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 (1,273 reviews) - 91% of the 1,273 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Dec 19, 2012

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Buy You Need A Budget 4



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
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (1,273 reviews)
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1,118 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
1,136 of 1,233 people (92%) found this review helpful
128 people found this review funny
69.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 26, 2014
YNAB is quickly becoming one of my favorite games. It is a real-time augmented-reality resource management simulator. Every time you earn money in real life, you get the same amount of resources to manage in the game. You decide which pools you want to allocate them to, based on the things you have to spend your own money on, the things you would like to spend your money on, and ultimately the things you would like to save your money for later. Those pools are depleted throughout the game by various costs to your kingdom that reflect your real life spending and bills.

There is a companion mobile app, allowing you to continue playing the game anywhere you go. Stopped for lunch? Use the mobile app to enter how much you spent for lunch, and see immediate effects to your gameplay. Did you allocate enough resources to your "Dining" pool? If not, you will have to reduce one of your other pools to free up enough resources to cover the difference. You can even check your resource allocation from the mobile app to help decide if you really want to make that purchase, or if it will negatively impact the game too much.

YNAB's playing field is randomly generated on start up, based on your actual debts and account balances, so the game is unique to each player, and no two games are exactly the same. While every game is different, there is a high probability that your kingdom will start out with some degree of debt. Your quest is to reduce that debt as quickly as possible, inch far enough ahead that your incoming resources are being allocated to pools for future months, and restore harmony to the land by setting aside small, manageable portions of each resource-gathering period to cover big dips into resource pools that you know (or sometimes don't know) are coming months from now.

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. My kingdom started out well over 6,000 units in the red. Figuring out how to split my resources took a week or two to get right, but the beauty of this game design is that you can reassign your resources from pool to pool, so there is flexibility built-in if you find you need to change how you're doing something. After a couple of months (and thanks in large part to a resource gathering period that included my tax refund), that amount has nearly been cut in half. Based on my estimates, I think I will comfortably have my kingdom out of debt within half a year.

Even though it seems like the game would end there, the open world design makes it infinitely playable. Gameplay at that point is generally the same, but your quest changes to raising your kingdom's value as high as you can, while continuing to manage the costs incurred within your kingdom. Having eliminated your kingdom's starting loss, you find yourself with a lot more resources to allocate, and you can start applying those towards some of the various DLC packs, like Dream Vacation, New Car, and Early Retirement.

The graphics are quite nice, well out-classing games like Microsoft Excel 2013: GOTY Edition. Co-op gameplay is possible if you are married or sharing expenses with a significant other. Community support is extensive, with many players offering gameplay strategies, and detailed video and text walkthrus from the developer. This is one game that can literally make your life better.

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2,906 of 3,299 people (88%) found this review helpful
34 people found this review funny
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 2, 2014
Kind of like EVE Online except it's with real money.
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349 of 371 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
237.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
I've always have a vague idea of how much money I make versus my expenditures. I've tried to make my own budgets in excel but my lack of a basic understanding of a budget made it pretty useless. I picked this up on sale for about $15 and I'm very glad I did. It gave me a crystal clear view of my finances complete with graphs and charts. I had a small amount of debt that YNAB helped me get out of, all while still saving towards my own goal of home ownership. I'm 100% unworried by living paycheck to paycheck, and soon enough I'll have an emergency fund to ensure my own peace of mind. Steam is amazing for games, but this single program improved my life significantly.
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153 of 166 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1,141.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2013
This sofware has proven to be a huge help to my family finance. I've heard criticisms that it's really a glorified spreadsheet, and I can understand that it may appear that way. But the fact is that it really helped me to (first) track my spending and (second) plan my spending more carefully based on my income. It's also a nice help that the manufacturer sends a series of emails to get you started, adding things to think about while you set up your budget. This one-step-at-a-time process made the transition easy. I also took advantage of one of the on-line seminars that are offered as part of the package.

There is nothing earth-shattering here, but for anyone who wants to get control over their home finanaces and isn't sure where to start, I would say THIS is the place to start.
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144 of 155 people (93%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
67.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2014
Great way to monitor your finances. Got it on summer sale 2014, worth every cent. Some usefull info you can get from two steam videos about this program, all I can add - YNAB REALLY helps. Usefull graphics, comparisons, simple way to add and monitor different accounts.

Small addition - steam can give a 75% discount on it, but very rare. So watch closely and dont miss it!
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259 of 310 people (84%) found this review helpful
23 people found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 26, 2014
Kind of a bare bones indie resource management game, like EVE Online without spaceships, or if The Sims didn't care about the toilet so much. YNAB presents players with unique resource management challenges and a simple goal: Have more resources than everybody else. While there is no head-to-head competitive support in YNAB, the best competitive players are often showered with adoration much like the top players of competitive Starcraft in Korea. Not bad for an indie title.

But while YNAB captures the imagination with its easy-to-learn-hard-to-master concept and mechanics, it has some major flaws that can’t be ignored. In the interest of fairness, I think it’s important to list them all:

1) This game is the most egregious example of pay-to-win mechanics I have ever seen. *Significant* portions of the game are gated off for those who cannot pay. Not just DLC like new outfits for your character. We’re talking absolutely crucial content like the Education campaign or the Pay Your Rent So You Don’t Die Freezing In the Streets minigame.

2) Community members make significant content contributions – in fact they make the vast majority of all goods and services available in the game — but the monetization model for the YNAB game world fails to compensate them adequately, siphoning off most profits to support the owners of the means of production. A more equitable distribution of funds to community contributors like Valve’s Workshop system would be preferable.

3) While I found the protagonist to be generally likeable and intelligent, I found he often made inexplicably bad decisions like the infamous “Spend Your Whole Paycheck on the Steam Sale” scene. This kind of irrational self-abnegating behavior made me feel like I had no meaningful say in the story. And come on. It’s 2014. Do we really need another boring white guy headlining a title?

Overall, YNAB is a compelling indie title that makes a great deal out of very little, but the p2w mechanics and lack of next-gen graphics are a big drawback. Set aside a little money each month and pick it up during a sale.
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172 of 198 people (87%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
556.8 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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366 of 469 people (78%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 8, 2014
Let me just preface this was saying, there’s nothing technically wrong with YNAB4. I picked it up with quite a few others on the Steam summer sale for only $15. A fair price, and nothing like the insane original asking price of $60.

At the time I was looking for an offline replacement for Mint.com. Something that I didn’t have to risk any security of my accounts with another 3rd party, and something which I didn’t receive ads or spam. The official website even has a blog post detailing how they’re better than Mint and its shortcomings. While YNAB succeeds on those requirements, it simply doesn’t match the functionality and ease of use of mint.

Of course, YNAB and its followers will point and say that its shortcomings are there by design. Which is really the entire problem I have with it. You’re not buying a piece of budgeting software. What you’re buying into is a self-help and financial planning seminar and community with its own particular brand of philosophy on personal money management. It just so happens the software is there for you to put into practice what you’ve learned.

Not that there’s even anything wrong with that, it just isn’t for me. I didn’t have any money issues, and I don’t need to micromanage every dollar I spend. Even when trying to use it in earnest, I couldn’t see any benefit. Manual micromanagement of every transition seems to be a “feature” and not a flaw, in order to force people to look at their budget as they go. It doesn’t intend to monitor your accounts such as a retirement fund, stock plan, or other such options.

It’s simply not for me. It’s geared towards people who can’t manage their money, and live paycheck to paycheck. I simply wish it was more apparent in the approach they were taking.
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90 of 97 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
145.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
If you are tired of making spreadsheets or need a simple yet effective solution to budget your money, YNAB is for you as it does it's job pretty decently. YNAB may be a bit lacking in features such as taking account of interest rates, importing bank statements and so on but the philosophy behind YNAB can be helpful to keep you in the black. It is also useful for international users as Mint does not support majority of the banks around the world.

Personally, I had found that this budgeting approach had helped me into developing "spend within your means" habit while encouraging me to save up for future such as an upcoming Steam sales or a new GPU for my PC. However, the YNAB's approach of personal finance will require you to be more proactive in your spending where you should be recording down each expense as soon as possible to make the most out of it. To make things easier, there is also a good mobile app for iOS and Android for you to keep track of your expense on the go then sync into your dropbox where you can access your data on both your PC and mobile devices.

I have been using it for almost a year and I found the software to be useful for my personal finance. I do recommend this software.
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584 of 800 people (73%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.6 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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Recently Posted
119.0 hrs
Posted: October 20
This software is absolutely excellent. You will note there are two types of reviews. The positive (these people get it, and invested the effort to get the most out of this).. Then there are the negative reviews, which are from people who mistakingly think this is a checkbook in digital form, or have somehow, amazingly, been unable to understand it.

If you use it thinking it's a checkbook, you miss the entire point of the envelope system and dollar pre-assignment. That's right, you "spend" your money in this before you spend it in real life. In case it isn't obvious, that is not the same as a checkbook. With some discipline, you will find yourself no longer worried about your bills showing up, but actually look "forward" to them cause you already have the money waiting for it.
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39.9 hrs
Posted: October 15
This software is great if you want to keep track of expenses, income etc. Can take a little bit to figure out how certain things work and fine tune everything to best fit yourself but once you do, it's great.

  • Ease of making a budget based on money in your accounts
  • Reporting tools to view spending trends and total wealth(or debt), income vs expense etc
  • Making cateragories and changing names, placement etc to best fit you. The software does start with a base setup but you can change names and locations to best fit, you.
  • Easy on the eyes
  • Can take some time to get used to, customize everything to best fit yourself

Overall I love this software, has helped me end credit card debt and live within my income comfortably. I waited and picked this up during a sale for $15 instead of $60. With that being said even if I did pay the full $60 it would still be worth it and money well spent.

Last thing to note is the software on it's own does nothing, you have to actively use it, commit to "I'm gonna make a budget and follow it" which is true of any budget software.
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363.0 hrs
Posted: October 11
I like it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.2 hrs
Posted: October 5
The first time I used the software a year or so ago I thought it was handy, but after returning to it after a while it felt very unintuitive and frustrating. I don't know what changes might have been made, but I constantly encountered confusing issues trying to make a very simple budget for myself.

The software presents itself in a way that it would seem user friendly and intuitive, yet it feels like I'd have to read a manual to be able to use it in the way I want. If that's the case I could just as well use Excel or write this stuff on paper. Things like adding different amounts of rent for different months (if you share it occasionally) was not intuitive at all, the software kept adding to the cost of the next months instead of treating it as a separate month. The whole month calendar is incredibly unintuitive as well, selecting one month to edit does not seem to do that, instead it selects a range of other months and puts the balance at 0,00. Even using the introduction feature did not make this much clearer at all.

Undoing actions does not seem to do anything for me, wanting to set an amount to zero when entered into a wrong space is not as simple as replacing the amount with a zero, that does nothing. Also, changing the amount, from say 200->400 does not change it but instead adds to it, so now the amount is 600. Etc. I'm sure I'm doing it wrong and there's a correct way of doing it, but that's not why I got this software. I'm not in this to learn YNAB like I was learning After Effects, I want it to help me with budgeting, that's what I paid for, not to take a course on how to use the software.

I would give this a positive if the interface was intuitive and didn't require going through tutorials for things like changing sums or editing simple monthly expenses. But now it's just incredibly frustrating and I'd rather do the same thing with a pen and paper.
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0.8 hrs
Posted: September 21
Having this as a thing listed in my Steam library gets me to open it. That's 90% of my problem.

My enjoyment was the ease of use with it, it has a general pre-made category for almost everything I wanted to include.

I was able to ballpark all the numbers in 20 minutes and so far it has SERIOUSLY improved my financial situation. It helps a ton that it's a Steam "application," but it's also well made. I never clicked Save on my file, and when I closed the program it saved the last change I made and re-opened with no issue. Cloud saves are a great thing for a financial system.
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21.7 hrs
Posted: September 21
I bought YNAB4 at half-price on a Steam sale, and since then I've gotten a ton of use. I can honestly say using it, and using it correctly, saved me from a potentially severe personal financial crisis and even homelessness about a year ago.

It's a good system, it's reliable software, and I cannot highly enough recommend it.

There has been some concern since the company's introduction of a new, subscription-based model, but if you don't care for paying by the month, YNAB4 is still a great option. Nothing in YNAB4 is tied to their servers, so you never need to worry about them pulling the plug after you've paid. YNAB4 will remain a viable choice, and if you don't need the new features they added to the subscription version (such as web access and direct bank import), it's definitely worth it.
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26.0 hrs
Posted: September 17
I’m old. Like 45 shitballs years old. Back in "the day" one had to keep a checkbook. You had to know how much money you had because you could unwittingly run out of money. You had to go to the bank to see if your rent check would clear unless you kept track of every expense. It was like the Wild West, but without the satisfaction or killing Gene Hackman.

Now you can just look at your phone and decide "pay rent or last call."

YNAB is nothing more than a gimmick that forces you to keep an old-time checkbook ledger so that you always know if you’re spending too much money. You have to record everything outside of your bank app that already records everything. Buy a Big Gulp…enter that into YNAB. Buy a Cheesy Gordita Crunch…enter that into YNAB. It gets old really, really fast.

The idea of YNAB is sound and the suggestions and videos they have are fantastic. Their advice is excellent. But all their software does is act as a second checkbook where you re-enter everything from your bank statement and look at it a second time. I mean every f’ing expense. Two months in and I was so tired from trying to use the software that I gave up.

It’s a good company with good ideas. You should know how much you’re spending on movies, food, cell phones, etc. But there is no reason to pay $60 to use their system of the obvious. If anyone out there has followed through with the data entry and learned something they didn’t already know, then more power to you. But you can learn all the nice, valuable lessons this title wants to teach you for free by via Google or YouTube without the expense or the time required to partake in their system.

Initially I was very impressed with YNAB. F-yeah, I’m going to take charge of my money!!! But less than two months into it I stopped using it because it was so tedious. Teach yourself these lessons for free elsewhere.
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54.0 hrs
Posted: September 15
Great application has helped me so much in saving money!
Easy to use and the support is great
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14.9 hrs
Posted: September 13
Two thumbs way up!
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0.4 hrs
Posted: September 13
need to add this for linux too. im tired of paying for windows license fees and macs are too expensive to purchase. got a $150 laptop and free software. i'm becoming a tight wad ... low paying jobs mean budget crazy ... bicycles, linux, and work at home. please add to linux and you will start getting more and more people on your network.
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