A really simple solution for multi user budgets

Ever since nYNAB came out, I've been requesting on all channels only one feature... the ability to share a budget with someone else.

Here is the thing: I have my own personal budget, my family budget that I want to share with my wife, and my business budget that I want to share with my partner.

I know there is some complication to achieve this, but this week something came to my mind which will solve this issue once and for all.

Ready? Here it is...

Allow us to set a password to enter a budget.

That way I can share my account with whomever I want and only with the password will they be able to access the budgets.

Seriously, I need a solution to this ASAP, I love nYNAB, but the inability to share the a budget really limit how I'm using it. It's excellent for personal budgets, but when there's more than one person in it, nYNAB is not really reliable.

Even more, we used to have this feature back in YNAB4, but lost it in the all new, all better nYNAB.

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  • Or to password protect the primary budget but not secondary budgets. I still think the solution that is going to work is one that protects YNAB's interests as a company. Even Amazon, with all its capital, has made it so that sharing Prime with other people exposes those sub-accounts' credit cards to control by the primary account, as a way to discourage indiscriminate sharing of Prime benefits. The solution for YNAB is probably something like sub accounts with one-way transparency. So your Uncle Bob would want his own YNAB account because he wouldn't want you to be able to see his,  but you wouldn't need to give access to the whole household budget to give your thirteen year old a budget. (And before the choir starts about whether or not you should give a thirteen year old access, YOU COULD. The issue is just that some people would prefer not to, and it's okay to feel both ways about it. I don't even have kids but I can see benefits to both sides.) 

    Reply Like 1
      • Reiji
      • nYNAB Evangelist
      • reiji
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Tan Major (faac422e1003) indeed, there are a number of possibilities that need to be addressed.

      For example, I have a daughter that I sure want to enter into the world of financial education as soon as she's ready for it, so a good idea would be to create her a budget, BUT this budget will need to be shared by me and her mom, now, her mom and I are not married anymore, and I have another wife.

      So I need a budget for my daughter that is shared with her and her mother.

      Another one that is shared between me and my wife.

      Another one that is shared between me and my business partner (which eventually could be more than one).

      I'm totally okay with getting more accounts for all these needs, but the hassle of having to logout and re-login for each use is not worth it.

      Reply Like 1
  • Hey  Gray Pegasus this is a pretty popular feature request, and as you can already see, it's pretty deep in how it could be implemented while creating guard rails for the potential that  Tan Major presents (ie. indiscriminate sharing). All that to say, it's definitely something we have on our list and I'll add another tick to that! 

    We actually have a real list where we tally up all the feature requests. And then our Design team walks through them in our regular research cycles to determine what’s next in YNAB. 

    I know this isn't ideal, but you may find that it's worth the extra subscription to run your business budget with your business partners in a completely different account. After all, if you feel like you're limited, $4.17 each month might be worth the potential of really unleashing the power of the YNAB method with your business partners!

    Reply Like
      • Reiji
      • nYNAB Evangelist
      • reiji
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Dan - YNAB Team Thanks for your answer  Dan - YNAB Team . I understand the deep it has to be implemented, because we do need control over our financial details and stuff. I am glad to hear it's on your list and am eagerly waiting for it.

      When I said it isn't ideal, I didn't meant the extra subscription, due to YNAB's price, I would be happy to have a subscription for each of the needs I mentioned before, the only problem with that will be having to logout and login everytime I need to check or budget or record something. If you give me an account switcher like Instagram's, or Twitter's, I will not bug you again and get a separate account for each of my needs.

      Reply Like 1
    • Dan at YNAB said:
      it's definitely something we have on our list and I'll add another tick to that!

      We actually have a real list where we tally up all the feature requests. And then our Design team walks through them in our regular research cycles to determine what’s next in YNAB.

      Dan at YNAB , what's the most effective way for us to add in our "votes" for the "sharing budgets between accounts" feature?

      My partner and I are both YNAB users and will be moving in together in the coming months (hooray!), and are starting to discuss the extent to which we'd like to combine budgets. The most likely solution will be maintaining separate budgets and also creating a joint budget for shared expenses, but currently one of us would have to share YNAB login access with the other to have mutual access to the joint budget, which is certainly not ideal.

      The "Up Next" page linked doesn't appear to be particularly up-to-date and lists many features that have already been implemented (hooray!), so where can we get a better picture of what we can actually expect next?

      Reply Like 1
    • Resistant Punch Roller You can always let us know whether in the forum or by emailing help@youneedabudget.com

      In fact, I'll add your feedback to the list! 

      As for sharing budgets, you might find some advice over on our Money & Relationships category. Some partners share a single YNAB account and then have separate budgeting categories (Partner 1 Fun Money, Partner 2 Fun Money, etc). 

      But I'm sure you'll get some great ideas over there!

      Reply Like
    • Dan at YNAB Add me to this list too! I'm in the exact same starting cohabitation situation that Resistant Punch Roller is in. Yay love! Now let our budgeting catch up!

      Reply Like
    • Dan at YNAB  can I add another vote for that 'quick switch' between accounts?  Just opened a joint bank account with my wife, but we'd like to keep running our own accounts too. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Dan I would like to vote for this as well. I am willing to pay for another budget that is outside of what my partner should have access to, but would really like an easy way to switch between the two accounts. Thanks!

      Reply Like
      • MartyH
      • MartyH
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Dan Several of those Up Next items have already been implemented.  Someone needs to update the list.

      Reply Like
    • MartyH Thanks! I've notified some folks. 

      Although most of those are complete, the in-progress ones are truly in-progress! :)

      Were you just looking for some more up to date idea on what else is coming down the pipeline?

      Reply Like
    • Cyan Inspector  Hey! We actually have a feature request form now that sends your requests straight to our design team, go ahead and fill that out letting them know what you want and why!

      Reply Like
      • MartyH
      • MartyH
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Dan Not really.  But I see this type of stuff all the time.  Published plans sometimes with expected dates quite a bit in the past that have been completed.  Sometimes even completed early!  It just looks more professional when this stuff is current, especially when someone goes out of the way to point it out!  😉

      Reply Like 1
    • MartyH Gotcha! We often keep the released items on there for an entire update cycle just in case folks didn't catch it early enough. 

      But I've sent your feedback to our team and we'll keep working to improve our transparency here!

      Reply Like
    • Dan  Add me to the list to please. My situation is a little different, but being able to switch between budgets with different passwords is much needed. I am budgeting for my parents and my own family, but don't necessarily want them to see my family budget.

      Reply Like
    • Hi Alice Blue Thunder ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Since the thread started, we've changed our system a bit.  When you have a moment, would you mind submitting a Feature Request to let our product team know what you'd like to see? 🙂

      Reply Like
  • Implementing a robust UAC system would not be difficult. It just needs to be well thought out.

    All that is required is multiple YNAB accounts and access permissions on a per-budget basis. The number of accounts that a subscriber can share their budgets  with and/or the number of budgets an account can own  could be limited based on subscription tiering... that's something that other subscription software has built into their pricing model.

    Furthermore, you could also give user accounts admin vs. read vs. write access to a budget.

    You could also go a step further and be able to transfer a budget "ownership" from one account to another.

    This also allows better control over passwords since it eliminates the need for password sharing.

    Reply Like 7
      • negrcian
      • negrcian
      • 1 yr ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule agreed, being able to give your tax accountant/budget advisor read access, would be awesome for some folks.

      Being able to share a budget with a kid, would be great, then when they leave home being able to transfer the ownership of the budget to them, would make for a killer feature.

      For people with joint budgets, they could have a private budget and a joint budget that is shared with another user account.  

      Reply Like 5
      • Justin
      • JDthebushwalker
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule +1

      Reply Like
  • Just to clarify, as my situation is very simple:  Can one YNAB budget be accessed and functional from two different devices simultaneously?  I.e., can I be reviewing the budget on my cell, and my wife be using the budget on her laptop at the same time?  We use one unified family budget.

    Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Aquamarine Griffin (03279b4eb792) Yes.

      Reply Like
  • Thanks for this  Reiji ! I am surprised that this is not a feature of YNAB already, considering all of the articles already published extolling the importance of budgeting with a joint account ( https://www.youneedabudget.com/category/budgeting-with-partner/ ). I've been reading over these articles, but although they all repeat how important it is to operate from a shared account, none of them address how to actually do this within YNAB. Are we supposed to both add the joint account to our own YNAB instances? If so, we're going to be doubling the work of reconciling purchases and there's a high likelihood that we'll reconcile differently.

    Reply Like
    • Dallas you absolutely can share your budget with your wife.  The problem the OP has is he is running 3 separate budgets and only wants to share one of them.  That, you cannot do.  It's all or nothing.

      Reply Like 2
      • Dallas
      • Tomato_Drum
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      2dogs2cats are there instructions somewhere on how to do this? Do we each subscribe separately and then join our accounts somehow, or do we just both log in with the same user account, or is there some other option?

      Reply Like
    • Dallas  All you need to do is log in with the same account information.  You are then both able to update transactions and check balances as needed.

      Reply Like
      • Dallas
      • Tomato_Drum
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      2dogs2cats Thanks

      Reply Like
  • Since my wife and I are starting fresh this new year, last night she told me we should get a joint account so we can manage our budget online. Again, the problem with this is that we would be forced to log in and out of our personal accounts each time we have to enter a transaction.

    Again, there is no clear solution for this issue so far, and not clear ETA on when it will be.

    Reply Like 2
  • Great thread.  I budget for one so never even thought about all these options.  Great conversation, thanks.  

    Reply Like
  • I am responding to this topic because I want to know when this is ready. I myself am willing to pay 2x the fee for this feature.

    Reply Like
  • Years later, I came back to check YNAB out again.

    Still no translations. Still no multiuser support. But you expect me to pay for an incomplete product anyway. I think I'm just going to forget this ever existed because it's frustrating to know a product exists that my wife would actually use, but you refuse to enable us to do so.

    Multiuser should have been released on day 1. I can't believe your user base puts up with your bullshit.

    Reply Like
  • Adding my vote as well... need to be able to share limited access to s business partner

    Reply Like
  • When oh when will multi-user be available? Please YNAB - please make this a priority!! I made a terrible assumption that multi-user would be the norm and purchased before knowing this functionality does not exist. It didn't even occur to me that it would not. Feeling blue...

    Reply Like
  • Dan Please add my vote for password protected budgets!! We love this system!! We want to use it to teach our kids about financial responsibility and would like to be able to protect our main budget from their foibles.

    Reply Like 2
  • Add another one for shareable password protected budgets. Would love to be able to create a seperate budget for each of my kids to teach them financial control and responsibility without exposing our own personal budgets. Not sure I would be willing to pay an subscription for each of my children, if this was for a business sure, but not for teaching kids. There are other less convenient solutions that wouldn't cost anything and that's not to devalue YNAB, just looking at the cost / benefit ratio.

    Reply Like 5
    • Forest Green Major Ditto! 

      Reply Like
  • After getting a new phone, I found that I cannot use YNAB Classic any more, so I have switched everything over to the new subscription online only version. I am fine with that but not with paying TWICE just so that my wife can also access our finances. Is it really correct that she has to pay a separate sub?

    Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Wildcat if she wants/needs her own login, yes you have to pay twice. If you can share a login then no. Also if she has a separate login she can't access your budget. It all has to be done through a single login.

      Reply Like
    • jenmas Can two people be logged in with the same login at the same time? That's quite important as we aren't always together when we're using the app. Does this affect the mobile app or is that separate? Thanks 

      Reply Like 1
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Wildcat honestly no clue as I am single 

      Reply Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 11 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Wildcat Three people in my family use YNAB on our laptops and phones, and I'm sure we've been in the same budget at the same time. It's never been a problem.

      Reply Like 2
    • Alice Blue Wildcat yes. my husband and I are often in our budget at the same time on separate phones. we've actually watched the updates happen as one of us enters them! 

      that was important for us also. 😁

      Reply Like
  • Thanks to all of you for your replies. I am now happily using the new version on desktop, mobile and tablet together with my wife and we are both using the same login and it all works fine.

    Reply Like
  • Hello!

    I would also like to see this feature in the future! Me and my girlfriend would like to have our own separate budgets but one shared one and we can't do that now.

    Please YNAB make this happen! 💗

    Reply Like
  • Just create 3 separate budgets, with 1 shared. It works fine and this is what I have used in the past.

    I have gone back to Classic though for various reasons and do not use the web version any more.

    Reply Like
      • Lovro Tramšek
      • Web app developer
      • lovro_tramsek
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Wildcat Yeah 3 budgets on one account. But I would like to have 2 accounts, each having its own personal budget and a budget that is shared between the two. You can't do that now.

      Reply Like
  • And do you have the option to go back to Classic too?

    Reply Like
      • Lovro Tramšek
      • Web app developer
      • lovro_tramsek
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alice Blue Wildcat Don't know. I'm using YNAB for 3 months now so I'm guessing I can't.

      Reply Like
    • Lovro Tramšek If you only ever had the new version then I believe that you cannot access the older version. Plenty of other solutions out there though..

      Reply Like
  • I think there is a 3rd party API product that let's you do this.

    Reply Like
  • Found this app on the 'Works with YNAB' page- https://familybudgets.online/ Has anyone tried it? Wondering if it will address the issue of being able to share a budget with a business partner without exposing personal budgets.

    Reply Like 2
  • Any update on this feature?  I just added a budget for my newly working teenage son.  Would prefer to limit his access to only his budget.  

    Reply Like
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ivory Cheetah my children have their own YNAB account for free because they emailed support a student id. 

      Reply Like
    • Hi Ivory Cheetah !

      A number of YNABers are using the Family Budgets option on the Works with YNAB page. It allows to make budgets read-only or allow access to select users. :)

      Reply Like
  • For those willing to buy additional subscriptions for these use cases - you wouldn't necessarily have to log in / log out to work between different accounts. You could use a different browser or an icognito window. For example: Family budget in normal chrome window - primary account, Business account in edge / firefox / or safari with second account. 

    Reply Like
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