YNAB Price Change 2021
You’ll see an in-app message today with more information on the upcoming pricing change that will impact your next renewal. We know—especially for a YNABer—that every dollar counts, and we don’t take price changes lightly.
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I've used YNAB since 2005 - (YNAB3 as was then)
my budget "muscle memory" is well entrenched now, I only moved to the subscription service out of loyalty. I think I've messaged for support twice - all related to debt - I've never really had any in recent years and nYNAB was (in my eye's anyway) doing weird things to my budget. I can't justify this cost per year - here in the UK the connecting to banks service doesn't work, and most banks here now offer "pots" so I'll just do that - I'll be sad to go, but I'm sure YNAB will carry on and help others, but not for me.
I'll be cancelling my subscription in February 22, when it's up for renewal - how do I download my data
I could have accepted this if the price for those of us paying $45 annually went up to $60 or $65. That would be a little more palatable. They would still make a ton of $$ with a $20 price increase. This is just mind-boggling.
YNAB make millions, there is no reason they can't give their long-time loyal users a break. Especially NOW, when literally EVERYTHING is going up.
Also, the announcement of the price hike coming in a pop-up on the browser is the equivalent of being fired by text.
Also, the announcement of the price hike coming in a pop-up on the browser is the equivalent of being fired by text.
100% THIS!!!!! No one at any level in the company appears to be willing to stand here and take the customers anger and frustration and explain. There may be a legitimate cost issue for them, but now no one will believe them. Their excuse is....we haven't raised the prices since 2017...., but think about it, the price has double since 2016. It basically works out to 12% increase per year. Its kinda like housing prices in the SF Bay Area.
I posted previously and it is good to see I am not the only one upset, I'm not surprised there has not been an official response, this has happened before, ignore it and it will go away. I have just been spending an hour or so doing a fresh start in YNAB 4, I did lose my history but I am willing to take that hit. That is working and the old app also works, not as good in some ways, but it worked for me before, so it will be fine. Annoyingly, I have matched the accounts and budget like for like, so it will feel the same, but I have a positive balance on the budget and yet everything else matches up, so that is frustrating, but I have created an error category and it can sit there. My new yearly subscription is due in a couple of weeks, so I could have another 12 months at the agreed price that has suddenly changed, but on principal I will not renew, I wonder where it could end, another rise next year or the year after, I had my suspicions about subscriptions and it looks as though they have come true.
Rather unfortunate news. Even though I was on the 50 USD plan, I'm not as fussed by the extra cost per month (I'll have one less coffee), it's more the principal of the situation and how it was handled.
In a positive light, this has motivated me to cancel my subscription and build an automated envelope budget in Google Sheets (currently working on file import from my Australian bank). I've got about 8 months to build something solid before my YNAB subscription expires (if anyone is keen to join in the build or have a look, let me know).
Like many others mentioned, for overseas users, a lot of the features implemented are not usable and so there is no value added for us. So I hope my Google Sheets venture will let me build a usable mortgage pay down function, add investment tracking and create a report dashboard that gives me the insights I need.
I also wasn't aware that Jesse is no longer the CEO. Didn't see any news about this either.
I'm also a legacy user. I was a beta tester for nYNAB (the online version) from YNAB4, and first started using YNAB when it was a very confusing spreadsheet. I also distinctly remember a very short time period to choose "lifetime $45 pricing" and not a discount, to the point I also ignored the pricing increase a few years ago due to my lifetime pricing. It may well be that official post-launch/Jan 2016 pages, announcements, etc., say "discount" it was very, very strongly marketed to us that if we switched, we'd pay $45 a year for life. Maybe it was just bad marketing back then, maybe now YNAB is using the loophole of "it was 10% discount, not price" ... either way, a whole lot of us long-time users who have adapted to changes and issues very clearly remember the price being lifetime. YNAB should be taking a long hard look at that - as someone else has said, we can't ALL be wrong in what we remember.
YNAB with the original buffer and structure was a life changer to me. I use workarounds to implement that now, though it makes me unhappy to have to do so. I have tried referring friends because it does make a huge difference, and none have been willing to sign up at the previous pricing. At $15/month there's no way I'll even refer people anymore.
And ultimately, I think that's the problem. With the changes over the years de-emphasizing the method that made most people love the system, new users don't understand some of the "rules" and reasons for the way things are done. Add in a pretty high price point, and it becomes a difficult sale. I suspect, though could be wrong - YNAB would have to release numbers about this - but I suspect that new users have not grown as hoped and therefore the pricing change is needed and the high percentage of legacy users was seen as a revenue stream that could literally double overnight. It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but YNAB knows that most of us will be mad, then decide it's not worth the hassle to research new systems and move, and just pony up the extra $45 per year. Who knows what numbers we're talking about, but if it's 10,000 legacy users that stay, that's $450,000 additional revenue without having to spend a penny in sales and acquisition.
So... yeah, I'm disappointed. I briefly looked at a few others but ultimately realized it probably won't make sense to spend that time looking. YNAB knows a lot of people will be like me. I do think the software, for what features we have, is overpriced.
At this point I'm seriously considering changing my budgeting methodology to save myself the annual price. I'm not in the pants on fire mode getting out of debt anymore, when the very detail oriented approach YNAB takes made it a great ROI and helped me get out of debt and save up an emergency fund. I will always be glad I used it for awhile, but with the increased price I just don't know that it's a good ROI for me anymore when I have some ideas for how to maintain my budget without YNAB that will be less work and cost $0 to implement.
So I had 2 days to think about this. My feeling has NOT change. Feeling supper disappointed by YNAB as a company and I wonder how its employees feel. Maybe they have YNAB for free as per, and it does not touch them, but I would be seriously questioning company that is so much alienating its most loyal customer base. Possibly the most profitable, as we are the one's who do not need your support, your overhead. We were just happy with the product as it is, or as it was.
I hope the management is thinking if they screw up. It seem the "legacy" users were overlooked in the change (indicating by the early correction of the FAQ). Don't know our user-base, but I think we are minority. It would be so easy for the company to remedy this without hurting them financially or reputation, goodwill wise.
I just opened a support case with YNAB with this text:
I'm opening this case to provide feedback on the December 2021 price increase in the hope it will reach the right people. I've been a YNAB customer for ten years. I've found the tools and the YNAB philosophy very helpful. I was an early adopter of the SAAS version of YNAB. I'm a beta tester for the iOS app. Like many, I locked in the $45/year price with the understanding that as long as I keep the service, I kept that price. My understanding was that the 10% off was a lifetime discount regardless of whether I cancelled and rejoined and the $50/year ($45/year after the 10% discount) was locked in for life. Based on this tweet at least some others at YNAB had this understanding as well, or at least communicated it in a way that many of us understood it this way: https://twitter.com/ynab/status/724660144949219328. I'm aware of other tweets/reddit threads that refute this, but it is hard to discount the idea that based on YNAB communication that many of us thought the price was locked at $45/year. That said, you could have handled this price increase better for grandfathered users. Another company I buy products which sells internet based cameras made a promise that some features would be free for life, but then the cost to provide that feature became unsustainable. They explained it to us and provided a special price for those of us who bought the product for the service and apologized. I'm still a customer of that company.
My point is, regardless of whether the $45/year locked price was true or a misunderstanding, the fault for the misunderstanding lies with YNAB. I think many of the grandfathered customers would stick with YNAB if an explanation was given and some sort of concession was made to ease into the price increase. A sudden doubling of price with little notice is causing many of us to look for alternatives. It's not a matter of if YNAB is worth the new price, it's about how the company treats its long time customers. Some potential ways you could help soften the blow:
1) Allow grandfathered customers to renew one more year at the $45/$50 year price, knowing it will increase next time. It could be worded as a 50% one time discount for the transition.
2) Give 6 months extension on current subscriptions for free for grandfathered users.
3) Make the price increase incremental for the grandfathered users.
I'm sure there are other ways I'm not thinking of, but the main thing is show an effort at recovering from this botched PR and give a good explanation. You will retain many more of your oldest customers with such a goodwill effort. If YNAB does nothing but say you can pay the new price or cancel, then many like myself will reevaluate our use of YNAB and explore alternatives.
The Cofounder of Monarch is giving away extended guest passes over at Reddit. I am attaching the link. Just make sure to DM him.
I am likely to get drowned in this thread, but I am still unsure about renewing in March, which is a shame as I really like YNAB features, but it is getting pricy. One thing that could be interesting is having a regional price tag?
People are upset about $100 USD / year, but with the exchange, that comes up at $140-150 CAD... that is becoming overpriced compared to other options on the market (around $70 CAD/year).
Well, after all these years, I have now cancelled my subscription and put in the details box as to the reasons why, I doubt if anybody will read it or be bothered. I could have had another year at the reduced price, or should I say, realistic price, but for some reason I feel really hurt with how the message was delivered let alone the massive price increase, in principal I cannot pay another penny to a company the has so little regard to long term loyal customers. I have looked at a few alternatives since this happened and being honest, my head is spinning with the choice, none really match everything I want. In the end, I have dug out YNAB 4, put all the account balances in, yes I lose the history but I can live with that, set the budget like for like with the paid YNAB, adding monthly amounts to the category title that I need to save and you know what, it's just what I need. Yes it is not as sleek, the mobile app is used only for recording a purchase and no more but it gives me what I need. So now I need to decide what category to add the money to I was going to pay YNAB this month. Good luck everyone in whatever you do, I doubt if all the people cancelling will make a difference, but sometimes you have to make a stand, thank you YNAB for the past few years and I am so sorry you seem to have lost sight of your core customer, times change I suppose, just hope you don't regret letting us go, because at some point you may just look back and think we could have handled things better.
Just one more voice in the chorus here. I started with YNAB 4 in Jnuary 2015 and I still have the key but no longer have a copy of the file to reinstall it (and the link in the email is defunct), but I made the jump to the $45 plan in 2017 because I also thought it was $45 per year for life that I was signing up for. I even remember chatting with someone at YNAB about it because I was so hesitant to make the move.
After losing my job of 21+years in June (I work in the long-term care industry and our company is trying to avoid bankruptcy at all costs and I more than understand the decisions they made that affected so many of us) I have finally found a job but it's $15k/yr less. I'm a 56 year old who wants to retire, but needs to work so her family can have medical coverage, and who is trying to build a nest-egg for myself and my husband, and I may not be able to find it in my heart to accept this price increase.
I have two aging parents, my husband requires too much medicine already (construction worker, his body started breaking down from the wear/tear about 10yr back) and I'm just trying to get him to 60 so he can quit. I figure I'll be working until I'm 70 who knows. (maybe a budget category for lottery tickets is in my future)
We're not spenders. The only thing we owe is the mortgage. Definitely a living below our means household. I too will wind up heading to Excel or Sheets soon enough it sounds like.
I've been closing accounts and consolidating them over the past few years figuring if anything happens to me, he needs to just see it all in a clean and simple format because I'm the budgeter and he doesn't know what we have where.
I understand the need to charge more to pay for increasing costs. But after 6 years with no raise, and the salary cut from the job switch, and our expenses for medical going up each year, I'm just shaking my head no at this.
So, basically, YNAB has me by the ovaries, as they seem to be the best and biggest and are using that power to really screw over the longest most loyal customers by this sudden and drastic price increase.
That is so true, and it's the drastic price increase that reminded me once again how captive I am, and I HATE that feeling. It's why if I have anything in the cloud, it is also duplicated on a HD, and preferably backup drive (local AND cloud again) as well. It's as close as I can get to having a "piece of paper in my hand" without actually being buried by banker's boxes.
I knew this would happen to me eventually, and now it's here and I'm facing it ovaries to the wall. I cannot speak YET to the budgeting function of YNAB, but so far my migration of accounts is going absolutely swimmingly. I started with the hardest and most bloated accounts and they're all reconciled and now linked up and all categories are accurate, even within splits.
I have 12 years of experience with Banktivity, just not the budgeting frontier, so if any Mac people want to converse give me a shout.
So I spent time the last couple of days redownloading Quicken. I had an active subscription but I had decided last year to stick with YNAB. It wasn't that I didn't like Quicken so much that it was a pain to get it all set up with at least a year's historical data.
When I look again at Quicken it really does do so much that YNAB doesn't do. And, really, I don't need a zero based budgeting system. I like it and will do some of the Quicken workarounds to get at close to it as I can but -- financially -- I don't need it.
Leaving aside cost for a moment, I've mostly stayed with YNAB the last 5 years for 3 reasons:
1. I like the "look" of it. Quicken's desktop version is very dated looking particularly in its register view. But, the web version is better and you can't have everything. This is mostly a "look" issue and not a function issue.
2. Historical data. I have converted my data for about the last 9 years to nYNAB form. I have multiple budget file. I usually start a new one every few years. But, fairly often I will go look something up from a few years ago. Just this week I had to go look up something from 2018. I don't like not having that historical data in Quicken.
But - I can export my YNAB data and can find stuff if I want to. It is a pain, but OKish.
3. I have absolutely learned to love the cloud nature of nYNAB. I am a little surprised by this. I think it is fine that Quicken has a desktop version but I wish the web version was more full featured.
Really the big one here is no. 2...the historical data. But, I just can't justify staying with YNAB given what they have now done. My account doesn't renew until March and I will wait until then to do anything but I can't see keeping it unless they roll this back. (BTW, when I got Quicken I was originally going to run both it and YNAB and then didn't. I wish I had....)