Mint is Shutting Down. Now What?
Mint has announced in a blog post that the old Mint product that many people knew and used is going away after operating for over 16 years.
From the Mint blog post:
Mint has a plan to migrate users over to Credit Karma, but Credit Karma's own support page on this transition says that Credit Karma does not offer any budgeting tools:
The Inevitable End of a Free Service
When you pay for a service, you are the customer. When the service is free, you are the product. More specifically in the case with Mint, Credit Karma, and other free finance tools - your private financial data is the product. They use your personal financial data to show you ads and sell you credit cards or loans that will get you further into debt so they can stay "free".
When times get tough and money is no longer nearly free in a zero interest rate environment, the viability of this business model changes. Intuit is a huge company primarily focused on serving businesses. They are consolidating their consumer offerings accordingly by cutting costs.
Banking Connections are Expensive and Difficult
Banking connections are not cheap. They make up a significant portion of BudgetSheet's ongoing operating costs - far more than any other single line item cost. This will only continue to grow with more users. This is why a good personal finance service cannot be free.
These hard per-user and per-account costs create a significant headwind for a tool like Mint or another free competitor even in the best of economic times. Supported only by ads and upsells, the margins for running a free personal finance service are razor thin or negative, and often rely on other upsells to work. This is in fact why Mint sold to Intuit in the first place - so Intuit could upsell TurboTax and other services to make the economics work. This is why you are unlikely to find a good free alternative to Mint that you can trust.
BudgetSheet as an Alternative to Mint
There are many personal finance tools to choose from, so why BudgetSheet?
Because BudgetSheet gives you a level of privacy and control that other personal finance applications do not. All your transaction and balance data lives only in your own spreadsheet. BudgetSheet does not store your transactions or balance history. All data is fetched by our web service using an encrypted read-only token that we get from Plaid after you link your account(s), and is inserted directly into your spreadsheet. Your private financial data is not stored or analyzed by BudgetSheet at all.
BudgetSheet is fully integrated into Google Sheets. There are no extra logins to remember or save. There are no BudgetSheet accounts. The BudgetSheet Add-On uses your Google account from directly within your spreadsheet so that setup is easy and painless. You just instsall the BudgetSheet Add-On and can immediately connect accounts after setup.
A single BudgetSheet purchase can be used on multiple spreadsheets. Account link limits are tied to your license key, and your license key can be used on as many spreadsheets as you need.
A great monthly budgeting sheet that you can use is supplied with BudgetSheet, but you are not limited to using only our budgeting tools like you are with other software that locks all your data away in their own database. Since all your data is in a spreadsheet, you can budget your own way. You can re-categorize 200 transactions in 3 minutes using only your keyboard. You can do whatever anaylsis you want. Go crazy with formulas and charts. Use other budgeting templates or make your own. Anything goes in a spreadsheet!
Focus on Privacy and Freedom
BudgetSheet handles the most important pieces of automating banking data imports, and is flexible enough for you to do whatever you want with your own data. There are few other tools as flexible and limitless as BudgetSheet.
Whatever Mint alternative you choose, make sure it has a focus on data privacy and freedom. And make sure your private banking data is not the product that is being sold.
- Vance L