There are many software programs on budgeting and they all have their good points and their drawbacks. However, the more I research budget software, the more I have encountered people who have really endorsed YNAB (You Need A Budget). Of course, everyone has their particular reasons for using this product but there are several common threads of praise. With that being said, here are the main points of the YNAB software that seem to be the overwhelming positive response from customers using this product.
Perhaps the most positive responses surround the YNAB methodology of budgeting. The program uses a virtual envelope system to account for cash flow spending and saving. Basically, after you set up all the particulars, the system does most of the work for you. One customer reported that they just don’t have to worry about expenses because the software accomplishes this for every month.
I think this is very important and probably something that many people have never learned from their up-bringing. In fact, I believe that this is a real problem in our country that has been partly responsible for the financial problems of 2008. If people had experience in keeping within a budget, perhaps that could have helped reduce the many foreclosures that occurred in 2008. I hope our school system is starting to implement budgeting-type education in their curriculums. Although this is just my opinion, I believe this should be a necessary requirement for graduation.
Well enough of the soap-box. After reviewing several budget software packages, I believe that the envelope system is a great way to keep track of expenses and income.
Another common positive response has to do with the way YNAB helps you save for that “rainy day.” We all have been there. It’s all those unexpected expenses that usually come at the most inconvenient times. I love the way YNAB does this. It simply “rolls over” any unspent amounts from each category to the next month. That really counts when these rainy day expenses decide to pop up.
YNAB Counter-Balance Methods
Another feature in YNAB that may be quite popular is called the “rolling with the punches” approach. Basically, if you overspend in one of the categories, that overspent amount is deducted from the new month’s available balance. While most people would not look forward to not starting the next month with the same budgeted amounts in each column, the fact is this software helps you realize the consequences of over-spending and develop ways to curb that habit.
Overall, the YNAB budgeting software is very well accepted and admired as a quality budgeting product.