3 Finance Apps That Are Way Better Than Mint

Amy He

By Amy He  Fri Feb 22, 2013

Amy is a staff writer at MyBankTracker.com. She writes about banking and culture. More Columns »

finance apps 2

For MBT’s two-week finance-tracking challenge, Simon already covered how useless he deemed expense tracking to be, while Laura described how expense tracking apps are the new loves of her life.

I suggested the team do the experiment, because I am, like Laura, OCD by nature and it already gives me great pleasure to make many useless lists, so why not be productive with useful ones?

I wanted to be proactive about my financial health this year and figured that tracking expenses with an app isn’t a huge task. That’s part of why so many New Years’ resolutions fail, because people are vague about their goals and there are so few specific action items. Using an app to jot down some expenses isn’t a huge commitment and my phone is with me all the time anyway, so it’s a constant reminder that I have to be aware of my purchases.

When I started by feverish hunt to for an expense tracking app, I was determined not to use Mint. I use Mint already to manage my bank accounts and loans because it’s convenient to view all my accounts together in one portal, but Mint is awful with categorizing. It’s always so wildly wrong (Paypal always gets categorized as shopping, always) that I might as well enter all purchases myself.

Mint also can’t track cash purchases and while this payment method may be falling by the wayside for some people, not for me! So really, all my financial habits tell me that I’m better off divorcing myself from Mint when it came to looking for an expense tracker.

Saver

saver graphsI stumbled upon Saver first in my hunt for an app. It’s not free, which I wasn’t too thrilled about, but pie charts! Colors, slick designs! I was sold.

Saver is my favorite app out of the handful I played around with, and after MBT’s two-week challenge, it’s the one I’ll continue using. The app is $4.99 in the iTunes store, and it allows me to catalogue all my expenses as easily as possible. Once I started diligently tracking my expenses, I realized that bookkeeping is hard and while not a huge commitment like I mentioned, it does take some time. But anything worth doing takes time, right?

Adding expenses on Saver is easy. This shouldn’t be considered a pro, but you would be surprised at how counterintuitive it is to find a simple “add expense” button on other apps, often buried under various pages. On Saver, just enter the amount of a purchase, select from 15 choices to categorize your purchase, and if you so please, enter a tag for it and some notes about the purchase.

My favorite thing about Saver is how it takes your expenses and compiles it into interactive pie charts by time period, and then by category. You can look at how much you spent on groceries for the month of January, for last week, or for 2013 thus far. I personally prefer pie charts over other kinds of graphs, so this app has been extremely helpful in allowing me to visualize my expenditures.

If there were an additional feature I would like to add to Saver, it would be the ability to log recurring expenses so that I didn’t have to do it manually every month. I have automatic debit set up for my loan repayments and recreational expenses (gym, newspaper subscriptions) that I get charged for monthly, so it would be nice to not have to remember to enter those manually.

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Add Your 2 Cents

  • Peter

    Take a look at EEBA (easy envelope budget app). Nothing fancy but its free and allows you to synch across multiple devices for families etc.

    Also had categories you prepick that an allocate too.

  • Fizzybizzle

    This is stupid…mint does everything these apps do alone in one place. I was expecting to see something equivalent to mint and all of these are equivalent to areas within mint which makes the article useless.

  • Sachin

    MCUBE in andriod is better app, it automatically takes and add expenses from your mobile sms alerts for ATM withdrwals, internet transcation, shopping etc.. no need to punch in amount. Try MCUBE once avilable on android store. Its a free app.

  • Ellis Thomas

    These are pretty good apps. Here in I would like to include one more app that manages the expenses and keep track of the same with absolute generousity. The one I am talking about is the expense reporting app from Replicon – http://www.replicon.com/olp/expense-reports.aspx . Expense reports made with this particular app is crystal clear and standardized. This particular app is cloud based and SaaS operated. Open to integrate with other payroll apps as well with the open API which comes as inbuilt with this app. Try out to include this app as well in your list.

  • Subash

    No way near to Mint.. dumbest apps they all are

  • This is your job

    This article was poorly written. It had a few typos and run on sentences.

  • Miss Frustrated

    I tried installing MINT today. ugh. What a disaster. I was so excited to see it sync so quickly, then….I noticed almost ALL my transactions (and I can have up to 20 a day) were uncategorized. It described my transactions as A, Z, Q. All I got was a dollar amount and a date for most of them. Like I have all day to try to remember what was $5.42, or $31.87 etc. and then manually add a category. The main reason I downloaded it was because Quicken 2014 was getting such bad reviews and I wanted to track where my $$ was going. Apparently TONS of people have this problem according to the comments I read. The categories import fine on other programs. Mint is NOT for people who want birds eye view of their spending using preexisting categories, who manage a busy household with lots of money going in and out of their checking account.