The Cons Of YNAB

Reviews

roll-with-the-punchesThe personal finance software, YNAB (You Need A Budget), is an outstanding product. The reviews and customer feedback are largely supportive and positive. Most of the YNAB customer base is satisfied with the outcome of their purchase because YNAB is budgeting software, nothing more but nothing less than excellent in its field. However, as with any product, there is always room for improvement, and YNAB is no different. Although its benefits far out-weigh its limitations, these still need to be addressed for clarification sake.

Tax Options

This personal finance software does not have a section dedicated to taxes and does not provide financial calculators. However, it will be helpful when it comes time to prepare tax returns and compile other information. YNAB gives access to detailed pie charts and line graphs illustrating your yearly expenditures. Within the personal finance software, YNAB has an excellent tagging system that categorizes expenditures into deductibles, business expenses, and other tax-related categories.

Person Investing Tools

Although heralded for its many benefits, this personal finance software, unfortunately, does not have any features dedicated to importing investment account data, downloading stock quotes or stock history, or maintaining a portfolio manager (which includes all investments, such as a 401K). It is believed that specific features such as accounts, budgets, and financial goals pertaining to these topics would be simple to setup and maintain, and should be added to the software in the future. But YNAB, after all, is budgeting software and its main function is to provide a way for anyone to start, stay, and prosper from a budget. That is does very well.

Archiving and security Tools

While YNAB has an archiving and security tools section, there are a few other software products on the market that provide better tools in this area: Quicken Starter Edition, MoneyDance, and Simple Home Money. On a scale of 1 to 10, these rate a 10 whereas YNAB rates a 9.4; still not a bad score when compared to the rest of the personal finance software on the market.

So there you have it. Compared to its benefits, these limitations are very small. However, it would behoove the creators of the YNAB software program to pay attention to and address these few limitations so that their software continues to stand out from the rest of personal finance software. With budgeting, however, YNAB is one of the best in helping people overcome this daunting task of financial budgeting.

 

Customer Reviews For YNAB (You Need A Budget)

Reviews

using budget software brings financial freedomWhen it comes to personal finance software, making the right choice can be confusing. Personally, whenever I am in doubt as to the effectiveness or whether the program is legitimate, I like to look at customer reviews of the product, both good and bad. By seeing both sides of the product, you can formulate your own conclusions as to whether the software is indeed worth your further consideration.

Let’s take a look at some customer reviews for one of the big boys of budgeting software; YNAB. We will look at some of the favorable reviews and give the same time to the critical ones. First of all, according to the site I visited, http://www.amazon.com/You-Need-Budget-YNAB-Personal/product-reviews/B000QO76HU, there were a total of 230 reviews, with 178 of them being five star favorable ones. There were also 30 four star, 13 three star, 6 two star, and 13 one star reviews.

Favorable Reviews

v  According to Ted living in Seattle, YNAB is the best thing that happened to him. The software makes sure that all expenses are accounted for and has helped Ted exert self-discipline with any extra spending

v  Cady of Florida says that the YNAB software “rocks.” According to Cady, “YNAB allows you to account for all your annual bills in 1/12 increments and then when they roll around the money is there to pay for them….YNAB is a crystal ball showing the future.”

v  To Mark of Phoenix, YNAB has also been a big help. He mentions that “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.” If this is what you are after, then YNAB is the ticket.

Critical Reviews

v  To this customer from New York, while they like the concept, YNAB requires way too much manual entry. This customer found that Quicken also has good budgeting features and is easier for them to use. All of their accounts get automatically downloaded to Quicken, a feature not available in YNAB.

v  According to William of Minnesota, YNAB is great if all you need is a cash flow tool. He reports that after trying the 7 day free trial, he is going back to Quicken. He finds that the reporting and importing data features of YNAB are very weak.

v  While he is still using YNAB, T.B. of Miami says he didn’t find the software intuitive to use. It was confusing to him and he had to spend more time understanding the software than he wanted to.

I hope these reviews can help you in your decision whether YNAB is worth a shot for you.

End of the Year Financial House Cleaning: YNAB, Retirement Contributions, Charitable Giving, and More

Blog, Personal Finance Software, Reviews, YNAB

ynab financial freedomA good buddy of mine recently approached me about making smart end of the year financial moves. One of the first things I suggested to him was to set savings goals for the new year. He admitted to me, then, that although he and his wife had nearly doubled their income over the last two years, they still weren’t getting ahead. They were doing more and buying more, but they couldn’t seem to save anything. One of their main problems, he said, was that they were just too disorganized. I suggested that they try to get things under control using a budget software like YNAB.

He had a number of excuses to explain why they hadn’t tried finance software yet. She was an independent contractor so her income was always fluctuating, and he had bad spending habits that he could never seem to get past. YNAB, as I told him, is ideal for people with fluctuating income and varied bills. It allows users to easily enter data that changes from month to month or even week to week.

Truthfully, no finance software is a cure all. My friend needed to make some real changes. He needed to stop spending money before he got it, he needed to stop floating checks, and he needed to make a serious commitment to improvement. However, improving on your own is hard.

If you’ve ever tried to start a workout regime, you probably understand how much easier it is to stay motivated when you have a friend, or a trainer, or even an app to help you. YNAB, I told him, could be the trainer that he needed. It could guide and inspire him as he saved throughout the new year.

Using YNAB to get finances in order.As we continued to talk, I reminded him of a few other financial matters that he should attend to before the close of this year. I’ve compiled those tips in a short list so that you can utilize them in your own life:

  • Spend the money from your flexible savings account. This is the perfect time for new eyeglasses or boxes of over the counter medication.
  • If possible, try to reach the maximum contributions for your retirement accounts. Contributions to your 401K and your standard IRA are tax deductible, and it is important to take advantage of that.
  • Order your free credit reports. By federal law, each of the three credit reporting agencies must give you a free report once per year so if you haven’t looked at yours yet this year, now is the time.
  • Reduce your taxable income by giving to nonprofit charities. Even if you donate clothes to the charity store, you can get a receipt and claim a deduction.
  • Look through your stocks. Now, may be the perfect time to sell your losing stocks so that you can have capital losses to balance your capital gains for the year.

The end of the year should be a joyous time, a time for reflecting on what the New Year may bring. I hope that my friend takes my advice to heart. I hope that he cleans up his financial house with YNAB or another good budgeting software tool, and that he and his wife can get ahead and enjoy many future bountiful holidays together.

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