I'm often asked which personal finance software is the best. I strongly recommend YNAB 4, the system I personally use. It is by far the best budgeting system on the market. The software is fantastic and the methodology is extremely effective. Click here to Try YNAB 4 with a FREE 34-Day Trial!
**Note: Since this writing, YNAB has long-since released YNAB 3. You can read the full YNAB 3 review here.
Below is a collection of writings that were based on information that the folks at YNAB spilled out about YNAB 3 prior to its actual release.
I’ve kept this information here for reference in case anyone was interested in some of the developments that lead up to the release.
*Note: The order of the information is sequential, starting here with the oldest info and proceeding with each new update.
Pre-Release YNAB 3 Information
I recieved an email from YNAB the other day about a new version of YNAB that will be coming out later this year. It will replace YNAB Pro and will be called YNAB 3. I get excited just thinking about it.
Public talk of YNAB 3 began on April 9th when Jesse shot a quick comment about the new version on the YNAB blog. A boy did people get excited! I was amazed to see that within only 2 days there were upwards of 70+ comments on the post. It’s great to see just how passionate and supportive the YNAB users are. It’s gained quite a following.
*Note: Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the screen to see the latest updates on YNAB 3 as I’ll be updating this post on all newly released information.
YNAB 3 to Run on Mac
The email was brief but it did mention one thing that made me literally say “Yes!” out loud as I read the email alone in my office. YNAB 3 will run on a Mac.
I’m a Mac user and have been waiting for this day for a while. While I use an emulator to run Windows (and YNAB) on my Mac (in fact, the sole reason why I bought the emulator was just so that I could use YNAB Pro…yes, I like it that much), it will be nice to have a Mac version.
YNAB 3 Screenshot
Until the receipt of this email we knew little about what the new version would entail. Ok, we still don’t know very much, but we do have a screenshot! Here’s the screenshot of the Register in YNAB 3 (click to enlarge):
What’s Different About YNAB 3?
Here’s some differences that I see right off the bat:
- Much better design – Graphically, I’m loving the look of the app.
- You now have on and off budget accounts (allows you to track money that isn’t integrated into your budget). I like it.
- Nice undo feature after some types of transaction editing.
- A search bar
- Easy time frame change buttons
- Nice import button
- A new Working Balance that tracks your bank balance according expenses that have and haven’t cleared the bank
- A slew of other actions that can be done from this screen without having to right-click
- Jesse also mentioned on the forums that you can customize the columns that you want shown. These can include check #, memo’s, etc. That’s awesome!
I can’t wait to see the Budget and Reporting sections of the app.
According to Jesse’s twitter, YNAB 3 is being built on Adobe’s Flex/AIR platform. This should allow for a ton of functionality and some really fun features.
How Much is YNAB 3?
While YNAB hasn’t had to charge for an upgrade thus far, I have to assume that they’ll have to charge something for this new version. It sounds like they’re putting a lot of time, effort, and money into this new version. One thing is for sure: it will be worth it!
YNAB 3 Info
In order to make it easier for the readers to keep up on the latest updates about YNAB 3, I’ll use this one post as a running collection of all the new information that YNAB releases about YNAB 3.
So visit this page often as I’ll be updating it everytime I hear something new about YNAB 3!
Saturday while I was downloading YNAB Pro on my new computer, I was asked if I wanted YNAB to keep me up to date on the new YNAB 3. Of course I said yes, but what I wanted to mention here is that they showed a new (although small) screenshot of YNAB 3.
Here it is:
This appears to be the same screenshot as above, but it looks like the right section is the new Reports area. From the little that you can see, it’s looking pretty good!
New YNAB 3 Site on YNAB.com
Many may have noticed that YNAB.com now has a new site design (along with a new 15-Day free trial). The main difference I see as that they no longer have the long sales copy they once had, and instead have a very suscinct webpage that still offers a great deal of information. It looks nice, clean, and to the point.
What you may not have noticed, however, is that they’ve dedicated a section to the new YNAB 3 that’s currently in development. You can see the new YNAB 3 page here.
This will be a great resource for those wanting to keep up on the latest developments of YNAB 3. There are four sections: Screenshots, Features, Video Demos, and Frequently Asked Questions.
Currently the screenshots sections only contains the same screenshot that I have posted above. I’ll be sure to update when more show up.
They list a number of new features of YNAB 3. I’ve summarized them here:
- Mac Compatible: A much anticipated benefit.
- Reports: It sounds like some great improvements are being made to the reporting functionality (something that is certainly welcomed since YNAB Pro reports could use some improvements).
- Register Search: They’re adding search in the registry that offers suggestions as you type.
- Customizable Fields: You can add or take away columns in the registry as you wish.
- Budgeted Accounts vs. Other Accounts: You can now also track accounts that aren’t part of your budget (loans, mortgage, etc.)
- Flexibility with Rules Three and Four: You will be able to determine how your overage or surplus amounts will affect next month’s budget. (I’m excited about this one!)
- Moving Money Between Categories: Drag and drop money between categories. Nice!
- Advanced Smart-ness: To help you when a mistake has been made or if you need reminding, etc.
- Scheduler Improvements: Apparently better.
- Using Your Screen Real Estate: It sounds like your YNAB window will be “fluid,” allowing you to see more as you increase your window size. This is likely due to the fact that it’ll be written on the Adobe AIR platform.
Scroll down for the links to a sneak peek at the YNAB 3 budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a brief FAQ section that answers some basic questions about pricing, Mac compatibility, possible release dates, and prepayment for YNAB 3. Be sure to check it out.
I was glad to see that all your current YNAB data from YNAB Pro will easily migrate over to YNAB 3.
So don’t worry, just because YNAB has a new page dedicated to keeping us all updated on YNAB 3, doesn’t mean that I’ll quit on my end. I’ll be sure to update here every time any new information becomes available on YNAB 3. Each new post will have a date icon () so you’ll know if you’ve missed anything since you last visited us.
YNAB just posted two sneak peek video previews of the budget area in YNAB 3! The videos let us briefly see the new look as well as some new features introduced in YNAB 3.
Check out the videos by clicking the links below:
I’ll briefly go over a few of the cool items covered in the video:
Changes in the Look, Categories, and Notes
Overall Look and Feel – I must say that I’m quite impressed with the overall look and feel of the application from what I’ve seen far. The design is very clean and uncluttered. Everything looks intuitive enough that someone with no previous YNAB experience will easily and quickly feel right at home with the system.
Here’s a screenshot: (click the image to enlarge it)
Account Tabs – They all now appear on the left, rather than on top. You also now have the ability to track on-budget and off-budget accounts. I like it.
Available to Budget – I like how they’ve broken down the numbers so you can now more easily see how it is that your Available to Budget amount is figured.
Expanding Window – One new, very nice feature for those with larger computer screens is that by expanding the YNAB window larger, you can see more columns of your budget. Before you were always restricted to month’s of data.
Categories – The categories are now even more flexible than they were before. You can drag and drop categories or master categories to rearange them, edit them more quickly, add notes, and more.
Improvements to the Spent Tooltip and Rule Four
Spent Tooltip - Previously the Spent tooltip in YNAB Pro showed a list of transactions that displayed where you spent your money. The new Spent tooltip, however, is much better.
Primary among the improvements is the ability to click on a transaction in the tooltip (which is scrollable, by the way) and be taken to the register with that transaction highlighted. This makes tracking down your expenses much faster.
You can also see all transactions for the given category if you choose to. If you, for whatever reason, you choose to do so, you can now also reorder the columns in the tooltip.
Rule Four – This is a huge improvement and one that many will be very excited to see. Previously in YNAB Pro, if you overspent in one category, that overspent amount would be deducted from the total Available to Budget number for the next month.
With the new functionality of YNAB 3, however, you can choose to “rollover” the overspent for a specific category into that same category for the next month. This is totally optional and is done on a category by category basis.
At the end of the video Jesse reiterated the fact that YNAB 3 will be released in 2009 (only a couple more months to go!) and that they are working very hard to get it finished as quickly as possible.
The comments on the videos and the new YNAB 3 are already extremely positive. One commented, “Looks beautiful!” Another wrote in gratitude: “Your team is changing lives!”
Stay tuned, I’ll keep posting the latest and greatest YNAB 3 info as soon as it comes out!
YNAB released another screenshot of the YNAB 3 register, and it’s looking nice:
As you can see, compared to the first screenshot at the top of this page, there have been a few, exciting changes to the register. Probably most obvious among the changes would be that the Scheduled Transactions is now integrated into the register at the bottom of the screen.
Also very prominent in the screenshot are the warning indications that they have put into place to help you see areas that in your transactions that need some attention. A nice touch. There are also many other little changes that are adding to overall offering. You can tell that the YNAB team has put a great deal of thought into the user experience. It’s truly developing into an one-of-a-kind application.
All in all, I’m excited about the direction that YNAB 3 is going. It will certainly bring some great improvements upon the already very effective YNAB Pro.
YNAB recently announced that if you purchase YNAB Pro anytime after September 1st, you can upgrade to YNAB 3 absolutely Free!
So for those of you who have been holding off on buying YNAB Pro because you had plans to buy YNAB 3, your dilemma is now solved. Now is a perfect time to start using YNAB Pro and familiarizing yourself to the YNAB methodology. Then, when YNAB 3 is released later this year (2009), you can upgrade at no cost (via download).
*Note: This may also be your opportunity to get YNAB 3 at a lower cost. YNAB hasn’t announced the pricing for YNAB 3 yet, and it’s possible the the price will be higher than the current $49.95 (it definitely won’t be cheaper). If that’s the case, save yourself some money by buying YNAB Pro now and upgrading for free later! Click here to buy YNAB Pro.
YNAB announced last week that it has finalized the pricing for YNAB 3! All things considered I think they’ve found some very reasonable price points, both for new and existing customers. Here’s the nitty gritty:
- YNAB 3 will sell at a retail price of $59.95
- Existing customers (who own YNAB Pro or Basic) will pay $39.95 to upgrade to YNAB 3.
- As mentioned in the previous post, anyone who purchased YNAB Pro after Sept. 1st, 2009 will upgrade for FREE.
***But…if you’d like a large discount…you can purchase beta access:
- Existing customers can buy beta access for only $34.95. That’s almost 42% off the retail price!
- New customers can buy beta access for $49.95 ($10 off).
- Or…new customers can simply buy YNAB Pro for $49.95 and upgrade to YNAB 3 for free when it’s released.
- Obviously, anyone who buys into the beta access will get the full version once it’s released to the public.
- If you buy into beta access, you don’t have to use the software — you can just wait for the full release having already taken advantage of the discount.
So, for those that have been waiting for YNAB 3 to come out (either because they want the software for their Mac or because they just want the new features) be sure to buy during the beta period so that you can take full advantage of the sweet discounts!
For complete details about the pricing, see YNAB’s Pricing Post.
***Update (12/11/09): Apparently YNAB changed the pricing a bit for those upgrading to YNAB from YNAB Pro and Basic and opting in for the public beta. They have this table now on their website:
Jesse at YNAB put up a nice little teaser post about YNAB 3 that showed a screenshot of it’s application installer. This leads me to believe that we’re getting very close to the release (or at least the private beta).
He mentioned a possible sneak peak video as well. I’ll be sure to post about it as soon as it’s available.
YNAB released two new sneak peak videos today of YNAB 3! In them we see the updated register features as well as the much anticipated Reports area.
Click on the links below to view the videos:
Here’s a brief synopsis of what the videos contain:
Budget Screen: One improvement that we saw in the last sneak peak videos is that the “Available to Budget” areas contained more data to show how the numbers are calculated. I love this, but was concerned that it took up too much space. Well as you can see in the Reports video, they allow you to collapse those areas to only show the high level numbers. I like it.
Spending Reports – Totals: The upper part of the screen houses a data grid that shows all of your spending in a very familiar format (looks like your budget). The rows are collapsible and the data can be sorted in ascending/descending order as well. Nice touch.
The familiar spending pie graph (that we’re used to seeing in many personal finance software apps) is housed in the bottom part of the screen. YNAB has implemented some very nice functionality here that allows you click on sections of the pie graph to drill down into deeper categories in your budget. Of course, you can see spending amounts listed on the graph as well as when hovering a pie piece.
The graphs use an effective slider at the bottom allowing you to easily choose which time frames of data you want to see.
Spending Reports – Trends: The Trends graphs is a linear graph that shows you your spending trends. Naturally, you can easily change the date range using the same slider as was just mentioned.
What I really like about this graph is it is completely customizable in terms of what spending categories you want to see. They offer a few “Quick Graphs” to show all master categories, top 5 master categories, and top 5 sub categories. But you can also check the box next to any category to add it to the graph.
I also think it’s neat that the data grid also serves as a legend to the graph. Each colored line on the graph corresponds to colored category row in the spending grid. Nice and intuitive.
Other very nice features includes the ability to resize the grid and graph areas to your liking, export the data to Excel, or print the data.
Net Income/Net Worth: This is a nice graph that shows your progress in your net income/net worth.
Optional Columns: We knew they were coming, but here we got to see how it would actually be implemented. As we would expect, it’s very intuitive and easy. Simply click the icon to the right of columns and select which columns you want shown.
Search: YNAB 3’s search looks nothing short of amazing; I was very impressed by its robust search features. I like that it suggests search items as you type (categories, payees, and more).
I also like that you can multiple search requirements to really drill down in the search to find the transactions that you want. Well done.
While some may think it a little thing, I appreciate the fact that when you begin searching, it becomes apparent that you are in “search mode” by giving a green frame to the register.
It’s details like this that YNAB implements that truly make the software easy to use, intuitive, and effective. It’s things like this that set YNAB apart from the competition.
**Note: Since this writing, YNAB has long-since released YNAB 3. You can read the full YNAB 3 review here.