You just learned about the whole personal finance thing, and you are now looking for a great budgeting app to get started with. There are two popular choices that look quite similar, PocketGuard vs Mint. Both apps allow you to connect multiple bank accounts directly. So, which one is actually better?
In this article, we are going to discuss about:
– The functions and features of PocketGuard and Mint,
– The advantages and disadvantages of PocketGuard vs Mint,
– The pricing of PocketGuard and Mint, and
– Which one that is the most recommended budgeting app for you.
PocketGuard is a free budgeting app that is aimed to help you project your financial condition in the future. Instead of focusing on your past, it is more oriented to the present and future. It sets itself apart from other budgeting apps by a unique feature called “Can I Buy It?”, which tells you whether you are able to afford a purchase or not. See also: EveryDollar vs Mint.
PocketGuard can sync with your banking accounts to monitor your savings, checks, and credit cards. It also helps you to monitor your bills and spending habits by organizing them all into tables that are easy to read. In addition, by setting up all your bills in PocketGuard, the “In My Pocket” feature can tell you how much money that you can spend safely for the day. This is very useful to prevent irresponsible expenses.
PocketGuard is free. However, there is a paid subscription called PocketGuard Plus, which costs $3.99 per month or $34.99 per year. This premium subscription adds additional features, such as the ability to track your cash transactions (albeit with manual inputs), plan your cash bills, categorize ATM withdrawals, and add additional pockets.
PocketGuard: The Pros
First of all, PocketGuard is a truly great app for people who have difficulties in projecting their future financial conditions as well as for those who tend to make irresponsible expenses without thinking about the upcoming bills. PocketGuard is focused on projections, and the “In My Pocket” feature is incredibly useful. It can show you the estimated amounts of money that are safely available per day, week, and month. It can also give you financial advices.
Second, using the app is simple and intuitive. To get started, you just need to download the app and create an account. After connecting all your bank accounts, everything has been taken care off. The interface looks neat, organized, and easy to understand. On the Transaction tab, you can easily categorize your expenses into bills and set each bill’s frequency.
The third advantage of PocketGuard vs Mint is that, although it is free, it is not plagued with ads. You can run the app smoothly without much of an interruption. This is very convenient. So, you don’t have to upgrade to a premium subscription just to get rid of ads.
PocketGuard: The Cons
Although PocketGuard is focused on projections, there is one weakness. It does not have any feature for making financial goals or at least monthly saving goals. This is a little weird, as most people make financial projections in order to reach certain goals or at least make more savings.
The second weakness of PocketGuard vs Mint is that the financial advices are too simple. Well, they may be helpful sometimes. At other times, you already know about the given idea. PocketGuard is not very useful for people with complex financial conditions.
Mint is a simple yet effective personal budgeting app. It is completely free. Despite having some quirks, Mint remains a popular and loved tool that is used by millions of users. It also has the ability to track cash transactions. A premium feature is now available for accessing your credit reports. You can sign up for Mint here.
Why is Mint so popular? Perhaps, this is because Mint is armed with advanced features that you can use for free. It already supports various financial accounts, including bank accounts, brokerage accounts, credit cards, and even loans. Once connected to your accounts, Mint can automatically sync the financial data. You can even pay your bills through Mint!
On the dashboard, you can see a quick summary of your current financial condition. You can see historical trends and spending projections. Besides budgeting, Mint is also useful for creating goals, tracking your transaction habits, and aggregating all your financial accounts in a single place.
Note that, as a free app, Mint is ad-supported. You will encounter ads from time to time. The company has also mentioned that they make money whenever you use the “Ways To Save” feature to save some money. They receive a referral fee when you sign up for a saving, checking, brokerage, or credit card account from a sponsoring provider.
Mint: The Pros
Mint is also very easy and simple to use. The interface looks nice and organized. The budgeting process is intuitive and straightforward, so you will not miss any thing. The process for connecting a financial account is also easy and quick.
Mint is completely free, so you can enjoy all the advanced features without spending any dollar. You can analyze the historical trends to plan your future budgets. You can also look at your previous transactions to project the allocations for periodic expenses, such as gas and transportation. The projection features are not as rich as PocketGuard – Mint has no features like “Can I Buy It?” and “In My Pocket” – but they are still useful.
Mint: The Cons
Despite the powerful features, Mint still feels inflexible. There are two major quirks that are responsible for this inflexibility. First, you can’t make custom category names; you can only use the predetermined categories. Second, if you return some money into a category, it will be considered as an income. These are not big problems, but they make Mint feel less convenient to use.
Second, the ads can be annoying at times. Indeed, this is a common problem with free apps. We just have to bear with it if we don’t want to pay any dollar.
PocketGuard vs Mint
|- Focused on budgeting and projecting your financial condition||- Capabilities in budgeting, tracking, and projections|
|- “Can I Buy IT?” and “In My Pocket” features||- Historical trends, spending projections, bill payments|
|- Has a free version that is not plagued with ads||- Completely free, but ad-supported|
|- Premium subscription for cash transactions, cash planning, ATM withdrawal categorization, and additional pockets||- Premium feature for accessing credit reports|
In general, Mint is more recommended. Mint is completely free, although the ads can be annoying at times. Nevertheless, it comes with more robust features and functions. It can set goals and show historical trends. The premium feature can give you access to your credit reports. On the other hand, PocketGuard is only useful for projections.Unfortunately, PocketGuard can’t make goals. Some people use PocketGuard together with Mint to get the most out of both tools.