Review of YNAB 3.0 You Need a Budget Software for PC or Mac

Best Envelope Budgeting Software: You Need a Budget YNAB 3.0 for PC or Mac

YNAB Electronic Envelope Budgeting Just when I thought I had it all figured out by using online tools like Mint, I repeatedly saw mention of one of the top rated budgeting software for download on your PC or Mac, YNAB 3.0 (You Need a Budget). YNAB is a budgeting software that incorporates the envelop method of budgeting. This may just be the next step for me in advancing my money management and control of our finances. The tools that I am currently using are easy to import my financial information and great for big picture trending, but we still haven’t really done well at isolating how to break some of our patterns and stick to our budgeting goals.

One of the goals of this tool is to help you get off of living only paycheck to paycheck. This is accomplished through the “YNAB Buffer” or by organizing your money in a way that you are able to save enough to off set one month of bills.

Your YNAB Buffer is the equivalent of one month’s income which, once saved, will allow you to use paychecks received during the current month for the following month, removing you from the “Paycheck to Paycheck” cycle.

This tool is not for the faint of heart. It is for people that are truly committed to managing the budget and investing the time and energy necessary to do so. When your are ready to get serious, give this tool a try.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Type of  Tool: Downloaded Budgeting Software for PC or Mac, imports .OFX, .QFX or .CSV files (Download from your online banking)

Price: $59.95

Compatiblity:
Windows 7 / Vista / Vista 64 / XP / 2000
Mac OSX
Linux

Pros:

  • Simple, user friendly interface includes “Accounts”, “Budgets” and “Reports”
  • Intuitive categorization
  • Flags for follow up
  • Excellent reports for trending with ultimate control of what you are looking at and exportable to Excel or to Print
  • Helpful how tos section and blog for getting started
  • Helps set up and manage your funds for one time expenses
  • Helps save for larger 1 time expenses
  • It can help you track EVERYTHING you spend – even cash which I hate because its usually disappears without a trace.
  • Very helpful for people with variable income

Cons:

  • Getting started can take a long time to set up. Unlike some other tools (Mint.com) that auto categorize the majority of your expenses, you need to manually categorize all of your expenses, at least at first.
  • Cannot auto-import your information, you must download it and import it into the tool (This could also be seen as a PRO for some that are weary of the online only methods for security reasons)
  • Not as full featured as Quicken or MS Money for investment and business tracking

Screenshots:

Reports Trend for YNAB


6 thoughts on “Review of YNAB 3.0 You Need a Budget Software for PC or Mac

  1. We switched to envelope budgeting about a year ago, and haven't looked back. There are a lot of awesome software packages out there–YNAB is definitely a contender, personally we use Mvelopes.

    I love the idea of living on last month's income, which is one of my favorite things about YNAB. Even though we don't use this particular software, I still apply that principle.

  2. I did a trial with Mvelopes as the concept seemed to me to be perfect for my needs. I ended by terminating before the end of the trial because: 1) Myvelopes was completely unable to handle accessing my BOA account, even after 2 attempts at resolution with tech support; 2) the internet is rife with complaints about both their outdated software, and their somewhat gimmicky pricing plan – many seem to have been sucked into the free trial and then canceled too late to get a refund, as cc info is taken upfront. I really wanted it to work!

  3. I'm an avid YNAB 3.0 user. Excellent implementation of sound (yet rarely used) budgeting principles such as: 1) Assign every dollar before it's spent, 2) Build a “buffer” or “emergency fund”. 3) Work towards no longer living paycheck to paycheck. Software has user friendly interface and is aesthetically appealing. YNAB 3.0 gets 5 stars from me!

  4. I'm an avid YNAB 3.0 user. Excellent implementation of sound (yet rarely used) budgeting principles such as: 1) Assign every dollar before it's spent, 2) Build a “buffer” or “emergency fund”. 3) Work towards no longer living paycheck to paycheck. Software has user friendly interface and is aesthetically appealing. YNAB 3.0 gets 5 stars from me!

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