Thanks to the technology boom of the 21st century, there’s an app for almost any purpose you could think of. This, of course, includes personal finance apps.
You’ve probably already heard of two of the biggest names in financial apps: Mint and Personal Capital. But a relatively new platform, MoneyPatrol also has a lot to offer.
So which of these apps could help you improve your own financial situation? The answer lies in your unique situation. The best app for you will depend on the features you need most.
Today, I want to dive into the details of each platform to help you decide which is the best for your needs!
How do Mint, Personal Capital, and MoneyPatrol compare?
Each of these apps has many useful features. Here’s a helpful break of these features:
Mint Personal Capital MoneyPatrol
Budgeting features Break down your spending into multiple categories
Set personalized limits on each category
Look at a detailed list of your expenses based on different categories
No other budgeting tools offered
Options to view your expenses in reports by category, merchant, recurring transactions, weekly spending, monthly spending, and more
Investment features See your portfolio values over time
No other investment tools offered
See a snapshot of your portfolio values
Cost Free Free and paid accounts (for advisory services) $7 per month after a 15-day free trial
Customer service Every day from 5 AM to 9 PM PCT 24/7 customer service Email contact form
Although you can monitor your cash flow with Personal Capital, you cannot use the platform to create a budget. You will be able to look at a detailed list of your expenses based on different categories but you will not be able to set limits for those categories.
On the flip side, Mint and MoneyPatrol both offer robust budgeting capabilities. For Mint, the key feature of the entire platform is tracking your budget and helping you stick to it. You can break down your spending into multiple categories and set personalized limits on each category.
With MoneyPatrol, you can explore a robust set of spending breakdowns. You can see your spending by merchant and by month. You’ll be able to compare the budget you set up with your monthly actual expenses.
Overall, the budgeting features offered by Mint and MoneyPatrol are very useful. However, Personal Capital leaves something to be desired in the budgeting arena.
Personal Capital is better equipped to help you analyze and adjust your investment strategy. In fact, the majority of the platform is centered around managing your investments.
Additionally, Personal Capital offers a 401(k) fee analyzers to help you determine which funds in your retirement account are the most costly and offers strategies to help you lower your fees.
Mint and MoneyPatrol will both allow you to see your portfolio values over time, but they won’t offer tools to help with your retirement planning or asset allocation strategy. MoneyPatrol will give you a more complete picture of your investments than Mint. But If you are looking for help managing your investments, then Personal Capital is the clear winner.
Mint is a completely free tool to use. You will not need to include a line item for Mint fees in your new budget.
Personal Capital offers a free version with some capabilities, but their paid version offers more features. The free version will allow you to analyze your current investment mix. The platform will provide recommendations to you based on this analysis.
The paid version of Personal Capital includes all of the benefits of the free version plus the use of Personal Capital’s Wealth Management program. The Wealth Management program will take control of your investment portfolio and actively manage your funds.
Currently, the fees for the Wealth Management program are those found below:
- 0.89% for the first $1 million.
- 0.79% for the first $3 million.
- 0.69% for the next $2 million.
- 0.59% for the next $5 million.
- 0.49% for over $10 million.
The fees above are all-inclusive for their management services without any additional hidden fees.
MoneyPatrol is also a paid tool. Although you can secure a free 15-day trial, you will have to pay for the service after that. The monthly cost is $7 per month, billed annually at $84.
All of these apps will let you know when you have an upcoming bill due. It can be a useful feature to help you manage your finances effectively.
Personal Capital offers some guidance for your retirement planning. The tool will help you determine how much you should be saving for retirement based on your goals.
On the other hand, neither Mint nor MoneyPatrol offer any retirement planning advice. It simply focuses on your current financial picture.
Mint offers customer service every day from 5 AM to 9 PM PCT. You’ll have the opportunity to chat with support agents online. Personal Capital also offers customer support around the clock. MoneyPatrol is somewhat lacking in the customer service department. You’ll have to contact them through a form on their website to resolve any issues.
Although each offers customer support, many have reported that Personal Capital is more responsive. However, this will vary widely based on the issue you have with the software.
Mint offers multi-factor authentication to protect your account. It will require that you authenticate your device with a pin sent to your phone. Plus, the mobile app requires a pin to access your information.
Personal Capital requires that you authenticate your devices with a unique pin. Additionally, the software uses secure TLS protocols.
MoneyPatrol also focuses heavily on security. For starters, they use military-grade 356-bit data encryption and use multi-factor authentication to protect your account.
Each of these apps offers robust security measures to ensure that your data is safe with them.
Access on the go
Mint, MoneyPatrol, and Personal Capital each offer a mobile app to help you manage your finances on the go. You’ll be able to check in with your financial picture at any point throughout your busy day.
What is Personal Capital?
Personal Capital is an aggregator that brings together your financial details in one place. You will be able to connect different kinds of financial accounts to see a complete picture.
Although the focus of the program is investing, Personal Capital goes beyond investment management. It also allows you to track your net worth, monitor your cash flow, and more.
It is important to note that Personal Capital offers two different levels of membership, free and paid. The free version is a solid way to see the big picture in your finances. The paid version offers financial advisory services to help take your investment portfolio to the next level.
Who is Personal Capital best for?
If you already have a handle on budgeting, then building an investment portfolio is very probably going to be your next step.
Personal Capital offers a wealth of tools to help you take your investment strategy to the next level. Whether you are just starting your investment portfolio, or want to optimize your current retirement accounts, Personal Capital offers solid tools and advice.
In addition to investment advice, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your spending and monitor your progress towards goals.
How does Personal Capital stand out?
Personal Capital puts a focus on the investment component of their platform and it shows. With Personal Capital, you’ll have access to projected values of your portfolio over time, retirement forecasting, and a personalized investment strategy based on your unique risk tolerance.
What is Mint?
Mint is a personal finance manager that serves as an aggregator for a complete picture of your financial life. What’s great about Mint is that you can easily connect your financial accounts and see your entire finances from one dashboard.
Mint is also a great tool to help you both create and stick to a budget, as well as help you get a handle on your credit score including receiving free updates.
Who is Mint best for?
If you are just getting started with your personal finance journey, then building a budget may very well your top priority. Mint provides the tools to get your finances on track now and in a user-friendly way so that it’s not as overwhelming as it otherwise may be.
Although it doesn’t provide investment guidance, Mint helps you establish good financial habits and work toward the goals you have sent out for yourself financially.
How does Mint stand out?
Budgeting is the major feature that Mint has to offer. After you sync up your accounts, all of your transactions will be monitored by Mint. Specifically, each transaction is sorted into an appropriate category so you can carefully track your spending. You’ll be able to create your own sub-categories to show your expenses in a way that makes sense for you.
As you continue to use Mint, you’ll be able to uncover your spending habits. With this information, you may decide to create some behavior changes to lower your expenses as necessary to reach your goals.
Through Mint you can create goals for your money. The program will help you track your progress towards these goals.
What is MoneyPatrol?
MoneyPatrol offers a data-driven approach to managing your finances. You’ll have loads of data about your spending habits and cash flow right at your fingertips.
The app does present a lot of information, but it is broken down into a visually helpful format so that you aren’t overwhelmed with the sheer amount of data. Plus, there are many different filters and configurations to help you dive into the details as far as you’d like to go.
Since the app is collecting so much information about your spending habits, it can alert you when something unusual happens. For example, if an irregular charge appears, MoneyPatrol will let you know. Or if you are getting dangerously close to the edge of your budgeted spending for a category, you’ll get an alert. The more you use the app, the more helpful the alerts will become as the app tailors itself to your behavior.
Who is MoneyPatrol best for?
There are two types of people that could really benefit from MoneyPatrol.
The data lover
If you love diving into the numbers of your personal finances, then MoneyPatrol is a dream come true. The data presented to you can help you get a better handle on your spending habits. In turn, that can help you reach your financial goals.
The hands-off approach
On the other hand, if you want to check in with your finances as little as possible, then MoneyPatrol can help. The alerts and insights that the app will send your way can help you pop in to manage your finances only when absolutely necessary. Although you’ll have to pay for this level of service, it might be worth it to you.
How does MoneyPatrol stand out?
As a relatively new app, there will likely be changes along the way to improve MoneyPatrol. The visuals offered of your spending patterns are useful. Plus, the alerts and insights you will receive from the platform can be helpful if you are new to managing your finances.
I’ve found Personal Capital, MoneyPatrol, and Mint to be fairly useful financial tools in their own ways. You will definitely know where you are on your financial journey to decide which one is going to end up being more useful than the other. So take a good look at your financial needs to figure out what you really need help with.
I’d say if you need help tackling your budget or tracking your spending, Mint or MoneyPatrol is the way to go. MoneyPatrol offers a slightly more in-depth look and insights to guide you, but you’ll have to pay for that level of detail. If you need help with your investment strategy, then Personal Capital is a clear winner.