Personal Capital versus Mint review
I am sure there are a lot of reviews for both Mint.com and Personal Capital out there. However, as with everything, everyone has a different perspective and this is my honest review of two free and most popular personal finance tracker out there.
I have been a long-time user of Mint. I don’t quite remember when I started using mint but probably when I started college. I specifically used the Mint app more than the actual website version.
As you can see from the screenshot to the right, the front page of mint offers an overall summary of your finances. I especially like the credit score mint provides. This credit score uses data from Experian and it is updated monthly.
Mint is most useful when you link as many accounts as possible. This gives Mint the most data to give you a more accurate picture of your finances. I personally open Mint daily to look at pending transactions and balances. Mint is also great for reminding you of upcoming bills. In my opinion, the most useful feature of mint is their budget feature.
I am not the type of person that will meticulously sit down and start an excel sheet on my budget. With mint, this process is done for you! Now mint is not entirely accurate, a few times I noticed Mint categorized my recent transactions into the wrong category.
Mint will populate your transactions into categories such as gas & fuel, groceries, restaurants, clothing, etc. Based on your spending habits, Mint will create a monthly budget for you. On a month to month basis, the app will let you know how much money you have left on your budget. Once you have a few months of data then you can flip backward and forward to see where you’re at with your monthly budget. You can view your budgets as a bar graph or for those who like visuals, a multi-colored pie chart.
Another feature I like from Mint is their cash flow feature. There will be a monthly chart showing you whether you’re in the green or red. There are also graphs showing your income, earnings, and spending per month. Of course Mint has got to make money somehow right? They make money by referring you to their partners for credit cards, loans, and investments. So it’s up to you if you want to take up on their offers. You can choose to ignore this and still continue to use their services for free!
Mint is great for tracking your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments. If you can’t find an account supported by Mint, you can manually add them to track of your cash, real estate, and other assets. In summary, Mint is the jack of all trades and is an essential tool you should have in your journey to wealth. I also really like that Mint update my credit score on a monthly basis.
If you really want more a detailed credit score analysis, perhaps you should consider getting Credit Karma. I haven’t personal use CK before, any reader used them before? Please share your thoughts!
Personal Capital (PC)
Since starting this blog, I have been visiting popular personal finance blogs to see how they’re designing their blogs and read their recommendations. It seems to be a consensus that everyone is recommending personal capital as an essential tool to get. Maybe they have a robust affiliate program?
Ergo, I took the plunge and decided to download the app. In many ways, PC is very similar to Mint.com. What sets PC apart and how it differs from Mint is that it’s more focused on your investment. This is is true as soon as you’re logged into the app.
Personal Capital Summary:
PC is more focused on investment. You can track your transactions, but its budgeting feature is not as good as Mints. However, the PC’s strengths are in its investment analysis. You can check your balances, portfolio performance, and asset allocations.
Other helpful tools include retirement planner, fee analyzer, and investment checkup. Fee analyzer is a feature that a lot of personal finance fans like since you can see how much fees you’re paying and make decisions to move your funds elsewhere to save some money.
As a new user of personal capital, I have been contacted by a PC representative one time through email. They have also attempted to talk to me on multiple occasions. I haven’t picked up because as a personal rule I do not pick up phone numbers I don’t know. They are pushing hard for me to be using their paid financial advice services. For now, I am going to ignore their marketing. I have no interest in going “Pro” at this time. This can be an annoyance so beware.
Overall, both PC and Mint are great free tools you can have at the touch of your fingers to keep tabs on your finances. They both offer unique tools and features that complimented each other. I recommend you to use both. The most important thing is that you need to add all of your accounts and provide both apps with as much information as you can so that their analysis is an accurate reflection of your comprehensive financial picture.