Author Topic: YNAB compared to Mint.com  (Read 14344 times)

bexrayx91

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YNAB compared to Mint.com
« on: December 01, 2013, 04:55:20 PM »
I was just wondering how these two are different, and what benefits YNAB would provide over mint.com with ynab being a paid software and mint being free?

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 05:14:38 PM »
Mint is free, but requires release of sensitive passwords; they undoubtedly data mine the account, but they do provide tips and offers based on your profile.  With Mint you get a good view of your spending and the information is collecting by automatically.  I don't use Mint because of the sensitive info concern. 

YNAB costs $60, or less if purchased through a link, but it does not require release of sensitive passwords; they probably don't data mine the account.  YNAB requires the manual input of most information and the construction of a budget, but for me, that is its chief value: you have to determine how you will allocate the monthly income.  YNAB provides smart phone apps to speed data entry at the point of purchase.  The reports in YNAB are helpful.  You can try YNAB free for a month to see if you find it useful.  I enjoy the program and feel it has helped our spending decisions. 

backyardfeast

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 10:00:36 PM »
Just a note that we decided to take the plunge with YNAB this weekend (yay!), partly because they are/were having a black friday sale of 50% off.  So double yay for $30, instead of $60!

Should be another day left, in case anyone's on the fence...

Russ

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 10:02:50 PM »
YNAB is for budgeting. Mint has some budgeting functionality but is mainly for expense tracking.

Cashflow

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 03:05:57 PM »
Mint will show you what has happened in the past. Ex: Money you already spent and cant change. YNAB will show you what money you have available today to prevent a bad issues before they happen.

Example: Ready to go grocery shopping so I check the app on my phone and see that I will be over budget if I buy everything on sale that day. I either don't buy the sales items and realize how much money I actually have or I adjust my fun account and take the difference from there and not go to the movies I planned this weekend.

Get the trial its 34 days and signup for a free online class and you will 99% chance decide to keep it.

Miss Scribbles

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 05:04:56 PM »
I would recommend YNAB over Mint.com, but perhaps that is because of my personal preferences.

I find the YNAB user interface extremely friendly. I purchased the original YNAB years ago and have recently upgraded to YNAB4.

The folks behind this software are very responsive, including the creator, Jesse Meacham.  If you have issues or questions, they are right there with the answers.  And having several versions of the software along with several laptops over the years, I had some issues with downloading the software again, especially when I registered with a work e-mail address that was no longer valid.  The team at YNAB were wonderfully responsive in helping me locate my software license which allowed me to download to my new laptops.

I know that MMM plays down the idea of a budget but YNAB is an excellent tool for tracking spending (I use their iPhone app as well), and because I can easily track spending, it is so easy to find out how much you can save by cutting out certain items. It is basically a digital version of the envelope budgeting system.

For instance, I am a very new Mustachian, but when I found this blog and MMM's recommendations for spending to eliminate, I was able to go to YNAB and instantly come up with monthly totals I would be saving.

I tried Mint.com but it did not serve my needs as well.  It did not allow the customization and flexibility found in YNAB.

I love YNAB and its team--YNAB is a bit pricey for an MMM, but for me it is worth the money, even if you  only use it to track how much you are saving.

Miss Scribbles

Le0

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 07:45:53 AM »
YNAB is for budgeting. Mint has some budgeting functionality but is mainly for expense tracking.

This. They are both good, for different people. YNAB is good for me right now because I am working may way towards a more stable situation, where as mint is all some people need because they already have a handle on their finances.

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 08:27:19 AM »
YNAB is good for those with a handle on their finances too!  We use it to run a good budget and as a longer term planner by inserting categories that are expected later on in the year.  The program also does not appear to data mine so that is an added benefit compared to Mint.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 08:32:30 AM »
Never used YNAB though I have heard great things about it (the price is what keeps putting me off), but I have been a diehard Mint user for the last 5 years. I do use it for budgeting, but maybe YNAB's functionality is better? My most common use of my Mint budget is say for example I want to go out to eat, or buy some random crap I don't need or a 6-pack of expensive beer, using my "fun"/misc budget. They have a view that shows you at a glance how much you've already spent in each budget category that month, relative to the total amount allotted for that category... so unless it's the end of the month and I have a ton of space left in my budget, NOPE, I don't get to buy it. It works for me.

It is lacking flexibility in some ways (not sure you could do biweekly budgets), but they've made a ton of improvements in the last 2 years and I expect them to keep doing so. I totally get the privacy issues, but I know if I used something that required me to manually input data, I would fall off the wagon REAL fast... so I just try not to worry about it.

Le0

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 10:08:52 AM »
YNAB is good for those with a handle on their finances too!  We use it to run a good budget and as a longer term planner by inserting categories that are expected later on in the year.  The program also does not appear to data mine so that is an added benefit compared to Mint.

You are right. I can totally see myself using YNAB or something similar well into retirement. :p

smalllife

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 10:13:15 AM »
YNAB works better for me (I used Mint for a year but had so many issues with it that I gave up).  As someone who earns on the lower end of things from this site, it makes me feel more confident about sending money to investments/debt without endangering any of my living expenses.   

anastrophe

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2013, 10:32:49 AM »
I use both (YNAB for my personal accounts and Mint for my household expenses).

I like YNAB better overall because it helps me be more forward-thinking. Since each category's balance can roll forward, it really has helped me shift to thinking about future expenses in the current month. Which is the point of budgeting, but I had a hard time with it before.

Mint is lower-maintenance and I use it mainly just to check my balance in specific categories but I don't use it for thinking ahead about my finances.

adam

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 10:37:24 AM »
I tried YNAB for the trial period and did not buy it in the end.  I still use Mint (and spreadsheets and google calendar) to this day, although it has its own set of problems.  They are two different tools with different advantages and disadvantages.  I didn't really feel like I needed a budgeting tool as much as I needed a tracking and reporting tool, so I stayed with Mint and passed on YNAB.  The application itself is nice, seems polished and friendly and all that, it just didn't do what I was looking for (or maybe, I was shopping for the wrong product).

In the end, I think the main problem for me was that we're in debt payoff mode, so  YNAB would always show me in the red and be unnecessarily complicated to use unless I could afford to keep $10,000 (not an exaggeration, my monthly outflow has varied between $6,000 and $9,900 in 2013) in my checking account at all times.  If I have $10k in the checking account, its going towards paying off the truck or the student loan RIGHT NOW.  So given the last conversation I had about these two tools, you can consider me living paycheck to paycheck in that sense, which YNAB does not want you to do.

After we hit 0 debt?  Yeah, I would give it another shot.  That's years away right now though.

rugorak

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 11:14:38 AM »
There are a ton of other threads on this subject. Do a search and you'll find them. But in the end they are just different. Russ pretty much hit the nail on the head.
YNAB is for budgeting. Mint has some budgeting functionality but is mainly for expense tracking.

So in the end it comes down to personal preference. If you really like budgeting and modelling changes to your budget, etc YNAB is probably a better fit. If you like looking at historically what you have done Mint is probably a better fit. If you want both, use both.

Personally I don't care about going nuts with a budget. A simple spreadsheet is all I need. I keep track of my big things and that is it. I am a natural saver though so I tend to underspend not overspend. But getting the historical data was difficult. So Mint is perfect for me. For example I don't have a food budget. I rarely eat out and feel that buying good food (I primarily eat primal/paleo so meat and veggies is the majority of my food purchases) is worth the cost whatever it is. I don't want a dollar amount to influence the type of foods I buy. I just want it to be a health decision. It works for me. It may not work for everyone. But having the historical data is nice so I can see my average. For example I was buying my meat from a local butcher until I recently moved. I would buy 1-2 months worth of meat at a time. So having the historical data averaged out helps a lot.

In the end it really doesn't matter. Use what works best for you and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. Neither tools are bad. They are just designed from different perspectives. So figure out what you need a tool for and go from there.

catccc

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 11:55:17 AM »
I've been a yodlee user for years, and I'd say I have a handle on our finances (zero debt, 47% savings rate).  But I want to do better.  So I got YNAB during their black friday sale, and I really really like it!  I was alarmed at first when I realized it didn't do the data mining, but manual entry gets me thinking more critically about my purchases.  I hope we can bump our savings rate to closer to 60% using the visibility that YNAB provides.

madmax

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 02:27:14 PM »
I know that MMM plays down the idea of a budget but YNAB is an excellent tool for tracking spending (I use their iPhone app as well), and because I can easily track spending, it is so easy to find out how much you can save by cutting out certain items. It is basically a digital version of the envelope budgeting system.

I'm not too big on budgets either but the most compelling reason to use YNAB IMO, is that I know exactly how much money I can transfer into my Roth IRA, house downpayment fund etc. Basically for balancing all my accounts.

bexrayx91

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 05:06:14 PM »
I'm not big on budgets either. My mindset has done a complete 180 since reading MMM, so i now have a control on my spending. I like seeing what I've spent in previous months and trying to beat that. Looks like i'll be sticking with Mint for now. Thank you for the feedback

Peony

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 06:44:10 PM »
I think it is worth checking out YNAB via the 31-day free trial. I cannot imagine liking any budgeting/tracking software better than YNAB. (I guess it's obvious that I'm still in the honeymoon phase. I even paid full price and still feel it was more than reasonable.)

bexrayx91

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 06:48:07 PM »
The 31 day free trial is very tempting. I might as well give it a shot.

Le0

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 07:43:35 PM »
The 31 day free trial is very tempting. I might as well give it a shot.

Make sure you check out there free online courses that show you how to use the software... made a HUGE difference for me.

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 07:58:55 PM »
Make sure you check out there free online courses that show you how to use the software... made a HUGE difference for me.

The classes really help-either live or on demand.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2014, 08:57:17 AM »
I was going to use Mint since it is free but it does not appear that my credit union allows them to pull the information. Does this then make it harder to use?

smalllife

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2014, 09:08:18 AM »
I was going to use Mint since it is free but it does not appear that my credit union allows them to pull the information. Does this then make it harder to use?

That pretty much makes it useless (no information about your spending from that account).

Russ

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2014, 09:15:56 AM »
You can do it all by hand, but then it isn't much more useful than your average spreadsheet. Might still be worth it if you have a bunch of other accounts you can sync with it.

golden1

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2014, 09:31:58 AM »
I use a combination of Mint, and a few apps including Dollarbird and Level.  Dollarbird is an expense tracking/budgeting app with a fantastic interface IMO.  It allows me to look at my cash flow at a glance for an entire month so I can plan out my flexible expenses.  Level is another app that acts more as a motivator for me to save as much money as possible.  I also did the YNAB trial but didn't buy it - it just didn't work for me.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2014, 09:56:52 AM »
If Mint cannot import form my credit union will I then have the same problem with YNAB?

smalllife

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2014, 10:07:49 AM »
If Mint cannot import form my credit union will I then have the same problem with YNAB?

YNAB is designed for manual entry, but you can import csv files (I know you can, just not sure on the specifics since I prefer to be in touch with each expenditure) from any bank as long as the bank lets you export the transactions.   Technically it's a work-around, but there is plenty of help for that on the forums.

pipercat

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2014, 05:26:18 PM »
I'm probably one of the few YNAB users who uses the direct import from my bank website.  I simply don't trust myself to manually enter each transaction.  The few times I DID enter things manually, I didn't really see any benefit over directly uploading from the bank.

I do like that I don't have to share any usernames or passwords with YNAB, and that it is actual software instead of something web-based.  I've been using YNAB for several years now, and I'm very happy with it.  With all the talk about Mint.com, I was wondering if it would be overkill to do both.  Thanks to this thread, though, I think I'll just stick with YNAB.

pipercat

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2014, 05:30:03 PM »
If Mint cannot import form my credit union will I then have the same problem with YNAB?

I don't believe you will have the same problem.  YNAB doesn't access the bank account.  You go to the bank account and then EXPORT it from there.  If I'm not mistaken, that's different than having a third party access the account to begin with.

JessieImproved

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2014, 11:54:39 AM »
I tried so many ways to track my expenses before Mint, and none of them worked.  I came to the conclusion that I'm just not going to enter transactions into any system (either by manually entering them or exporting from a bank account, etc).  I don't see any reason why YNAB would make me do something that I could never do before.  As of this moment, Mint imports every single account I have, so I haven't run into the problems that other users have.

Le0

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2014, 12:02:28 PM »
I tried so many ways to track my expenses before Mint, and none of them worked.  I came to the conclusion that I'm just not going to enter transactions into any system (either by manually entering them or exporting from a bank account, etc).  I don't see any reason why YNAB would make me do something that I could never do before.  As of this moment, Mint imports every single account I have, so I haven't run into the problems that other users have.

If your willing to try, I would suggest watching one of the live classes that YNAB offers through their site. They are free and it teaches a method of budgeting that is pretty awesome, I have a number of friends that have started using the method because of the classes.

http://www.youneedabudget.com/support/training-and-education

That method is my answer to why YNAB might just get you doing something other methods haven't so far.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2014, 12:25:57 PM »
I signed up for the live classes but know I will not be able to watch them. Supposedly they send you a link so you can watch it if you miss them. Hopefully that really works.

catccc

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2014, 12:36:21 PM »

I tried so many ways to track my expenses before Mint, and none of them worked.  I came to the conclusion that I'm just not going to enter transactions into any system (either by manually entering them or exporting from a bank account, etc).  I don't see any reason why YNAB would make me do something that I could never do before.  As of this moment, Mint imports every single account I have, so I haven't run into the problems that other users have.

if you have a smartphone, reconsider.  I am a longtime yodlee user and a spreadsheet lover, but YNAB apps and manual entry has given me spending spidey sense.  Syncing across multiple users is a huge plus that my spreadsheets didn't handle.  The automated importing of transactions and the subsequent historic report are not as useful to me as "real time" budgeting.  YNAB is also good if you have more than one spender in your household.


JessieImproved

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2014, 01:38:13 PM »
Does anyone use YNAB with accounts that are joined with another adult, that spends money on said accounts, that does not use YNAB?  Does it work?

One of the reasons that Mint works for us is that it allows me to track the expenses of a person that doesn't want to track expenses.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 01:47:06 PM by JessieImproved »

aj_yooper

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2014, 02:07:47 PM »
No.  I was able to get my wife on board; she likes doing the YNAB on her iPhone.

If your SO has a smart phone, the YNAB app is easy and quick. 

pipercat

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2014, 03:08:51 PM »
My husband doesn't do any sort of tracking at all. Maybe that's why I like to simply export from my bank website.  No one has to remember to enter anything.

Le0

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2014, 09:05:58 AM »
I signed up for the live classes but know I will not be able to watch them. Supposedly they send you a link so you can watch it if you miss them. Hopefully that really works.

They will send a link yes. But you can always re signup for a class you can watch. They are free.

Le0

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2014, 09:08:24 AM »
Does anyone use YNAB with accounts that are joined with another adult, that spends money on said accounts, that does not use YNAB?  Does it work?

One of the reasons that Mint works for us is that it allows me to track the expenses of a person that doesn't want to track expenses.

As mentioned, you can import bank statements. Or you could look at your online bank statement and lump all the transactions from your SO into one category on YNAB. That way you track what you spend but take everything your SO spends into consideration but as a big lump.

RumbleKittie

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2014, 11:16:30 AM »
YNAB has been instrumental in getting my husband on board with being mindful about spending.

I created a budget based on our target savings ratio and reviewed it with him. Once we agreed on the budget, I asked him to update YNAB through his smartphone whenever he spent money on anything. That means every time he spends money, he sees how we're doing relative to our budget & forces him to pause even for just a moment to consider how much he wants whatever he was considering buying.

Whenever we go over on a category and we adjust to get back to zero balance, we're actively discussing our priorities and considering which other 'bucket' is hurting because of our spending choices. For example, if we went over on our pet budget, do we slide over funds from our furniture bucket or from our investment bucket?

For the same reason, I really like manually inputting my transactions rather than having it automated. It just increases the number of opportunities to reinforce mindfulness. I manually input transactions and reconcile accounts on YNAB every morning, and it only takes 5 minutes while drinking coffee.

b4u2

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2014, 11:26:02 AM »
Is there a YNAB referral thread?

anastrophe

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Re: YNAB compared to Mint.com
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2014, 12:17:22 PM »
Is there a YNAB referral thread?

No, but you're welcome to use mine;)

http://ynab.refr.cc/TZMH6C8