Which version of ynab to use

A helpful member provided a link so I could restore the old version of ynab I had. Since I also started my free trial of the new online version, I’ve been inputting data into both to compare versions. So far, I’m thinking of just using the old version since I won’t have to pay the yearly fee for it and I’m familiar with how it works. I’ll admit, I think the new version has better graphics, but is there any other reason to pay for the online version? From looking through the forum, it seems there are lots of blips in the system, which is another reason I’m thinking of just using what I’ve already got.

FYI, I use ynab primarily to keep a quick eye on my budget and I round to the nearest dollar (sometimes the nearest 5$ increment), so being exact, down to the penny, is not necessary for me. I know some people do it differently, but I prefer my way. 😊

Thanks again to the person that showed me how to access my old version. I thought it was lost forever!

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  • My opinion...

    Advantages of New YNAB

    • Budget from any browser (e.g., at work)
    • Different CC mechanics which some feel are better, especially if carrying a balance. (Easy to increase debt.)
    • Goals to do the math and suggest budget entries for you
    • Direct import (if your bank is supported and the connection isn't broken and you don't mind sharing your bank credentials with a 3rd party)
    • Mobile syncing arguably more reliable (some have had issues with YNAB4's Dropbox sync)
    • Undo of very recent actions (unfortunately limited to the current browser session)


    • No ongoing cost
    • Different CC mechanics, less work and chance of error for paid-in-full cards. (No automatic debt increase.)
    • Automatic facility for "living on last month's income"
    • Multiple months visible at once
    • Future-dated transaction can optionally impact category balances (proactive)
    • Checkpoints (restore a past budget, effectively a longer-term Undo)
    • Flexible/configurable budget sharing (e.g., read-only, a specific budget, etc.)
    • Easy to ignore overspending if that is your desire. (Whether that's a good idea is a different discussion.)
    Like 1
      • Happygirl
      • Happygirl
      • 2 wk ago
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      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui thanks for this input. I’m leaning toward just using ynab4, and your response reinforces this for me. 

      Like 1
  • Hi Happygirl !

    As a company, our top three reasons for using YNAB (in no particular order):

    • Online access and better mobile apps. One of the keys to sticking to your budget is having it accessible easily. Now you can access your budget from any computer with internet access, and any iOS or Android device. You can also adjust your budgeted amount on the mobile apps with the new version.
    • Easier reconciliation and bank connection. The easier it is to keep your numbers in line with the bank, the easier it is to stick with your budget and be able to trust your numbers.
    • Goals. The visual reminder of why you are sacrificing in some areas can be motivating! For example, to see that you're 1/5 of the way toward saving for a Disney vacation for the family makes it a lot easier to forego grabbing pizza on the way home on a busy night!

    Personally, it was the first bullet point that really made the difference for me - having to go through Dropbox to access my budget on different computers using YNAB 4 was a hurdle I didn't particularly enjoy and I felt limited to only a certain device. With the online version of YNAB, I can budget from anywhere. 

    If you're leaning towards YNAB 4, I'd stick with it. If you change your mind, you can always move to the online version later - maybe a new feature down the road will catch your attention. ;)

  • I have been using ynab since the days of ynab pro (wasn't that the name?), and I am also giving this on-line version a try. So far, I don't really know how I feel. 

    I LOVE that I can import my information on any device, pretty much instantly. I have ynab4 installed on an old laptop that I pretty much just drag out when I want to do my budgeting (really only 1-2 times per month). That is cumbersome, especially downloading for each individual account.

    Other than that, though, I don't really know that I need to pay a fee for online ynab. I pay my credit cards in full each month, I sometimes overspend in various categories, but I budget a month ahead of time.  I don't have any specific "goals" that need to be addressed with the new program, and I don't have a need to track every expenditure as soon as they happen. 

    The credit card feature confuses me, but I'm sure I could learn how it works.

    I like that I can get a discount for using the new version, but I'm pretty cheap, so. . . IDK.

    • Forest Green Transistor Welcome to the web version of YNAB! I started with YNAB 4, personally. Things are different from the early years! This video on Upgrading from YNAB 4 video goes through the new features, and differences—which you may find helpful. Of course, we're here if you have questions as you explore the trial!

  • Forest Green Transistor said:
    I have been using ynab since the days of ynab pro (wasn't that the name?)

     Yes. That's when I started as well in July 2008.

    Forest Green Transistor said:
    The credit card feature confuses me, but I'm sure I could learn how it works.

    You don't have to. There's an easy workaround to make it work the same as YNAB4 and before. You just make your CC accounts checking accounts instead. Great for PIF cards.

    Like 1
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