Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken Expert Analysis
By staff columnist, Alexandra Deluise
The key to a healthy financial life is knowing where your money is at all times. A quick Google search for “best budgeting methods” will net you over 32 million results—so where should you start?
Although a pen and paper budget will do just fine in a pinch, there are now many electronic financial management options available with advanced features, investment options, and more. This article will help you compare three of the top financial management tools—Personal Capital, Mint, and Quicken—to see which financial tracking system is right for you!
While Quicken was around way before Mint and Personal Capital, the latter are now viable free Quicken alternatives.
And if you’re only seeking the best budgeting apps, then focus on Quicken vs. Mint.
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken—Overview
Financial management software is an effective way of quickly keeping an eye on your budget, spending, and investments. Yet not all platforms are created equal! Depending on your financial needs, you might be looking for:
- A quick-and-easy budget tracker
- An in-depth financial log to make filing taxes a breeze
- An investment management platform
In order to really measure Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken, you should first know that the three platforms, while they have many overlapping features, are actually quite distinct and have the capacity to serve very different purposes.
This Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken Review will help you understand the similarities and difference between these three financial management apps and decide which one(s) are for you.
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken—Top Features
Personal Capital, Mint and Quicken – Common Features
Features that the Mint, Quicken and Personal Capital apps have in common include:
- The ability to link to financial accounts, including checking, savings, and retirement accounts, as well as investments. This includes account syncing, which saves you from logging into multiple accounts.
- A dashboard which shows a snapshot of your financial situation; the included information varies based on the software being used and whether you’re looking on a computer or on a smartphone.
- Budget tracking.
Now, a peek into the top features of each of these financial management apps.
Personal Capital—Top Features
- Cash balance, retirement savings and investment portfolio growth graphs
- Investment checkup – to make sure that you’re on the right financial track
- Cash flow analysis
- Retirement calculator and planner
- Ability to invest through the company—Personal Capital is also a RoboAdvisor!
- No software to install—easy viewing on a web browser
- Personal Capital app (for Android and iOS devices)
- Budgeting, investment tracking, financial reports
- Debt reduction planner
- Guide to reach savings goals
- Links to TurboTax for easy tax filing
- Optional bill pay feature, depending on membership type
- 5GB free online storage from Dropbox with membership
- Computer software required; Quicken app is also available (Android or iOS)
- Easy budgeting and help creating a budget you can stick with
- Guide to help reach savings goals
- Recommendations for financial services that are tailored to your financial situation, such as credit cards and debt consolidation companies
- No software to install—easy viewing on a browser
- Mint app (for Android and iOS devices)
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken—Who Benefits?
The right financial app for you depends on your needs and wallet.
Since Personal Capital and Mint are free and easy to access, they move to the top of our list.
Although, if you want extensive reports and customization, then Quicken can be worth the money.
Read this Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken Review with a focus on your specific money-monitoring needs.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, free budget app, you can’t go wrong with Mint. The software is essentially autonomous once you connect all your financial accounts, although occasionally (very rarely!) accounts do not sync automatically—a bit of a glitch that is more annoying than detrimental to your financial success.
Mint, like the other platforms, lets you know what you have, what you owe and where you can cut back.
You can create budgets, track investments and learn ways to save.
Mint is ideal for the younger adult or those just beginning to manage their money.
Personal Capital is also a free budget app that is easy to use if you’re looking for something simple, but with the many other features it offers this software might be most beneficial to someone with active investments. Personal Capital goes beyond simply calculating what percentage of your budget was spent on Starbucks this month, and gives detailed retirement predictions based on your investments, goals, and lifestyle changes.
The free Personal Capital dashboard is a comprehensive investment tracker to monitor your own investments and compare them with the market!
The free Personal Capital app provides updates to bank and investment accounts, spending, portfolio performance, investment allocations, sector weightings and your home value.
Personal Capital also analyzes your investment fees and asset allocation and offers helpful suggestions for improvement.
As an added bonus – users can also use Personal Capital as a robo-advisor. If you’re interested in the Personal Capital Advisors you’ll get personalized investment management and planning and financial advisor access, for a fee. This option is for investors that have built up their net worth a bit.
Finally, those who have small businesses, want multiple printable reports, or access to a host of other financial products would benefit most from Quicken.
Quicken offers 4 options with graduated features:
Starter – $39.99
- Account dashboard
- Create a budget and manage bills
Deluxe – $32.99
- Everything in Starter, plus
- Create a customized budget
- Manage and track debt
Premier – $47.99
- Everything in Deluxe, plus
- One-year free online bill payment
- Priority customer service access
- Tax and investment features
Home and Business – $62.99
- Everything in Premier plus special business-related features
- Separate and categorize biz and personal expenses
- Custom invoices with payment links
- Tracking for business expenses, and profit and loss
The Starter option allows you to upload all your accounts, create a budget and manage your bills. While, the Deluxe offers a customized budget and debt management and savings goals.
Though this financial management software is not free, Quicken makes managing your finances—even small business finances—easy. Importing your data into TurboTax is a breeze, so self-employed individuals don’t need to worry about paying an accountant to file your taxes.
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken—Fees
These three financial management software programs have vastly different fee structures, but Mint is the easy one: it’s free! Mint makes its money off of ads, which are tailored to your financial situation. That means that if you open a credit card with a recommended company, that company pays Mint.
Personal Capital is also free for its basic features, making it comparable to Mint in that way. If you are looking to only manage your day-to-day budget or track your investments and retirement goals, the free version of Personal Capital will do the trick.
For those who want to combine budget tracking with investing management, Personal Capital also has options. Their robo-advisor comprehensive financial management requires a minimum initial investment of $100,000, however, which makes it out of reach for many beginning investors. Their fees also start at 0.89% AUM and, although the fees drop as your investment portfolio grows, this is on the high end of robo-advisors. Although, there are many free and low-fee investment management robo-advisor options available.
Quicken’s options are flat-fees for 1- or 2-year memberships. They frequently have new member sales, but the base prices for a one year subscription are:
- Starter for $39.99/year (with 2 month bonus)
- Deluxe for $32.99/year (with 2 month bonus)
- Premier for $47.99/year (with 2 month bonus)
- Home & Business for $62.99/year (with 2 month bonus)
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken—Deep Dive
If these financial management software programs are so different, how can we possibly compare them?
Here are a few more ways you can differentiate between Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken and determine which one is for you.
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken: Customizability
Formatting the financial information in a way that works for you is important.
Quicken wins this category with Mint and Personal Capital tied for second place – but for different reasons.
Quicken Deluxe allows complete budget customization and a free online Quicken budget calculator. The reports allow you to examine your finances through various lenses. All reports allow you to customize the time frame and include or exclude categories.
Some of our favorite quicken reports are:
- Banking (The itemized transactions is one of our favorite reports as it shows every single expense and income item for your preferred time period.)
- Net Worth and Balances
If you’re wondering “Is Quicken Worth It?” our answer is that if you want to dig deep into your financial and investment data, then yes.
Mint is very easy to customize. Users can adjust their overall budget and category allocations as needed, and can even break up larger categories into much more specific ones. For example, the “Food” category can measure the overall dollar amount spent on food and differentiate between fast food, groceries, and date night restaurants.
We consider Mint like your first introduction into money management. As you advance, you’ll probably want additional heft with more advanced investment management apps and platforms.
The Personal Capital retirement planner helps you customize for your future as well as the present. Their retirement calculator allows you to enter in lifetime milestones, like the birth of a child, large purchases, and vacations, and will analyze that information in addition to projected salary increases or time off from work.
The Personal Capital retirement analysis gives you a predicted success ratio for achieving your retirement goals.
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken: Business and Side Hustles
In this category, Quicken stands alone. Although in practice users can create a Mint or Personal Capital account connected only to their business accounts, why not use a tool designed to separate business and home expenses in one place?
While users will need to purchase the Home & Business edition of Quicken, which is the most expensive option, the program is designed to make your financial life as a self-employed professional hassle free. Plus, they boast excellent customer service!
Can Personal Capital Import Quicken Data?
With the popularity of the Personal Capital dashboard, this is a widely asked question. Unfortunately, Personal Capital can’t import Quicken data. Mint, Quicken, and Personal Capital all import data directly from your financial and investment institutions.
Personal Capital vs. Mint vs. Quicken—The Takeaway
These three financial management software programs will help you manage your money, period. Each one offers budget tracking and utilizes clear dashboards and/or summaries that help you see exactly where your money is going.
What differentiates the three is what their main purpose is. All three have a “focus,” and they’re good at it!
- Personal Capital is geared towards investors, with comprehensive retirement planning software and an add on robo-advisor component for investors with at least $100,000 available as a minimum investment amount.
- Mint is the average Jane or Joe budgeting tool, with free money tracking systems that make tracking your spending a breeze.
- Quicken uses a membership-type program, with various Quicken packages to customize the financial services they offer. They’re great for more detailed budget, investment and business tracking or for users who need additional financial services.
Serious money and investment trackers will probably benefit from both Personal Capital and Quicken.
Since the Personal Capital Financial Management tools are free, there’s really no reason not to sign up.
While Mint is fine for those with simpler financial needs.
If money is a concern, then the best free budgeting apps are Mint for beginners and Personal Capital for those with investments.
Which one you pick depends on how much structure you need (ranging from Mint’s pie chart budget tracker to Quicken’s ability to import data to excel and spew out multiple reports), how much you’re willing to pay (Mint and Personal Capital’s basic programs are free), and what you really need out of a financial budgeting and money management app.
If you have a significant investment portfolio check out this Personal Capital vs. Quicken Review.
The best way to decide which budgeting and money management app is best for you is to consider your needs and financial situation. Regardless of which financial app you choose, the ultimate consideration is keeping track of your finances, for now and the future.
Staff columnist Alexandra DeLuise combines her banking experience with real-world financial advice to provide simple money tips to everyday people.
*Disclosure: Please note that this article contains affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t believe is valuable.
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