Buh Bye

Writing to say goodbye to YNAB. Bittersweet, because it used to work great for me and I invested a lot of time setting up multiple budgets. I very much enjoyed the supportive community . . . until I ran into problems with the Plaid switch. It disgusted me that when I tried posting the issues I was having, YNAB forum moderators deleted my comments often within 60 seconds, yet it took about 2-3 weeks to get answers after reporting through the support form. In all, YNAB importing of transactions was not working for me for 1/4 of the last year. YNAB did not offer to extend my subscription, and I didn't know about the satisfaction guarantee. 

Even after I started to receive support, it was never mentioned to me that there were alternatives to Plaid. In fact, I only found out about that through Reddit, not through the YNAB support forum because all discussion of the issues had been deleted. After I requested a switch away from Plaid, my connection improved a lot but were never fully resolved (e.g. some, but not all, transactions importing). The bottom line is that YNAB advertises the auto-import feature, and I have 20+ accounts, so suggestions to manually input transactions are not realistic.

Finally, I see that the New York Times (Wirecutter) is now recommending Quicken's Simplifi over YNAB, due in part to the issues the author had with YNAB and Capital One. I tried Simplifi and have to say that it is excellent. Perfect downloading of transactions that doesn't require 8 minutes of signing in. No idiotic messages of "5-10 minutes to update transactions can feel like forever!" and no built-in messages warning me that I will have to go through 2-factor authentication several times. Simplifi is not zero-based budgeting...but it has features that make it very close. 

Simplifi is half the price of YNAB and works 100%, while YNAB does not. 

Treating your subscribers with a little decency -- aka not zealously deleting problem reports in the forum -- would have gone a long way. I won't be back, and will not recommend YNAB. 

Best wishes.

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  • Also, if you delete this, you are part of the problem.

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  • Aquamarine Lion said:
    Finally, I see that the New York Times (Wirecutter) is now recommending Quicken's Simplifi over YNAB, due in part to the issues the author had with YNAB and Capital One. I tried Simplifi and have to say that it is excellent. Perfect downloading of transactions that doesn't require 8 minutes of signing in. No idiotic messages of "5-10 minutes to update transactions can feel like forever!" and no built-in messages warning me that I will have to go through 2-factor authentication several times. Simplifi is not zero-based budgeting...but it has features that make it very close. 

    Interesting. I wasn't aware of Simplifi. Just did a little research and it appears it's not a budget at all.

     

    https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/simplifi-by-quicken

    Simplifi by Quicken displays its intelligence in other ways, too. If you carefully document every transaction that came in during your first imports (and this is another reason to do so), you get instant feedback on your finances by way of your Spending Plan. This tool uses simple addition and subtraction to calculate how much money you have left to spend for the current month. It adds up all of your scheduled income and subtracts from that the bills and subscriptions it's identified as well as any other money you've spent. You can see all of these transactions listed by date.

    This is a great idea, but it assumes that you've been conscientious about documenting absolutely everything. A daily check of your transaction register should remind you of anything you've missed.

    Simplifi by Quicken offers more targeted feedback in another way. You can create Spending Watchlists to track money you've spent in areas where you tend to overspend. The site allows you to set these up by category, payee, or tag, and to specify a maximum if you'd like. Your Watchlists are displayed in boxes on one screen; each shows your four-month average and year-to-date totals, as well as the current month's amount spent so far, projected, and your target. You can create both ongoing Watchlists and one-time tallies, such as for holiday spending.

    These tools are Simplifi by Quicken's answer to budgets, which it doesn't offer because its developers and early users found that people spend discretionary money differently each month, making it difficult to come up with the perfect plan. This seems like an effective compromise to me. You're still watching your money closely, but you don't get locked into absolutes that might make you give up on the whole concept because you're not meeting overly strict goals.

    Hmm. That would worry me. Sounds a little short-sighted. With YNAB, I do feel like I have the perfect plan. It looks to me like you're trading off great budgeting for great direct importing by making this switch.

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  • I agree there are trade-offs, and trade-offs that I would not make if YNAB was fully functioning with my accounts. If YNAB continues to work well for you, that is great, but there have been a lot of users whose functionality decreased in the past year. Also in Simplifi's favor: immediate customer support. I tried it twice and they were very helpful. What Simplifi doesn't have is YNAB's dedicated community of users. So, again, trade-offs. What's not clear to me is WHY Plaid wasn't working and why things never worked perfectly. I suspect that Simplifi succeeds in this area because they are owned by Intuit, which I believe works directly with banks. I might be wrong, but my impression is that YNAB's providers use logon info to sign in to accounts and scrape information. Am not sure if this is a different method. Best wishes.

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    • MsTJ
    • YNAB has given me back my future
    • Believer_in_YNAb
    • 3 wk ago
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    Sorry to see you go.  

    I agree, importing is not the best, and it is one of least important features, for me.  Hope you find happiness elsewhere.  Wishing you well.   I'll stay here with my YNAB budget.  I love it.  

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  • Aquamarine Lion said:
    I suspect that Simplifi succeeds in this area because they are owned by Intuit, which I believe works directly with banks.

    That’s exactly right. Intuit’s been doing the direct import thing since it’s been a thing. They have a close relationship with the institutions. YNAB is relatively new to it.

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  • Hey Aquamarine Lion ! Thank you for your frank, and honest feedback. I'm glad to hear that you've found a finance tool that works for you. I'll pass your message along to our team!

    Our goal with closing threads and using the Bank Issue form is to make sure YNABers aren't following incorrect or outdated information. Which used to happen more than you'd think! That way, our importing team can look at the exact connection and make sure the issues are addressed. I’m sorry to hear we missed the mark, and apologize that you did not feel heard.

    Improving the overall importing experience, and how to get folks the right troubleshooting information they need quickly is something we're thinking about a lot. I wish you the best!

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  • Aquamarine Lion I hope you had better luck with Simplifi than I did. I figured I'd give their 30 day free trial a shot. I thought maybe it would be a nice companion to YNAB as an account aggregator. Nope. It wouldn't link my credit union account. It got stuck in an endless loop attempting to "secure connection". Same thing for my company 401k retirement plan. Also, in the income section, I selected my income from the list and then... nothing. It didn't add it. No explanation. Anyway, I'll spend a little more time with it this week but it looks like it was DOA and I'll be cancelling right away.

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