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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 (253 customer reviews) 15 answered questions

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Now Available for Download - You Need A Budget - Personal Finance Software
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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 (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,402 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

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!

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
336 of 346 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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329 of 342 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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106 of 107 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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232 of 258 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, too much manual entry April 6, 2010
Verified Purchase
I love the concept of YNAB: spending money from the previous month, planning ahead, etc. I had switched from MS Money to Quicken, and then tried YNAB. Yes, the tutorials are great, but they're really time-consuming. However, I spent the time, took the tutorials, and set up my finances in YNAB.

After a couple of months, however, I went back to Quicken. I found that Quicken also has good budgeting features, and while not in the same vein as YNAB, I just find Quicken easier to use. All of my accounts get automatically downloaded to Quicken, a feature not available in YNAB.

All in all, I just found that YNAB requires way too much manual entry. I might try it again at a later date, when I have the patience to do so.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Tool
This software is intuitive, looks great, works perfectly across multiple platforms (desktop and mobile), and is very well designed. It takes care of important details. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joshua Devine
4.0 out of 5 stars YNAB 4 forces you to be disciplined with your finances
I purchased YNAB 4 many months back but until recently I never utilized it. This software is not meant to make budgeting "easy"; budgeting at its very core is challenging. Read more
Published 4 months ago by amzn513
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-designed UI, easy budget-making, but NOT a personal finance app

I purchased YNAB 4 last year in the hopes that I'd have the life-altering experience so many people seem to gush about on these reviews. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. Lawles
5.0 out of 5 stars YNAB Has Made My Life Easier
I have been a quicken user for many years. I however have never liked its budgeting functionality, so as a software engineer I wrote my own budgeting software to use along... Read more
Published 5 months ago by jwn57030
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Budgeting Program / Works With Smartphone App / No More...
YNAB is the only budgeting software that has really worked well for me. If you've learned Dave Ramsey's zero-based budgeting and envelope system, you'll love this program! Read more
Published 5 months ago by LondonGirl
5.0 out of 5 stars It's genuinely life changing
If used properly this can genuinely change your life were finances are concerned. It did for me. I had previously been a student and had been overdrawn (interest free thankfully! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lewis Hides
5.0 out of 5 stars YNAB is great~
My family has been using this product now for over 5 years. It is a wonderful product that can help with budgets and planning as well as everyday keep up on the checkbook and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cocker Mom 3
1.0 out of 5 stars Too complicated for a sample spreadsheet like product
I only used the free trial and after about to weeks I can say, its a little annoying, For the work involved in making entries etc... its easier to use excel. Read more
Published 10 months ago by King Julian
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful for family Budgeting
I bought this on Steam sale for £7.99 - more or less on the strength of its name to be honest. I looked at it, thought 'we do' and bought it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Andy Mcnish
5.0 out of 5 stars Save 6 bucks off your purchase with my link
Normally YNAB runs 60 bucks, but use my link and get 6 bucks off


This is by far the best budgeting software I have ever used
Published 12 months ago by Jennifer Hayes
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