YNAB (You Need a Budget) money software provides users with the necessary tools to create and maintain successful budgets and create and achieve their financial goals. The online help and support options are amazing, and we were impressed by how dedicated YNAB is to providing their customers with the tools needed to be financially successful in their personal and professional lives.

Ease of Use
Compare
10/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
9.4
8.8
8.1
10
8.8
9.4
8.1
6.3
5
3.8

Creating financial goals and maintaining a budget should no longer be a struggle in today's technological world. With YNAB money software, it's easy to create accounts, and you can access them 24 hours a day via computer or iPhone. The software's charts and reports are easy to read and understand, and they are perfect for compiling your financial information to prepare for tax season.

Need to find a specific transaction? All you need to do is type in the first two or three letters of the merchant to generate a list of matches. For example, if you are searching for a transaction made at Costco, simply type in "Cos," and the software will provide you with additional filters such as payee, category, memo or check to help you narrow the search. You can also use specific transaction dates. The search bar tool is unique to this money software and is perfect for finding financial information fast.

Banking & Bills
Compare
10/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
10
8.4
8.8
10
7.5
8.8
8.1
3.8
3.8
3.8

You set a goal to only spend $50 a month for entertainment. That movie got such great reviews, though, and that new restaurant sounds amazing. Soon your entertainment expenses exceed $50 and become $100 or more. With YNAB money software, sticking to your budget is simple. Simply use the YNAB buffer tool. The buffer tool keeps you from overspending by taking what you have overspent the month before and subtracting it from that category in next month's budget. So, for example, if your overall income for the month was $3,000 and you set a $50 entertainment budget, if you went over that amount and spent $75, the extra $25 would be taken out of your total entertainment budget limit for the next month, leaving you with $25 for that month.

Categories help keep all your expenses, income and scheduled payments organized and easy to manage. Once entered into the system, a payee name will automatically be assigned or appear with a few key strokes. This money software also features bulk categorization. This feature allows you to select multiple transactions and categorized all of them at once, saving you time and energy.

YNAB has added a sticky note feature for every category or expense, which we love, allowing the user to write a note or reminder about each transaction. This feature is perfect for the holiday season to help you keep track of what you bought for whom and how much you have spent on each person so far.

Reporting
Compare
10/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
9.4
8.1
8.1
10
9.4
7.5
7.5
5
2.5
3.1

"I spent what on what?" YNAB's infamous pie chart shows users exactly where their money goes. For those using this money software for a few short months, this pie chart may be a rude awakening, which is the point. Money management software is an excellent tool to help you organize your finances and save money for those special events in your life. This money management software has all of the reporting tools you need to help keep you on track to meet your financial goals. All reports are colorful and easy to read, and many of them feature a report on the top half of the screen and a chart or graph representing those numbers on the bottom half.

Tax Options
Compare
1.3/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
9.4
5
6.3
1.3
5
5

This money software does not have a section dedicated to taxes, but having access to detailed pie charts and line graphs illustrating your yearly expenditures will be helpful when preparing tax returns and other information. Within the money software, YNAB has an excellent tagging system that is able to categorize expenditures into deductibles, business expenses and other direct or indirect tax-related categories.

Archiving/Security
Compare
9.4/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
10
10
10
9.4
8.8
10
8.8
6.3
5

Encrypted and password-protected, YNAB provides security and peace of mind to its users. This money software also has backup and restore options. Year after year, archiving net worth and expense and income reports will become quintessential comparison tools for evaluating your financial successes.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
9.4
9.4
8.1
10
8.8
7.5
8.1
8.1
6.3
4.4

Finding budgeting software that is equipped with the help and support tools you need is crucial. We are extremely pleased to report that YNAB has the best help and support options we have seen within money software or any other type of software for that matter.

On the YNAB website, under the support tab, users will find a deluge of helpful tools, including:

YNAB University – This online tool is perfect for first-time YNAB users, those who are just beginning to set financial goals and maintain a budget, and those who have been budgeting for years but would like tips and tricks to improving their strategies. YNAB University is a 10-day course that can be read online or downloaded to your iPhone or iPod in an audio format.

Quick Start Guide – If you have been budgeting for years, or if you have used YNAB before, this is the perfect one-page document that will refresh your memory regarding the functions of this money software.

Video Tutorials – This money software created video tutorials that cover everything from setting up accounts and categories to scheduling transactions and setting goals to pay off credit cards and other debts over time.

Live Online Classes – We are continually blown away by the help and support options provided by this money software. These free online classes are available to anyone and are taught in an online classroom setting. Each month, new classes are scheduled throughout the week. Classes include a budget workshop, how to handle savings accounts and credit cards, and how to stay on track to meet your financial goals.

Community Forums – In addition to the excellent help options within the application itself and live online classes and tutorials, the community forums are a wonderful way to connect with other YNAB users by joining in discussions or creating new ones. If your questions cannot be answered anywhere else, which we highly doubt, the forum is yet another fantastic tool for obtaining information.

User Manual – If you're not a visual learner, don't worry, because YNAB has created a user manual that covers every aspect of using this money software. This manual is available in a digital format that can be viewed within the application itself – the help tab is located on the bottom, left-hand side of every window – or online in a PDF format that you can also download.

FAQs – For those who are considering purchasing YNAB money software, the FAQs section will answer questions you may have about compatibility, financial tools and so forth.

Personal Investing
Compare
/10
Quicken Starter Edition
AceMoney
Moneydance
YNAB
BankTree
Simple Home
RichOrPoor
iCash
BudgetExpress
PiggyBob Premium
8.8
10
8.8
3.8
5

Although heralded for its excellent banking and bills features, superb help and support options, and ease of use, this money software, unfortunately, does not have any features dedicated to importing investment-account data, downloading stock quotes or stock history, or maintaining a portfolio manager (which includes all investments, such as a 401K). We do believe that specific accounts, budgets and financial goals pertaining to these topics would be simple to setup and maintain, and should be added to the software.

YNAB Summary:
8.5/10

YNAB is, without a doubt, one of the best money software applications on the market today. We were blown away by its easy-to-use interface, help and support tools, and the option for iPod and Android downloads. Now you can access and update your financial information wherever you go. We definitely recommend You Need a Budget to people who are just beginning an evaluation of their finances, those focusing on budgeting for a small business or retirement, and those who just want to make smart financial decisions.

 
 
 

YNAB 3

Pros
Graphs are bright, colorful, easy to read and even easier to understand.

Cons
There are no financial calculators within this money-management software.

The Verdict
: 8.5/10

YNAB is, without a doubt, one of the best money software applications on the market.