Mint vs. Tiller: Which Budgeting Tool is Better for Managing Your Money?

August 12, 2020

Live mortgage free.

Fill out this form to learn how we paid off our mortgage in less than 5 years. And no, we didn't win the lottery. You'll also receive periodic updates from me to help you take your family to the next level.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links or links from our advertisers where we earn a commission, direct payment or products. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser. Information shared on this site is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice.

Personal finance tools like Mint and Tiller help you track your spending, stick to a budget, get out of debt, and reach your savings goals. Looking at Mint vs. Tiller, you’ll see the apps have a lot in common.

Mint has been one of the best picks for personal finance software for a while. It does a fantastic job of helping users manage their money. Tiller introduces a new range of options that can take your money to the next level and is a solid Mint alternative.

Both are excellent choices for money management. But is one better than the other? Let’s look at how Mint and Tiller stack up against each other to see which one comes out on top.

What is Mint?

Mint logo

Mint is a budget tracker and planner. It offers a clear view of your finances to help you better understand your spending habits. The program has been around since 2007 and was purchased by Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks and TurboTax, in 2009.

It puts your complete financial life – bank accounts, bills, and credit cards – in a single spot. One of Mint’s best features is that it simplifies your budget. The cost is attractive too since Mint is free to use. Since you’re not paying to use the software, the company earns money through ads you’ll see on the website and in the Mint mobile app.

What is Tiller Money?

Tiller Money logo

Tiller Money is a personal finance tool. Like Mint, it helps you manage your budget, track spending and savings goals, and get out of debt. After discovering the struggle people were facing when trying to personalize their finances with spreadsheets, Peter Polson founded Tiller in 2015.

What sets it apart is how the program displays your data. Tiller connects to your bank and other financial accounts to pull data directly into a Google Sheet. It imports your data and organizes it using spreadsheets to provide a level of customization that other money management apps can’t match.

Features Both Mint and Tiller Offer

When you compare Mint vs. Tiller, you’ll notice a lot of similarities. Both provide an intuitive approach to setting up your personal budget and tracking expenses. Here’s a quick look at common features between the two:

  • Create and manage your budget: Mint and Tiller provide categories to set up your budget and graphs for a visual representation of your spending.
  • Link financial accounts: Directly importing transactions can save time from manually entering everything, and both programs will link and synchronize your accounts.
  • Automatically categorize transactions: Both Mint and Tiller can automatically add a category to transactions, though each approach it differently.
  • Track debt balances and payoff progress: Tracking goals is the best way to achieve them, and Mint and Tiller have the option to monitor your debt freedom and savings goals.
  • Track net worth over time: Net worth is how to measure your overall financial health. Mint and Tiller can automatically calculate and update your net worth.
  • Multi-device capability: Both Mint and Tiller allow you easy access to your budget, reports, and other data from any device, as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Mobile app: Mint has a standalone app for mobile access, while Tiller relies on Google’s mobile app services to access your information.

Despite the similarities, substantial differences exist between the two money management programs.

Features You Only Get with Mint

Mint’s software helps you quickly set up a budget and track your expenses. It has a few features that aren’t available with Tiller Money, such as:

  • Reminders for upcoming bills
  • Text and SMS alerts when bills are due
  • Notifications when bank account funds are low
  • Free credit score from TransUnion
  • Offers for credit cards, personal loans, insurance, and more
  • Access from your Apple watch

The program used to have a bill pay feature where you could pay your bills without leaving the platform. Mint discontinued that feature as of June 30, 2020.

Features You Only Get with Tiller

Tiller Money imports your financial data to Google Sheets. Since spreadsheets have a great capacity for customization and flexibility, it’s impossible to list all the features Tiller has that Mint doesn’t.

However, there are a few primary functions you’ll enjoy that Mint doesn’t offer, including:

  • No ads or upselling
  • Add and delete budget categories
  • Support for envelope budgeting
  • Separate dashboard and budget for a side business
  • Import data from other budgeting software
  • Create custom reports and spending analysis
  • Collaborate and share your data with others

The platform frequently adds new spreadsheets, templates, and add-ons through Tiller Money Labs, so this isn’t a complete list. But it gives you a good idea of what you can do with Tiller that you can’t do with Mint.

Mint vs. Tiller: The Ultimate Showdown

showdown

Mint is one of the top picks for best budgeting software because it's been around for so long. Boasting over 20 million users, you’re probably asking yourself, is there anything better than Mint?

Let’s compare Mint vs. Tiller side by side to see if one stands out more than the other.

Budgeting

Mint

Mint is an excellent tool for budgeting and tracking expenses, and this is where the platform shines. You link your bank accounts, and the service automatically syncs your transactions and labels it with a spending category.

You can update the category of any transaction, which is helpful because Mint doesn’t always get it right. But you can’t modify or delete any of Mint’s pre-defined categories. The service also limits the custom categories you can add to personalize your budget.

Tiller

Tiller exists to empower people to manage their finances, and a large part of that is budgeting. The software relies on a spreadsheet to track your spending. If you’re new to spreadsheets, don’t let that intimidate you. With Tiller, you can create your own spreadsheet or use one of its pre-made templates to quickly and easily jump into budgeting.

The categories are flexible, too. You can add, modify, or delete any budgeting category and create rules to automate categorizing your transactions.

Winner: Tiller. Both apps are fantastic at budgeting. Tiller has a slight edge here because it allows for more flexibility and customization.

Collaboration with Your Spouse

couple budgeting

Mint

Mint has a limit of one user per account. If you want to share your budget with your partner, your partner must enter your username and password to view transactions, reports, and budget progress. Not supporting multiple users is a significant drawback since 82% of couples have a joint bank account for household expenses, according to a TD Bank study.

Tiller

Sharing your budget, reports, and transactions with your spouse is a breeze with Tiller. The heart of the program is Google Sheets, and Google Sheets has built-in sharing features.

Create a single Tiller account to link your financial accounts and set up your spreadsheet. From there, change the share settings to give your partner, accountant, or tax professional access to your data without sharing your login information.

Winner: Tiller. Mint lets you share your account, but only if you share your login and password. Tiller has better collaboration for couples and the ability to share your budget without sacrificing your password.

Pay Off Debt

Mint

Mint has a built-in feature for debt-payoff. It uses the balance from your credit cards or loans to create a goal to pay down your debt. The software will automatically create a plan and track your debt progress after entering the interest rate and minimum payment amount for each debt.

Customizing your plan is simple. Depending on how much you pay each month, Mint will adjust the plan and give you the date you’ll be debt free. It also tells you how much you’ll pay in interest fees, and how much you could save by paying a little more every month.

Tiller

Tiller’s Debt Progress Sheet is the best template to start your plan to get out of debt. You sync your credit cards, student loans, and more to start, and the platform updates your debt balances daily to track your progress.

It gives you complete control over your plan to pay off your balances. You can use the debt snowball, avalanche method, or your own approach. Based on your account balances, interest rates, and how much you pay each month, Tiller automatically calculates a debt freedom date.

Winner: Tie. Both apps have excellent built-in tools to help you pay off your debt. Mint takes a more straightforward approach to setting up and automating your goal to be debt-free. Tiller provides more advanced customization and flexibility but can be confusing to those unfamiliar with spreadsheets.

Reports

Mint

Mint has preset reports that let you view trends in spending, income, debt balances, and net worth. Because Mint builds the reports into the platform, you can’t create custom reports.

Tiller

Tiller has budget reports built into its foundation template that summarizes your monthly spending. Additional pre-made reports are available in Tiller Money Labs, and you can create your own reports to track your net worth, savings goals, debt, and spending habits.

Winner: Tiller. Mint’s preset reports are an excellent option for people new to budgeting, but Tiller’s reports are easier to read and offer more customization.

Net Worth Snapshot

Mint

Mint tracks net worth automatically when you connect your bank accounts, investments, loans, credit cards, and property. When you log into your dashboard, Mint displays your net worth beneath your list of accounts.

Tiller

Tiller’s net worth tracker is a visual representation of your net worth over time. It automatically calculates your net worth based on your linked bank accounts, credit cards, investments, property, and other financial accounts.

Winner: Tie. Both apps let you easily track net worth. Tiller has a better snapshot of your growth over time but requires you to set up a separate Google Sheet. Mint has net worth tracking built into the platform, but the reporting feature is limited.

Price

Mint

Mint has always been free to use. The service doesn’t have any hidden fees, either. The downside is that it contains advertisements for financial products and services. Mint earns a referral fee if you sign up for a service it recommends and displays banner ads that can clutter your screen.

Tiller

While Tiller isn’t free, the cost is minimal. You get a 30-day free trial when you sign up. If you don’t like the app after taking it for a test drive, you can cancel with no hassle. Tiller is just $79 per year. That works out to $6.58 each month, which is roughly the cost of two cups of coffee.

Winner: Mint. Mint is a clear winner here. It’s hard to beat free!

Customer Support

typing on laptop

Mint

Accessing Mint’s customer support requires a little digging on your part. No obvious “click to chat” or link to “contact customer service” exists. A support option is found at the very bottom of the page. Eventually, you will find the option to chat with an agent, but it requires you to jump through several hoops.

Tiller

Tiller’s support is outstanding. The link to customer support is easy to find on the site. It directs you to a resource page to find answers to common questions, and Tiller’s email address is prominently displayed. No hoops or tricks.

Winner: Tiller. When you’re stuck and need help, the last thing you want to do is hunt for customer service. Tiller provides quick and easy access to support.

Security

Mint

Mint uses multi-factor authentication to keep your account safe. The platform also uses 256-bit encryption, which is the standard in bank-level security. However, Mint sells and distributes its consumer data to third parties. It’s done through data aggregation that removes individual information so you can’t be identified.

Tiller

Tiller’s revenue comes from your subscription fee. The company does not sell your data to advertisers or third parties. Account access is secure through Google account authentication, two-step verification, and bank-grade 256-bit encryption.

Winner: Tiller. Both Tiller and Mint use bank-level security. Even though Mint sells aggregate data that can’t be traced back to you, the company is still profiting from your information. Tiller never sells your data or information.

App and Mobile Access

Mint

Mint has apps available in the Apple Store and Google Play. When you download the app, it syncs with your Mint web account to notify you of budget progress, spending habits, debt balances, and credit score updates. With the app, you also get bill pay reminders to help you avoid missed payments and late fees.

The app doesn’t have every feature available in the web version, but it helps you track spending trends and stick to a budget while on the go.

Tiller

Tiller doesn’t have a dedicated app. It syncs your financial accounts to Google Sheets, which is primarily a desktop tool. Google Sheets has an iOS and Android app that lets you view and edit your data, but it isn’t as easy because mobile screens aren’t typically big enough to display spreadsheets with lots of rows and columns.

Tiller has third-party solutions to display your Google Sheets data in a mobile-friendly way. Glide and AppSheet are two options, and Tiller has detailed guides to set them up on its website.

Winner: Mint. If you’ve ever tried to edit a spreadsheet using the Google Sheets app, you understand how difficult it can be. Tiller users claim a free account from Glide can create a mobile-friendly experience in about 15 minutes. Mint already has an intuitive app that requires no extra configuration – just download and go.

Final Verdict on Mint vs. Tiller

Mint is a robust program that people have trusted to manage their finances since 2007. It lacks a few features that Tiller provides, but it’s one of the best money management apps you’ll find.

Tiller has the advantage of using spreadsheets, and spreadsheets introduce an enormous amount of customization and flexibility over what Mint can offer. Tiller is also a paid subscription, so you won’t see advertisements like you do on Mint.

Mint excels at helping you create and stick to a budget. Besides being supported by ads, the biggest downside is that Mint doesn’t allow you to modify or delete preset budgeting categories. However, Tiller gives you complete freedom to customize the categories in whatever way makes the most sense to you.

So which app wins in the great Mint vs. Tiller debate? The answer depends on you and your financial goals.

If you want a free budgeting app that lets you easily track spending from your phone, Mint is the clear winner. Tiller is the better choice if you want more flexibility and control over your budget and don’t mind paying a few bucks a month for ad-free software.


Where do you stand on Mint vs. Tiller? Which budgeting tool is better for you?

Please let us know in the comments below.



Amy Beardsley

Amy Beardsley is a freelance writer and personal finance expert. She specializes in credit reporting, FinTech, and probate and estate planning topics. Her work has been published on Robinhood, Lending Tree, Dollarsprout, Women Who Money, and Well Kept Wallet. She’s also the founder of EarlyMorningMoney.com, a site dedicated to simplifying financial management and helping families win with money.

2 Comments

  • I love, love Tiller. While I use YNAB predominately for budgeting, being able to pull in account balances and other transactions for investment accounts and customize everything has made organizing my finances so much easier! Mint is truly a great free resource as well!

    Reply
    • So glad to hear that!

      It’s a very versatile tool and they keep improving it too.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top