If you are searching for budgeting software but are unsure which one to get, let me give you the skinny on YNAB (You Need A Budget) software. Compared to other software packages, YNAB is what you would call a “living” budget instead of a “static” budget. In other words, instead of just helping you budget the funds you have now, YNAB also helps you manage future spending and learn to save for unexpected expenses and eventually achieve the level where you are living off last month’s income. That is real budgeting power! Another great point is that the mobile apps are now offered free for their customers and for those trying out YNAB in the trial version.
But in all fairness, there is no such thing as a perfect system. There are pros and cons with YNAB as with anything else. With that in mind, here are some of the benefits and drawbacks for this software.
v YNAB will actually teach you how to budget very effectively as you use it.
v A strong support with options for getting help right away, including online classes and an active user forum help you get going quickly and stay the course.
v They offer a free 34 day trial.
v YNAB keeps you very 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.
v This budgeting software prepares you to eventually live on last month’s income.
v The iPhone, Android and Kindle apps let you enter transactions and check your budget on your mobile device – and now they are free!
v 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.
v If you need features like investment support, financial planners for college, retirement or other life events, or advanced debt reduction planning, you may need to get extra help. However, the YNAB team is always trying to keep up with their customer’s needs so you might check their blogging website to view the latest articles that may help with these matters.
v Can be slow to load when you first start it up and when moving between the Budget, Reports, and Accounts sections of the software.
The drawbacks are very minimal compared to what you get with the software. I personally think YNAB is one of the best budgeting packages out there. If you are considering budgeting software, give them a chance to impress you with YNAB4 – you won’t be disappointed.