Author Topic: Should I give YNAB another shot?  (Read 1278 times)

HopefulMustache

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Should I give YNAB another shot?
« on: October 10, 2018, 01:36:14 PM »
Hi everyone,

Exactly 364 days ago I signed up for YNAB, in large part because of rave reviews read on MMM in the past. After a couple of false starts in the first month, I never got my arms around it and it's been dormant since. Tomorrow is renewal day and it seems like I should cancel. I used to use Quicken and I'd likely go back to that. While I obviously haven't been doing it lately, I haven't given up on tracking my (big picture) finances.

I'm here to see if anyone wants to give me a YNAB pep talk before I cancel :). I was never all that happy with Quicken, but I used it for years and that comfort level should make it more likely I actually use it. Still, part of me thinks YNAB has got to be better and I just missed seeing how.

Thanks for any suggestions/inspirations!

Edit: Apologies for the duplicate thread. I tried to delete this myself but I cannot. The version that people are commenting on (thanks!) is here: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/should-i-give-ynab-another-shot-97608/
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 03:46:37 PM by HopefulMustache »

HopefulMustache

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Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 01:32:12 PM »
MOD NOTE: Merged duplicate topics.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 07:46:01 PM by arebelspy »

Freedom2016

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 01:48:03 PM »
I say no. I was a former Quicken user that switched to YNAB a few years ago. I gave it like 2-3 years and I NEVER got the hang of its approach. In the end I am far more comfortable with a more traditional tracking method. My feeling is that YNAB is really great for people who are starting from a cash-flow-negative or zero savings position.

nancyjnelson

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 02:14:02 PM »
I also signed up for YNAB but found it overly awkward and stopped using it after a couple of months.  My life is simple enough that I don't need a computer program - not buying stuff I don't need works for me.

use2betrix

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 02:59:45 PM »
Following along. I used to use Mint religiously but quit following up with it regularly and without a bit of upkeep it doesnít stay accurate.

Iíve been using personal capital for some big picture budgeting but would like to get back to doing something a bit more detailed again.

Up until this thread, I was fully convinced Iíd do YNAB and teach my wife how to keep up with all of it. After reading comments here, Iím not so sure that itís the best path forward.

Maybe Iíll buckle down hard with personal capital, give mint another whirl, or possibly even back to the olí Pencil and paper method I used when I first jumped on the MMM bandwagon around 4-5 years ago.

life_travel

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 03:38:21 PM »
I signed up for 34 day free trial at YNAB and read many cooments then that it was " too hard" . So to give myself a fair start I've read ALL FAQs , watched their videos and participated in one tele tutorial . I found Ynab easy , logical , convenient ( I can quickly update on the app on my phone but once a week I do a reconciliation on my laptop).
This is just my personal experience of course .
Another point I would like to make . When I sign for something that is a contract I FORCE myself to use it . Gym , magazine subscriptions etc . I paid money so I have to use it , I tell myself . So two things happen . I either use and learn, get used to it and like it or I absolutely hate it by the end of the term so I cancel it never to use again :)

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 03:43:59 PM »
I have never tried YNAB - but I am a hardcore bugeter (is that a word?) and I love Mint.  It does take a little bit of work - as does any program but once you set your categories for your various expenses over the first 12 months or so - it is pretty automatic. 

happyfeet

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 05:48:04 AM »
I use Personal Capital.  It is pretty easy and also free.


freya

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 07:24:49 AM »
I've been using the old (non-subscription) YNAB for years.  There is something about hand-entering transactions that really helps enforce mindful spending, which is useful no matter what your net worth is.  The phone app makes it super easy, so it takes far less time than I used to spend fixing errors in auto downloaded transactions.   A task which I dislike, because it is a pure time sink with no redeeming value.

I also find YNAB to be useful for lots of things besides budgeting:  spotting and fixing spending trends, handling different savings pots easily, keeping track of business expense reimbursements, and recording tax-relevant items.  And it's so easy to reconcile accounts. None of these functions work as well in Mint or Quicken.  They both have the famous Intuit user interface problems, which easily double the time it takes to do anything compared to YNAB's simple, clean design.

I'm not happy about their subscription model, but if YNAB 4 ever fails (fingers crossed it stays functional) I think I'll hold my nose and buy it.  But, I will NOT be using their auto download feature!

OrangeSnapDragon

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 10:31:40 AM »
Been using the non-subscription YNAB for a few years and I love it.  I haven't used any other software though so I don't have a comparison point. 

We really use it just to track spending though, we never even put in the 'budget' numbers.  I glance monthly at each category, do a analysis every few months and a big one at the end of the year to make sure our spending per category is reasonable.

To me the main value is in the spending and income reports.  The circle chart that lets you click on each category to see the sub categories and then you can go into even further detail by clicking on the subcategory to pull up each input has been phenomenal.  It means if I look at the category 'vehicles' and think it looks high I can quickly access the info and see that we spend $400 on winter tires.   

It can be a little tricky to figure out how to track and manage the off budget accounts but it didn't take us that long to find a system that works for us.  I'm also less concerned with the networth report on a month to month basis so this isn't a big deal on our side.


Arbitrage

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 03:53:20 PM »
Used non-subscription YNAB, purchased for $15 bucks, for the past 5 years.  Unfortunately, they appear to have killed off the phone app - it was installed on my previous phone and worked, but when I had to change work phones, it's nowhere to be found on the App Store.

Using it exclusively from my desktop is a little more annoying - can't just plug in the purchases as they're made, unless I'm buying something from home.  I did sign up for Personal Capital recently, but it's certainly not on the same level as a budgeting tool.  Not sure if I'm going to do anything about it, but I have zero desire to pay $80/year or whatever for a budgeting software subscription that worked just fine as a $15 one-time purchase.

bacchi

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 04:19:32 PM »
Used non-subscription YNAB, purchased for $15 bucks, for the past 5 years.  Unfortunately, they appear to have killed off the phone app - it was installed on my previous phone and worked, but when I had to change work phones, it's nowhere to be found on the App Store.

It's still out there if you trust the source and you're willing to install it through a USB.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2018, 08:58:15 PM »
I didnít like YNAB.

furrychickens

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2018, 05:08:40 AM »
Iíve been an avid YNABer for years. It works really well for me to plan for future expenses and set money aside for dedicated tasks. At the current price, however, itís definitely a hard recommendation to make IMO. Iím grandfathered in at the old subscription price, which honestly was already a bit high in my book, but it works for me and I havenít wanted to try and search out an alternative and learn a new system at this point.

Good Budget is a very similar system thatís free if youíre okay with only 10 categories.

Someone started developing a free web-based clone of YNAB 4 and then abandoned it, but itís still out there and functional. I just canít remember the name of it.

Habilis

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2018, 06:20:12 AM »
Financier is probably the abandoned YNAB4 clone you're thinking of.

Check out Budgetwise.io, it is a YNAB4 clone with very active developer support that is just getting off the ground.

https://www.budgetwise.io/

frugalone

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 07:20:50 AM »
YNAB fan here.  Has saved me thousands of the years.

HopefulMustache

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2018, 07:24:54 PM »
Thanks everyone for your responses - a lot of interesting (and varied) opinions! I was too late for the non-subscription version, though I am grandfathered into the older subscription rate, which made me somewhat hesitant to "give up" my rights to it. This thread made me give YNAB one last try tonight, but it proved fruitless.

Ultimately, the fact that auto-import with my bank broke earlier this year, manual-import doesn't include critical payee data (as I discovered tonight), and that I just never quite got into their methods and wasn't using it enough, meant I was paying a subscription - however grandfathered - for nothing. None of this is necessarily a critique of YNAB as a system, but it definitely doesn't fit my situation. So to close this loop, I have canceled.

Thanks again for the thoughtful discussion.

Joel

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2018, 10:26:52 PM »
Financier is probably the abandoned YNAB4 clone you're thinking of.

Check out Budgetwise.io, it is a YNAB4 clone with very active developer support that is just getting off the ground.

https://www.budgetwise.io/

YNAB has been great for me. Been using the various iterations since 2007. However, I just canít deal with not being able to use future dated transactions. Ill be looking at BudgetWise soon. Even though Iím not the OP, thanks for the rec.

aGracefulStomp

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2018, 02:42:21 AM »
I have YNAB and love it. It's going to be quite difficult for me to manage my money without it. However, it is quite expensive and I would look for alternatives if the price went up anymore.

Financier is probably the abandoned YNAB4 clone you're thinking of.

Check out Budgetwise.io, it is a YNAB4 clone with very active developer support that is just getting off the ground.

https://www.budgetwise.io/

YNAB has been great for me. Been using the various iterations since 2007. However, I just canít deal with not being able to use future dated transactions. Ill be looking at BudgetWise soon. Even though Iím not the OP, thanks for the rec.

Do you mean log transactions that will happen in the future i.e. internet bill will be taken out on 15th of every month? - because YNAB allows that!

Joel

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2018, 08:22:06 AM »
I have YNAB and love it. It's going to be quite difficult for me to manage my money without it. However, it is quite expensive and I would look for alternatives if the price went up anymore.

Financier is probably the abandoned YNAB4 clone you're thinking of.

Check out Budgetwise.io, it is a YNAB4 clone with very active developer support that is just getting off the ground.

https://www.budgetwise.io/

YNAB has been great for me. Been using the various iterations since 2007. However, I just canít deal with not being able to use future dated transactions. Ill be looking at BudgetWise soon. Even though Iím not the OP, thanks for the rec.

Do you mean log transactions that will happen in the future i.e. internet bill will be taken out on 15th of every month? - because YNAB allows that!

Except for those scheduled transactions donít impact the budget until the day of. With 4, you could push them into the register once the date and amount is finalized.

Peony

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2018, 11:48:50 AM »
I subscribe to Financier ($12/year) but I don't use it because I'm still using the old YNAB (nonsubscription version). I just checked the Financier site and I don't see any evidence that it's been abandoned. Am I missing something?

lhamo

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2018, 01:29:39 PM »
Another subscription-based option you might want to look at is Tiller:

https://www.tillerhq.com/

I'm finding Mint to be adequate for my needs, but if I decide I want something more robust this is probably what I'll try.  Met one of the founders at Camp Mustache a couple of years ago, so he is one of our "tribe."

Slow&Steady

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Re: Should I give YNAB another shot?
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2018, 09:25:27 AM »
We have used YNAB for years.  It has been the only thing I have been able to get my non-budgeting SO to use (although still with a lot of reminding).