Banktivity envelope budgeting?

6 months left on my YNAB subscription before I leave and I've been giving Banktivity8 a test drive.

 

Anybody have experience with Banktivity8's envelope budgeting system and can give the pros/cons compared to YNAB.?

 

Many thanks!

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  • Think I saw Annieland  mention using Banktivity. Am curious too, looks like many more features including envelope budgeting for less money per year.

    Like 1
  • I tried it, found it very uninspiring.  I get the anger on the price increase here, I feel the same way... insulted.  But I will admit that this is the only software I've really stuck with.

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      • rlogue06
      • rlogue06
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      rlogue06 This thread got me curious so I thought I would download the free trial... then I remembered why I haven't looked at it in a while.  They require a credit card upfront to even test it out.  Deal killer for me.  Even with the gouging from YNAB, I will stay put for the time being.

      Like
  • A lot of users have been commenting on Banktivity as well as other options.  See thread link below.

    https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/60hgb5g/ynab-alternatives

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  • Banktivity is a very comprehensive piece of Personal Finance software, particularly if you have investments to manage as well. For those who need to extract data via an enormous variety of configurable reports it is also superb. 
     

    it looks a bit dated though - at least on the Mac version!

    Envelopes have been overlaid over the original traditional budgeting system. In other words it did not start up as an envelope system and was certainly not designed as a budget to zero system. It has just been adapted later to try and serve that market. This leads to some oddities when setting it up,  coming from a YNAB viewpoint - all of which I have pointed out to their support team.

    If you are prepared to put in some legwork adapting it to your needs - and want a more comprehensive package - it is in my opinion the best contender on Mac. Something like Actusl Budget is far better (and cheaper) if you are looking mainly just an the envelope budget alternative.

    Like 3
  • Hiya.  Yeah I've used it along with YNAB for about a dozen years.  Never the budgeting feature so I've been digging into it for a few weeks and moving forward with it.  I made a Discord server so a bunch of us considering it can share support and knowledge as we figure this all out.  Their Envelope system is not YNAB, but at least it exists.  Since I already use the software extensively and pay for it and trust the team it's worth it to me to consolidate everything.  So far so good!

    Like 2
    • Annieland I just found my Banktivity 7 license again and will give it a try. Could I join your Discord channel? Do I need an invite? Never used Discord before.

      Like 1
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Spring Unicorn Heck yeah! https://discord.gg/Th6zNkkh. Just go to discord.com and download the app or you can even use the web I think. It's just chat, kinda like Slack but a lot less professional :).

      Like 1
  • I have joined Annieland and others on the Banktivity Discord as I've made the transition over to Banktivity from YNAB. While their envelope budgeting system isn't as polished as YNAB, it absolutely does the trick and comes with a boat of other features that may or may not be of interest to others.

    At the end of the day, if I'm expected to pay $100/year for a personal finance app, it best be able to do it all and not just glorify some envelope budgeting system. Banktivity is more than just lipstick on a pig. It can track investments, provides you with the option of traditional budgeting OR envelope budgeting without forcing it down your throat. 

    Best of it, it literally connects seamlessly with all of my institutions. No more fighting with YNAB about why direct bank sync is broken, at least that's been my experience thus far.

    Last thing I will say is that the few users here who have made their way over to the Banktivity Discord group that Annieland setup are extremely helpful and reminds of the day when YNAB first launched and we had a dedicated group of like minded individuals.

    Banktivity is not perfect, there are several easy UI enhancements they could make to take it to the next level which I've provided to them via feedback, but I would encourage everyone to be open minded as they consider other solutions to replace YNAB.

    Like 6
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Sander Aww you're so sweet, thank you.  Don't worry, if you go with another app you can still be our friend and chat about obsessive budgeting :D.

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  • I have just stumbled on this thread  - I am getting ready for my trial of banktivity so far I have tried Acutal (pretty good has a decent mobile app to add transactions on the fly thats really all I need it to do- and it is my number one choice as of now) but I really would like the goals feature to be added - coming soon per the developer and buckets (not bad but just not quite there yet it still needs work and a mobile app). Anyway YNAB is already cancelled but I have a few months left to find an alternative. 

    banktivity seems like a good choice as I have a Mac and the tiered pricing structure lets me pay for what I need (bronze is the same price YNAB promised to legacy users and includes import as well) - is Banktivity on par with YNAB - (great app but not worth the current price of nearly $100 a year.) or is it missing something?  

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      • pgauntlett
      • pgauntlett
      • yesterday
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Blue Koala (9a03380df751) I have commented earlier in this thread. A couple of thoughts:

      1) I love Actual too and for straight budget to zero stuff it is my number 1 choice

      2) However, I need (want?) more than either YNAB or Actual give - in terms of reporting in and working with my data and with investment holdings.

      3) Banktivity gives all that in spades and is definitely worth its fee. It has enormous depth (and as with all software some idiosyncrasies)

      4 BUT it is not first and foremost an envelope budgeting system. It has become a very comprehensive personal finance system with the usual traditional budgeting. Envelopes were added on top of the traditional budget a couple of versions ago (2017?). They work well but (a) they are an overlay over the traditional budget and not the primary tool (b) the system gives huge flexibility and requires a lot of very careful choices in the setting up (c) because budgeting is only one it’s tools and not it’s main reason for existing (like YNAB) it is not as straightforward to work with as YNAB or Actual. You need to adapt and make it your own,

      If you like to really get in to a piece of software I know of none better for Mac users who like to envelope budget!

      Like 1
    • pgauntlett I started reading the 'discord' or whatever format on how to set it up and wow.... its complicated. I have actual up and running and it mostly does what I need it to but I miss goals and a few other little items. I will likely set up a banktivity trial to see if it can make sense to me but money is really really not my thing. I mostly need good budget software that helps me plan and keep track of my expenses and things I need to save for. Im glad I have a few months to make a final decision. did you try buckets??? not bad but just feels way to rough and is missing a lot of things I like - hoping it gets better later on and it will be interesting to see which one evolves faster buckets or actual. anyway back to banktivity it seems like its way difficult to set up and more than I need. 

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    • Blue Koala (9a03380df751) Yes I agree - Banktivity is more for the “enthusiast” user than for someone who just wants to maintain a budget (most of us 🙂).
       

      I do have a Buckets licence from a few years back and it has not really advanced much in those 3/4 years. I don’t want to be without scheduled transactions or at least simple reporting, neither of which it does. And I would really miss mobile transaction entry.

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    • If you make it to the Discord group I am also on there under a different user name!

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    • pgauntlett I did make it to the discord group I didnt choose my user name here but there I just went under andyb   on discord   --- thats the impression I got about banktivity it does a LOT more than I really need,  I dont have a lot of investments only one home etc and I simply enter the interest into my loan accounts as "interest" they are off budget anyway so software does not care (YNAB or the others) -- I dont need loan / mortgage tracking I do that myself or investment tracking I do that myself and keep it updated simply as off budget / tracking accounts.

      I also am running buckets trial and its ok but missing quite a bit of things and is pretty difficult to use (editing transactions no payee field etc) and no mobile app  it just feels unfinished and updates have been pretty infrequent and not huge impact as far as adding features (scrolled through the change log on the site) I will likely keep my trial open and watch it to see if any major updates show up before buying it as it just doesn't feel like it meets my needs right now. So far, I think actual is what I am going to use,  Ive been running it since 11/9 alongside buckets and ynab (subscription good until march so I have time) and it is pretty good. I think im going to stop entering into buckets and focus on actual going forward. Banktivity seems like the learning curve is pretty steep to get it to do what I need it to do - a good reliable zero based budget that can help me plan for my future expenses using what Ive learned from YNAB.  It seems from reading the discord group that it was simply not designed to be a zero based budget but can be set to that with some tweaking it is a very full featured software, maybe to much for my needs and the App Store reviews are pretty bad also - bugs etc so Im not sure about that one.......  I kept hoping YNAB would re-think this but they will not. Every new 'feature' ynab has added lately has been pretty pointless to me and I still cant keep the direct import working for more than about a week  so I have become accustomed to manual entry / reconciliation anyway. 

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      • pgauntlett
      • pgauntlett
      • 20 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Koala (9a03380df751) that seems a pretty fair summation.

      I would probably caveat the Banktivity thing by saying that whilst it may now (or at least for the past 4 years) have been designed for envelope budgeting, it allows for a pretty broad interpretation of that idea. And therefore anyone wanting  to use the principle of “budgeting to zero” has to put in quite a bit of legwork (unless all their accounts are to be “on budget”),

      I think you will be very happy with Actual - I would be with a simpler set of finances and I will keep a close watch on it (may even continue to double up for a while).

      Like
  • Annieland

    It says the invite is invalid.  Could you send again?  Not sure how that works or if I'm doing something wrong.  Does it need a different invite for each person?

    Like
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 22 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      SquirrelFitte Oh, it expires after a week for security I think. Current is https://discord.gg/jSUhGs2P.

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  • Maybe, I got in there with no trouble I just set a user name and password and I was in. 

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