Since it is Money Smart Week, this week’s tech tip will compare two popular personal finance software programs. Both programs help you track where your money goes each month and can help you set up and maintain budgets. Here are some key features of each software to help you choose the right one for you.
Mint is budgeting software that is very easy to use and set up. You spend some time setting up your bank accounts and credit cards and then it tracks your cash inflows and outflows. The app automatically categorizes your spending where it can and you can further tweak the categories to get a broad picture of where your money goes each month. If you have big savings goals, you can also track them in Mint.
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
Free for college students (requires proof of enrollment). $5/month or $50/year for everyone else.
YNAB is more than just software to track your monthly expenses, it aims to be a whole money management philosophy. The essential ideas of YNAB’s system boil down to three rules: 1) Give every dollar a job, 2) Embrace your true expenses, and 3) Roll with the punches. While you can link YNAB with your credit cards and bank accounts, the software is designed to force you to account for each dollar you spend. This takes much more time, but the company claims that the average user of YNAB saves over $3,300 after 9 months of using the software.