I'm a big fan of YNAB - been using it for 5 years, starting with their first version after the excel spreadsheet version (Which may still be available for free?). I upgraded once after that, using a upgrade special for $30.
You could probably get away with using an fancy excel spreadsheet.
What I like about YNAB :
- Easy to enter transactions, easy to import data directly from my bank account (I download statements in OFX format and it imports it no problems), it also remembers the "Memo/payee" info on each transaction, so I don't have to always select the budget category - only confirm it. You can take a single transaction and split it into several categories (for grocery shopping, I track how much I spend on groceries, non-food groceries, lunch and snacks, for example)
- Helps to keep track of spending per budget, and during the month I can easily see if I'm on track or overspending.
- Good to start allocating a "job for every dollar", for people struggling to get to zero debt, and to plan for future emergencies. By pre-allocating funds to a category monthly during the year, eg "Car Repairs", you can be prepared for an unexpected car breakdown.
- It can handle credit card accounts, investment accounts and normal cheque/savings accounts.
- Really nice graphs that show what your top expenses are, breakdown of expenses/savings etc.
What I don't like:
- I recently realised, that the "allocate a job for every dollar" basis, meant that I really was "allocating jobs" left, right and centre, and not realising how much I was actually spending.
- Budget doesn't really work for me - I was simply spending whatever I like, and just updating the budget post-fact.
- I don't like how Investment accounts work. When you transfer funds to an "off-budget" investment account, it appears on the Budget as if it was an "expense" as it flows out of your account. It makes it difficult to figure out how much you're actually spending vs saving.
- Can take a while to work out the YNAB "quirks" and how the accounts/budget works.
Basically, the situation we are in, we have very low expenses (no kids, no mortgage, 2nd hand car paid for with cash), so we had lots of cash available to get whatever we want. I used YNAB to keep track of our expenses, but whenever we wanted to buy something we wouldn't really consult "the budget".
I'm now using a separate spreadsheet to keep track of total monthly spending/saving and dividend/interest payouts, and we've planned out a set savings goal. It also helped to setup automatic transfers to squirrel away our savings instead of keeping it around in the normal account (Makes it tempting to buy something when you have cash available...).
So it is a great application, but not sure if you need it as a Mustachian. A custom spreadsheet (either download from the Internet or work out how to create one) might work better and be less frustrating to use.
Note - not being in the US, we don't have access to the excellent Mint.com service. I think if you have access to this you wouldn't really need YNAB to track expenses if you're a Mustachian, unless you really want the YNAB principles guiding your spending as well.