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 (995 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!)

Cheers,
-Ian

3 comments Read more

Reviews

Most Popular Personal Finance Software: YNAB
Lifehacker

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

Windows
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
    Recommended:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • Additional:Minimum OS version is: Mac OS X v10.6
Helpful customer reviews
152 of 176 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
214.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
Changed my life. Not even kidding.

- ninja edit -

Okay, I was kinda strapped for time when I put those 6 words down before, so let me elaborate now.
My finances were always somewhat nebulous. I had an idea of how my spending went from month to month; I paid my bills on time, I put aside some savings, but I couldnt say I had a really tight grasp on how I spent my income. At the end of the month, my money would whittle down and I couldnt look back and see exactly what happened. I resorted to some excel sheets but that only lasted a couple of months, and I at my next paycheck I still didnt know EXACTLY where ALL my money was going.

When I bought YNAB, I figured hey, this could help me track my spending. And it did that. But what I didnt realize, and the real bonus in using this, is that it changed the way in which I approach my spending and disposable income. How I looked at my salary was different. I had a finite amount of resources and all of it had to be accounted for. Overspending in one area means the difference had to come out from somewhere else. It helped a little with my self discipline.

And while It makes looking to the past easier, it also lets you take a peek into the future.

All my friends I've recommeded this to thank me for it, especially my girlfriend, but I have one thing to add; using this program is a lot like an investment, you get out what you put in. Spend the time behind it and make proper entries. Plan properly. It can be tedious and a little overwhelming at times, but nothing beats emailing the bank asking them where this mysterious service charge came from that you dont have a record for and being able to help with a little planning down the road.
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74 of 77 people (96%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
At the risk of sounding corny, using this software properly, and following YNAB's advice on budgeting can have a transformative effect on your finances. I was earning enough, but not ending up with enough, month after month, every time. YNAB's methodology of giving every dollar a job as soon as you get it (spending money IS a job!) makes a huge difference, and the software itself, after getting over a bit of a learning curve, makes keeping up with your finances vastly easier.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is just an off-brand Quicken. The difference between Quicken and YNAB is the diffrerence between watching your money closely as it disappears, and and plugging the leaks that let your money vanish, before it can. I truly can't speak positively enough about YNAB, and recommend it to absolutely anyone with an income.
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531 of 732 people (73%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Don't let my negative review fool you...

YNAB is a great product, they put a lot of time and energy into it and do a great deal to teach people how to manage their finances.

I give it a NO vote because there is no currency conversion, as an expat that one little omission makes it unuseable for me. Yes, I can input what I was paid in the currency I get paid in, but all my bills are in another currency that is constantly changing. To add to the matter my family is in another country that pays bills and buys food in yet another country.

If you are based in one country and you don't have this problem YNAB is a great way to go...but if you are more than one currency its a PITA
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35 of 37 people (95%) found this review helpful
100.9 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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28 of 29 people (97%) found this review helpful
135.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
This software has easily changed my life. I used to struggle with budgeting, and I reduced myself down to relying on pure Excel. Even with Excel, I still was not doing well with my overall budget and I kept missing my targets.

YNAB has changed all of that and I actually enjoy budgeting now because I can get a great view on my upcoming savings, and my ability to take a vacation.

I highly recommend this to anyone who needs budgeting help.

I will admit, at first, I didn't get it. I watched the videos, and I found myself struggling. I finally said 'screw it' and brought in my last month's budget/expenses/etc. After moving items around and such, it finally clicked in my head, and it's been amazing ever since.

Take note, I did get mine on a special sale (Black Friday I believe?) It is still definitely worth the $60.

(Former Excel/Microsoft Money/Quicken budgeter)
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23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
67.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Been using for three months now..... AMAZING. Initially i was bumbed that you had to manual input spendings/earning but now realise exactly why the developers have done this ! Went and lashed out on a few games last month... usually i wouldnt think twice about it, money was in the bank why not. Now with this i have to take money out of a catagory and add it to the " gaming " catarogy....it really did help me realise that just becuase the money was present in the bank doesnt mean it was ' free to use it '. Brilliant !
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
357.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
This is genuinely different than other budgeting software

The key part is the design of looking forward. The program is designed to politely edit out "mistakes". Being in the red 1 month will be null by the next one, rather than making you feel like you have to perpetually catch up.

They begin you with a 7-day course. Really, it is 7 emails, but they are great. They strip complexity and tell you basic plans to keep you finances under control.

Aside from easily earning back the $15 I paid (it was on sale), it does wonders for my mental health, always knowing exactly how much money I can spend on various things.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
910.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
I can't complain about this program at all. No matter what you are doing with money, it always ends up being tedious when managing a budget. This software is easy to use, streamlines the application of a flexible budget by giving you access to edit values on the fly and providing links to the info you need. What i mean is, if you are questioning a certain expense, hovering over the item in question provides info and takes you to the transaction when you click. It also collects the information and presents it to you in graphs which i thought was nice.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
This is probably one of the only reasons my husband and I have been budgeting so well lately and we've noticed we're slowly having more money to go and do fun things. It took a bit for us to use and understand it, but after fiddling with it for a bit, it was really nice and easy to use. It's also kind of nice (and sad, when you have to pay bills) to see where all your money is going.

The software itself it very easy to use but a little confusing to understand right off the bat. We had issues figuring out exactly where to enter certain information and how to set things up. However a little bit of dinking around with it and it's pretty easy to pick up. I still haven't used all the features yet, but I'm finding the basics of the program are more than enough for my needs and a lot easier then dealing with excel.
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
875.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
I've been using YNAB for the last two years and it has been very helpful to me to manage my budget and track my spending. Be sure to read through the YNAB website to understand the 4 rules of their method: 1) give every dollar a job, 2) save for a rainy day, 3) roll with the punches and 4) live on last month's income.

As I recall, it took a little while for me to learn the software but there's lots of helpful support info (just google your question) and it's really worth the time it takes to learn; after two years, it's easy and natural to use, fullfilling most of my budgeting needs. I think learning the software also changes the way I've thought about money and how to organise it -- for the better. Definitely recommend this software if you're looking for help in managing your money.
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11 of 11 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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12 of 13 people (92%) 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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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
268.0 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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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
178.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
This is one of the best tools I have ever used. It helps my wife and I sync or spending on our phones and establish a budget on the PC. It has help us transtion from engagement to a great first year of marriage. Get control over your $! The is worth every cent.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person 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

11/10
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Really amazing budgeting software!

Pros:
-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!

Cons:
-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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9 of 10 people (90%) 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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17 of 25 people (68%) found this review helpful
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
Very easy to use. Helps me track spending habits and set money aside for monthly/annual costs.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
252.4 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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
218.8 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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