Personal Finance is a topic I love. If you don't yet have a family budget, then you need to step-up your game. Perhaps read my post on 7 Reasons why you need a Family Budget. There are a LOT of budgeting applications out there to choose from. It's certainly understandable if you're on the fence about which one to pick. If your not sure which budgeting software is best for you, I'll give you twelve reasons why I love using YNAB. I have tried almost all of them over the years and have consistently stuck with and used YNAB for over 10 years! If you are
YNAB is very simple. Period. They focus on just the budget and debt (getting out of debt). They don't get into fancy portfolios, stocks, or other aspects of what can be considered personal finance. They keep it simple and continue to improve upon what is already great. Even thought they are simple, they still have a large array of features that make setting up, maintaining, and sticking to your budget easy to ensure that you have full control of your family's finances. They have graphs, goals, automatic transaction downloads, and many other tools and features to make it easy.
Any software company that hopes to achieve any kind of success these days must have a great mobile app. YNAB certainly does. YNAB is available as an iPhone App, iWatch app, iPad app Android App, and even on Amazon's Alexa. With your budget at your fingertips, you have no excuse to spend money on stupid things. You don't have the excuse of being misinformed, or not knowing what you had in a certain category. Its right there in your pocket, next to your text messages and phone calls. The data is accurate, live, and objective. It doesn't care if you REALLY want those concert tickets or that cool new phone. It's just data that you can use to make an informed decision about what YOU want to spend your money on. Can you afford that sweet new pair of shoes? Look at your app. How about that new soundbar for the TV? Look at your app. Dinner? You guessed it, take a look at your restaurants category in the app.
3. Excellent Product Support
If you are concerned about learning how to use their product, don't be. They off live webinars all the time and there is are tons of resources on their web page!
Hopefully you never need help, but if you do, they've got you covered. I have NEVER had a poor experience with the support staff at YNAB. They address you personally and take the time to follow up if necessary. They genuinely care that you get assistance and are happy with the support and the product.
They work as a cohesive team as you would expect. If you reach out, and get a response from one person, then reply to them, you may get a response from a different person if your original support staff member is off for that day.
4. Beautiful User Interface
The UI (User Interface) for the YNAB mobile app and the full site are both beautiful. They are simple, colorful, and best of all they are easy to use. The color schemes are intuitive and will tell you at a glance where you are with your budget. Red means you've overspent in that category and you'll need to move some money from a category that has extra funds to ensure that you'r not over budget.
5. Superb Debt Handling
If you have a credit card that you need to carry a balance on, then figuring out what to pay on that card can be very intimidating. If you're in a situation that requires you to continue to use that same card then determining what you should pay can be even more of a headache. YNAB handles this situation BEAUTIFULLY. It will automatically track purchases on a credit card and give you the amount to pay each month to account for those transactions. You can then choose to allocate even more money to help pay off the balance on that card. Lets look at an easy example.
Suppose your card had a balance of $1000 when you started your FREE YNAB trial. Over the course of that month you needed to put $38.76 on the card for gas, $147.78 at the grocery store and spent $347.98 on unexpected repairs for your car. Thats a total of $534.52 in new charges to your card. YNAB is going to tell you that you should pay $534.52 right there in your budget. If you want to pay more, then you can add in more money and it will still give you an accurate number. So if you have an extra $100 that you add into the budget for this credit card, then YNAB will tell you to pay $634.52. This payment can be made and YNAB will remove that money from your checking account and adjust the amount of the credit card balance as well.
6. Method / Logic
One of the BIGGEST reasons that I love YNAB is their method. I'm not going to re-invent the wheel here. They have a page dedicated to this on their website. You can go check it out, just don't forget to come back! YNAB TEACHES you to budget using four rules.
Give Every Dollar a Job
Embrace your True Expenses (Plan for things that you KNOW will be coming)
Roll With the Punches (which is essentially being flexible)
Age Your Money
Check out their page for details on each of these. They really will help you get a much better handle on your finances and allow you to save more money and get out of debt.
7. Data Security
I'd love to be able to pretend like all of the information on the YNAB security page makes sense to me. However I can't say that it does. What I do get from reading this page is that they take it as seriously as every other organization that deals with finances or sensitive information. They don't want to jeopardize our information, since that would likely jeopardize their trust with their customers and their entire company.
YNAB offers the ability to add or rename categories. You can add an entire budget section, or use two entirely separate budgets, say one for personal and one for a rental property or business. It has the flexibility to drag groups or categories up or down so they appear in the order that makes sense for you. There are also options for different color schemes.
Budgets change. Thats a matter of fact. Its ridiculous to think that you can set a budget on Day 1 of any given month and expect that everything will work out by day 30/31. Don't kid yourself. Be realistic and know that you're going to have to change a few things during that month. The car might break, your kid might throw your phone in the toilet, or the dog may need some kind of medicine to get better. In any given month, SOMETHING will likely happen that wasn't anticipated. If you're current budgeting app can't handle those unforeseen situations then its time to move on to something that can. YNAB won't disappoint you!! You can adjust your budget using a variety of different ways to ensure your still on track.
Yes, YNAB costs money. But honestly, what did you expect? Quality products are not going to be free. Was your iPhone free? No, it wasn't. How about that nice new pair of Bose headphones? No, those weren't free either were they? To get quality software either 2 things will happen.
1. You pay a one time base price or a yearly/monthly subscription fee
2. The product is littered with a bunch of stupid ads you likely don't want to
see or don't even care about.
YNAB is only $84/year. Thats only $7.08 per month. You'll easily spend that at Taco Bell or McDonald's for ONE person. Don't make excuses, just get it. Honestly you can't argue that its "too expensive". It's not. Either figure out how to save yourself $7.08 a month or shoot me a line. I will personally call you and we can figure it out together. Either way, you'll save yourself far more than that a month by having a solid budget.
11. Automatic Imports from Major Banks and Credit Cards
If your life is hectic and you can't record transactions on the spot, thats not a problem. You can choose to automatically import transactions from your bank account and credit cards. For me, this is key. Since my wife and I are both logged into the same account on our phones, we both see the same budget. Many times if she has the kids, she isn't able to take the time to put these in. I don't have to worry that they will not get recorded. Anything that she or I miss, will still get brought in automatically. Don't worry, you still have to approve those transactions to ensure your accounts stay in balance.
12. Frequent Updates and Improvements
YNAB is constantly looking to improve their product. Over the last 10+ years in which I have used it, it has improved a great deal and continues to improve!! Sometimes you may not notice the updates since they may be bug fixes or behind the scenes changes. Regardless its by no means a stagnant program! Another cool thing for those who like to read about the changes is that they post all of their changes on their site. If you're already using the app when an update is released, then you will get a little popup telling you to refresh.
13. 34 Day Free Trial.
34 days, thats a pretty legit trial period! Lots of software companies may give you a 7, maybe a 14 day trial period. YNAB is giving you a full 34 days to determine if this is a great fit for you. The 34 days is a key number in a budget. It allows you to see an entire month's budget, and a few days into the next. This gives you the opportunity to really see how YNAB works and why their method is helpful. If you overspend in the previous month, it will reduce the available funds to budget in the next month, helping you stay on track and out of debt.
So there you have them. Thirteen reasons why you should give YNAB a try. If these were not compelling enough for you to give it a shot and get your finances under control than I'm not sure what would do it.
Are you ready to check it out? If so do me a favor and click here to get started. If you use that sweet link I just provided, then we will BOTH get a free month of YNAB. That's reason number 14 why I love YNAB, you share the love, they share the love. If you decide to subscribe to this awesome budgeting app, you too can get free months from people that you get to subscribe, as long as they use your referral link. I could continue to list reasons why I love YNAB. These 13 are just the tip of the iceberg. So we'll stop right here and go ahead and Start your FREE Trial. It won't take long for you to also love this product!