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You Need A Budget (YNAB) - Personal Finance Software

by YouNeedAbudget
Windows, Mac OS X
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews) 18 answered questions

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Product Features

  • Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, (Windows 7 / Vista/ XP / 95, / 98 / 2000 / ME / NT)Mac OS X (10.4.11 / 10.5.4 / 10.5.5 / 10.6),
  • And Linux (Fedora 8 and later / Ubuntu 7.10 and later / OpenSuse 10.3 and later)
  • Benefit from four unique, powerful rules for maximizing control over your money
  • Gain financial peace by tracking all of your spending (dining out, groceries, bills) with one simple interface
  • Be up and running in just minutes, also save time by importing your bank transactions
  • Generate reports, schedule recurring transactions, and GAIN CONTROL.
  • Stop living paycheck to paycheck - Get out of debt - Save more money faster

System Requirements

  • Platform:    Windows, Mac OS X
  • Media: CD-ROM

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Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • ASIN: B000QO76HU
  • Item model number: 1.2.6
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: May 12, 2007
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,108 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Product Description

Praised across the internet as hands-down the "best budgeting software", You Need A Budget (YNAB) cuts to the chase with your finances. The software focuses you on the foundation of your finances: the Budget. Experience has shown that when your budget is intact, and functioning correctly, everything else takes care of itself (the bills are paid on time, retirement contributions are made, and unnecessary debt is eliminated). The software is built around Four Rules of Cash Flow. These Four Rules will help you break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and save more money faster. Where other software packages tend to be the products of years of feature creep, YNAB offers you exactly what you need: a simple, straightforward system to manage your money. Remember to take advantage of YNAB's fantastic support resources: video tutorials, and free live budgeting classes for any and all interested! YNAB is built on the powerful Adobe AIR platform, which means you can run it on Windows, Mac, or Linux!

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
374 of 386 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward, solid BUDGETING software November 23, 2007
I earn a good living. Yet earlier this year, several months after buying a house and getting settled back into the swing of things I couldn't escape the notion that my family was living beyond its means.

And we were. And YNAB helped me see it.

I'd previously used Quicken and Microsoft Money in an effort to do budgeting to no real effect. The truth is, Quicken and Money are more about having fancy checkbook registers than they are about helping you identify and conform to a budget. This is where they fail.

YNAB is straightforward and it does one thing, and one thing only -- it helps you create and manage a budget. With careful record keeping, you can do the same thing YNAB does with a pen and paper, or with Excel -- but the software is simple and easy-to-use and readily imports transactions (without fail) from my banking institutions.

I used to worry that the number in my checking account may not be enough to make everything come together. I can unequivocally state that now... I just don't care. Because of YNAB, I absolutely know that there's always money enough for anything that's going to come along.

YNAB has helped me exercise some discipline and do so without significant data entry or long, tortured sessions at the computer. If you're looking for something to help you manage your budget this is the software you should get. Ignore the name brands that simply aren't up to the task.
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341 of 355 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great software May 16, 2007
By Cady
YNAB Rocks! In a truly frightening kind of "I spend that much money on THAT!" way but in a great way because you can see the impact of your daily coffee habit on your car insurance payment 6 months away.

YNAB allows you account for all your annual bills in 1/12 increments and then when they roll around the money is there to pay for them.

The heart of the YNAB system is a "buffer" which is comprised of last months paychecks in order to allow you to save this months paychecks. You can only live on last months money that you have budgeted into categories beforehand. The premise is that you are never broke and will not have to worry about fluctuations in income if you are living on what you have ALREADY earned.

So the buffer is one full months income. So I'm earning May's income and it is just pouring into my checking and sitting there. Also sitting there is all of April's income. April's income is what I'm paying my current bills with. May is accruing. And I'm budgeting for June's expenses with an eye to leftover April income instead of instantly using Mays.

The way I'm beginning to think of it is: Quicken is a snapshot of yesterday. YNAB is a crystal ball showing me the future.

This is a stand alone piece of software that can download transactions right from your bank so if you use a debit card you don't need to enter receipts for things. I can also say the tech support is the most amazing I have ever dealt with. I sent in a bug report and within 15 minutes had email waiting for me telling me to delete a particular font and then it worked perfectly.

Two thumbs way up but only if you want to see all the leaks in your money handling.
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126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YNAB is not like Quicken... May 15, 2011
...and wasn't intended to be. I've been a Quicken user since the DOS days (around 20 years), and have tired of the level of detail I need to track and the time it takes to do it. For those previous reviewers complaining that the positive reviews sound like propaganda (I'm paraphrasing), I assure you I have no connection with the company at all, and had never heard of YNAB until quite recently. This review is of YNAB 3.

Before buying YNAB, you must understand what it is and, perhaps more importantly, what it is not. YNAB is not an accounting system, it's a *household* budgeting system. Its "accounting" features are intentionally sparse - the intent is for users to focus on budgeting rather than accounting. If you're intent on finding a Quicken clone, stop reading and look elsewhere. On the other hand if, like me, you've never had much luck with the budgeting parts of quasi-accounting packages like Quicken and/or if you're tired of spending so much time keeping track of your finances, give YNAB a shot.

YNAB didn't make a lot of sense to me at first, but after attending the free into webinar I was offered via email as soon as I downloaded the trial it all made sense. It boils down to an envelope budgeting system (with a twist), and I find it to be very well done. The point of YNAB is not to track every detail of your household finances, but to help you plan ahead through accurate, effective, and simple budgeting. The holy grail of the YNAB method is what the company refers to as the "YNAB buffer", which simply means spending last month's income this month (in perpetuity). Doing this makes planning and budgeting much simpler, not to mention drastically reducing the financial stresses of life, and the program itself can actually help you get there.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Effective May 8, 2008
I bought YNAB Pro about 2 weeks ago after being a long-time Quicken user so this review is not based on extensive use of the software at this time. However, I'm not new to financial/budgeting software. I've tried out several. I liked all the bells and whistles of Quicken, but it wasn't working for me as a budgeting tool as it only shows you where you're money went. Quite frankly their budget set-up interface left a lot to be desired, only allowing you to create a general monthly budget.

With YNAB, I was up and running within a few minutes, and after playing with all the features to see what it could do, I was fully loaded with a budget and bank transactions within twenty minutes. It is the most user friendly software I've ever encountered. The YNAB website has comprehensive advice and How-To's in the forums, VIDEO How-To tutorials AND a users manual in PDF format. If that's not enough "Help" you can post a question to forums OR contact the seller via the website.

I have encountered no issues with downloading bank transactions or issues of any other kind. However, if for some reason you're not happy with YNAB there is a 60 day money-back guarantee. ALSO, you will get any future software updates for free. No yearly upgrade fees and YNAB never becomes an obsolete software as so many do. It is a one-time purchase that will last you the rest of your life.

Do not mistake YNAB as a financial tracking system; if that's what you're looking for don't buy it.

YNAB is a hard-core, balls to the wall BUDGETING tool for planning your monthly expenses with the sole purpose of getting a grip on your out of control spending so you can begin saving money and basically build up that nice nest egg; creating financial stability and freedom in your life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars After years of Quicken, I realized I'll probably be happier with a...
I'm in the trial month, but just the fact that this thing does blazing fast Dropbox syncing on the fly, while you work, has me thinking I'll finally be saying goodbye to Quicken. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Timmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice software
I just started YNAB a few weeks ago. I haven't done any budgeting in many years because we are really good with our money. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kurt V. Sligh
5.0 out of 5 stars It is fantastic. Simple
We have used YNAB for five plus years. It is fantastic. Simple. Intuitive. The company applies upgrades. Our two college aged kids use it as well. Great product!
Published 2 months ago by Tamara L. Albert
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money..or at least try it for free first.
Recently purchased this software but so far I am not impressed. You cannot log out of the software after it is loaded on your desktop. There is no password protection! What!!? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christine
2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?! Time is MONEY and this app wastes a LOT of it
Garbage. This app is 100% manual. What's the difference between this and an excel sheet?

Seriously, who pays for this app?! Read more
Published 4 months ago by DaftPunked
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best budgeting tool I've ever used
The flexibility of YNAB makes it work and you can see everything that's going on with your budget. This is the best budgeting tool I've ever used. Read more
Published 4 months ago by DLT
5.0 out of 5 stars Best home budgeting software!
This is the best budgeting software I've found! I used to do a lot of budgeting in excel, but when you get to more advanced budgeting and detailed budgeting (more expenses,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephanie
1.0 out of 5 stars We have email YNAB FOUR times for support and have ...
We have email YNAB FOUR times for support and have gotten nothing! There is no phone number of customer service! Once you buy the software you are on your own. Beware!!!!
Published 4 months ago by maria bane
5.0 out of 5 stars Former Quicken User Now Converted To YNAB
I have a confession to make - I almost returned my license of YNAB before my trial was up so I could get my money back (it would have been a huge mistake! Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Paulson
5.0 out of 5 stars This system has helped me a lot: helped me ...
This system has helped me a lot: helped me to see where I was spending too much money, helped me to see what I needed to be saving for in advance, and helped me think twice before... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Stacey Hellman
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