Money goals are often top-of-mind when setting New Year’s Resolutions (along with hitting the gym more often)1, and now is an ideal time to evaluate your finances for the coming year. If you want to start using a budgeting platform in 2024—or you’re looking for a replacement for Mint, which goes away on January 12—here are some useful tips for evaluating different tools!


What to Look for in a New Budgeting Tool
The best approach to finding a new budgeting tool is to identify your priorities. Then, find the platform with the features you need to reach your most important goals. 

Start by figuring out which aspects of your finances you want to track. Some standard financial metrics for a budgeting platform include:

  • Expense tracking & categorization
  • Goal planning for saving, debt payoff, and investing
  • Investment portfolio performance 
  • Net worth overview

Note your preferences and what will be most valuable: do you want to gain insight into your spending, or are you focused on investing for retirement? You may want to see multiple types of financial information!

The most important feature is ensuring the tool is easy to use and will keep you accountable.


What to Watch Out For
In addition to the bells and whistles budgeting platforms offer, pay attention to potential drawbacks.

Does the platform charge fees? Paying for a budgeting app can be worthwhile if a unique feature helps with one or more of your goals—just be sure to factor in the cost. However, paying for a basic function like expense tracking is unlikely to be a good investment. 

Another element to pay attention to is security. Most budgeting platforms are up-front about their data security measures, but ensure you’re comfortable with the level of protection before you provide any personal or financial information. 

Non-transactional budgeting apps store your account balance information but can’t make payments or move money. However, some transactional platforms allow you to transfer money between your accounts. 


Treat transactional platforms with the same level of scrutiny as a standard banking app. Ensure you have a secure password, use 2-factor authentication if available, and consider setting an additional PIN.

You Have Access to a Wealth Management Tool Through SMARTMap
Did you know that SMARTMap clients have access to the Personal Financial Portal (PFP)? Professional financial advisors use the PFP platform to provide clients with budgeting and wealth management services—and you can use it, too! You have free access to the PFP through SMARTMap. 

The PFP allows you to link your accounts or enter information manually to track your spending, create budget categories, set goals, analyze investments, and receive in-depth financial reporting. 

The PFP is ad-free, secure, and non-transactional. Learn more about our privacy measures, like encryption, data security and testing, and 2-factor authentication.

You can work with our Financial Advocate team to set up your PFP account and get the most out of the tool. SMARTMap provides live support Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, and you can contact us via phone, email, or live chat. Sign up for the PFP here!

Financial Wellness in 2024 and Beyond
Whatever option you choose, our SMARTMap team is here to support your retirement goals, and we’re rooting for you and your financial wellness! 

If you have questions about the PFP, your employer’s retirement plan, or other financial topics, you can always contact us for help. 


1) Buchholtz, Katharina. “America's Top New Year's Resolutions for 2023” Statista, 23 December 2022, 

2) Schwahn, Lauren. “Intuit is shutting down the Mint budgeting app—here’s how long you have to find a new service” MarketWatch, MSN, 6 November 2023,  

Prepared by a third-party. 





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