Review: An Alternative to Mint

Brent Pittman —  08/02/2012 logoDo you need an easy way to pay off debt and track spending? There are so many options out there like Mint or ImpulseSave (read my review of ImpulseSave if you’re interested).

Payoff is a free high quality alternative to Mint that even offers social interaction along with prizes and badges for active participation and meeting your goals.

I’ve been using Payoff for a few months and I’d like to give some feedback and my awesome audience an alternative to the mighty

This is not a sponsored post, just a user who happens to have a financial blog. If money were offered though, I’d gladly accept it. 😉 *Read update below.

My Review of

Payoff is a great tool to take positive financial steps in the right direction. It starts with setting goals and dreams–if you don’t have a reason to do smart things with money, then you won’t get very far.

For all actions you take you earn badges and behind a few of those badges called Sur-Prizes (hidden prizes) I haven’t won any yet, but it keeps me going. Badges works for the Boy Scouts and four square, so it’s sure to keep you motivated too.

There is also the ability to share on social media, which also is an accountability mechanism.-but you want to keep your finances hidden, that is possible.

After you set your goals and dreams you’ll link your financial accounts to its secure site.

*no site in the world is 100% secure, change your passwords on a regular basis)

What I Like About

  • Possibility of Sur-Prizes. Hey, who doesn’t like free stuff?
  • They have a great blog with helpful articles that show up in the dashboard.
  • My weekly email of where my goal progress and snapshot of spending by company. They even match the cool logos of many of the places I shop, so I can tell at a glance where the money was spent.
  • Easy to view dashboard with accounts, suggestions for saving, spending snapshots, and goals tracker.
badges for payoff

Sample badges and possible Sur-Prizes behind them

Areas for Improvement for Payoff

I do have a few suggestions and areas for improvement, but for the most part I think it’s a good alternative to

  • One suggestion is that I want to be able to add multiple emails to the weekly email summary.I’d like my wife to be able to receive them too, so we’re on the same page. They need to add additional email fields to do this.
  • I also wasn’t happy that my profile isn’t complete until I pull my credit score. I have no reason to pull my credit score since I pull my credit report a few times a year.
  • Wish there was a badge for being debt free too. I don’t have debt and no plan for getting into any debt…how about a badge for that?
  • There is also a glitch on my savings goals. At times it says I have completed 0% of my goal, but that’s crazy since I’ve already received badges for making progress on my goal. *seems to be fixed now! 
  • Ability to link to investment accounts. If this is a priority for your dashboard, stick with Mint. I prefer to only look at my investment statements once a month so I don’t go crazy and pull all my money on bad days.
  • I would like to see budgeting tools within Payoff. Those who budget, win with money. This is an area where Mint excels and why many continue to use Mint over other tools. *update it’s a planned future component. 

Take a Tour of Payoff

Welcome to – Product Features from on Vimeo.

To sum it up, I’d recommend giving a spin to see if it helps you meet your financial goals. If you’re already a user, you might just find Payoff to be a solid alternative . If Mint is overwhelming, then Payoff is right for you! Sign up for free.

*Update: After this review, I had the pleasure of meeting the founders and team at their L.A. office. I was compensated with some yummy Japanese food–thanks guys! From meeting the team I discovered out:

  • They don’t see themselves as competitors with Mint, but rather entry level users–newer to budgeting.
  • There is some budgeting component in the future and that is totally exciting.
  • They are growing, but I promised not to tell any specifics.

Have you used What did you think? 

Related posts:

Brent Pittman

Posts Twitter Google+

Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • Tonee

    I’ve used PayOff before, and was confused on what it does. So you earn badges..great, so what? If someone is knee deep in debt, they have no clue on what the first step is. PayOff is cool for looking at transactions & balances, but mint does that too.

    • Hi. Tonee. I’d say if you’re happy with Mint, then stick with it. Gotta find what works for you. There’s a lot of great programs out there that do the same thing as Mint. I’m just offering an alternative for Mint. Thanks for commenting.


    Hey Brent! Thanks so much for the wonderful, thorough but honest review of Payoff’s software. We are constantly improving our service and appreciate all the feedback you’ve provided. We also enjoy connecting with bloggers like yourself and will continue to share your work on social media platforms.

    • I believe your team has a great core product that is fun and helps people reach their goals. With a few tweeks, I believe ya’ll could really be a strong competitor with Mint. Thanks for reaching out.

  • AverageJoe

    Man, Brent, you deserve an affiliate link with that thorough review! Nice work. I like some of the features you mentioned. Interesting point on the multiple emails…can I send Mint reports to multiple? I’d never considered that and it’s a great idea.

    • Yes, in the profile section- emails and alerts- you can add a secondary email. Helpful for us married folks or if you use another email on your smartphone.