March 27, 2016 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Is there something out there better than to unify our financial account info? There's way too much crap in there.

I’m tired of all the ads, offers, advice, etc. they have all over the place. I'm looking for an online service to assess account balances, transactions, and net worth. We have cash accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment accounts at a number of institutions, along with property. Automatic download of transactions required; good iOS apps highly preferred. I know YNAB is always thrown out in these types of questions, but I’m having a hard time telling if it would be helpful for this purpose. Free or paid. Recommendations? Thanks in advance.
posted by jroybal to Work & Money (17 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
YNAB will not automatically download transactions. That is it's strength! You have to actually look at your spending regularly, which impacts your spending behaviors in a positive way.

I had Mint, but I now have YNAB and I love it. There is a learning curve, but if your goal is to increase savings and decrease spending (or spend more consciously on the things you want to prioritize) I recommend YNAB.
posted by latkes at 2:45 PM on March 27, 2016

I’m tired of all the ads, offers, advice, etc. they have all over the place.

Related question - have you looked into your settings within Mint? I use Mint and have for several year - I use an adblocker and have spent a little time turning as much off as I can and I am at the point that I was surprised at your complaints because I am so rarely seeing anything like ad or selling content. It may be possible - before you lose all the history you have at Mint - to just flick a few switches and make Mint itself tolerable.
posted by Brockles at 2:49 PM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

As far as stripping out the ads/offers/advice/etc. out goes, I highly recommend Mojito, a browser extension that's good for customization/stripping things down. Lifehacker article

I haven't run into an alternative to Mint which I've liked yet, but that extension has gone a long ways for me.
posted by CrystalDave at 3:01 PM on March 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Personal Capital, perhaps? It's aimed more towards investment portfolios and net worth than everyday budgeting, but it handles most of the transaction downloading without the kind of sales stuff that Mint tends to slap on its summary page.

(Mint's OS X Quick View app was fantastic, especially at search, but they shitcanned it, probably because they couldn't push as much ad-driven stuff through it. If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer, etc.)
posted by holgate at 3:02 PM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

The new paid, web-based version of YNAB will auto-download transactions.
posted by corvine at 3:10 PM on March 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

The new YNAB does do automatic transaction imports now, but it's very budget oriented, so if you're not interested in budgeting it's probably not the right tool for the job. While it can track investment accounts and net worth, it doesn't have any specialized tooling around that functionality, and the new YNAB does not yet have much in the way of reporting (YNAB classic has better reporting but doesn't do automatic transaction imports), although YNAB promises better reporting is on the way for new YNAB. That said, if you do want budgeting, YNAB does a passable job of tracking the other stuff too (this is how I use it).
posted by borsboom at 3:13 PM on March 27, 2016


I can't recommend it enough. It gets through my buget adverse scary thing having money feelings.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:20 PM on March 27, 2016

If you have an account with the BECU credit union ( you can use its online and iOS Money Manager, which has a number of features very similar to Mint.

The main features of importance to me are synchronizing with credit card, mortgage and retirement/investment account data from many hundreds of credit and financial institutions.

It does all the heavy, complicated work of Mint, securely, without any of the targeted advertisements. I have used Mint much less since BECU's Money Manager came online.

I don't know if they contracted out their software from a third-party — perhaps your bank or a credit union near you may have similar options.

I have no connection with the BECU credit union, other than having an account. Just a very satisfied customer.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:27 PM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you're running on a Mac or PC, Quicken is still a very good option for personal finance. Investments, retirement, credit cards, bank accounts, cash accounts, and business invoicing and bills are available in the various versions, and transaction downloads and an iOS app for remote access are available. I realize that it's "so 1990's" to actually run a program on your own computer, but it works, and works very well.
posted by jgreco at 4:17 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have read that personal capital is relentless in calling and marketing once they have your contact info - do NOT give them your real phone number.

I use Mint and don't recognize your problems - probably because I internet with adblocker and script blocker. So it's possible to have the experience you want with it.
posted by Dashy at 5:51 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Try Yodlee MoneyCenter, which is an uglier version and ad-free last I checked: .

I have no knowledge of the apps; I have only used the website.
posted by typecloud at 6:19 AM on March 28, 2016

I *would* say YNAB, but the new version is web-only. There's no way to back up your data locally, and it means your personal financial data is on YNAB's servers, so you're trusting YNAB to handle security.

I'm really not happy about this development, and am staying on the non-web YNAB as long as I can while I try to find an alternative.
posted by uberchet at 9:15 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like Personal Capital because it's better focused on helping me track my overall portfolio health rather than budgeting (which it'll do, too). I have a similarly distributed set of inputs as you.

I don't know if I'd agree with the "relentless calling". Yes, they do ask to pitch you their investing strategy. I said yes to an hour conversation about it and they had some fair points about my investment allocations and wanted me to use their strategy. After I gave them a definite "no" I haven't heard back from their sales people.
posted by homesickness at 11:20 AM on March 28, 2016

Nthing that Mint isn't very pushy once you have an adblocker/scriptblocker. I use it pretty often and all I can remember seeing is a little line item popping up every now and again suggesting I fund a Roth or somesuch.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:08 PM on March 28, 2016

I *would* say YNAB, but the new version is web-only. There's no way to back up your data locally
uberchet: The new YNAB now at least supports downloading all your data as a CSV (it didn't when it first launched), so at least your data cannot be held hostage -- you can back it up locally.
posted by borsboom at 4:35 PM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been using Buxfer for a little while. I like it a lot. I'm not going back to Mint -- they lost me for the same reasons.

It isn't pushy, has better features for automatically renaming/categorizing payees, and supports receipt uploads and reconciliations. They support automatic downloads, and have an interesting option that lets you opt out of persisting your account information on their servers. The UI is also very snappy, and easy to use (among other things, it handles Split Transactions way better than Mint does).

Investment accounts are supported, but don't have any specific features for tracking those investments (IMO, the biggest drawback). Buxfer also uses tags instead of categories, which could take some getting used to.

One *huge* distinction from Mint is that Buxfer has an API, and provides lots of ways for you to export your data out of their service.

New features are added at a trickle -- as far as I'm aware, there's only one developer maintaining it part-time, but I've made two support requests regarding bugs, and both were fixed within a day, so it's definitely still being maintained.

Buxfer is a great app that doesn't get enough recognition.
posted by schmod at 10:24 AM on March 31, 2016

borsboom, that's still worse than what I have now, with the older YNAB. I still have to trust YNAB not to fuck up my data or have a massive security meltdown.
posted by uberchet at 12:03 PM on March 31, 2016

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