Thursday, February 26, 2015

YNAB. ynot?

This is a relatively new app for me. YNAB, which stands for You need a budget, is a budgeting tool with many users who claim it changed their life. Although I've only used it about 1 month so far it's great and I plan on purchasing when the trial ends.

They have weekly online classes that teach how to and best practices. I didn't "attend" one until my 3rd week using the software and realized that I had been doing it all wrong. So I recommend watching one of those pretty early on.

Their apps are very well designed and easy to use, but you must download the desktop version to set it all up. Everything syncs sync to your desktop software using dropbox. I'm a little curious why they thought it was easier to use dropbox than to create their own service. Perhaps it's just a way to keep costs down, but the problem is that for each computer that wants to be connected to the budget, that computer must also be connected to the same dropbox. Luckily, my wife doesn't use her dropbox for anything so she's now signed into mine, but I could see this being a problem for some.

The best part is that the software which normally costs $60 is free while you're a student. For everyone else, there is a free 34 day trial.

Don't be afraid to start in the middle of the month either. After you watch/attend the Intro video/class you'll understand why that doesn't matter.


  1. This is Scott Henderson, I don't know too much about this, but how is it different to mint

    1. It's a completely different paradigm from Mint. I've used Mint for years and eventually I created a Google spreadsheet that held what the current balance was for my accounts, with a line item for each thing i needed to pay - bills, credit cards, etc. Mint never helped me manage where to put my money, it only helps you quickly see how much is in each connected account and puts in transactions for you so you can see how much you spent and for which category.
      YNAB is different because the first thing you do when you get paid is determine, "Where is all this money going to go?" You set a plan for how to spend it, instead of just looking back at how it was spent.
      I'd heard of YNAB a few years ago, but never wanted to try it because i didn't like the idea of entering all my transactions, but it's actually really easy. <30 seconds per transaction.

  2. Sounds like a great product.... good feedback about the need to use the same dropbox. Gunna download it before i graduate!

  3. YNAB sounds like something I need to get my hands on. I need to get better about budgeting. This could be a big help.