I’ve been writing these budgeting app reviews for a few months, and one option that I’ve overlooked until now has been Quicken. Every once in a while I'll see a reader mention it, but it's pretty few and far between. But after taking a closer look, I've got to say that I'm pretty impressed with this “old school” budgeting option.
Speaking of old school, Quicken has been around forever, since 1983! It actually makes me feel young which is nice (although it still pains me to say that I'm in my thirties now).
Quicken has been chugging away in the background while we’ve watched all of these other apps pop up. And while they’ve been working on updates, they just made some major ones for Quicken 2019. So, it’s time to put it up against one of the most popular financial tools on the market for a Quicken vs. Mint showdown.
But first, why should you use budgeting apps and personal finance tools?
I cover this in literally every single one of these reviews, and that’s because it’s so important to remember – definitely not leaving it out of my Quicken vs. Mint review.
The simple importance of these tools is to help you become a better money manager. That means being able to keep track of your spending, your bills, your credit score, your investments, your net worth, and your long-term goals. It isn’t just for those who are struggling financially, these types of tools help all of us.
As we all have unique financial situations, it’s important to have as many options as possible. Some people are going to want to focus more on budgeting, whereas as some are going to want robust investing tools. Looking at the capabilities of the most popular and best budgeting tools and personal finance apps, like Quicken vs. Mint, will help you find which one is right for you.
You ready? Quicken vs. Mint
Like I said, Quicken is older than many of us, and while I’ve referred to Mint as the OG personal finance tool in the past, I need to retract that statement and give that title to Quicken. It’s what our parents have used for years, and while we know that it might work, we ignored it. Think of it like that Toto song “Africa.” It may have been a cool song, but it took Weezer doing a cover for us to finally listen to the original.
Bad analogies aside, Quicken is more than just for our parents, and their most recent update acknowledges that we all have a multi-faceted financial life, from millennials to retirees. Meaning, Quicken has something to offer everyone. When you consider the fact that the average tenure for Quicken users is ten years, I think that says something about how useful it is.
Before I go into specifics, here are some things that you can expect from Quicken:
- Robust budgeting software, ready for basic users to power budgeters
- Investment tracking
- Syncing capabilities with your bank and bills
- Bill tracking and reminders
- Net worth tool
- Simple and easy to use visuals
- Desktop, web, and mobile options
- Debt reduction plan (super cool, but currently only available on the PC desktop version)
- A cost of anywhere from $35.99 to $99.99 per year (but it’s currently 40% off for new users)
Just want to add this is too, when I contacted Quicken about helping out with this Quicken vs. Mint review, they offered my team a virtual tour of their software. Their VP of Management and Design, Jeff Parker, spent nearly an hour going through all of its functions, and I’d say it was impressive at the very least.
Mint has consistently topped the lists of best budgeting apps and personal finance tools because it really does offer a clear picture of your finances. It was founded in 2006, then acquired by Intuit in 2009, and currently has over 10 million active users.
Mint works on the premise that to understand your money, you need to have a full picture of your finances, looking at everything from your debts, budgets, bills, assets, investments, etc. They have both web and mobile options, and they’ve worked hard in recent years to declutter their dashboard to make it more user-friendly.
Here’s what you can expect from Mint:
- Syncing capabilities
- The ability to see your net worth
- Bill tracking and reminders
- Credit scores
- And, it’s free!
If you take the two lists alone, there aren’t very many differences other than price, but I’m about to break it all down for you in Quicken vs. Mint so you can find which is best for you.
Quicken and Mint each have budgeting tools. Both have present categories that you can edit, like food, gas, entertainment, insurance, etc. You can set limits in each category, get notifications when you overspend and edit all of these totals as needed.
The difference with Quicken vs. Mint is that Quicken lets you breakdown each of these categories into subcategories, letting you toggle between the micro and macro level. Mint does subcategorize for you, but if you want to take a more active role, Quicken gives you the option.
With Quicken you can also create rollover budgets, which is good for those power budgeters out there. I also really like the simplicity of Quicken’s charts and graphs.
Both Quicken and Mint allow you to track any bills you link to their software, but Mint recently eliminated their bill pay option, stating that not enough users found it valuable enough. Quicken supports this function in their Premiere option, $74.99 per year or $44.99 with their 40% off sale. There are no fees to pay your bills through Quicken, which I think you should expect when paying for software.
To track your bills with both Quicken and Mint, it’s really simple… find the holder of your bill, log-in using your username and password, and there it is. Depending on the bill, with Quicken you can also see some of your statements too.
This is a big one for me, and it’s one of the reasons why I love Personal Capital so much. Mint does allow you to link your investment accounts, but the functions just aren’t as robust as what Personal Capital offers.
Quicken, on the other hand, has a lot in terms of investing, but you’re going to find the most investment tools when you use their Premiere option.
Those tools are:
- The ability to track your investments and retirement accounts
- Access to Morningstar’s Portfolio X-ray tool to evaluate your investments
- Compare buy-and-hold options, improving your portfolio analysis
- Compare your returns to market averages
- See your cost basis and create tax reports
In Quicken vs. Mint, I’m going to say that Quicken clearly has more advanced options for active investors. If you are interested in learning more about Personal Capital, what I use to track my investments, read my Personal Capital review.
With both Quicken and Mint, you can link any debt accounts (credit cards, student loans, mortgage, etc.). Quicken, though, has one really amazing feature, their Debt Reduction Plan. The downside is that it’s currently only available through their PC desktop version, and I’ll be anxious to see when they release it on their other platforms because I think this would really help anyone focused on debt pay off.
Their Debt Reduction Plan lets you see all of your debts in one place, then building a graph that shows how long it will take you to eliminate your debt. The cool part is that you can play around, increasing or decreasing the amount you pay each month, then projecting what that difference will make overall. You can even see what it would look like to make a lump payment.
They help you develop a plan for paying off your debt, it leans more towards the debt avalanche method – paying off loans with the highest interest rate first. While that will save you the most money over the lifetime of your loans, Quicken also lets you set your debt payoff for the snowball method if you’d rather, popular amount Dave Ramsey fans.
The reason I like their Debt Reduction Plan so much is that it helps you visualize and project how subtle differences (or big ones) can affect the total cost and duration of your debt payoff. Being able to set your preferences for your pay off also acknowledges that personal finance is, well, personal.
With Quicken vs. Mint, both apps let you sync as many accounts as possible (checking and savings accounts, investments, etc.) to get the best overall picture of your bills. While syncing accounts might make your life easier… it’s just less time-consuming… it tends towards passive management. Fortunately, both Quicken and Mint give you the option to enter things manually, and I really believe that taking an active role helps you learn more.
I’ve heard more positive reviews about Quicken’s syncing features, but Mint does have it.
Knowing that you are paying for software, I feel like you should expect to have access to better customer service options, something that Mint does lack.
Quicken takes care of you with free phone support, email, chat, and online community forums.
One of the things I’ve always disliked about Mint is how cluttered the dashboard looks, and while they’ve tried to clean it up in recent years, it’s still not quite there. The design does feel pretty modern, but there are ads everywhere, which get in the way. Still, I understand those ads make them money, keeping Mint’s software free. What I don’t like is that they often disguise their ads and affiliates by calling them “ways to save.”
Quicken, on the other hand, is unpretentious, it isn’t fussy or overworked, and it’s completely ad-free… another expectation when you pay for software. There are easy to read graphs and charts that you can use to visualize your finances.
Quicken has kept it’s super simple design for years, and even while Jeff took us on the tour, I caught a glimpse of some charts that looked pretty similar to Excel spreadsheets. I’d say that design wise, Quicken is stripped down to give you what you came for, cutting the rest to keep you focused.
For many people, the price is going to be the biggest deciding factor in choosing Quicken vs. Mint. I get it… free always looks better.
Quicken has three to four pricing levels depending on whether you are a Mac or PC user, and they say that their Deluxe version is the most popular, at $49.99 per year or currently $29.99 for new users. That sale price breaks down to $2.50 per month, which is still much less than EveryDollar Plus ($99 per year) or YNAB ($83.99 per year or $6.99 per month).
After doing this Quicken vs. Mint review, I do feel that paying for Quicken will give you access to considerably more options, but you’ll want to think about whether or not you’ll use them before making that jump. To help you decide, Quicken does have a 30-day money back guarantee.
Final verdict on Quicken vs. Mint
Here’s the thing, using any type of personal finance tool, even Excel spreadsheets (click on this link for some free ones!), is going to have advantages. These tools help you see where you’re at, and they allow you to set goals and work towards them.
I do love Mint, my wife and I use it along with Personal Capital, but I think that Quicken is just going to give you more… if you’re willing to pay for it. And while it might take you a minute to find your way through all of Quicken’s tools, there is a lot to love.