Mint vs. Goodbudget: What’s the best personal budgeting app for you?

FeatureMintGoodbudget
Budgeting
Yes, automated category creation for tracking online spending.
Yes, envelope system for allocating budget for online shopping.
Real-Time Tracking
Yes, automatic syncing with bank account for real-time updates.
No, manual entry of transactions makes the user more conscious of their spending.
Spending Analysis
Yes, detailed spending analysis including patterns and trends in online shopping.
No, user needs to manually review and analyze spending.
Bills and Subscription Tracking
Yes, helps in tracking recurring online subscriptions.
No, manual tracking required.
Alerts
Yes, sends notifications about unusual spending, which can include online shopping.
No, manual monitoring of budget status required.
Multi-device Syncing
Yes
Yes
Credit Score Monitoring
Yes
No
Debt Payoff Tracking
No
Yes
Cost
Free
Free version available, with limitations. Paid version at $7/month.

As a financial planner, I have observed that online shopping habits can quickly lead to the edge of financial uncertainty if not controlled properly. Thankfully, there are a plethora of budgeting apps available that can help track and manage spending. Today, I will compare and contrast two popular ones: Mint and Goodbudget, each offering unique features for understanding and controlling online shopping habits.

Mint

Mint is a free personal finance app offering a comprehensive view of your finances. It’s powered by Intuit, the same company behind TurboTax and QuickBooks.

Key Features (Mint)

Budgeting: With Mint, you can create categories for each of your expenses. This feature comes in handy when tracking your online shopping habits. You can create a specific category for online shopping and monitor how much you are spending on it.

Online Shopping Analysis: Mint automatically categorizes transactions from credit and debit cards. If the majority of your shopping is done online, you would be able to see at a glance how much you are spending, where you are spending the most, and detect any unusual shopping activity.

Bills and Subscription tracking: Mint helps you keep track of your subscriptions. This is particularly useful if you are prone to subscribing to services while shopping online and then forgetting about them.

Credit Score Monitoring: An interesting additional feature is credit score monitoring, which, while not directly related to online shopping, can help improve overall financial health.

Email and In-app notifications: Mint offers notifications of upcoming bills, unusual spending, and helpful advice. This is useful for real-time monitoring of online shopping habits.

Goodbudget

Goodbudget is a budgeting app based on the envelope system, where you allocate a certain portion of your income to each of your spending categories ahead of time.

Key Features (Goodbudget)

Envelope Budgeting: Goodbudget operates on the envelope system, which means you can create an envelope (budget) for online shopping and fill it with the budgeted amount for a specific period. If your envelope empties before the period ends, it means you’ve exceeded your budget. This can help you understand and restrict your spending on online shopping.

Sync Across Multiple Devices: Goodbudget offers a sync feature that allows you to share your budget information across multiple devices. This can come in handy when you do your online shopping from various devices.

Track your Debt Payoff: While this feature isn’t directly tied to online shopping, being able to visualize your progress towards paying off debts can help you resist the temptation to overspend online.

No Automatic Syncing with Bank Accounts: Unlike Mint, Goodbudget doesn’t automatically sync with your bank account. You need to manually enter your transactions. While this might seem like a downside, it does make you more aware of your spending habits, including those related to online shopping.

In conclusion, whether Mint’s automatic tracking and categorization or Goodbudget’s manual, envelope style budgeting is best for you depends on your personal preference and how hands-on you wish to be with your budgeting. Both apps offer distinct tools that can help you understand and control your online shopping habits, leading to healthier financial practices. With either of these apps, you can transform the way you monitor and control your online shopping, helping you to reel in any potential overspending before it becomes problematic.