Goodbye Intuit Mint: Top Budgeting Apps to Fill the Void

Well the unthinkable has happened! Bloomberg announced Intuit is retiring the popular Mint budgeting software. Naturally many users are going to be on the lookout for reliable alternatives. If you’re one of them, you’re in luck. Several apps offer similar, if not better, features that can help you manage your finances seamlessly. Here are some of the top contenders:

1. Empower

  • Description: Formerly known as Personal Capital, Empower offers a combination of investment and budgeting tools. It connects to various financial accounts, giving users insights into cash flow, spending by category, net worth, and more. A standout feature is its retirement planner tool, which helps estimate retirement needs based on various scenarios.
  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Rating: Apple – 4.7, Google Play – 4.3
  • Pros: Comprehensive budgeting, cash flow, and investment tracking.
  • Cons: While it offers budgeting features, its primary strength lies in investment tools.

2. YNAB (You Need a Budget)

  • Description: YNAB focuses on helping users become debt-free. It encourages living off the previous month’s income and setting intentions for each dollar earned. It offers features like categorizing expenses, linking bank accounts, and a unique rule-based system for budgeting.
  • Cost: $14.99/month or $98.99/year (34-day free trial available)
  • Platform: Web, Android, and Apple
  • Rating: Apple – 4.7, Google Play – 4.4

3. PocketSmith

  • Description: PocketSmith aggregates banking and investment accounts, allowing users to create custom budgets and spending categories. Its standout feature is the cash-flow forecasting tool, which shows how current spending habits influence future wealth.
  • Cost: Premium plan at $9.95/month or $90/year
  • Rating: Apple – 4.7, Google Play – 4.4

4. Simplifi

  • Description: Simplifi provides a streamlined dashboard for viewing investments, loans, and bank accounts. It categorizes expenses into set goals and offers features for debt repayments and budgeting.
  • Cost: $47.99/year after a 30-day trial
  • Rating: Apple – 4.7, Google Play – 4.4

5. Tiller Money

  • Description: Ideal for spreadsheet enthusiasts, Tiller Money syncs with over 18,000 financial institutions. It tracks and categorizes expenses into custom-created spreadsheets, making it perfect for those who like detailed budgeting.
  • Cost: $79 annually after a 30-day free trial
  • Rating: Apple – 4.5, Google Play – 3.7

Note: Another app to consider is Copilot, which tracks investments and categorizes expenses. However, it’s currently only available on iOS.

Back That Data Up

With an uncertain future of the app, it’s not a bad idea to back your data up. Luckly Mint stores all your transactions for easy export.

How to Export Transactions from Mint:

  1. Log In to Your Account:
    • Go to the Mint website and log in with your credentials.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Transactions’ Tab:
    • Once logged in, find the ‘Transactions’ tab on the top menu bar and click on it. This will bring up a list of all your transactions.
  3. Filter Transactions (Optional):
    • If you want to export transactions from a specific date range or category, use the filters provided. However, if you want to export all transactions, skip this step.
  4. Export Transactions:
    • At the bottom of the transactions list, you’ll find an option that says ‘Export all [number] transactions’. The number indicates how many transactions you have in the selected range or category.
    • Click on this option. Mint will then create a CSV file with all the transactions.
  5. Download the CSV File:
    • After clicking the export option, a CSV file will be generated. Depending on your browser settings, the file will either be automatically downloaded to your default download folder or you might be prompted to select a download location.
  6. Open and Review the CSV File:
    • You can open the CSV file using any spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or LibreOffice Calc.
    • Review the transactions to ensure all data has been exported correctly.
  7. Backup or Store the CSV File:
    • It’s a good practice to backup important data. Store the CSV file in a safe location, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage, especially if it contains sensitive financial information.

Conclusion: Choosing the right budgeting software largely depends on individual needs. Whether you’re looking for detailed investment insights, a simple budgeting snapshot, or spreadsheet-based tracking, there’s an app out there for you. As always, it’s recommended to explore each app’s features and reviews to find the best fit for your financial goals.

This post is a brief overview of the alternatives to Mint. Due to time constraints, detailed research on some apps like Goodbudget, Fudget, Honeydue, and Copilot was not included. It’s advisable to explore these apps further for a comprehensive understanding.

Changing My Financial Life After My Employer Refused to Pay Me

Today’s guest post comes from Liz who blogs over at Splurging on Freedom. Liz has an incredible story about how she was in line to inherit an enviable amount of money and then lost this position in a moment. Read more of her story on her blog.  Here’s Liz’s story about her employer not paying her – Milton

A few years ago, I found myself in a state worse than unemployment – Being employed, but having your employer refuse to pay you.

In all honesty, I did receive one single paycheck of $120 for 6 months of work. That was the only money I ever saw from my employer.

It was a broke and utterly stressful existence, something I would never wish on anyone else. But that difficult period changed my financial life for the better. It was, in fact, something I now like to see as a blessing in disguise.

There were many things that I learned during this difficult time. And there were many things that I did to improve my dire financial situation. All of which changed my life for the better.

If you’re struggling with something similar, I hope that you find value and actionable tips to take away. Or perhaps you’d find just a little bit more strength to face the day.

Without further adieu, let’s dive in.

I Learned the Value of Money.

Learning the value of a dollar is, by far, the greatest lesson that I’ve taken away.

Coming from a place of little financial trouble and worries, I used to spend every cent I ever made. I couldn’t fathom the need for an emergency fund. Saving money wasn’t a priority, and was therefore extremely difficult for me.

However, when I got myself into financial trouble and landed a corporate job that didn’t pay, just a single dollar became infinitely more important to me. Just $1 became the difference between a full meal and an empty stomach. It became the difference between having water to drink and going thirsty.

Right now, I’m working a different corporate job that pays me about $2,800 a month. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s enough to pay for all my necessities and even a few luxuries.

Despite my ability to purchase more things than I ever could before, I’m hesitant to do so. That $100 pair of shoes I’m eyeing? I think about how I could feed myself for a few weeks with that money. That brand new $1,000 iPhone? I could feed myself for a few months!

Learning the value of money has resulted in me being able to properly discern the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. Now, I spend mostly on ‘needs’, and only the ‘wants’ that bring value into my life. And I couldn’t be happier.

I Learned How to Survive on a Low Income.

Being paid $20 for each month of full-time work really kicked my survival instincts into overdrive. It was either do or die. Quite literally.

So, I did whatever I could to survive.

I went scouring for every possible income-making opportunity. I tutored students after work and on the weekends. I sold a lot of my stuff. I flipped items online for profit. I even did surveys and attended talks for a little bit of cash.

I also started cutting my expenses to the bone. Anything that wasn’t necessary for survival was cut from the budget. No more movies. No more eating out. No more buying books. No more alcohol. Goodbye, social life.

Like I said, it was an incredibly stressful experience. But one that I learned so much from.

Despite earning a lot more money now than just $20 a month, my expenses are still low. Thankfully, I haven’t succumbed to lifestyle inflation since, and this allows me to put away a significant sum of money for the future.

I Learned that I Hate Corporate Jobs.

Since young, everyone I knew idealized the notion of ‘studying hard, getting good grades, and finally landing a respectable corporate job that pays well’. “This is the definition of having a good life”, I was told.

It was all I was taught. And for a very long time, it was all that I knew.

So, I grew up thinking that I’d make my way up the corporate ladder. I’d keep applying to higher-paying jobs, I’d work hard and keep scoring promotions. Maybe by the time I hit 50, I’d be earning $20,000 a month. Wouldn’t that be a dream?

It took a number of lousy jobs to shatter the rosy picture I had in my head. The job that played a defining role in this is, as you’ve guessed, the one in which my employer refused to pay me.

I’ve since come to accept that, contrary to popular belief, not all employers take good care of you. Not all employers keep the promises they’ve made. Perhaps I’ve been unlucky in my choice of jobs, but all the jobs I’ve worked thus far have somehow managed to renege on their promises.

In my previous job, I was contractually promised to receive a salary every month. I didn’t receive a salary. In my current job, I was verbally promised a 6% increment in salary after my probation ended. I didn’t receive any increment. I was also promised a substantial bonus. I didn’t receive it.

It wasn’t because I didn’t perform well; in fact, my immediate boss took a great liking to me. It was just because, in my experience, employers don’t really care about you, or the promises they once made.

Frankly, they just care more about their bottom line than they ever would you.

That’s not all that I hate about corporate jobs.

I dislike everything you could possibly list – Having to sit in my cubicle for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. Having to deal with shallow people and office politics. Having to trudge through a commute-laden day, devoid of any happiness or passion.

And with that, I found a way out.

I Discovered Financial Independence.

I couldn’t accept that this was to be my life until I retired at 65. So, in response to my desperate pleas for an exit route, I came across the concept of financial independence.

Financial independence opened my eyes to a brand new world.

A world without selling your soul for money. A world where you didn’t have to be subject to your employer’s whims and fancies.

A world with meaning, with passion. A world where every single day was a pleasure to live.

Obviously, I took this path. And I’ve never looked back.

I Started Saving Aggressively.

Knowing what it’s like to be under the thumb of a volatile employer, I promised my future self that I would quit my job by 2020 to start chasing my dreams. But in doing so, I had to start saving very, very aggressively.

Because with savings, I’ve learned, comes empowerment.

Right now, despite not liking my job, I’m still scared of quitting and having no income. I’m scared of saying “no” because I’m worried I’d get fired the next day.

What kind of life is this, living in a constant state of fear, dread, and unhappiness?

As far as possible, I want to minimize those negative feelings in my life. And the first step to doing so is saving as much as possible.

Because with savings, you can put a roof over your head. You can put food on the table. You can turn on the tap and have water to drink. With savings, you can ensure your survival.

And before you live a good life, you must first learn to survive.

Come 2020, I would still be far from my financial independence figure of $1 million. But by then, I should have about $150,000 (or more) in my investment account. A significant amount that generates dividend income to tide me through periods of having no income.

It feels liberating, really, to be able to quit your job within the next couple of years. And it all starts with saving a lot of money.

Even in the off-chance that I happen to stay in the corporate world, it never hurts to have a lot of savings in the bank.

To read more about Liz’s journey, check out her blog over at Splurging on Freedom.