Software as a Service / Starting to seem like a scam

The entire point of software as a service / at least the sell-case to the customer - is continual releases, continual service improvement without long waits for big bang upgrades.

I'm not seeing this with Ynab, nearly a year in.  The 'improvements' in release notes are marginal UI tweaks and bug fixes (which should be part of ongoing maintenance, not represented as an improvement.  If my car doesn't drive correctly, I don't consider a wheel alignment a 'service upgrade').

Alternatively, basic asks that clearly resonate with many members of the user community go unanswered.  Printing reports is *still* broken - columns amputated from what is screen displayed - 3 years after requests show up in these forums.  Instead, we're given helpful alternatives on how exporting into Excel (another software purchase) can cure Ynab's persistent deficiencies.

I'm not sure if this is an issue where developers are driving the train instead of product management (as someone working in the industry, this is always a poor idea).  Speaking for myself, I'm nearing the year mark on returning to YNAB, after the poor initial rollout.  I don't know if I'll continue, if this product stagnation does.

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  • I mean this not to nullify your concern at all, but yes. This is what YNAB is. You pay for it and they make almost no significant changes to the software over time. Expect approximately 24-36 months between releases of anything that actually affect your ability to budget/streamline budgeting processes. They are absolutely unrepentant about this release timeline despite having touted the move to SaaS as being about not having to hold back the big flashy changes for a new version.


    So that is the product you are paying for, and only you can decide if it’s worth it. For me, at the price I’m grandfathered into, it’s worth it. But I don’t expect things I know I won’t get. 

    Like 9
  • From a popular phrase that's been in the news recently, "It is what it is."

    If you don't think you're getting your money's worth and you have a better alternative, move on.

    And WhoMovedMyCheese , I sincerely hope you find your cheese.

    Like 5
    • Superbone Believe me, I'm looking.  

      I think YNAB may be valuable for folks who are in a hole and need to dig out - akin to Dave Ramsay's debt snowball.  And it helps to reinforce a level of planning for folks who are now stable, and need the structure going forward as a check against bad behavior.  But I was a YNAB 4 user, and like WordTenor  I do remember the promise of faster turnaround of new features.  

      If  the timeline for those features is really 2 to 3 years - that's no different from a standard desktop product release schedule.  Hard to see then how the SaaS changeover wasn't simply a money grab.  Taking the new features timeline into account, using of  each 'version' of YNAB  to the next significant upgrade now costs about 400% of what it did as a desktop product.  

      Like 3
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 wk ago
      • 12
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese I'm not arguing with you about your base argument point. I had the very same one at the time of the transition. Even before we saw that changes came at the speed of molasses and that they didn't live up to their promises. I've been a user for over 10 years so I've seen it all.

      However, I don't agree with you about the base YNAB system. Maybe I used to be in a hole and YNAB helped me dig out. But I am now in the opposite position to what you describe and I still find YNAB helps me to optimize my savings better than any other system out there. I am much more than stable and I don't have any bad behaviors, just priorities.

      Like 12
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 3 wk ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Yeah, I hate the model of paying subscriptions for software when I used to just pay a price once and get to use it as long as I wanted to, but I also think YNAB is the best investment in my entire life in terms of ROI.  

      I've been using YNAB continuously >1 year, since summer 2019, and they've done quite a few additions while I've been using it.  They added the running balance (which really should have been there all along) and did two overhauls of the goals.  Nothing overwhelming, but not nothing. 

      YNAB is still totally worth it IMO.

      Like 8
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 3 wk ago
      • 4
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      PhysicsGal totally agree.  And there is a lot of discounting of updates because it "should have been there all along".  I'm fine with pushing them to improve but feeling like you are being cheated is ridiculous.  The product either provides enough value or it doesn't.  Be a better consumer. 

      Like 4
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal Totally agree regarding ROI! And it's not. Even. Close.

      As far as when you started, let's just say it was the optimal time when it comes to new features. 🙂The ones you mentioned are probably the best value added since the beginning of nYNAB.

      Like 2
      • bobbucy
      • Tomato_Snow_237e7f17927
      • 2 wk ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal And yet still won't do something as simple as give us back the check number field because Jesse doesn't think that anybody still writes a check (because he doesn't).  I agree that it's the best budgeting tool available right now and that's why I keep using it, but they remain just completely tone deaf to their customers.  It probably took them more time to create their CSV doodle during import then it would take them to give us back the check number field that we had in YNAB4.

      Like 8
      • Rakuna
      • rakuna
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      bobbucy A partial reason for that could also be trying to reach broader international audience. I for one live in a country where no-one ever uses checks and I know there a lot of other countries like mine in this aspect. I would have felt mighty confused about a field like this.  (Tough to be honest, I did already feel quite confused about the fields in the beginning regardless...)

      Like 1
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Ah, I didn't realize my luck in my timing.  I do know I was using YNAB3 in 2011 and when I started using nYNAB last year it was definitely a huge improvement over YNAB3.   I've tried Every Dollar and,  the paid version costs more annually than YNAB and is much less fully featured than YNAB.  Unlike YNAB, there is no real connection between the money in your accounts and your budget and it's much easier to mess up and get out of whack.  I quit using Every Dollar when I realized the sum of my sinking funds was above the total of my accounts, so I had missing money.  It's much harder to have missing money in YNAB as long as you are reconciling your accounts.  Other than that, there's not much competition, I guess there mEnvelopes but I see people are switching over from it a lot so I don't think it's so great.  I've seen a google drive spreadsheet that is basically doing YNAB's calculations, but I don't want to give up automatic imports and make my budgeting more work than it needs to be.

      I also think they focus the most effort on on boarding new customers  to help with the learning curve so they become long term customers.  Most people, if they can successfully use YNAB and get control of their finances, will keep paying the annual subscription if they get hooked on it and realize how much an ROI it's giving them and how wonderful it is to have money sitting there waiting to pay for unexpected car repair or home repairs and other TEs, which is really life changing IMO.  And just the calm of knowing your finances are in order is totally worth it.  But I honestly don't have many complaints about the software, since I've been lucky to be here for these pretty big improvements.

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Rakuna It's unlikely it was to make international audiences more comfortable. YNAB4 had the feature and allowed you to toggle it on and off.

      Like 4
      • bobbucy
      • Tomato_Snow_237e7f17927
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Exactly.  And more than a few of us have asked that we just have the same ability in the current version of YNAB.  

      Like 3
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 wk ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      bobbucy in all honestly, they are in the BEST position now then they have EVER been for bringing that field back. They already have a dropdown to show/hide running balance. Add the chk field option there.

      Like 6
      • bobbucy
      • Tomato_Snow_237e7f17927
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney Agree completely and that's exactly what I suggested to them.  At least they were honest in telling me that they had no plan to do so.

      Like
  • Nothing to add, other than I agree. Lack of competition allows them to rest on their laurels.

    Like 13
  • As someone that used to be in IT, I can tell you one benefit of the SAAS model vs update purchases. Keeping up with the world around you.  I am an accountant and the world of accounting is pretty stable. Payroll tables get updated 2 x per year and tax slips need to be prepared. Other than that, accounting doesn't change. Until something does. Something big! My example is when Canada introduced the GST (and then HST). The company I worked for did not update the accounting software as it worked just fine. But when the GST hit, we had to upgrade through 5 versions as there was not direct to new version conversion. Most software is like that. The latest version is the supported and nimble version. 

    This happened to me on a personal note with Quicken. I used Quicken for YEARS. But didn't want to go with a new version when my current one did the trick. Then the banking interface stopped working with my version and I had to decide whether or not to convert to the new version. I didn't (and now I am here).  

    Finally, support is better when everyone is using one version. 

    Like 3
  • I have to agree with the sentiment here and honestly if I could find something else to replace YNAB I probably would leave in a heartbeat.  Especially recently.  As said so many requested features, such as sensible multi-currency handling, never seem to get added.  "Updates" that seem to have constantly don't actually make any noticeable change to the application.

    And lately, Importing, which I 1000% rely on in my hectic world, has gotten so poor that I may be forced away no matter what.  Right now more of my accounts are failing to import than are working.  First it was just my Apple Card which I couldn't link.  Then it was my Capital One accounts which need to be "re-authorized" every day, which is effectively the same as not working.  Then for the last week or so my primary bank (RBC) hasn't been working, neither in Canada or the USA, and NOW I'm told that Chase will require re-auth every month.  I keep hearing "We're working on it" yet it never gets better.

    While I like the underlying product, I am increasingly dissatisfied by the company and the running of the product. It really feels like the shift from a one time purchased product like it was when I started, to "service" was for no reason other than to make more money.

    Like 1
  • I have some mixed feelings about the product, the cost and what I get from it. Yes, there are several pitfalls in terms of how the software works that can drive me batty (The first one that comes to mind is SFTF-Stealing From the Future, for those not aware) but I also see how much my financial picture has improved over the past 18 months that I've been using it. Not only that, but my level of financial comfort has risen tremendously. That alone is worth the subscription price to me. Now that I have a better handle on the quirks and pitfalls, I know to look out for them and get them corrected ASAP. I looked at a lot of other budgeting software before starting YNAB and I picked it mostly because of the YNAB philosophy of not budgeting what you don't yet have. I don't want  budgeting software telling me how much I "should" be spending on housing, food, transportation, etc. I'm a grown up now (or so they tell me) and quite capable of deciding what my priorities are. So yes, there are issues, and updates that most of us wish they would come out with, but in the end, it's a personal decision based on what works for you, and it may not be applicable to the next guy. Regardless of the issues I've encountered, I'm pretty sure I'm here to stay, as the positives outweigh the negatives for me....by quite a bit.

    Like 7
  • You're missing the other side of the cost, and that is the cost of the infrastructure. You need to run the software somewhere, and that takes bucks every month. You can rent it via services like AWS/ Azure / GCP. or you can buy it and lifecycle it. They could pay for it like Mint does by selling my data to serve me ads, or charge a modest amount of money. Just for a single reserved instance and a DNS services in AWS, my personal bill is 5~6 a month.

     

    The SaaS solutions solutions that irk me is when they are trying to shift you to running in the could so they can lock you into recurring revenue. I'm looking at you VMware. 

    Like
  • I'm one of those people that hates to pay for services. Like, if I have to pay for shipping, I probably won't buy it. If a video game is 2-3 hours long and $10, heck no. I didn't want to pay for YNAB in the beginning, but the 4-month trial convinced me and then some. I find that I got a lot for my $, including all the free workshops (I did most of them), the support staff (shout out to Faness   ) is phenomenal whenever there is an issue and of course the software that has allowed me to change my net worth by 400%. There's no way I could have done this with any other program, and certainly not with a free program that doesn't give me all this support.

    Like 8
  • I'm actually okay with paying each year for a software program I keep using.  The main reason why almost all companies have shifted to software-as-a-service is that it costs them money to keep the product working as is, without any enhancements.   

    From all the issues I read here about syncing (I live in Australia and enter everything manually), I imagine the dev team at YNAB spend large amounts of time maintaining the connectivity with the banks, who keep changing their security and their connections. Then keeping all the apps working and syncing and testing everything with all the changes in Android and I0S. 

    I don't imagine YNAB is making mega profits, especially with all the free supoort they offer...although I know that mostly benefits new users and is a customer retention tool for them. 

    As for if you bought YNAB as a standalone product (which I also did), nothing lasts forever.  Yes, its frustrating that lots of new features haven't been brought in, but it's not a big deal for me.    I still like YNAB and think I'm getting good value for money. 

    Like 2
      • bobbucy
      • Tomato_Snow_237e7f17927
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Yes I can  I also don't have a problem with the SAAS model.  The browser based solution has actually been helpful to me when traveling for work.  My issue is the same as already expressed with regard to little functional improvement, and I continue to find the overall attitude toward something as simple as the check number field to be completely condescending.  YNAB is able to get by with this approach because of a lack of meaningful competition in this space.

      Like
    • Yes I can  "I imagine the dev team at YNAB spend large amounts of time maintaining the connectivity with the banks, who keep changing their security and their connections."

      I sure hope not.  Because if a development team working for me (I'm a senior IT manager in financial services) pulled that stunt, I'd fire every last one of them,  including the product manager.  You can buy that service from at least 5 firms off the top of my head, and so long as you deliver clear requirements, connectivity remains that firm's issue, not yours.  This frees your developers up to...develop.  As in, feature upgrades in their core competency - budgeting software.

      Like 2
    • WhoMovedMyCheese You're correct, they do buy that from several import providers. Yet, it still consumes much of their time. I would guess partly because they have to support each provider's (different) API. I just wish there were more of a balance to the development. There's lots of things that could be done that would benefit ALL users, not just those who import. However, if the masses "need" importing, they do have to keep the primary revenue providers happy. (I have no idea the proportion of importers to the entire userbase. I have heard the number of users outside the USA is fairly small.)

      Like 2
      • Yes I can
      • yesican2020
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui yes I agree.  The integration clearly isn't working and given the discussions here, its a major problem so maybe WhoMovedMyCheese you're right some change is required.   It sounds from what I've read that these problems have got a lot worse since the move to Plaid? 

      I spent a chunk of my career as a senior marketer at a couple of different insurance and financial services companies (including large, medium, intermediary based, plus one startup) and  we always faced major integration and API issues.   This was especially true  the case where we had links between an old legacy pricing system, more user friendly website front end and mail house systems,  Every time anything was updated teams of people tested and crosschecked and something usually broke. 

      If there were ongoing and chronic problems with  a feature that seems so important to many customers, as importing seems to be to YNAB customers, I'd have been making business cases with the product manager for focus to be on fixing that one major problem not other features.    That said, if I was a marketer focussed on driving  acquisition and retention focussed, I'd be worried about making such a big change (eg. switch importers) as it would suck up all the dev focus. 

      Some of the readers here may be aware of the history (I had YNAB4 but didn't follow the change)?  It does make me wonder if rebuilding the system to address legacy issues  was a major driver for the change the new YNAB from YNAB 4?

      Like
    • Yes I can The previous product was on a dying platform (Adobe Air). However, make no mistake, the reason for nYNAB was the SAAS income stream. 

      The software at launch was the "minimum viable product" (their words). No search, no reports, no polish, but it had import. Box checked. 5 years later, they are still on top, so I can't fault their business logic.

      Like 1
    • dakinemaui  Well, there's no company that supports more import providers than Personal Capital (PC), and they don't have anywhere near the issues of YNAB.  PC is as useless in YNAB's wheelhouse - budgeting - as YNAB is  for PC's core purpose - wealth building/management.  But both products advertise robust import capabilities.  Both use external providers.  PC delivers on that, YNAB does not.

      If 5 years in, import is still broken relative to other solutions, that's usually a badly defined and executed requirements set.  Or, worst case - "its good enough, where else are they going to go."

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese All true. I don't know that anybody would disagree with any of that.

      Like
      • Scott
      • In the beginning the budget was created. This has made many people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move
      • Scottgoeshiking
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Every launch product is an MVP.. by definition. Figure out what the minimum product is that will be profitable and build that. Why would any company build something more than an MVP before releasing it?

      Like
      • Scott
      • In the beginning the budget was created. This has made many people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move
      • Scottgoeshiking
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese PC has significant revenue from managing capital. YNAB is a much smaller product from a much smaller company, with just one revenue stream - your subscription dollars. Whatever PC is doing that works, they have far more resources to put behind it.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Scott 

      Scott said:
      Every launch product is an MVP.. by definition.

       No it's not. Product managers/owners often have a really difficult time distinguishing between needed and optional feature sets. nYNAB was a perfect example of that confusion between need and want in a launch feature set.

      I see it all the time in my line of work building ecommerce sites. Some fancy feature is a must for MVP, but the reality is all you need for ecomm MVP is find products, view products, add to cart, take payments with accurate order totals, and report the data correctly to an OMS while supporting actual product inventory availability.

      I'm working on a project right now where the client keeps insisting they are going to launch in 10 days. yet they still can't load product data correctly and they can't get the orders fulfilled without human intervention in their end to end testing, yet they wasted loads of time trying to implement unneeded features instead of getting their systems to talk correctly to the ecomm platform.

      A nYNAB MVP would essentially have been a YNAB4 analog. No direct import, no goals, accurate TBB calculations.

      Technically it's still not MVP, because the current month TBB calculation is not always correct. Of course they have hand-waved that away. It's unfortunate, because I'd say not a week goes by where in one of the 3 major YNAB discussion places I frequent this particular issue pops up and has to be explained, when it so easily could have been avoided. 5 years of this ad nauseum.
       

      Like 3
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 13 days ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule thanks. Before I read your post about your current project I was whist fully missing my days as a business systems analyst. Your post reminded me of the annoying parts of the job which often involved a senior manager who didn’t know how things in the business got done, a user who wanted everything to stay exactly the same, and a development team that gave senior managers what they asked for rather than what they needed. I’ll appreciate my boring insignificant government job more now. 

      Like
    • Scott I would GLADLY pay more for YNAB if I was assured of rock solid bank connections.  It would be worth its weight in gold to me. 

      Like
    • WhoMovedMyCheese Yet another of my accounts (Chase) started having problems now.  Right now only 2 out of my 8 accounts are actually still connected properly.  That is 25%. In the image below 2 of them have no icon because I had to manually unlink them so that I would stop getting locked out of my bank! Yes, the connection to RBC was so messed up that it kept locking me out of my bank's website.

      Like
  • Yes I can said:
    I don't imagine YNAB is making mega profits, especially with all the free supoort they offer...although I know that mostly benefits new users and is a customer retention tool for them.

    I wouldn’t exactly call it free. It’s built into the price of the software.  Newer users use it a lot while more established users don’t use it at all (other than DI issues) and probably give back more than they get in the form of bug reports.

    Like 1
  • Yes I can said:
    The main reason why almost all companies have shifted to software-as-a-service is that it costs them money to keep the product working as is

    I think you have this backwards. These companies wanted regular income and have therefore shifted to SAAS to achieve that. Of course, SAAS has ongoing costs, but they knew that going in and charge accordingly.

    Like 2
  • KnitPurlKnit said:
    Regardless of the issues I've encountered, I'm pretty sure I'm here to stay, as the positives outweigh the negatives for me....by quite a bit.

     I think this is where a lot of people are.  It's hard to deny how life changing YNAB has been for the average person who goes from not budgeting to sticking with a budget in YNAB.  If they increased the cost a lot I might use a Google spreadsheet combined with  buckets at Ally for my TEs, but for now I'm a pretty happy YNABer.  In fact, I'm trying to get my sister to start using it, and my parents.

    Like 3
    • Agent99
    • Working to Get Smart at budgeting, finances and life
    • Agent99.1
    • 2 wk ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    I remain on YNAB 4 and am a happy camper with the features I need... The bomb out of the water will come. 

    Like 2
    • Agent99 You can't do Direct Importing from banks on YNAB 4 though right? If I recall that was the main feature that encouraged me to pull the trigger and upgrade.  Which is why it infuriates me so much that the headline feature I signed up to nYNAB for is so broken these days.

      Like
  • This is an interesting discussion.  I'm still in the trial period and every day I wonder will I subscribe.  I've eliminated all paid subscriptions and hesitate to get back into one.  I do manual entry.  The system is so much like the traditional check register method, and I am not averse to pens and calculators.  The educational content is fun and digestible and really is key to introducing people to personal finance.  There are a lot of issues with online banking, necessary and increasing regular maintenance which restricting your access to actually doing your banking, inevitable hacking incidents, impacts from hurricanes/flooding immobilizing services, the increasingly time-consuming authentication steps ( which are regularly being improved so you need to learn a different way into your accounts ), mobile apps not compatible with your device (after upgrades),  waiting for trial credits to be deposited and then recorded in order to link accounts and just the exposure of being online.  Not to mention waiting for the recording describing the several options to choose from to finish so you can speak to a human if you do call into customer service.  I like YNAB and I am happy for everyone who has climbed out of debt using it - what a terrific accomplishment.  Yet I wonder if the financial gains (in every sense) are is due more to the personal finance principles being taught vs the actual software system.  Just simply commenting here.

    Like 3
    • Cyan Violin Sure, the gains come from the principles. YNAB just makes it easy enough that you continue to follow those principles.

      Like 5
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Violin And that's just the base level. If you follow the YNAB principles well, you will not go further into debt and you will get ahead (Rules 2 & 4*). Next, you need to add the layer of a plan of action.

      If you're in debt, how will you get out of debt? What do you need to do to buy your first house? What's the best way to grow your savings? How much should I save for my kids' education? How does one invest? How much do I need to retire and when will I get there? These are all things you need to learn outside of YNAB for the most part.

      The most important part of a healthy tree is a solid trunk and roots. That's what YNAB is to your finances. It's up to you to take it from there.

      Like 1
    • Superbone 100% agree on this.  And that's a limitation on YNAB that I fully accept.

      YNAB's strength is that its focus is budget only.  It is not a combination budget, wealth management / tax tracking tool, where is where so many of its competitors tried to go, and died. 

      Andrew Tobias Managing Your Money, in the 1990s.  Microsoft Money in the early 2000s.  Quicken, until about 2010. Each of these tried to combine budgeting with a wealth management and tax view, and the complexity killed them. 

      What IS fair, and where YNAB has to answer is that any of those products:  MYM, Money, Quicken - had far superior reporting *on budget fundamentals* decades ago, then YNAB does today.  That reporting was robust enough to support a one button press report for your tax preparer every year - even if you were running a small business on the software.  YNAB's continual claim that a small business is trackable similarly doesn't pass the laugh test.  Every time I've seen a post where Jessie claims that, I cringe.  Cause either its not true - not without a lot of exporting and Excel hacking; or there's a really painful audit coming their way.

      But circling back to Superbone  's excellent point...get the fundamentals built in YNAB.  Then look to Personal Capital or some other such software to do the long view planning, to ensure you don't arrive at retirement with every month's budget balanced for 45 years - and no plan what to do next.

      Like 2
      • Scott
      • In the beginning the budget was created. This has made many people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move
      • Scottgoeshiking
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese Yup, I'd love to have better analysis tools in YNAB. While not as core to YNAB's functionality, the extremely simplistic reporting isn't in line with what I hope they are building. Frankly when I first visited the reports, I thought I was missing something.

      At this point though I've got YNAB to manage my monthly budgeting and I've moved on to PC for planning as you and Superbone suggest. I'd love to have YNAB embedded right inside PC in fact, replacing PCs budget section.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      WhoMovedMyCheese And I will return the compliment. This is an excellent post. I have never found that all-in-one financial software product over all my years. I used Quicken for many years before I found YNAB and sure, I knew where every penny went after the fact but by then, it was too late. I struggled paycheck to paycheck for many, many years until I found YNAB.

      I think you're right that maybe there never will be that all-in-one software. YNAB has said they're not interested in branching out from budgeting. Let's hope that someday their reporting approaches what those other products you mentioned can do.

      As far as business software is concerned, I do think that YNAB has backed off their stance a bit. I don't have my own business so I don't know what all is required but I think  YNAB only suggests it for very small businesses. I was told by one of the moderators that YNAB themselves stopped their own experiment and have gone back to Quickbooks.

      I do have a PC account but I don't use it much. Most of my investment accounts have two factor authentication so I have to request a key for each of them anyway so the fact that they are together in one place doesn't do too much for me. I might as well go to each website individually when I want to update my balances. I can get much better detailed info at their own websites.

      For investments, what I found works better for myself is my own customizable spreadsheet. Here I can do whatever is particular to me. For example, I balance my overall investment strategy in my 401k account where the bulk of my retirement savings lives. I have it configured to tell me the exact percentages to change in my 401k to balance my stock/bond ratio across all of my investments including my taxable accounts. This way there are no tax consequences as it is unnecessary to do any buying or selling in my taxable accounts.

      Like 3
  • What I almost can't believe is that such an unmatched software like YNAB doesn't even develop faster in those areas where they could really make money: In providing the most important world languages...

    I don't know of any similar software which is "only" available in English.

    Here I expect more from a current SAAS software...

    I can understand that only North American banks can be linked, but even here there is still room for improvement....

    Additionally the reduced capabilities for export, reports, tags etc.

    This is exactly what I wrote to the support, and there came the rather laconic answer that they would not concentrate on such things at the moment...Strange.

    We would love to have the whole world using YNAB, but right now our small team doesn't have the ability to translate our software and resources into any other languages.

    BTW: don't you have many Spanish speaking US citizens?

    Ok, but you see, I'm like many of the previous speeches: The principle is so unique that I will pay my annual fee again... 

    Tomcad from Switzerland

    Like 3
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Tomcad You are right. So much room for growth. It seems to me that an investment in a localization team could pay back in spades. On the other hand, they are struggling just to support their direct import feature as is and to add meaningful functionality to the base software in a timely fashion. But it does seem like a localization team could work in parallel.

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Superbone You don't even need a localization team. You build the base localization functionality into your software and outsource the translation work.

      Like 3
  • Superbone  nolesrule

    Professionally I work as a PLM consultant. There we use the (American software ... and yes ... SAAS) Windchill from PTC.

    It is completely web-based and available in 9 languages including all manuals and even user-defined input (if translated by the customer). Simply because of the fact which browser language was set on the client.

    Ok, I'm not asking YNAB to do this on this scale, because at PTC the development department is worlds bigger, but I think GOOGLE, Apple, and Microsoft wouldn't be where they are today if they hadn't focused on localization from the very beginning. 

    Like 1
  • I've been with YNAB for almost a year now and while I love the interface and how useful it's been, I do agree that there seems to be a lack of new features. I know people have been asking for more insightful reports for years and I definitely agree. If I'm gonna spend time compulsively adding my transactions (I even include payroll deductions in my income transactions), YNAB could at least use those thousands of transactions to give me insight under another angle! Looking at the source code of the Reports, it seems like they're using a chart library too (https://c3js.org/examples.html) so it's not like they have to spend a ton of time redoing entire new components.

     

    Looking at LinkedIn, it seems like YNAB has 12 developers + 3 mobile developers (on a total of around 100-150 employees it seems like). Being a developer myself, 15 developers for one product is a BIG team. The amount of work they output must be insane. I work in a company of around 220 employees. We have 4 main products and our biggest developing team for the main product has 11 developers + 2 interns. 

     

    I'm really not sure what they're working on but it must be something big like the desktop app version they talked about years ago or something. I checked their release notes page and I'm scratching my head as to how 15 developers only output that amount of work in a year. I'm not bashing them, it just makes little sense so for sure they're working on long-term projects that have not been revealed yet. Their release notes contain quite a lot of bug fixes, but they don't seem to be big bugs. nYNAB is pretty new so I don't think it's legacy code holding them back.. What is it?? It really makes no sense. Is there another product they're working on maybe? I'm actually super curious 😄

     

    With that being said, I'm really looking forward to see what YNAB has in store for us! I'm still happy with the product so far and enjoy using it.

    Like 5
  • I was in the same boat as the OP. And at the end of my first year I canceled by ynab subscription. Eventually I came back, because the only other viable way to budget ive found was spreadsheets. And manually recording each purchase was a pain and a half. Ultimately I am using ynab again but to be the only real value to me lies in the auto import.  $7 a month is a bit high for that I feel but not outrageously so. So I deal with it. With the exception of Capital One which I don't use anymore anyway (for unrelated reasons) I've only ever had minor tomorrow issues with auto importing.

    Many of the budgeting shortfalls I have addressed by using known workarounds (like using a category for income for next month), not using a specific feature (ie not budgeting beyond this month to avoid SFTF but using my income for next month category instead), using their API (not possible for everyone but with even basic dev skills is doable), and manually doing things that are simpler than manual transaction entry (ie I use my own script to track complex goals and it emails me what I need to budget each month rather than relying on built in goals).

    The best advice I can give if you don't feel like you are getting your moneys worth. Find what is most valuable about ynab to you and ask of that alone is worth $7 a month. If not even close then I'd say its worth leaving. If it is or at least is close to it its probably worth sticking it out and finding ways to deal with the problems with it instead of hiding an update will fix it. That thinking just leads to utter disappointment.

    The problem isn't ynab started as a MVP the problem is years later they are still there. Instead of small incremental improvements every 4 - 6 weeks, they seem to do insignificant changes like recoloring a button every 2 weeks and small incidental improvements every 18 - 24 months. Their problem is at the top. And if enough people can't find one thing about ynab that's worth $7 a month to them and workarounds for the deficiencies more users will leave and the company will eventually become insolvent.

    Like 2
      • Green Orca
      • Green_Orca.10
      • yesterday
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Foal I definitely feel like I'm getting value out of it for 7$ a month.. but if you take into consideration the 2 following elements, then it becomes a little more unclear: 1) nYNAB is now a SaaS product as the topic mentions, not a product you pay once 2) The longer you stay with YNAB, the more you expect to see updates that will be helpful to you

       

      So far, I've only been with nYNAB for one year so it's worth it, there is no doubt about that in my mind. In 3 years, I will have paid 330$ in CAD dollars.. Will I still continue to be a client and feel like the money is worth it? Probably. However, if the number of new interesting features continues to stay this stagnant, suddenly I feel like my answer won't be as obvious..

       

      nYNAB has been out for more than 4 years and I'm seeing veteran users still talking about Stealing from Future and basic reporting.. 4 years is a loooong time. I'm looking at their release notes and the updates in 2019 and 2020 are just very, very underwhelming for a team of 15 developers. So either that number of developers is completely wrong or they've been putting a lot of time/resources on perhaps experimental features and research (AI maybe?) that have just not panned out.

       

      To be fair, their "Up Next" page (https://www.youneedabudget.com/up-next/) has 2 things that do seem bigger in terms of workload (Mobile First & Debt Management) so I guess we'll see?

      Like
  • Maybe its the open source or government employee type, but being a big fan of transperancy, why not open up a read only view to jira/trello/whatever issue tracking system so we can see a bit more of the behind the scenes progress.

    Like
  • Green Orca said:
    To be fair, their "Up Next" page (https://www.youneedabudget.com/up-next/) has 2 things that do seem bigger in terms of workload (Mobile First & Debt Management) so I guess we'll see?

    All features to attract newer budgeters. But I get it. That’s what’s going to attract more subscriptions and keep the newer budgeters engaged that are still working their way out of debt. I’m just glad there is a Toolkit to handle things like SFTF. Such an easy notification to implement. Still puzzled why YNAB didn’t just adopt that solution in the native software.

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 12 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Something to notify/find overspending in this and last month would help AVOID debt growth. I really wish they would address the commonly posted questions most first, but I'm sure you're right -- new users increase revenue more than these ongoing annoyances cause users to leave.

      Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 12 hrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Honestly the beta fix for SFTF basically got the job done. It only doesn't work well if you go backward in time. I don't understand why it has proved so complicated to make the last handful of tweaks necessary to bring it fully to the app. 

      Like 1
    • dakinemaui You mean like the fact that if you overspend on credit one month, all indications of it completely vanish when the month rolls over? yeah I HATE that.  Makes it such a pain to track, and so easy to run afoul of it as well when you make spending right near the end of the month.

      Like
    • Superbone What is SFTF please?

      Like
  • Good point

    Like
  • As a person who had no clue of the relationship between money and stuff pre-YNAB; and as someone who tried to read and understood about 1% of the technical language in this thread, I'll chime in to say that YNAB has been the one thing that has made me confident that I'll be able to retire one day. It's made the difference between continually mounting debt and continually mounting savings. I don't look for new features, I don't have any banks linked to my YNAB account, and I specifically want fewer bells and whistles (aka new features). So - YNAB is somehow trying to appeal to me and to y'all at the same time. I want YNAB to be simpler and make fewer changes less often than it does; y'all want YNAB to do more changes and more things more often. I'm not sure they can make anyone totally happy in this scenario. I mean, I'm happy with it, but I wish it were simpler and didn't change so often, and I wish it would stop trying to get me to connect my bank. So, I mean, what're they gonna do?

    Like
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