When it comes to budgeting, having the right tool by your side can make a world of difference, and Mint and Quicken are two of the most popular choices. While they have some key similarities, there are also some major differences. In this article, we’ll break down the key differences and similarities between Mint and Quicken to help you decide which is best for you.
Are Mint and Quicken the Same?
Mint and Quicken have one very important characteristic in common — they help users manage their budgets. But despite that and the fact that both were founded by the parent company Intuit, the two aren’t the same program.
Quicken is one of the oldest budget programs on the market. It was founded in 1983 by Intuit as a desktop personal finance software. Unlike many of the budgeting systems that we use today, Quicken was designed to be downloaded directly onto your computer and used offline.
Today Quicken is still one of the most popular budgeting systems on the market. It’s still meant to be downloaded onto your computer, but also has an online and mobile component and operates as subscription software. It offers features such as automatic downloads of transactions, custom income and expense categories, automatic categorization, custom savings goals, and more.
Mint arrived later on the budgeting scene in 2006. But despite joining the market decades after Quicken, it didn’t take long for it to become the go-to budgeting program for many consumers, thanks to its price tag — or lack thereof — and its ease of use.
Unlike Quicken, Mint operates entirely online, and users can access it through either its website or the mobile app. While Mint wasn’t created by Intuit, it was purchased by the company in 2009. Like Quicken, Mint is still owned by Intuit to this day.
Can Mint Replace Quicken?
If you currently use Quicken or similar software, you might find yourself wondering whether Mint can replace your current system. The short answer is: it depends.
In many ways, Mint and Quicken offer the same features, including the ability to create and manage your budget, import and categorize transactions, pay off debt, track progress toward financial goals, and more.
That being said, Quicken is a more comprehensive program than Mint, and there are some features you won’t be able to access if you switch. Some of the features Quicken offers that Mint doesn’t include bill pay, robust investment monitoring and analysis, tax planning, and business management.
Ultimately it comes down to what you need from personal finance software. If what you’re really looking for is something to help you create and manage your budget, then Mint and Quicken would both be appropriate choices.
Mint vs. Quicken: Key Differences
There are several key differences between Mint and Quicken, which can help you decide which is the best personal finance software for you.
One of the biggest differences between Mint and Quicken — and the one that’s immediately noticeable, is how you actually use the programs. Mint is an online service that you access through the company’s website. Quicken, on the other hand, is a locally-installed software, meaning you download it directly onto your computer.
Another of the most important differentiators between Mint and Quicken is the price. Mint is entirely free to use, which is part of what has made it among the most popular budgeting apps on the market. Quicken, on the other hand, comes at a cost. Here’s what you’ll pay for the various plans:
Simplify by Quicken: $47.88 per year
Quicken Starter: $35.99 per year
Quicken Deluxe: $51.99 per year
Quicken Premier: $77.99 per year
Quicken Home & Business: $103.99 per year
Quicken is a more comprehensive personal finance software, which means it has some additional features that Mint doesn’t offer. These features aren’t necessary for everyone, but for someone who takes advantage of them, they can make a big difference. Here are some additional features you’ll get with Quicken:
Tracking home value: Quicken has an integration with Quicken that allows you to import the latest estimated value of your home. This feature is especially important if you include your home value in your net worth and use Quicken to track that.
Bill pay: You can connect your Quicken account with your bank’s bill pay feature to pay your bills directly within Quicken.
Tax planning: Quicken has a variety of tax planning features including the ability to export data to your tax software, import data from your tax software, track investment gains, and create Schedule D, Schedule A, Schedule B, Schedule C, and Schedule E tax forms (the latter of which are used by small businesses).
Investment monitoring: Both Mint and Quicken have some investment tracking tools, but Quicken’s include the ability to evaluate individual holdings in your portfolio, download security prices, create what-if scenarios for capital gains, and more.
Business finances: Both Mint and Quicken have tools to help you manage your personal finances, but only Quicken offers tools specifically to help you manage your business finances.
Reporting: Quicken offers more than 50 personalized reports you can create to see more in-depth information about your finances. Reports are available for banking, net worth, spending, taxes, investing, business, and more.
Both Mint and Quicken offer some customer support, but it’s far more robust with Quicken. Mint customers only have access to online support, which runs during certain hours. Quicken, on the other hand, offers support by phone and online chat. Unlike Mint, this means Quicken customers can call and speak to a real person about their problem. Quicken Premier and Quicken Home & Business also have premium support available just for those customers.
Ease of use
As you can probably tell, Quicken is a far more comprehensive platform than Mint with quite a few more features. That being said, it also makes the platform more difficult to use. Quicken definitely has a learning curve and the interface isn’t quite as intuitive.
Mint, on the other hand, is known for its user-friendly platform. First, the platform simply looks nicer. But it’s also a lot easier to navigate. There’s not much of a learning curve, and most of the program’s features are intuitive, meaning you can start using them right away without issues.
Mint vs. Quicken: Key Similarities
We’ve already talked about the important differences between Mint and Quicken, and for many people, those will be most important in helping them to choose between the two. However, these programs also have some similarities that are worth discussing.
At the end of the day, Mint and Quicken are both budgeting software that allow you to decide where you want your money to go, and then track your transactions to ensure you’re staying on track. If you’re looking for software to manage your budget, either will work for you.
Both Mint and Quicken allow you to link your account with your financial accounts, including your bank, credit cards, loans, and more. You can then automatically import your transactions — and even automatically categorize them — within your budget.
As we mentioned, one of the key differences between Mint and Quicken is that Mint is an online program, while Quicken is software that you download to your computer. But despite that key difference, both programs offer a mobile app for both Apple and Google where you can manage your budget from anywhere.
Net worth tracking
Both Mint and Quicken allow you to link your financial accounts and track your net worth. They work in a similar way, where they categorize your assets and liabilities separately, and simply subtract your liabilities from your assets to calculate your net worth. Remember that in both cases, they are only accurate for net worth tracking if you have connected them to all of your financial accounts.
Debt payoff tool
If you’re working to pay off debt, both Mint and Quicken can help you do that. Both programs have a debt reduction tool that will help you calculate how long it will take you to pay off debt and track your debt payments and payoff progress.
You’ll notice that investment tracking falls under both the similarities and differences in this comparison, and for good reason. While Quicken has more robust investment tools, both Mint and Quicken allow you to connect your various investment accounts, including retirement accounts, to track your balance.
Both MInt and Quicken offer creditor monitor services to their customers. Mint users can see their TransUnion 3.0 VantageScore for free, as well as track changes over time. Mint also offers tips for boosting your credit based on your credit report. Quicken customers can see their Equifax VantageScore, which is essentially the same score from a different credit bureau. As with Mint, you’ll also see tips for improving your credit.
Mint and Quicken Alternatives
One of the things that makes choosing a budget software so difficult to figure out is the sheer number of choices. Mint and Quicken are two popular budgeting tools, but they’re far from the only ones. Here are a few alternatives to consider:
Personal Capital: We’ll talk more below about how Personal Capital compares to both Mint and Quicken. With Personal Capital’s free financial dashboard, you’ll have access to many of the same features that Mint and Quicken have to offer, including even more features to help you track your investments and reach your financial goals.
YNAB: You Need a Budget (YNAB) is another popular budgeting app and a great alternative to both Mint and Quicken. YNAB differs from other platforms because it encourages you to give every dollar a job and only budget with the money you have in your bank account today. It has more comprehensive features than Mint, but not quite as many as Quicken.
Every Dollar: This budgeting app was created by Dave Ramsey to help you manage your finances. It’s designed to work with the Baby Steps method popularized by Ramsey and is designed as a zero-based budgeting tool.
Tiller: Spreadsheet lovers will appreciate this budgeting tool, since it takes all of your financial information and categorizes it into spreadsheets. There are spreadsheets for your day-to-day transactions, your financial accounts, your balances, your monthly budget, your yearly budget, and more.
Mint vs. Personal Capital
Mint and Personal Capital have plenty in common. Both offer budgeting and expense tracking features, a net worth tracker, investment monitoring, and more. But each is designed for a different customer. Mint is designed for those who simply want a really comprehensive budgeting tool. While Mint has other features, budgeting is what the platform does best.
Personal Capital has a budgeting tool, but really shines when it comes to other areas of your personal finances, such as analyzing your investment portfolio and planning for your big financial goals.
Quicken vs. Personal Capital
When deciding between Quicken and Personal Capital, you’ll notice the two have many features in common. Both offer budgeting tools, just like Mint does. However, they both also have more comprehensive options when it comes to tracking your investments, your retirement, and your progress toward your big financial goals.
One of the biggest factors to consider with these platforms is the price tag. Personal Capital’s financial dashboard is entirely free to use, while Quicken users must pay at least $35 per year (or more to access the best features).
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Author is not a client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation and is compensated as a freelance writer.