Budgeting and planning your finances is always challenging. You Need A Budget (YNAB) is one of the top budgeting tools out there. In this YNAB review, we’ll go into its excellent features that will make your financial goals easier to achieve. Read more to find out!
Regardless if you are an intensive household budgeter, hands-off money manager, die-hard number cruncher, or super saver person, budgeting apps are your secret weapons. Having an app can be the difference between dabbling with your finances or meeting all your money goals.
We’re not just talking about the simple financial management tools that will help you compute your net worth. There are ways and means available now that can help you wade through the challenges in making a well-planned and well thought of budget for yourself. It will consider all relevant factors and will be tailor-fit based on your finances.
Today, another financial management app is making a name in the industry. Get to know here why more and more people are getting drawn into using this app and why it can help you take control of your finances.
What is YNAB?
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a financial budgeting tool that uses zero-based budgeting. YNAB is designed on the philosophy that every dollar needs to have a job. You will have to place it to either be saved or spent.
YNAB allows you to link your financial accounts directly to pull in the balances and past or present transactions. That is to see where your budget is as of now and to analyze your expenses.
To introduce you to the platform and its functionalities, YNAB provides educational materials, both tutorial and functionality. This app enhances an opportunity for you to make a budget work by making you understand your own spending patterns and saving habits.
You can try YNAB for 34 days, and after that, it’s $14.99 monthly. It’s a great price, considering that it provides an innovative method of budgeting and assists you in balancing your finances instead of just calculating to compare your money.
How Does It Work?
YNAB advises you to put all your money to use for your expenses, loans, savings, and investments. You don’t have to worry about a single thing once you have created an account in the app.
With YNAB’s latest version, you can now take live courses online and learn how YNAB works. How great is that? Budgeting while learning more about how the app works, what it offers, and how you can save more money.
YNAB is all about their help guides that come in written or video form. They include the following topics:
- User Handbook – An introduction to YNAB and its functions.
- Deal With Your Debt – YNAB does a fantastic job of explaining how to get out of debt as soon as possible.
- Age Your Money and Extend – This guide helps you create extra room in your finances by saving and preparing for contingency expenses.
- Join Forces – Teaming up with a budget partner to discover different strategies to help you with your finances.
- Learn to Prioritize – This strategy guide will help you focus on what you have to prioritize.
- Think Long, Act Now – Learn how to achieve your long-term goals by taking small actionable steps every day.
If you are struggling with your financial life, then YNAB’s strategy guide is for you. You can now live within your means, pay off your debts, and can say goodbye to living paycheck to paycheck.
How To Get The Most Out Of YNAB
Now that you have understood what YNAB provides, the next thing to do is to get the most out of YNAB. How to do that? YNAB is designed around four core rules, and this is to help you get the advantage of your budget.
This app motivates you to improve your habits in spending and savings that is to use these rules:
1. Give Every Dollar A Job
Every time you receive your salary or any other income, you should immediately know where to place it or to spend it. This method is to prevent you from any impulse buying. Rather than buying based on your feelings, it is better to spend money based on your priorities.
Setting aside money is another way to avoid unnecessary expenses, so as soon as you have cash available, you can pay your bills or save for a big purchase.
2. Embrace Your True Expenses
“True Expenses” refers to unexpected crises such as emergencies and other unexpected financial setbacks that would lead to stress. It’s better to be prepared for scenarios like your car breaking down, last-minute trips you have to take, or natural calamities.
YNAB encourages you to think and be ready in advance so that you don’t have to stress out on where to get money whenever something unexpected happens.
3. Roll With The Punches
YNAB may have strict budget management, but you can still be flexible. How so? When you overspent on one of your categories, YNAB will notify you immediately to take action or make adjustments.
When it happens, you may select a category where you’re overspending to transfer some funds to the category that you have overspent. This is to cover it and then move forward without any guilt.
4. Age Your Money
Once you have budgeted for months, you’ll be getting the hang of it. Eventually, you’ll be spending less than your income. That means you’ll be able to take care of this month’s expenses using your last month’s paycheck.
If setting a goal is your forte, this rule will help you achieve any goals and not worry about having a low balance or your monthly bills.
You Need A Budget (YNAB) Features
YNAB is not limited to just checking and calculating your finances. Aside from that, it provides rules to help you reach your goals in no time.
Here are YNAB’s features and their roles.
YNAB provides detailed reports for your transactions through charts and graphs, which are made simple to monitor your progress. It also allows you to access your reports in the YNAB app anytime, anywhere.
You can say goodbye to the struggles with a spreadsheet-style of budgeting and say hello to the easy-to-understand types of reports.
Their goal tracking feature is not limited to budgeting and can be used to set goals around saving, investments, loans, and achieving long-term financial goals.
You can use YNAB to form different kinds of financial goals, and then the app will allow you to divide your budget among the goals.
Most of the features offered by the other budget apps are restricted to individuals or businesses. Only a few provide dual budgeting, and YNAB is one of them.
It’s hard to maintain the budget in the family when one of you is spending more than the other. Hence, it is important that both of you cooperate in planning and overseeing your budget to avoid complications in the household.
As they say, it takes two to tango. That’s also the case when it comes to managing household expenses. Teamwork means you can build on your financial dreams together.
YNAB has a mobile app. Yes, it’s not just a web financial management software but with an app too.
Your phone became your best friend, and hence, YNAB made it possible for you to view, check, and plan your budgets wherever you are from your phone.
Manual or Automatic Data Entry
With YNAB, you may choose to manually enter your data or automatically link it directly from your bank accounts. This app is built with a purpose to make your financial life easier, and that’s why they made a feature to let you decide what to do when it comes to your account information.
The more time you pour into budgeting, the better results you will see.
Pros & Cons Of YNAB
To make things less complicated when choosing the right budgeting tools to help you, we ensure to include the pros and cons of YNAB. This is to narrow down the concerns and doubts you have with the YNAB app.
Pros Of YNAB
- YNAB is all about budgeting – YNAB is extremely good with budgeting.
- Exceeds budgeting – Aside from the app and features, YNAB has all the valuable advice, strategy, and support you are looking for in one site. That’s not usually common when it comes to financial management. With this, you can stay on the budget you’ve set without any struggles.
- Affordable – YNAB is one of the few budgeting tools that are low costs for $14.99 monthly. You get to enjoy all its features, advice, and other services offered. In addition, they offer a 34-day trial to see if it you like it.
- YNAB continues to evolve – This is not your ordinary static website. YNAB has already created different versions from 1 to 4, and the latest one has captured aspiring budgeters.
Cons Of YNAB
- No phone support – YNAB offers a live chat, but it does not have a human coach or support to help you solve any personal money problem. Even so, they have an email address to contact a human representative.
- Not a one-stop shop for financial issues – YNAB’s downside is that it does not offer all the financial services you are looking for, such as investment features or credit card deals. You may want to check on Personal Capital or Mint for those kinds of services.
Is YNAB The Right App For Me?
Is YNAB the right app for you? If you are looking for a software or app that does an incredible job and goes beyond budgeting, then YNAB is what you are looking for.
The reason and goal of why YNAB was created in the first place were to help its users set a simple budget plan, look for different ways of paying off debt, and get free advice. This is aligned with its overall mission to increase your financial status. Talk about hitting two birds in one stone.
YNAB is designed for beginners to make it easier to navigate, operate, and function. This platform provides excellent resources, videos, and a platform for every financial decision.
Is YNAB Worth The Money?
Every little penny is worth it when you use YNAB. Why? This app helps you save more money than it charges us. Commonly, their users get to save $600 in the first two months of using the app, and after a year, they have saved $6,000.
That alone is enough reason why you should choose and use YNAB. It may be hard at first, but when you get used to it you’ll save thousands of dollars per year.
Moreover, they give out educational advice and customer chat help to cater to your inquiries and personal problems. People at YNAB know about money and have many articles, videos, and materials to help you get back on track financially.
You can do almost anything in YNAB. All you have to do is try it out, explore, and check out their features which are highly recommended to anyone.
Can I Trust YNAB?
YNAB understands that financial information needs to be secured. That is why any personal information is kept confidential and cannot be accessed easily. YNAB is very strict when it comes to its security, and they want their users to have the confidence that their data is safe and secure.
The YNAB team doesn’t have access to their customer’s budget data. All budget information is access-controlled, requires approval by the customer for every request, and asks the reason for accessing the data within a time frame.
Any YNAB team member who violated the customer data access policy will immediately result in dismissal, so you can rest assured that even the YNAB employees could not easily access your data and share any of it.
YNAB Alternatives To Consider
YNAB is not the only budgeting tool that can help you control your finances. There are other alternatives you may consider using.
Depending on your budgeting technique, YNAB may not fit, and thus, we have made a list of the other sites you may check and use to help you manage your assets.
If you are looking for a free app, then Mint is perfect for you. It is financial management that is completely free to use. Mint lets you view where your money goes, set goals, and provides access to reminders and notifications.
This app also assists in connecting your financial accounts within the app. Although, you will have to stick with YNAB if you want a zero-based budgeting app to support you in monitoring every dollar. YNAB is one of the best Mint alternatives, so go ahead if you want to compare YNAB vs. Mint.
Mints users are allowed to bring most of their financial data such as credit scores, spending, investments, and bills. When using Mint, you get to enjoy real-time alerts for your upcoming due dates, setting budgets, and even any skeptical activities in your accounts.
Another popular alternative that is good to consider in financing software is Personal Capital. This app matches you if you are active with your money, investments, and other financial assets.
Personal Capital allows you to connect your financial accounts such as banking, checking, investments, credit cards, and overall view of your finances and net worth.
Personal Capital is also a free budgeting app. However, they also provide paid investment and wealth services that you might want to check out.
One of the best things about Personal Capital is that their paid services have included managing your investments for you and their minimum tier starts at a $100,000 account size.
Are you looking for an app that has the same budget style but is economical? Then Goodbudget fits you. This app is similar to YNAB in terms of putting all of your money to use while it works in a digital envelope system.
Goodbudget functions to support you in controlling your expenses and allows you to budget for regular and occasional expenses. Goodbudget is a paid app just like YNAB but cheaper for it costs $7 monthly and $60 per year.
You may stick with YNAB if you want to link your financial accounts automatically and do not want to rely on manually encoding them.
Some people would go for a budgeting tool that does not deal with any software at all. This is where Tiller Money comes in as the perfect alternative management for your finances.
Tiller Money made it easier for you to budget, monitor progress, and set goals using Google and Excel spreadsheets. To get started, you will have to sign-up, then customize spreadsheets depending on the accounts you have connected.
Besides, with Tiller, you can just easily link your information from YNAB when you make the switch. Tiller also has a free trial, and after that, it costs $79 annually.
Conclusion – You Need A Budget (YNAB) Review
You Need A Budget or YNAB really puts you in charge of your finances. Among the other budgeting finances apps, YNAB stands out and is at the top. That’s because it really focuses on budgeting and helping you manage your finances.
Along with its app, features, and advice, you get on top of your financial goals. Aside from that, YNAB has zero-based budgeting that allows you to determine your spending habits, patterns, and saving goals in the future.
For those who are looking for a financial management app that aims for extensive budgeting, try YNAB. It was created to create a budget that is within your means. With its rules, you should be able to truly master your finances and reach your financial goals.
Try YNAB now for free and experience the benefits of budgeting!
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.