Contributor, Benzinga
May 16, 2019

It’s often difficult to plan your finances using spreadsheets and old-school budgeting approaches. Maybe you’re using a shoebox, cookie jar or envelopes and need to bring your finances into this century.

Two budgeting tools, EveryDollar and Mint, can help you do a better job of managing your finances. It’s important to know what each of them offers before you choose which tool to use.

Everydollar vs. Mint: Overview

Mint comes from personal and professional finance and tax software solution provider Intuit — creator of software such as Turbotax, Quickbooks and Proconnect. EveryDollar, on the other hand, is the creation of personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, of “Total Money Makeover” fame.

If it’s credibility and trustworthiness you’re looking for, then both EveryDollar and Mint are great products. However, they each have unique features and functionality that may (or may not!) appeal to you. Before you decide which one is best, carefully review what each has to offer.

Who’s Mint for?

If you like to manage your finances without having to download and install software on your device (desktop or mobile phone), then Mint might be the perfect budgeting app for you.

But don’t let Mint’s small footprint deceive you! If you are looking for features beyond simple budgeting — like tracking your investments and analyzing brokerage and IRA transactions — then Mint will likely meet those needs, too!

Who’s EveryDollar for?

Looking for a tool to quickly and easily create a monthly budget and track it on the go?

For barebones budgeting features, especially if you’re new to the concept of budget management, EveryDollar may be just what you need. You’ll probably find everything you need with EveryDollar.

Everydollar vs. Mint: Platform and Ease-of-Use

One of the most important reasons that individuals gravitate toward a specific budgeting tool is its ease of use. A complex or hard-to-use tool might have loads of functionality, but it might be so complex that it’s not worth the effort.

What Mint Offers

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Mint’s auto-categorizing feature makes quick work of classifying your expenses so you don’t need to. Once a rule has been set up for a transaction, Mint will automatically apply that rule going forward.

As long as you have a username and password handy for each account, you can link your financial institution to the software. Mint ensures you never miss an expense or a bill payment. Automatic downloading of your transactions ensure you won’t have to enter them manually.

Once properly set up with all your transactions appropriately categorized and your financial accounts linked to Mint, budgeting and money management is a cinch. You’ll not only have a macro view of your finances, but powerful reporting functionality lets you drill down to see how you’re doing with your budget and where your money goes.

Tired of logging into multiple service provider websites to manage and pay bills? Mint has you covered. You can effortlessly stay on top of all your bills (and avoid late fees!) through a single Mint-managed portal.  

Mint doesn’t just help you budget expenses and save money. It also includes features that can help you invest those savings and keep track of your investments. Although not a replacement for dedicated investment apps, Mint makes it easy to keep an eye on multiple investments, including 401(k)s, IRAs and anything else you have in your portfolio.

Mint makes money through unsolicited ads, which might detract some users. The interface design primarily favors app-users (die-hard desktop users may find it a tad cumbersome to navigate).  

What EveryDollar Offers

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Source: www.

Ramsey officially launched EveryDollar’s fresh interface in 2015. Its simplicity and ease of use meant that more than a million users were using the tool within 10 months of launch, and more than 2 million individuals had adopted it by 2017.

If you’re a diehard fan of Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps, EveryDollar may be just the right tool for you. You’ll also benefit from EveryDollar’s automated reminders and spending tracking features to help you through the Baby Steps.

EveryDollar’s multi-transaction drop feature makes light work of selecting and dragging/dropping multiple transactions into the right category. You’ll save loads of time and effort as you classify your transactions.   

Another neat feature that saves you from a lot of cumbersome data entry is EveryDollar’s ability to split a single transaction into multiple entries. For example, if you go to Super Target and buy groceries as well as a prescription medication all at once, EveryDollar quickly splits your bill into the right categories.

While these features do make EveryDollar an easy budgeting tool to use, not all of them are available in the free version. You may need to buy the paid version, EveryDollar Plus, to benefit from them.

Bottom Line

Both tools offer multi-platform availability which gives users the flexibility to choose how they use the tool — on their desktops (browser-based) or as apps for iOS or Android devices.  

Although it won’t tell you the best way to invest your savings, Mint’s investment tracking and retirement planning features do give it an edge over EveryDollar.  

Everydollar vs. Mint: Pricing

Budgeting isn’t just about saving money — it’s also about receiving value for the money you do spend. On that score, any decision you make regarding which budgeting tool to use must factor in the price you pay for it.

Mint’s Pricing

Mint is free to download. However, the free software doesn’t include some optional features like Mint Credit Monitor.

You’ll need to pay a monthly subscription (currently $16.99 per month) to access those features, though you do have access to your credit score for free.

EveryDollar's Pricing

EveryDollar has two versions of its app. The EveryDollar budget app is free, but it doesn’t have all the extras like connecting to your bank to auto-download your transactions overnight, which the paid version offers.

When you download the free app, it also comes with a 15-day free trial of the fuller version — EveryDollar Plus. You’ll have to pay an annual fee of $99 per year to extend your free offer into a paid subscription for Plus.  

Bottom Line

Both platforms offer free versions of their software and both offer additional optional features that you can pay to access.

Everydollar vs. Mint: Educational Offerings

How extensively does the software developer invest in educating its users? Be sure to do some research so you get exactly what you want.

What Mint Offers

Mint’s educational offerings go well beyond the online resources the company offers on its website. For example, the company also has a well-stocked collection of Mint-related and general-purpose financial education videos on its YouTube channel.

What EveryDollar Offers

EveryDollar offers some insightful free educational content through its blog. For instance, if you’re new to budgeting, you can learn a lot about how to create and manage that first budget.

And if you’re up for some more advanced budgeting and money management learning, Ramsey’s Financial Peace University offers you paid group classes and online courses. You’ll also have access to other free educational content via Ramsey’s YouTube channel.

Bottom Line

Both platforms offer extensive educational content. These resources include tool-specific content as well as general money-management and financial planning materials.  

Everydollar vs. Mint: Security

Since you’ll be sharing a lot of personal information about your finances with your budgeting software, how secure are they, anyway?

What Mint Offers

Mint’s automated alert features are a great way to protect users from potential fraud or identity theft. The tool alerts users via text message of any unusual activity across linked accounts.

Credit monitoring alerts notify users when TransUnion® makes updates to your credit profile. You’ll also be able to monitor your credit score to ensure your credit status remains uncompromised.

Mint also implements multi-factor authentication and encryption to ensure your data is safe when you’re online and secure when stored on the company’s data servers.

What EveryDollar Offers

EveryDollar employs a range of techniques to keep its platform safe and secure. This includes multi-layer security, firewalls and data encryption.

Multi-factor access controls protect your data, which resides on physical infrastructure that’s protected in facilities with state-of-the-art electronic and physical security. EveryDollar also implements passcode and touch ID log-in security at the device level to keep your data secure.

Bottom Line

Both platforms implement robust security protocols to provide their users with a safe and secure user experience.  

Everydollar vs. Mint: Customer Support

There’s no use adopting a budgeting tool if you can’t get help when you need it. Customer support, either dedicated or through other means, should factor into any decision on which budgeting platform to use.

What Mint Offers

Mint offers access to its customer care team through a chat feature 7 days a week between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. PST. There’s no distinct “Contact Support” option available. To get to the chat feature, you must first search for a topic in Mint Help. Once you click on a help topic, you’ll have access to the Chatbot icon.

Alternately, you could use the Mint Community forum to search for and ask questions.

What EveryDollar Offers

The free version of EveryDollar offers you free online troubleshooting and support. You’ll also have email support available with the free version. However, the Plus version offers both email as well as phone coaching and call-back support. You’ll be able to connect instantly with a support specialist using the Plus version of the tool.

Bottom Line

Compared to EveryDollar’s help features, Mint’s support function takes some searching to locate. Unlike EveryDollar Plus, Mint does not offer phone support.

Final Thoughts

Anyone used to the cash-based envelope budgeting system will love EveryDollar for the simplicity of its approach to budgeting. Plus, with both the free and paid versions, you won’t get third-party sponsored ads. You may also need to consider EveryDollar’s lack of reporting features when you make your decision on which tool to choose.  

If you want investment management and credit score monitoring, then Mint is the answer. Importing your banking transactions may also be a great feature for most budgeters. If you have just a handful of monthly budgetable transactions, then why pay an annual subscription to EveryDollar to link to your financial institution? Mint offers that feature for free.

Both Mint and EveryDollar work on an assumption that you’ll have monthly income, which makes them somewhat awkward budgeting tools for contractors or gig workers. There are, however, various workarounds that you can use to smooth your earnings to get them to fit the tool. It’s something you should keep in mind as you choose your budgeting software.

If you're looking for more ideas on how to get you finances together, check out Benzinga's guides on the best budgeting apps, the best Dave Ramsey books and our favorite personal finance software.