If you relied on the Mint app for budgeting, it’s time to start looking for another option. Intuit plans to shut down the free money-management app at the end of this year. Surprises are usually pretty delightful. Presents! Parties! It’s never enjoyable to receive a surprise message that the budgeting app you relied on is shutting down.
While it’s possible to track your spending for free in an Excel sheet, a paid smartphone app might be helpful. (Even though it can be a frustrating expense.) Whether you’re looking for a Mint replacement or just trying to be more careful with how you manage your resources, these five money apps provide practical advice, assist with budgeting, and help reduce your overall financial stress.
November 2023: This article was updated to remove Mint, which is being shut down by parent company Intuit.
Budgeting in your head is tough, especially if no one’s shown you the ropes. YNAB (You Need a Budget) makes financial planning manageable. You’ll be able to sync all of your accounts, track your monthly spending, stay on top of your bills, and set aside savings for emergency situations—all in one hub. The company also offers online workshops that can give you the skills needed to break free of that pesky debt and increase your savings. After a free 34-day trial, YNAB costs $99 per year—but you can just factor that into your budget.
The breezy user experience provided by Copilot makes the finance app stand out. Once it’s connected to your bank account, transactions are automatically organized into emoji-labeled groups. The app can suggest new amounts for budget categories based on past spending and keep tabs on recurring payments. Acorns, Robinhood, and other apps connect with Copilot to help you keep an eye on any investments. For those who are overwhelmed by the thought of financial tracking, Copilot is an approachable entry point to the world of money management. Unfortunately, the app is only available for iOS users. After a monthlong free trial, the annual subscription costs $95.
The world of investments and returns can be obtuse to a newcomer. Skip the appointments with stockbrokers and download Acorns instead. It simplifies the investment process by rounding up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and automatically investing the change into a diversified portfolio. The basic service costs $3 per month, and you can cash out your investments at any time.
If you’re not ready to fully plunge into the risky world of investments, Oportun (formerly called Digit) provides another way to build your savings. It’s an automated process, just like Acorns, but instead of mainly focusing on investments it’s geared toward saving the money you already have. Every day Oportun withdraws money from your account to deposit into a savings account. Don’t worry—the app monitors your spending habits and your income, so it will only withdraw what it thinks you won’t need. Long-term and retirement investments are also available through Oportun. You can try it out for free for 30 days, after which you’ll have to pay $5 per month.
It’s not a budgeting app, but the free Credit Karma app, owned by Intuit, makes credit scores easier to understand. Credit scores are very important: Lenders, landlords, and insurers may all want to check it. The number fluctuates over time, and primarily tracks whether you make credit card or loan payments on time and how much of your allotted credit is used. The Credit Karma app makes it easier to navigate the weird justifications for score changes by giving you free reports from TransUnion and Equifax and then explaining the factors affecting your score. While the app is good for score tracking, you’re likely better off ignoring the in-app advertisers pushing loans based on your data.