep up with your credit score or investments, Mint does that too.
Mint is highly regarded by users with a 4.7 rating on the App Store and a 4.5 rating on Google Play.
The other positive thing about Mint is that it is free, which puts it at an advantage over budgeting apps with a monthly or annual fee, like You Need a Budget or the premium version of EveryDollar.
However, because Mint doesn’t charge customers, you will experience ads. If ads annoy you or entice you to make unnecessary purchases, think twice about downloading this budgeting tool.
Another issue is that some users have experienced bank syncing problems, inaccuracies with the automatic categorizing feature and other bugs.
Also, if you’re looking for a tool to connect to international bank accounts, Mint only works with U.S. and Canadian financial institutions.
Who Is Mint For?
Mint is a good option for someone just starting out with a budgeting app and who doesn’t want to spend money.
It’s also a great choice for someone who favors an app that has stood the test of time rather than a brand new tool that just hit the market.
If you want to keep track of your spending across multiple accounts and set a basic plan that’ll cover your needs and wants, then give Mint a try.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.