Advice for a wavering Quicken user?
I have been using Quicken for years. I stumbled on a YNAB blog post while searching for creative budget names. I'm fighting for a family budget but so far I am losing ground with my wife. If only there was an app for that.... :wink:
The missing feature in YNAB for me is tags. I use tags to track vacation expenses, but more importantly, to break down expenses per vehicle. We have four vehicles, mostly because I deliver rural mail and have to maintain a couple vehicles just for that purpose. But different vehicles have different purposes.
It appears that YNAB has turned a deaf ear to the tag functionality request. Reference:
My dream situation would let me run Quicken on the desktop, YNAB as the budget interface, and use VeryFi to instantly capture all receipts.
I found the following discussions, which while helpful, did not provide the satisfaction I seek:
P. S. Ironically, this forum post allows me to choose a tag from a list.
Not having used Quicken for more than a month, I'm not exactly sure how tags were used, but you can always put a hashtag in the memo. Then it's easy to sort, search, or isolate those transactions. With your 4 cars, you might try having a category group for each if you don't like the memo idea.
The main benefit of YNAB for me is that it provides a neutral interface for my husband and I to plan/keep up with our money. It allows us to be in the same page and speak the same language (which we weren't... that was crazy). It forces us to establish and talk about and agree on our priorities proactively and transparently. Then, it provides a way for us to shift the plan to maintain those priorities as the details change.
It also protects against the scenario of each person mentally holding a different idea of how the money will work for us. Giving every dollar a job means that you can't separately think that the last $500 will go to a new tool as well as provide groceries.
Give it a try - the paradigm shift is very powerful for finances, and it's been quite good for our family.
YNAB is focused on making a plan for your future spending. A unique identifier in the memo in conjunction with Search is usually enough to compute anything you'd need to put on your taxes.
The point of categories is to protect money and make priority-based spending decisions. It sounds like a dedicated category per car wouldn't add anything of value. (If Car 1's category were empty, but Car 2's category wasn't, if you'd reallocate from Car 2 to fix Car 1, then having them separated is just busy work.) I believe the important thing is that other categories make do with less given adequate car maintenance funding (in total). That's simply less work in a single (combined) category for all cars.
I do the same tag/memo approach for vacation expenses. It's trivial to pull up a specific trip total via Search if I wanted to (although, I don't know the last time I actually referred back to those records to guide budgeting for a future vacation).
Note, I do SAVE funds in trip-specific categories simply because of overlapping timelines. (I wouldn't want to accidentally spend the "Wedding Trip Dec 2021" funds during the upcoming "Labor Day 2020 Camping" trip.) I usually reallocate to the generic Vacations beforehand (and categorize to that during). A couple times different family members had overlapping and separate trips, so we categorized to the specific trip and then recategorized/reallocated to the generic after returning. Again, it's all about protecting funds from accidental spending on other purposes.
Hi Gray Piranha !
Improving the current tag feature is something our Design Team is looking into but, currently, focus is centered around continued improvements to new user onboarding in the web app, and a visual redesign of the mobile app. With that in mind, we don't expect to see any changes to tags in the short term.
You can submit a Feature Request to let our Product Team know how you'd like to see the tag feature perform in the future, but it might be a while before we get there! :)