YNAB, the personal finance software has a newer, better edition, YNAB 4. This new model sports a new user interface which is better organized and offers a cleaner look compared to other previous YNAB models. The scheduled transaction tool remains collapsed until you are ready to use it and the budget information is now consolidated at the top of each month. YNAB 4 also has an auto-save feature that saves data frequently. Other new features include:
- Easier printing
- Switch between multiple budgets without restarting
- Account reconciliation wizard
- No duplicate transactions with QIF import
- More flexible data export
- Improved reports that easily drill down to details
As with any software program, YNAB (You Need A Budget) has its own set of pros and cons. Although the cons are present, I believe the pros of YNAB out-weigh any of the little problems.
Pros for YNAB
Here are the benefits and reasons for using this software.
- YNAB will actually teach you how to budget very effectively as you use it.
- It features a strong support with options for getting help right away, including online classes and an active user forum.
- There is a free 34 day trial.
- It keeps you really close to your spending so you know where your money goes because you have to “give every dollar a job”, that is, assign a category to all spending.
- It prepares you to eventually live on last month’s income.
- Android, iPhone, and Kindle apps let you enter transactions and check your budget on your mobile device.
Cons for YNAB
- YNAB 4 does not do automatic transaction downloads. You must use the online banking site for each financial institution to download transactions. However, YNAB does a great job of importing those transactions.
- If you need features like investment support, financial planners for college, retirement or other life events, or advanced debt reduction planning tools, you’ll need to consider other software.
- It can be slow to load when you first start it up and when moving between the Budget, Reports and Accounts sections of the software.
In summary, YNAB4 is a good investment for anyone interested in really maintaining their personal finances. It does one good job in budgeting. It doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles that some of these other budgeting software programs have but then, sometimes having all those extra items can be distracting and useless for many people. It’s obvious that a lot of thought and work has gone into You Need A Budget 4, and of all the personal financial software out there, I think it’s one of the best.