With a cult following the world round, You Need A Budget (YNAB), helps you take total control of your money. The results are life-changing and include breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, paying down debt, and saving more money faster – not to mention a good night’s sleep.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,023 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 19, 2012
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"If you are part of this group, you might need this tool."

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December 31, 2014

Free classes running all New Years Day!

We're running free, live classes all throughout New Years Day - book your place now!

These classes are run by professional educators, and outline how best to use YNAB. They are run as a webinar, and you can feel free to ask questions as the class runs. New Years is a great time to start budgeting, so check out the classes now!

(These classes are free whether or not you've purchased YNAB, so if you're just checking out our method, definitely feel free to jump in!)


3 comments Read more


Most Popular Personal Finance Software: YNAB

Kind of like EVE Online except there's no subscription fees and it's with real money.
Quantum (Steam user)

This is a game that could take months or years to play, but it is one of the most rewarding gaming experiences I have ever had.
gabbo1928 (Steam user)

Free Live Classes (No purchase required)

Learn how to use the YNAB method to turn your finances around. With free classes running every day, YNAB's education team will help you take total control of your money, making it work for you, instead of against you.

Click here to reserve a spot.

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About This Software

"The World’s Best Budgeting Program" – The Internet

With a cult following the world round, You Need A Budget (YNAB), helps you take total control of your money. The results are life-changing and include breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, paying down debt, and saving more money faster – not to mention a good night’s sleep.

You’ve Never Budgeted Like This Before

The You Need A Budget software is clean and beautiful. Where other software packages suffer from years of feature creep, YNAB offers you exactly what you need: a simple, straightforward system to manage your money. But what makes it so powerful are YNAB’s Four Rules:

  • Rule 1: Give Every Dollar A Job
  • Rule 2: Save for a Rainy Day
  • Rule 3: Roll with the Punches
  • Rule 4: Learn to Live on Last Month’s Income

Show Your Money Who’s Boss

YNAB has a high-touch customer support team, a library of video tutorials, and offers free, live daily classes. With YNAB there is no reason why you can’t get rid of your debt, save for the future and finally insert that thing you've been wanting to do but you've been just too lazy to save for. No more excuses.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    Minimum:Windows XP
    • Processor:2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbook class devices
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • Additional:Minimum OS version is: Windows XP
    Minimum:Mac OS X v10.6
    • Processor:Intel® Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • Additional:Minimum OS version is: Mac OS X v10.6
Helpful customer reviews
37 of 39 people (95%) found this review helpful
110.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
I was lucky to get this software while it was on sale.

This program is part personal guide and your part self-discipline. You write down what you have, the guide helps you manage, but it doesn't force you to follow it. You have to promise yourself that you don't spend anymore than what you assigned to a particular budget. If you are not self-disciplined, don't get this program. But if you want a challnege and a easy way to mange your income, get this software.

This program is so good, I forgot to turn it off while I'm at work!
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
108.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
This is the best personal finance software I have ever used.

If all you need is a finance tracker, look elsewhere. YNAB is an interactive budgeting powerhouse that has aided me in paying off all of my debt (student loans, car loans, credit cards), saving up for a down payment on a house, growing an emergency fund, starting investment accounts, and always having enough money in my checking account to cover the next months bills. My wife and I have not had an unexpected expense since we started using YNAB that we could not handle.

You're going to spend some time setting up and maintaining your budget and accounts. YNAB was not immediately intuitive. so I spent some time on their website figuring out how it worked. To use it correctly, you WILL need to take some of their short online courses or read a few articles to get the most out of it. Once you understand the rules and concepts of their budgeting approach, you will only need to update your account transactions and make minor changes to your budget each month. I usually spend an hour or two every other weekend to keep things updated as I hand enter all of my transaction. You can import to make things go faster. The companion iOS and Android apps will help reduce your time at the desktop, they are top notch, and are constantly being updated.

YNAB completely changed the way I handled my finances. I don't live month to month anymore and I don't worry about how I'm going to pay for unexpected life expenses. You will need to make a small commitment of time to get the most out of it, though. YNAB is well worth the retail price, but you can usually get it lower during Steam sales.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
I have actually put away some serious money and got my spending under control with this. I think these guys made a great piece of software. $60 is well worth it but if you are in dire need of a budget, this does go on sale every now and then.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
330.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
Good Expense Tracking, Even Greater Budgeting.

I've been using some Expense Tracking app (which is available in Google Play) - with export data features and creates my own Spreadsheet to mess around with the data using PowerPivot features.

And I thought I'm already on the right track. One thing I realized after I found YNAB is - I've been doing it wrong. Well to be fair, not 100% wrong but definitely not doing the best I could (for my personal finances).

I have been just doing EXPENSE TRACKING and REACTING to the end results of my tracking, and that's it. Nothing more, nothing less. I know where I overspent, but does not have proper PLAN to action against it; and that's how limited "Expense Tracking" could bring you to.

After finding out about YNAB, I realized that I could do better - instead of track & react, I should be planning, tracking, and take corrective actions; a.k.a "Budgeting". With this software, it combines everything that I currently have (Android App + Custom Spreadsheet) PLUS bonus features - which I could not replicate in my Custom Spreadsheet. If you haven't give it a try and are looking for personal finance app/software, you SHOULD give it a try.

They have 34-days free trial. Go explore!
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Really amazing budgeting software!

-Simple and easy to use.
-You don’t have to give it access to your bank or any of your logins, etc. But it can import bank statements so you can avoid a lot of manual entry. But the app makes it a breeze.
-The companion app is amazing (goes through Dropbox as a "cloud")
-You can install it on as many computers and devices as you want, no limit. Also, all of them will sync up without issue.
-Makes you really aware of your spending in different categories.
-I've already saved a lot of money by using it to monitor my spending!

-It doesn't let you plan for your next paycheck very well, It goes month to month and it won't let you put in a "I will have this paycheck mid month" by default. There's a quick way around that though by creating a Paychecks category and putting a negative value for whatever that paycheck is.
-The system is very designed to get you to the point where you are paying for everything one month ahead (as in, everything I pay for this month comes from last month's paychecks). It's part of their philosophy for the best financial system but it's impractical to force that on people from the start. It takes a long time for people to not be paycheck to paycheck.

Hands down, still the best accounting program I’ve ever used.
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18 of 26 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Its like EVE Online but without spaceships

10/10 would not become hobo
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Gameplay Whoops

What It Is

You Need A Budget YNAB from here on is a budgeting software that the average person or small business owner can use to balance their budget, figure out where your actual cash is going, and where you can afford to save money in the long term. This is very simple to use, however you can do alot with it past what is obvious. This can and will help you significantly.

What it's NOT

This is NOT going to do the work for you. I have used MINT.com as I'm sure most who will read this have. This is not MINT, MINT is like the trailer when this is the mansion in the gated community as for what it can do to your budget. This will not magically ensure you have cash in hand at the end of the month, it won't invest for you, and it doesn't have a ton of additional tools. It's budgeting software and it's does its job amazingly without costing hundreds of dollars and without being bogged down by tons of near useless bells and whistles like some other software.

My Opinion - Why to buy it - What could be improved

First off, if you didn't buy it while it was 75% off you missed out. It's still worth its sticker price in my opinion so don't feel like you aren't getting your dollars worth. A huge part of what makes this worth it is the mobile app (YNAB) that you can use when you have the computer version bought and up and running. It's easy to set up and you can track your expenses at the point of sell while it's fresh in your mind or the receipt is in hand. This is very valuable and the app looks like it has had alot of work to get it where it's at. I haven't ran into a bug yet.

On to the Software program itself. Can this be accomplished on an Excel Spreadsheet? Yes. Have I used that method before? Yes. Would I go back to it after using this software? No way. It's that simple. It's very simple to use, I don't worry about formulas, rows, columns, tabs, functions, etc. That's all great and sounds like fun right, but I can't fathom dealing with it after using this. I recommend it whole heartedly and am starting to wonder why you are reading this instead of getting it on sale.

The concept and their 4 step process is simple enough. If you have heard Dave Ramsey, amazing guy who has helped a lot of people. You will know what they are talking about and how it helps to balance a budget. Google or youtube him and you will be improving yourself financially. To put it simply you give EVERY dollar a job when you get it. Every dollar will be going to a certain expense. Those could be anything from Rent, electric, to GAMES or Emergency Savings. The important part is you have to input your expenses for this to work and you have to be honest and not cheat your own budget. If you do that, then at the end of the month you can see where you overspent and the next month be able to change that or adjust your budget to compensate for overspending in one area.

Lastly I would like to see a few improvements. I would like to see additional tools for one. Maybe a tool to help with debts and a planner to pay them off, something to help you determine what to pay off in what order, and a way to let that tool function with and utilize your budget tool. I think alternate methods to budgeting would be useful for them to introduce. They talk alot about their 4 step process and don't cover other methods. They suggest using money that you didn't spend one month and let it roll over to the next and to continue the process until an entire months expenses are paid for by the previous. I can see how that would be useful but I feel like it's not encouraging much savings or investing. Maybe they are assuming the individual doesn't have alot to save or invest. I see the pitfall is after a few months the person will see that excess or rollover money and instead of giving it a job they will spend it on a large purchase or several smaller ones since it was never put into savings or invested when there was the chance. Granted a lot would be disciplined and maybe they are assuming that will be the case.

Those are just my opinions however, make your own purchase if you decide it's for you. Everything they give you will save you more than the $60 in the short term most likely if you are honest with the budget. Living month to month was not fun as a teenager and college student. I would have loved this back then. I didn't have the time or will to go make spreadsheets back then and I know most teenagers don't now. This is very useful for all ages and incomes though. I have a brother in law who make over $230,000 a year and I make less than half of what he does and I have more savings and a better budget, so regardless of income level people can and do blow all of their money. This will help you out and I recommend it.

Save yourself money starting now, so by the summer sale you can have more expendable income to buy more cheap games!!

EDIT: Also you can try this software on their website for over 30 days for free. I would give that a try. Then again it's 25% off right now and might not be by the time 30 days is over. Consider that as well.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
271.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
First thing first, I gotta say I'm a meticulous person when it comes to tracking income and expense. I had a big Excel sheet with all kinds of formula to track my income, expense, when I receive or spend money, how much I loan from people and how much people loan from me etc. That said, I was looking for a better solution to track all of them. When this was on sale, I looked at it, checked some videos, tried the demo and loved it - so I bought it. Sleek, clean interface and easy to use budgeting software.

Now on to the review:

Basically there are two basic steps to using YNAB, you write down all your money you have and budget it, then spend it based on the budgets you set up. There are premade categories like Giving or Monthly Bills that each have its own sub-categories. This mostly will have you covered, but for my own case I needed to set up some more master categories and appended subs into them. You shouldn't have any problem as the interface shows everything you want to do. Moreso, it tracks as you go. So example, if you input more budget than money you have in your pocket, it will show red mark above the budget sheet. Or if you spend more than your current budget category, it will automatically put your next month's budget in red as well. But don't worry, be flexible and try to rearrange the budget to other categories to keep you in green. The software allows that, that's what makes it fun to use.

The software also lets you to import your bank statement in case you want to make things a bit easier. I don't spend many things online or thru bank except taking my salary for daily life or some online spending *cough cough buying games on Steam cough* so have no big use for this feature. I'm sure some people will rely on it, though.

And in case you are curious, this software supports many currencies. It does have my IDR currency. It doesn't offer any complicated tax or accounting system - it's beyond this software's scope.

After finish inputting, you can opt to see the reports which are straightforward and cover everything you want to see from your spending behavior. There are five master report formats to use, Spending by Category, by Payee, Trends, Income vs Expense and Net Worth. This allows you to give perspective on your Income vs Expense, and will help you to arrange for next budgeting. Unfortunately you can't add or edit these formats as they're pre-made so if you need anything else you're stuck.

I personally have been using this software for days and am very satisfied with it. You need self-discipline, of course, to follow your own budgets AND to write down your spending. Don't make some small transactions pending due to your own laziness, input them as soon as possible. Make it your habit! Remember, the key to success in budgeting is how you follow what you set up for your own good. There is even a mobile app that lets you to enter the expense as you go and sync it thru Dropbox to your master YNAB files in PC. So far it's available for Android and iOS. No plan for Windows Mobile from what I heard.

Steam's YNAB copy is not dependent of Steam, so in fact you can run it without Steam running as it utilizes none of those Steamworks features (no achievements etc). But if you're annoyed with Steam (why would you be????) because 'using software in conjunction with Steam is all wrong' then you can get non-Steam copy from Developer's website. Use the serial Steam gives you to activate that copy. As long as it's for personal use, the license grants you the capability to install on several machines e.g family PC and work PC and have them synced together. Very handy.

All in all, although 60 USD is a bit steep, YNAB is very useful. I admit I won't buy it at that price (I just don't like spending 60 USD for a non Software except Microsoft Office or Windows - personal restriction :rfacepalm:), but if you don't think like me and need a budgeting software, look no further - YNAB has all you need.

YNAB also is on sale maybe twice a year during Steam big Summer and/or Winter sales if you're on the fence. Last time I got it for 75% off (8 USD equivalent of my currency in Rupiah).

Lastly, first time ever I recommend a software positively on Steam. Hey that's a record of its own. :)

(now excuse me, I overspent on my Games Purchases category this month.... dang it...)
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
There isn't a game on Steam that can make you feel as powerful as YNAB does. It'll change your mindset from Day 1.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
286.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
I am not actually using this software for its actual purpose. I am not using it for budgeting in the slightest. It is simply a fantastic way for me to keep tabs on my business expenses. It works remarkably well and knowing exactly what I am spending and when has meant that I am able to keep track of my finances wonderfully. There are plenty of features that I have yet to dive into and I doubt I ever will. For my purposes this software is great (and I paid full price!)
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1,749.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
I used this software a bit. Kinda liked it.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
205.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Spent $15, came out with $100 more a semester. A+ way to not totally screw yourself over in college.
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12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Spent 15 Dollars on something that will help me stop spending money on things

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Unlike others, I will not claim that this is easy to use software, the drawback is the initial steep learning curve and the commitment you need to make. If you move past that, the reward is money in the bank, literally.

I chose this because it was on sale and I was tired of not seeing what money I had and where it was going.

I only started using it today and at first entered some things, got a bit overwhelmed, thought money wasted and turned away. Then I sat back down, and started learning. I entered my chequings, savings, rrsp, tfsa, loans, credit cards (I left out paypal since it links to my cc), anything and everything that was money. First I learnt the distinction between on and off budget accounts. Then I learnt where to budget money. How to deal with my pre YNAB debts without having my new spending obscure it. How to move money between accounts and to off budget accounts. How to add expenses. I do have foreign accounts and yes, having only one currency available at a time in YNAB makes it difficult, but not impossible. I have my Euro account listed, simply with a note saying it is Euros not CAD, if I transfer out I add a separate transaction for the difference conversion creates, be it negative or positive.

I spent five hours today learning how YNAB truly works and how to use it. I invested that time to make money and if all goes well, end of the month I will be a few hundred ahead of budget.

I fully intend to recommend it to others that I know struggle with their finances. It is a small investment in the long run.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
159.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
This is a great piece of software to use for creating a budget. Keep in mind that it is different than some of the other programs in that it does not automatically pull in your bank information. Additionally it treats your money a little different. Rather than simply budgetting for the bills you have, it makes you give each dollar a "job" as they call it. I feel like requiring me to define the job for each dollar and keep track of my money by entering transactions keeps me on top of my budget. I have also used the iOS and Unofficial Windows Phone app to enter my transactions and they work great. I would definitely recommend this software.

I would see if you can wait until it is on sale thought. Generally goes on sale for $14.99 during major sales.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
194.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
Absolutely my favorite piece of budgeting software. When I first started using it It was like I had gotten a raise.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
706.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
I love this software. Over the years I had tried a lot of software to keep track of my accounts and finances. Including a lot of the online solutions, Mint, et cetera.

I am notoriously bad at keeping track of these things, but I heard about YNAB from a podcast and thought it was worth a shot. Their mobile app combined with the desktop application made keeping track of my finances so much easier. I somehow am able to not kill my money flow now and this software has been integral in that process.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
52.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
Single-handedly changed my financial life for the better. Easy to use and let's you know to the penny where your money is going. Great investment at $60 and an amazing one at the sale price of $15. Would recommend this to everyone interested in improving their financial position.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
This is really great software: if you're looking for some budgeting software to help you, buy this when it's on sale (the best I've seen it is 75% off). I've had way less money stress when using the program, and since I started using it I've been able to save up for two semesters, a week-long vacation and Christmas. It has some great tips for managing your money and a few tools to track how you're spending your money.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
I was kind of surprised, I mean, I figured I needed a budgeting software for the amount of CHRISTMAS SALES I'd be hitting, ironically I got this for 15 bux in a christmas sale, too.

I'm kind of surprised as to how simple and easy it makes everything. My favourite part is the way YNAB4 formats the reports in a way that makes it simple to go "Oh, maybe if I stopped buying so many coffees, I could pay off my car a whole two years sooner."

It's one of those things where you look at your budget, I mean look at it realistically. How are you doing it now? A piece of paper? Damn, you're a chump, and you put it like that, it's not going to help you calculate that much. You put it in something like this and it lets you break it down to what's going where in more detail than your banking website, or even your credit card statements can probably do, COLOUR CODES IT, and goes "Here y'go, now get your ♥♥♥ out of debt, you lazy bum."

Doing this, I might be able to skip visiting Mexico and outright buy the country.
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