The Difference Between YNAB And Quicken

home budget softwareThere are many people who use YNAB and there are those who use Quicken for their budgeting needs. You might say “so what is the difference? Isn’t all budgeting software about the same overall?” While there are definitely some areas where all budgeting software is alike, there are differences in each program that may appeal to different people. Those who are not really literate in the computer field may find one more usable than another.

However, the one main difference between YNAB and Quicken is that Quicken helps you know where your money went while YNAB helps you know where your money is going to go. One is based on what happened in the past, the other is based on what will happen in the future.


Quicken is a full-fledged personal finance package. Its reporting features are excellent and it will track numerous types of financial transactions. Its weakness is in its budgeting and spending planner. The problems are some bugs in the program as well as that by default, things are too hard in Quicken. However, with a LOT of work, you can set up a near approximate zero-based budget like what YNAB uses. But the bugs are still there in the program and you can’t enter certain things as a negative in order to make this type of budget work. However, Quicken is great for investments and gives out nice reports.


YNAB does one thing – budgets and planning and it does it extremely well. It be used to reconcile a checkbook and it can be used to get some level of expense reporting. But does it have the strong reports, graphs and options that Quicken has. Also, it won’t handle investments or transactions like that. But if you are looking for budgeting software, no other comes close to the ease of YNAB. You don’t have the bug issues for a budget that you do with Quicken, and even the methodology is easier to understand and appreciate.

The four rules of YNAB are valuable tools for anyone to use in budgeting. They provide goals, methods to achieve those goals, and tips to help you change your way to thinking when it comes to budgeting. They offer great support and have tutorials and forums to help with questions.

However, for many people, both packages have their place and many people use both Quicken and YNAB for their financial needs. But the bottom line, YNAB is definitely the winner if you are looking for ease and success in your budgeting strategy.

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