You are ready to take your finances to the next level with budgeting, and you know it’s time to get a little help. Smart move! But which budget tool do you choose? In this Monarch Money vs. Mint showdown, we will point out what we love about both of these popular tools and help you see which tool might be right for you!
Who is Monarch Money?
Monarch Money is a personal finance app that flew to our fingertips in 2020. Startup veterans Val Agostino, Jon Sutherland, and Ozzie Osman co-founded this finance tool to help you win with money.
They wanted to create a personal finance app that does three things:
- Offers peace of mind
- Builds healthy financial habits
- Supports you while you achieve your goals
To help you do that, Monarch Money allows you to view your account balances in a single snapshot. Plus, you can monitor your transactions and keep tabs on your investments.
The best part about this tool? You can seamlessly work with your partner to get on the same page and hit those money milestones faster. Monarch Money definitely kept couples in mind when developing their tool. This is nice to see in a budgeting app world that seems to be made for individuals (not couples).
Take a deep dive into all things Monarch Money in our comprehensive review!
Who is Mint?
Mint is one of the original personal finance tools. In fact, so many people use Mint as an introductory budgeting tool, it is one of the most downloaded money tools available.
Designed by Intuit, Mint has the same creators as other tools including TurboTax and Quickbooks. So they know a thing or two about dollars and cents.
Mint features a free online budget planner that also allows you to track your cash flow. You can also customize your budget. It even offers insights–called Mintsights–to help you reconsider some of your spending and saving habits.
Monarch Money vs. Mint: The Ultimate Showdown
So when it comes to choosing the best budgeting app, which do you choose? Check out our Monarch Money vs. Mint showdown to learn more!
Monarch Money: Best Features
Though Monarch Money is definitely the newbie in the Monarch Money vs. Mint showdown, there’s a lot to love about this app.
According to their site, Monarch Money includes these features:
- Transaction list
- Net worth syncing
- Recurring transactions
- Spending insights
- Financial goals
- Custom dashboard
- And more!
It’s time to give a special shoutout to our favorite Monarch Money features!
Clear Financial Overview
How many times have you started to work on your finances only to realize you have to find a key detail in a different app? Monarch Money changes all that.
They offer a clear financial overview of all your accounts in a single snapshot. When you look at your custom dashboard and your net worth, it becomes immediately clear that the Monarch Money designers knew what they were doing. Their tech expertise shows in the sleek design with easy-to-navigate features.
You can give Monarch Money access to your bank accounts and investments to get a comprehensive view of where you stand. Plus, you can tailor your dashboard to give you the details you want–and skip what you don’t!
Unlike other personal finance apps, Monarch Money is committed to being ad-free. There are no pop-ups to close when you scroll and no sidebars to throw you off-task while you use the tool. There’s nothing worse than using a money tool only to find yourself lured onto another site where you will shop and spend!
Of course, we understand that some people have no problem looking right past ads. But we really appreciate the sleek, distraction-free feel of Monarch Money.
No Sales Pitch
Some finance platforms that feature similar tools come with a sales pitch. When you cross a certain financial benchmark, the company reaches out to users offering a paid investment service.
There’s absolutely no sales pitch and no upsell with Monarch Money. Their fee is straightforward ($14.99/month or $99/year), and it doesn’t depend on your bank balance.
Combined Finance Features
Monarch Money truly is a modern money management tool. It understands that one person in a family shouldn’t make all the money decisions. But they also understand that not everyone wants to combine every aspect of their finances. So users can choose how to merge their money management with their partners.
You can add as many members to your dashboard as you’d like with no added fee. This is great for aging parents or adult children who you may also want to merge some aspects of your finances with.
Of course, Monarch Money works for our single friends, too. And that’s something we truly love about the tool. It can evolve with you on your money journey!
Monarch Money: Areas for Improvement
It shouldn’t be a secret that we think Monarch Money is a solid app. But there are some areas that it could improve upon to meet the needs of more people.
If you are someone who has a hard time spending money as you look to get better with money, this feature might be a turn-off. Monarch Money is a paid platform.
You have two options when it comes to how much Monarch Money costs:
- Pay a monthly subscription of $14.99
- Pay a yearly subscription of $99
What does this subscription get you? First of all, Monarch Money promises not to sell your data. Quite honestly, that’s pretty huge. The subscription charge also guarantees an ad-free experience. Monarch Money also isn’t going to make recommendations for different paid products or credit cards.
Limited Cryptocurrency Offerings
We might be in a cryptocurrency winter right now, but many people still have cryptocurrency as part of their portfolio. When Monarch Money pledges to show you all your finances in one space, they might fall a little short here.
Currently, Monarch Money only works with Coinbase. While we know Coinbase is probably the most commonly used exchange, it certainly isn’t the only one. That means that if crypto features prominently in your portfolio, Monarch Money might not be an all-in-one tool for you.
No Credit Scores
Another piece of the financial puzzle that is missing from Monarch Money is your credit score. We think building credit is actually an important part of the financial process, so it’s a little disappointing to see Monarch Money omit this.
However, with most credit cards and many other financial institutions offering quick and easy access to your FICO score, you can do your own credit monitoring pretty easily. Still, this is one thing we hope to see them add in the future so Monarch Money really can be a one-stop shop for your finances.
Mint: Best Features
Mint offers users the following features:
- Bill payment tracker
- Credit score monitoring
- Investment and account overviews
- Alerts and Mintsights
Let’s explore some of the best features of this money tool!
If you ever find yourself wondering if something is truly free, yes, we can assure you that Mint is free to use. There is no fee to download the app. And you don’t have to worry about monthly or annual subscription fees.
This is honestly probably why so many people reach for the app when they start getting their financial house in order. Many people are reluctant to shell out even a few dollars when they are first learning to manage their money. So it makes sense that free is a big selling point.
Mint initially made waves in the fintech scene by helping users track their bills. After all, making your payments on time is a big deal. Now, Mint's taken that feature even further.
In a partnership with Billshark, Mint now helps users negotiate and lower their bills. Worried that there is a phone call in your future? Don't sweat it. Mint does the heavy lifting–and negotiating–for you.
In fact, Mint estimates that they've saved users nearly $2 million since the feature launched in 2021. Of course, you want to be aware that if your bills are successfully lowered, Billshark keeps a cut of the savings for up to 24 months. Still, most users don't object since they come out money ahead.
Mint prides itself on being very customizable, and we agree! You really can tailor the app to fit your financial picture, no matter what it looks like. When you first set up your account, you will be prompted to create a budget.
Mint starts off with suggestions that are common for many people. For instance, it will prompt you to set up a transportation category. You will get a suggested amount, and then you can adjust it based on your needs.
Eventually, you can open up a category called “Everything Else”. This catchall category will contain your other spending transaction. You want to review them, and then you can reassign them as needed. Or they can stay put!
It's worth noting that this is not a quick process, but many users say it's really meaningful. It serves two purposes. You can thoughtfully review your spending to get a sense of where your money went previously. Plus, you can be more intentional about the categories in your budget. This should give you a good sense of why this tool is a budgeting favorite.
You can also learn more about how Mint stacks up against another budgeting favorite here!
Mint: Areas for Improvement
You don’t become a leading money app for years and years without having a lot of excellent features. Even so, there are a few things we’d love to see Mint improve.
One of the trade-offs for free tools is the fact that the user experience is not as sleek. Mint started with a lot more advertising than it currently has. But you should know that it does run on ads and product recommendations.
Similar to Credit Sesame, Mint will show you the financial information you want to know–and it will also recommend things for you to buy or sign up for. The idea is that these recommendations will help your financial situation, but we think that can make for a cluttered and sometimes overwhelming experience.
Still, this might be worth it if you are looking for a truly free fintech tool.
If you’re imagining downloading the app, creating a username, and starting a budget right away, think again. There’s some setup required with Mint. In addition to syncing all of your accounts, you have to customize your budget for you. Of course, that’s part of what makes Mint such a powerful budgeting tool. But know that you’re going to have to put some time in upfront.
Additionally, you may find that Mint mislabels some transactions. Users say that they sometimes have to go in and redo their budget categories to keep everything in its proper place.
Final Verdict on our Monarch Money vs. Mint
There are so many great budgeting apps on the market today. As much as we love Mint for its OG status, there’s even more that we love about Monarch Money. If we had to declare a winner in the Monarch Money vs. Mint showdown, we'd go with Monarch Money
The combination of a really sleek interface and thoughtful user experience has it inching out ahead. Then, the fact that you can so seamlessly add a partner, an adult child, a parent, or anyone else to your dashboard pushes Monarch Money over the finish line first. This financial tool can grow with you throughout your money journey. Of course, the key is to pick the tool that best suits your needs–and we're just thrilled you're ready to improve your financial picture with the power of budgeting!
Do you have a favorite budgeting tool? What do you think about our Monarch Money vs. Mint showdown?
Please let us know in the comments below.