3.5 out of 5 with 2 ratings

You Need A Budget Reviews

Great interface, innovative take on finance control

about You Need A Budget and Quicken, Mint.com, Microsoft Money · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

I've been a fan of meticulously capturing all my expenses in a number of apps in the past. After trying a few, I established with YNAB for the following reasons:

  • Cross-platform. I use and iPhone and love the idea of capturing my everyday finances on the device and at the end of the week being able to dump those entries into a desktop app for better analysis. I've found great iPhone apps to manage finances (ibearsoft Money and Jumsoft Money, to name a couple), but these apps force you to work entirely on your iOS device, and since I don't own an iPad, working exclusively on an iPhone was quite a pain. YNAB syncs across Windows & Mac over Dropbox, and you can buy the iOS app which works only for capturing entries, which you then dump via WiFi to your desktop with the click of a button; it's easy and practical.
  • Interface. I've handled quite a few apps that are great because they offer lots of customization and some are free (GNUCash, for example). However, other than "the giants" (MS Money and Quicken), most apps have UIs that lack eyecandy; I wanted an app that not only was functional, but easy to use and good-looking also, without having to pay a couple hundred dollars for it.
  • Ease of use. GNU Cash has probably been the most hard to learn app out of the ones I've tried; but it was free, so I gave it a shot. However, apps like MS Money also take awhile to get used to. YNAB took me one afternoon to get a hold of mainly because the documentation on the software is vast (webinars, video tutorials, ebooks, online faqs). I worked with MS Money for a couple of months and I still didn't feel entirely comfortable with it; after a couple of weeks using YNAB I completely dominated the software.
  • Price. The app goes for something like 60 bucks, and the iOS app for like 6 bucks, and that's that! No periodical fees nor additional cost for upgrades. I couldn't find something better in that price range.
  • I don't like the idea of webapps like Mint for managing my finances. I know many, many people recommend Mint and nowadays webapps are as safe as any desktop app, but STILL I just don't feel comfortable dumping my personal finance data on a webpage...it just doesn't feel right to me. Then again, this is a matter of preference.
  • The concept. When I first heard about YNAB I was reading a HIVE FIVE on Lifehacker (link) that covered financial apps. YNAB made it to top five so I headed over to their webpage. After some reading, I was quite blown by the concept behind which YNAB operates: it not only helps you track and organize your finances, but it heavily encourages you to save and does it by working on four simple rules. I don't want to dive into this method, but I must say that it got my attention that a developer was committed not only on selling their software, but on selling their method of helping you save and get out of debt.

The one downfall that I believe YNAB has is the fact that it does lack on certain features many power users might want in a finance software. It does has the ability to connect to your bank and download the transactions from there (haven't used that feat, though), but I certainly would wish it had a little more customization on reports. I looove graph-like rather than list-like reports, and YNAB does lack features when wanting to have your finances blasted at you in big, bright graphs. Other than that I don't think you can find anything better in the price range.



about You Need A Budget · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam
  • Can edit categories on multiple transactions at once
  • Cannot import multiple QIF files at once.
  • Automatically renames and recategorizes other transactions with the same description. Yay!
  • It's designed for budgeting, not for importing all your transaction history and keeping track of it. It should allow you to enter your current balance and then work backwards from there.