Update May 10, 2014: Today Manilla announced it is shutting down. For new, up-to-date Manilla alternatives, check out this post.
You all know that I have been a fan of Mint.com for a long time. I have compared it to sites like Adaptu and PageOnce. Today, I am going to compare it to another competitor, Manilla. Enjoy the review of Mint’s new competitor Manilla.
I am a big fan of manila folders. In each job I have had and dealing with my own finances, I have always used lots of manila folders. I have different folders to track taxes, bank accounts, investment accounts, and all sorts of important hard copy documents.
Manilla’s goal is to replace many of your manila folders with an easy to use interface. It brings your bills and accounts into one simple snapshot, just like Mint.
One powerful aspect of Manilla is the variety of accounts it can aggregate. Like PageOnce, you can add a lot more than your finance accounts. You can pull in your utility, phone, subscription, and travel rewards into one single view.
If you want to keep your tracking down to just a few services, you can skip a combination of sites like Mint and Award Wallet by using Manilla or Adaptu, as both will aggregate your financial accounts and your reward and billing accounts.
I used to go to each account each month to download my statements. With Manilla, I was happy to let that habit go.
This is where your old file cabinet with manila folders will become obsolete. With one click, a printable PDF of each bill or statement is available to download or view. That is a feature not available anywhere else.
Just like Mint, you can log in and get all of your balances and account information on one screen. However, unlike Mint, there is no analysis or transaction tracking. Instead of helping you manage your finances, Manilla just puts the information in front of you.
Mint is still the clear leader in terms of financial analysis and budgeting. Based on your past spending, Mint creates a budget for you that you can tweak and adjust to keep you on track. It automatically categorizes each transaction and gives you pretty charts with plenty of bells and whistles.
All Manilla does is show your high level balances. No transactions or analysis, or even totals, are available.
Mint also has features that chart out your investments, tracks your loans, and helps you track financial goals.
Mint will give you automatic reminders for your credit cards and loans, but does not go beyond that. You can enter bills for Mint to remind you about, but it is not as robust and Manilla’s reminder feature.
The Bottom Line
Where Manilla is Better
Manilla is not a financial analysis tool. It is designed to help you track your statements and bills in a better way. It is very good at what it is designed to do.
If you are looking for help managing your finances, look elsewhere. If you are looking for snapshots and a way to de-clutter your life, it helps you remove the need for paper and hard statements. It saves your banks and billers money (which saves us all money) and saves the environment by going paperless.
Where Mint is Better
If you want a full financial analysis, look no further. I have been using Mint since 2007, and have no plans to give it up. I have tracked goals, investments, balances, budgets, and loans on Mint for five years. I have valuable history and the tools make it easy for me to understand my money.
If you want to really know what is going on with your personal finances, you have to give Mint a try.
What I Do
I take advantage of the best features of both of these sites. I have Manilla as a backup for my statements and bills. I like the reminders and the archives of my files. For analysis, I stick with Mint.
These sites are not real competitors, even though some people say they are. They are complementary products that provide you with a lot of value. The best part, like most apps I review, is that they are both 100%.