Author Topic: What can you tell me about YNAB?  (Read 3287 times)

Quidnon?

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What can you tell me about YNAB?
« on: January 06, 2017, 01:51:48 PM »
The You Need A Budget app.  Anyone use it now, or in the past?  What is your opinion of it?
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
~ Frederic Bastiat

Mr.BondsBeard

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 03:56:34 PM »
Come March I will be using YNAB 4 (negligible difference between the nYNAB in my opinion) for 2 years. It is basically a fancy spreadsheet but very user friendly. I attempted budgeting in a notebook a couple of times before but that never worked for me. I do however actually like manually entering transactions and that is partly why I like YNAB so much. I enter transactions with the phone app or in the evenings when I am at home. The budgeting itself takes a while the first few months but now it is 5 minutes tops.

Like any other budget what makes YNAB work is that it gives you insight in what you spend. Because it is so user friendly and there is a philosophy behind it with the "four rules" it just works better most people than a bland spreadsheet. All in all I recommend giving it a try. If you like it enough keep paying for it. If you like most of it but do not want to pay and do not mind something less fancy, build a spreadsheet of your own.

Ebrat

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 07:21:24 AM »
I just started using it about a month ago and am liking it so far. It's very easy to enter transactions on the app, and I think it will give us a better idea of where our money's going. I kept a spreadsheet last year but only updated it at the end of the month, so this feels more proactive. It's probably already saved us the annual fee and then some.

Phenix

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 09:16:45 AM »
I started using it in December when I found out students can use it for free.  From a budgeting standpoint and being proactive with your money, it is the best app out there.  As an accountant, it drives me crazy since it's not a true double-entry accounting system.

I started tracking my finances back in 2006 on a spreadsheet.  In 2011, after graduating from college, I found a true double-entry accounting system (GnuCash) and loved it, but the lack of a useful budgeting feature and not being able to update my data from my phone made switching to YNAB easy.

I like that I can manually enter my transactions on the go and can access my budget anywhere I have an internet connection.

The free trial is definitely worth a shot.  My recommendation is to manually enter every transaction instead of using the auto import feature.  I feel you are much more in tune with your finances when you are in the app multiple times a week.
Beer taste on a champagne budget.

dcozad999

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 10:35:29 AM »
Can you upload credit card transactions (like Mint)?

GizmoTX

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 10:53:24 AM »
Yes, you can batch import from each online CC website. It's not automatic, but I like to control it, & YNAB has you click approve each transaction, so you are looking at what's been posted to your account, which I really like.

RidetheRain

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 11:43:15 AM »
I've been using YNAB for a year now. It's actually how I found out about MMM. I think it's a great tool for people that get a little bogged down in the details of their budgets. I was on Mint and it wasn't any good for me (no long-term thinking) and then I was at spreadsheets and Quicken which were too complicated.

I landed on YNAB and it was list a breath of fresh air. It tracked my expenses and my budget goals. I was paycheck to paycheck and didn't know it when I started and now I save 35%. Now that I'm on MMM I expect to do even better. Basically, the thought behind YNAB is you spend the money you earned last month. That way you can see exactly what your spending and what can be saved. I used to hoard money in my checking because I was terrified of an overdraft. Now I know exactly how much I can transfer to savings each month without running into any issue. I keep two budgets at the moment. One regular monthly expense budget and one savings-only budget to keep track of old-lady money, RE money, and downpayment money.

The biggest thing is how they handle credit cards. It's practically designed for PIF people. When you indicate that a particular CC purchase is for a budget (say groceries) then it auto moves money from that category to the CC category. I pay my CC weekly because I like to keep an extra low balance and this keeps me on-track.

It's not for everyone, though. It's not as fully featured as Quicken, for example, and doesn't handle investments well.

caracarn

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 02:52:10 PM »
I have been using the web version for a bit over a year (referred to as nYNAB for "new YNAB" on the forums) and love it.  Prior to that I used spreadsheets, Quicken, Mint and Personal Capital for various ways to improve our budgeting.  Nothing works as well as nYNAB for us.  Unlike the desktop version, it is subscription based but at $45/year it is well worth the investment in the time and money is helps save.  You do not need to download to a file and import, it does direct import from most major US banks and credits cards.  It's mobile app is awesome, where the YNAB4 version is much clunkier to use.  My wife and I simply enter our purchases as we are out and make them, and it helps make sure we are all on the same page.  We handle our kid's college savings in there as well as managing their allowance accounts, which was a major pain before YNAB.  Before we needed to go to Quicken and look up what each of them had.  If we forgot before we went on a family outing or something where they might want to buy something it was a point of frustration, now we just pull up the phone, find the category for that child and tell them their balance immediately and enter the transaction if they buy something.  no more waiting to get home from Cedar Point having lost all the receipts or worse, not knowing which of the six bought what and they of course to not remember. 

Best finance app I've ever come across and I think I've used almost all of them by now.

Quidnon?

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 05:55:40 PM »
I have been using the web version for a bit over a year (referred to as nYNAB for "new YNAB" on the forums) and love it.  Prior to that I used spreadsheets, Quicken, Mint and Personal Capital for various ways to improve our budgeting.  Nothing works as well as nYNAB for us.  Unlike the desktop version, it is subscription based but at $45/year it is well worth the investment in the time and money is helps save.  You do not need to download to a file and import, it does direct import from most major US banks and credits cards.  It's mobile app is awesome, where the YNAB4 version is much clunkier to use.  My wife and I simply enter our purchases as we are out and make them, and it helps make sure we are all on the same page.  We handle our kid's college savings in there as well as managing their allowance accounts, which was a major pain before YNAB.  Before we needed to go to Quicken and look up what each of them had.  If we forgot before we went on a family outing or something where they might want to buy something it was a point of frustration, now we just pull up the phone, find the category for that child and tell them their balance immediately and enter the transaction if they buy something.  no more waiting to get home from Cedar Point having lost all the receipts or worse, not knowing which of the six bought what and they of course to not remember. 

Best finance app I've ever come across and I think I've used almost all of them by now.

Thank you, that is exactly what I was looking for.
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
~ Frederic Bastiat

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 04:19:59 PM »
I can not say enough good things about YNAB. I've been using YNAB 4 for 1.5 years now, and it really helped my husband and I get on the same page financially and stick to a budget. Like someone else mentioned, we were paycheck to paycheck and didn't know it. The first 6 months was just tracking what we spent, figuring out what to cut, and settling on the right budget. It was especially helpful for my husband, who does most of our grocery shopping and is an impulse buyer, and was reluctant to budget because he thought it would be a chore. Being able to see what each of us have spent recently, how much we have left in each category for the month, and even just the act of tracking expenses has made him so much more aware. In 2016 YNAB helped us stick to our budget and achieve a >40% savings rate. M husband (the man who thought he would hate budgeting) now tells everyone about it - friends, his parents, everyone.

Peony

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 04:46:10 PM »
YNAB4 (the non-web version) has changed my life, no exaggeration. From what I hear, a lot the complaints people had about new YNAB have been resolved. I personally don't want a web-based solution no matter what (spotty internet at times), so if YNAB4 stops working I'll be moving to something else, most likely Financier (financier.io). But I won't move until I absolutely have to. I *highly* recommend that you try YNAB, whichever version.

lateralwire

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2017, 09:01:22 PM »
YNAB is awesome. I just signed up for it this month, and it's really changed my life from a financial standpoint.

I am really good with excel, and I use it for budgeting and financial planning. I like YNAB because the website is so user friendly and will sync with your bank or credit card(s) online. I will say that it took me a while to understand how the credit card line worked. It's not very intuitive at first, but once you understand how it does the math for you it then it will make sense.

The iPhone app itself is decent, but it doesn't offer the functionality that the full website does (whereas with Mint.com you get full functionality on both). All you can do is check your budget and enter transactions. If you are diligent about updating your transactions immediately after you make them, then it won't make much of a difference... you just have to remember to go to the website periodically to clear the transactions.

Micona

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2017, 11:05:44 AM »
YNAB has definitely changed our lives. Their support team are wonderful as well. They have short live webinars on using YNAB you can join and I've found them very helpful.

t5inside

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2017, 10:23:00 PM »
Agreed, I've been using YNAB4 for two years. It's been a life changer, NW from $67k to $245k in that time and I waste far less money than I used to.

Having to manually insert transactions sounds annoying (vs. something like Mint), but it's the magic sauce IMO.

Joel

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2017, 10:29:15 PM »
YNAB4 is fantastic. The new YNAB does absolutely nothing for me though.

Better Late

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2017, 10:36:03 PM »
Have been using YNAB since August 2014. It was the one thing that showed me just how irresponsible we were being with money.  It was essential to our turning our financial ship around. Now we sit down at least once every month and go over the current month's budget to know how we're doing and to set up the next month's budget. I am not a disciplined person, but I don't go more than a couple of days without manually entering transactions.  I think it's very user friendly.

moonpalace

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2017, 07:06:09 AM »
After having a real "oh sh*t" moment about overspending, we started using YNAB (the web version, a/k/a nYNAB) about two months ago.

It's been a complete life-changer for us to so easily be able to track things. It's automatic enough to be easy but not so automatic that you'd lose awareness of your spending.

I've gone from being kind of mystified about where all our money was going, to knowing exactly where every dollar is going. That level of awareness has come relatively easier for us since we don't use cash much. Seems like YNAB would be a bit more of a hassle if you have to use cash regularly.

I have the app on my phone but haven't really used it all that much. Easy enough to just get on the web every couple days and categorize transactions, etc. Seems like the app would help if you used cash a lot, though.

I don't find YNAB very useful for tracking investment accounts, though, and I use personal capital for that.

On the whole, I think it's well worth the subscription price. The customer support is *fantastic*, too.

Connemara

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2017, 12:05:31 PM »
The best thing for me about YNAB4 is manually entering transactions. IMO, it forces you to really evaluate your purchases. Sometimes I find myself getting pissed off and saying, "Why did I spend $50 on that?", which is a good thing.

At the end of every month I know exactly how much I can transfer to savings or throw at debt. Peace of mind and all that.

moonpalace

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2017, 12:34:25 PM »
The best thing for me about YNAB4 is manually entering transactions. IMO, it forces you to really evaluate your purchases. Sometimes I find myself getting pissed off and saying, "Why did I spend $50 on that?", which is a good thing.

+1 to the power of this self-awareness!

Even in nYNAB, you have to "approve" each purchase, and I have found much the same psychology applies. I don't want to make bad purchasing decisions and then have to "approve" them later on!

MoneyMage

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2017, 12:44:28 AM »
I've used YNAB 4 off and on for a few years. Here's my pros and cons:

Pros:
- If you stop using it for two years and then come back, you can start over OR you can just pick up where you left off and update all of your current account balances. The graphs will show a weird jump but everything can get back to normal after a month. Not much benefit to starting over.
- Can import transaction files. Sometimes it's tricky and annoying though, depending on your files.
- YNAB 4 is application-based, not online, which I prefer.
- REPORTS! Track your net worth, see what you spend.
- Off-budget accounts can also be tracked. (I used that to track 401k, mortgage, etc.)
- Categories are fully customizable, and nested.

Cons:
- Actually putting all of my transactions into YNAB proved to be a non-sustainable activity. Even if I just want to upload all of the files every month it takes hours to update and categorize everything.
- Even after keeping my transactions updated for several months in a row I found that actually trying to keep a balanced Budget seemed to be a pointless activity. It was more worthwhile to enter them in order to know what I was spending money on, and to be able to track spending verses income.

life_travel

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Re: What can you tell me about YNAB?
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2017, 11:15:55 PM »
Sorry to hijack the thread but since everyone is talking about YNAB here, I'll ask very dumb-newbies questions:)

We'd like to use it and I've downloaded YNAB classic app on my phone ( is it YNAB4??) .
Then it asks me to download YNAB on my computer and "follow the Cloud Sync instructions".
I'd like my husband and myself to have an app on our phones to track our separate purchases however our phones are synced to different clouds, if that makes sense. Our bank accounts are shared and finances are shared. So how would YNAB work then?