comparing YNAB to other apps?

I am looking for something for my daughter and her boyfriend.  My nephew recommended ynab.  I would appreciate your thoughts on other money management apps (ie MINT) and how YNAB compares, positively or negatively.   Ease of use, clarity,  and ability to use on iphone,  android and via desktop/laptop computer a necessity.

PS I assume the $83.99 yearly fee is one fee for all users (ie my daughter, her boyfriend, and me kind of "supervising".....?)

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  • Yes, that's correct, except that they'll have their own password and you won't be able to supervise their budget per se.

  • I have tried other apps, YNAB is the first one I have been able to stick to. The whole concept is different from "traditional" budget in the approach, the Four Rules. A plus for YNAB is the classes, you can take them as many times as you like. The instructors are super and so is YNAB's help desk that you can contact via e-mail. 


    My only complaint about YNAB is that I did not find it when I was 18-19 and starting out. 

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  • Hi Cornflower Blue Piano !

    YNAB is meant to be a household subscription. You can have multiple budgets in your account, but anyone accessing your account has to use the same email address and password (so we don't suggest sharing with people outside of your household). If your daughter and her boyfriend plan to use it, you'd need to know the email address and password in order to log in and see how things are going. 

    There's a mobile app, a web app, an Amazon Alexa function and even an Apple Watch app! The web app is the most functional, but the other options are nice additives to help you stay on top of budgeting. 

    The biggest difference between Mint, Every Dollar and YNAB itself lies within the YNAB Method, which is applied to every aspect of our software. I think the best thing to do here would be to read this blog post (or this podcast!) that hashes out the differences.

    The line to focus on in that blog, though, would be this:

    YNAB helps you look forward and proactively decide where to spend your money instead of looking back and kind of wondering, “Gosh, what happened? Where did it all go?”

    If your daughter and her boyfriend use YNAB, it will teach them to be proactive about budgeting and not reactive. :)

    We also offer a number of things outside of the program to help - such as the blog and podcast linked above, along with free, online workshops.

  • Cornflower Blue Piano said:
    I am looking for something for my daughter and her boyfriend.  My nephew recommended ynab.  I would appreciate your thoughts on other money management apps (ie MINT) and how YNAB compares, positively or negatively.   Ease of use, clarity,  and ability to use on iphone,  android and via desktop/laptop computer a necessity.

     I love YNAB.  I searched for years before finding a budget I would work with, YNAB.  A major part of why I love YNAB so much is the teaching.  I had an idea what I was doing and YNAB cleared many things up for me.  Today I'm making progress where before YNAB I just kind of held on.   

    YNAB takes some work to learn the process and it is a process.  It's well worth the effort and the pay off has been fantastic.  If you don't want to work that hard or answer those hard questions, YNAB won't work that great.  For me, it was groceries and eating out.  I had to ask myself almost daily "Do I want to make that purchase or save the money for my goal?"  Initially I wanted the purchase and as time went on I chose my goals more often.  It is a process, and well worth it.  

    This version of YNAB is a fairly new program (less than 3 years) and there are still some bugs that need to be worked out.  Things are progressing nicely and basically works but you might run into some glitches.  If you do, support and this forum probably have a way for you to work with what the budget gives you.  Even given the recent problems, I haven't found any other program that even comes close to giving me the ability to make the informed choices that YNAB gives me.

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  • People like Mint because it requires zero effort. But you don't get much actionable information out it, it can only show you what happened in the past. It will tell you "Oopsie, last month I spent too much on X" but it won't tell you how you are doing right this moment. And last time I used Mint (4 or 5 years ago) I think it only let you link a bank account to a single category. Well what if you only have one bank account but more than 1 category?

    YNAB requires work. You have to interact with it on a regular basis. You should not make spending decisions without consulting your category balances first - can I buy this $15 Tshirt? I don't know, how much is in the clothing category? Hmm $7, guess I should either take money out of my Movie category or wait until I get some more money to buy the shirt. I really want to see Jurassic World on Friday, so I guess no shirt for me.

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  • I like YNAB a lot. It's revolutionized my finances and given me clarity for the first time. For years I have been tracking my spending after-the-fact, but with YNAB I am much more aware when I am over-budget. (I should mention that I enter each transaction manually, which helps with having that immediate feedback.)

    But, I switched to YNAB from an app called MoneyWiz, and there are definitely some features I miss.

    (1) The most important is that MW deftly deals with multiple currencies, which YNAB does in a much more awkward way.  With YNAB, you need a completely separate budget for each new currency. I managed to make this work on my last vacation (four countries involved), but it took a lot of extra maneuvering. MW lets you assign each account its native currency, and you can also enter individual transactions in any currency (they are estimated on-the-fly, and you can manually adjust them when the charge posts).

    (2) MoneyWiz lets you search for transactions on the mobile app (not just the web/computer version). This is such an obvious feature that it baffles me to not have it present in YNAB.

    (3) With MoneyWiz, I have written to the developers about bugs and had them literally re-write the code and roll out a fix within weeks. This is kind of incredible. I have to assume that the developers don't sleep. YNAB also has a robust support system, but it more often results in something along the lines of "We will consider your feature request" or "Fixing this is on our roadmap". Though to be fair, the YNAB software basically "works", within the limitations of what it promises to do, without any serious bugs. 

    (4) MoneyWiz can track investments. YNAB kinda-sorta can be used for this, but it is not its mission. 

    Summary: Keeping YNAB. Currently using MoneyWiz in parallel just because it has some features, crucial to me, that YNAB lacks. Hoping this will change in the future.

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