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A Canadian dollar coin is displayed Friday, January 30, 2015 in Montreal.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Intuit Inc. INTU-Q has announced that it will shut down its popular personal finance app, Mint. The financial software company will push customers to its other financial platform, Credit Karma, when the app is dissolved on Jan. 1, 2024. Mint had about 3.6 million monthly active users in 2021, according to Bloomberg.

According to the company’s website, some Mint features will move over to Credit Karma. Users will still be able to view their bank balances and three years of transactions. They will also be able to track their spending by category, track their net worth and monitor monthly cash flow. Credit Karma plans to launch an AI-powered financial assistant in the coming months that will provide further advice.

Mint became a popular budgeting platform for Canadians to track how much they were spending and saving when homegrown financial firms were added to its database in 2010. It was consistently one of the most downloaded personal finance apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Budgeting 101: How to start making a budget?

If the impending loss of Mint has you looking for a potential replacement to manage your finances and keep track of your spending on clothes, groceries, fast food, restaurant meals and more, here is information and some other budgeting apps that might work for you.

What is a budgeting app?

Budgeting apps can help automate tracking your spending and offer a big-picture view of how you are doing when it comes to your financial goals. Some allow you to create spending and saving categories and assign dollars to each of them.

How to manage the money you have

Look for an app that will sync with your bank account and credit cards and has features to help you easily input purchases.

What are the pros and cons of a budgeting app?

Pros:

A budgeting app can help you categorize your money into spending “buckets,” without the need for an account for each category.

Cons:

If you want a budgeting app to automatically track and classify your expenses, you’ll typically need to allow it to connect to your bank accounts. If you have privacy concerns, this may be a turnoff. Also, these apps will either charge you a fee for their services or serve up ads for financial products based on what the algorithm has learned about you.

What are some popular budgeting apps?

You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget (YNAB) was developed in September 2004 by Jesse Mecham while he was in university pursuing a master’s in accounting. As a young married student with a baby on the way, he was carefully tracking his spending.

Mr. Mecham says he takes offence when people speak ill of budgeting. “It irks me when they talk about the dreaded ‘b-word.’ There’s nothing dreadful about it.”

The aim of the app is to help others stop living paycheque-to-paycheque, while providing tools and financial literacy. Mr. Mecham developed four budgeting principles that form the basis of the site:

  • Give every dollar a job
  • Embrace your true expenses
  • Roll with the punches
  • Age your money

The app connects to your bank account so you can import transactions automatically. In the app, you are able to assign every dollar to a category, plan and track out your financial goals and create multiple money plans for overspending or large, non-monthly expenses.

Dollarbird

Dollarbird is a calendar-based personal finance tool that allows users to plan ahead and track money through events on a calendar. The calendar interface lets you add past, future and recurring transactions and then categorize them, sending out daily push notifications to remind you to track daily expenses. The app also uses AI technology to learn from your spending habits and predict how your balance will evolve over time.

Aashti Vijh of Toronto uses the pro version of Dollarbird to help her control her spending. “The actual act of inputting my expenses every day has made me so much more mindful about what I’m spending,” she says. “Compared to other budgeting apps, which link to your bank accounts and categorize your expenses for you, Dollarbird allows you to be pro-active with your finances instead of reactive.”

PocketGuard

PocketGuard is a free budgeting app that organizes your monthly bills, expenses and debts into clear categories and graphs. Users can sync their bank accounts to the app to track spending. You can also create categories based on themes such as transportation, food, rent and entertainment. The app allows you to track how the money is being spent in each category, for example groceries versus eating out, or gas versus ridesharing apps.

Users are notified whenever they spend 50 per cent, 75 per cent of their budget or go over it. It also identifies unwanted subscriptions in order to trim recurring expenses.

Wally

Wally describes itself as the world’s first AI-powered personal finance app. It uses AI to bring context to your finances, help you set financial goals and teach you about finance and investing. The free app allows users to connect their accounts and track spending, upcoming bills, budgets and cash flow.

The app also offers access to a personal finance assistant called WallyGPT. You can ask it a variety of financial questions such as, “How much of my income am I currently saving?” or “How much money do I need to save each month to save for my wedding in 2024?” or “How have my grocery expenses changed in the last four months?” or “What is an ETF?”

Your bank’s budgeting app

Your bank or other financial institution may already offer a budgeting app. RBC Mobile, for instance, includes Nomi, a tool that analyzes your spending, recommends a budget and then sends you notifications to help you stay on track.

TD has an app called MySpend, which gives you insight on your spending and helps you create and manage financial goals.

CIBC offers a budgeting tool called CreditSmart, which tracks your monthly and year-to-date spending in categories, sends out alerts when your spending exceeds your budget and provides a detailed view of your credit card activity.

With reports from Erica Alini, Rob Carrick, Angela Self and The Canadian Press.

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