YNAB Budgeting App Review: Details, Features, and More

Take a deeper look into your favorite budgeting tool. This YNAB app review contains anything and everything you might need to extract the full potential of the YNAB app.

Updated on February 20, 2024
YNAB Budgeting App Review: Details, Features, and More

Preparing a budget is a pain. We all know that. And, it is all the more painful to adhere to the budget and maintain your spending as per your goals. However, it is an essential practice that cannot be ignored if you want to stay on top of your bills and live a financially independent life.  

Apps like YNAB are redefining the way we manage our budgets and allow everyone to plan and manage their funds smartly. This You Need a Budget App review includes a detailed study of the YNAB budgeting app. We will explore the YNAB subscriptions and understand how the product allows its users to become financially conscious and responsible. 


What is the YNAB App?

YNAB, short for "You Need A Budget," is a budgeting app. It helps people manage their money. The app's main goal is to give users control over their finances. YNAB uses four simple rules to guide users. 

First, it encourages users to plan for every dollar. This means giving each dollar a job, like paying bills or saving. Secondly, it helps users prepare for big expenses. These can be things like car repairs or holidays. The app spreads these costs over time, making them more manageable.

Thirdly, YNAB promotes adjusting the budget as needed. Life is unpredictable. So, when things change, the app helps users shift their money around. This keeps the budget realistic and useful. Lastly, YNAB teaches users to live on the last month's income. This means spending money earned 30 days ago. This approach reduces stress about money.

Additionally, YNAB connects to bank accounts. YNAB features like these help users track their spending automatically. The app also offers educational resources. These include articles and free workshops. They teach better budgeting methods. In summary, YNAB is a helpful tool. It guides users to make smart financial decisions. It's all about planning, adjusting, and learning. This way, users can reach their financial goals.

Some Unique Features of the YNAB App

As this product is often known as people's favorite, it goes without saying that this app certainly has some standout features that make it a must-have. So, this YNAB budgeting app review also includes some defining features that make the app such a sensation. 

Zero-Based Budgeting Method

It uses a special budgeting approach. Every dollar has a purpose. Users diligently allocate their income to various categories such as rent, groceries, or savings. It offers a structured way to oversee every dollar's journey. This method helps in controlling where every dollar goes and getting a better understanding of their finances.

Living on Last Month's Income

The app encourages a unique and forward-thinking practice. Users spend this month what they earned last month. This strategy prevents debt accumulation and significantly diminishes financial anxiety. It also helps in making financial management less stressful for the user.

Goal Setting

YNAB isn't just about managing current finances; it also helps users set financial goals.  It aids users in setting tangible financial goals. So, whether it's saving or debt repayment, the app helps you track your progress. It motivates users to stay on their financial path. Moreover, YNAB not only tracks these goals but also visually represents progress. Thus offering a constant source of motivation and a clear view of the journey ahead.

Real-Time Information

YNAB excels in providing instantaneous financial insights. It updates budget categories as users spend. The app promptly adjusts the budget categories and offers an up-to-date snapshot of their financial standing. For example, recording expenses in the app shows how much money is left, which ultimately aids in making informed spending decisions. 

Bank Account Integration

YNAB can connect to users' bank accounts. It automatically imports transactions. This feature saves time, reduces errors, and gives you real-time insights into your spending and account balances. Yet, some prefer manual entry for better expense tracking.

Educational Resources

The app doesn't just manage money. It educates on personal finance. With articles and videos, users learn more about money management. This knowledge empowers better financial decisions.

Flexibility in Budgeting

When it comes to flexibility in budgeting, life is full of unexpected events. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is designed to be flexible. It allows you to modify your budget as needed. So, users can adjust their budget when unexpected expenses arise. Also, users can move money between categories to adapt to changes. This means you can easily adapt to these changes without disrupting your overall budget. Simply put, it's like having a budget that bends without breaking.

Regular Check-Ins

Transitioning to the next point, checking the budget regularly is crucial. YNAB doesn't just set you up with a budget and leave you to it. Instead, YNAB promotes this habit. YNAB encourages a habit of regularly reviewing your budget. This consistent check-in keeps you in tune with your financial health. Regular reviews of the budget keep users mindful of their financial status. It's like having a financial guide always with you.

Supportive Community

The aspect of a supportive community is what sets YNAB apart. The app comes with a forum for users to interact. In the forum, people share advice and tips. They also seek guidance if they feel stuck or unable to understand some of the YNAB features. 

This community makes budgeting a shared journey, not a solitary task. You're not just working with numbers and spreadsheets; you're part of a supportive group striving towards better financial management.

Accessibility Across Devices

Users can access YNAB on multiple devices. Be it a computer, smartphone, or tablet, the budget is always at hand. This multi-platform accessibility enhances user convenience.

Privacy and Security

Security is paramount in YNAB. The app safeguards user data with strong encryption. Users can trust that their financial information is well-protected.

Pros and Cons of YNAB

The YNAB subscription app is among the best in the market. It certainly has its fair share of merits and limitations that are worth noting in this You Need a Budget review. Let's look at some of these pros and cons in detail. 

Pros and Cons
Effective Budgeting Method: YNAB's method encourages proactive budgeting and helps plan every dollar's role. Subscription Fee: Users have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to avail of the app’s services.
Goal-Oriented: The app focuses on reaching financial goals. Users learn to save and spend wisely. Learning Curve: Some people might feel confused at first, and new users may need time to understand the app.
Real-Time Tracking: YNAB connects to bank accounts for real-time tracking of income and expenses. Manual Work Required: Users need to enter some transactions manually.
Educational Resources: Offers articles and free workshops for learning better financial habits. Limited Free Trial: The YNAB free trial is limited and requires payment at a later stage.
Flexibility: Users can adjust their budget as needed. This makes it adaptable to life changes. Overwhelming Features: Some users may find the features too complex to use.

YNAB App Review | App Specification

Tech Specifications of YNAB App
Version Android - 23.23.0 and iOS - 23.23
Ratings Android - 4.6 and iOS - 4.8
Size Android - 22.68 MB and iOS - 121.2 MB
Category iOS - Finance

How Much is YNAB? Pricing and Plans

After getting to know about all of these features and functionalities, the ideal next becomes how much does YNAB cost? Well, YNAB (You Need A Budget) has different plans to help people manage their money. 

It offers a simple, structured pricing model that caters to different user needs. Thus promoting financial management and planning through its budgeting platform. Each plan is made to meet different needs. Let's talk about these options.

First in YNAB pricing is the Monthly Subscription. This type of YNAB app costs about $14.99 each month. It's great for people who want to try the app without a long commitment. It allows users to experience the full range of YNAB's budgeting features while retaining the freedom to cancel or change their subscription monthly. 

You can decide every month whether you want to keep using it. This flexibility can be particularly appealing to those new to budgeting apps who wish to trial the service without a significant upfront investment.

Next, there's the Annual Subscription. This one's $99 for the whole year. It saves you money compared to paying every month. This plan is good for people who are sure they want to use YNAB for a long time.

Also, YNAB pricing offers a 34-day free trial. This is a chance to try everything without paying. You don't even have to give your credit card information. It's perfect for seeing if you like the app.

What Do Our Experts Say About YNAB?

YNAB is known for its unique way of handling budgets. The app offers a distinctive approach to managing personal finances. Its philosophy encourages proactive financial management. YNAB helps people take charge of their money. 

Our experts at MobileAppDaily have noticed how YNAB makes you think about where every dollar should go. This plan helps you be smart with your money.

During the You Need a Budget review, our experts like how YNAB focuses on saving for the future. It's great for setting goals and saving for big things like holidays or car fixes. The app and website are easy to use, too. They make budgeting simple and less stressful.

But, there are a few things to think about. YNAB costs money every month or year. This might not work for everyone. Also, it can take time to learn how to use YNAB. It's different from other budgeting apps. YNAB does have lots of help and classes to make this easier, though.

Overall in our You Need a Budget app review, we found that the app has a lot of good points. It makes you think about your spending and saving. It's a good choice if you're ready to take a close look at your money and work on saving more. It takes some time to learn, but it can help you understand and manage your money better.

MAD Ratings

Features - 4.4
Navigation - 4.0
UI - 3.9
Security - 4.1

What do Users Say About YNAB?

While we try to deliver the most thorough and on-ground performance in our You Need a Budget review, there is nothing that can replace the experience of end users. So, here are some YNAB reviews via the eyes of customers.

“This is a great app for saving money! It has helped me get my finances in order. I'm a very visual person, though. I even paid for the subscription yearly to save more money. It's been a great investment! One thing. Please add some sort of notepad (note section) or checklist for bills I need to cancel so I don't forget anymore If that feature gets added automatically, 5 stars, no question!”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -  Skye Snyder


“I like how easy it is to edit and systemize your categories, the best I've seen in an app so far. However, the Reports page is ridiculously oversimplified. I get that the app wants you to focus on your monthly budget, but it feels like it does the bare minimum to communicate a clear picture of your overall finances. The web version of this works great, just the app.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -   Casey Drogin

“I signed up for the free trial but, stayed for an additional 2 months. I liked the app a lot. I couldn't quite fully understand how to use it properly, but it still helped me understand how to budget more effectively. The major reason I'm stopping my subscription is my main bank is unable to connect with the platform. So every few days, I needed to manually enter transactions for 4 different accounts. For the price tag, it just wasn't worth the effort.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     -   Tierra Wilson

“YNAB app is very fast in pulling your transactions from your accounts which can be immediately assigned to the respective categories. I felt the YNAB App has more easy-to-navigate options while the website is not as intuitive. YNAB as a service is certainly not for me. It is very very demanding of your time. Timewise, I do not have the budget to allocate to manually review, categorize, and budget every dollar amount I have. It lacks any kind of basic automation or retrospective reports.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     -   Abhishek Mishra

Comparing YNAB with Some Alternatives

YNAB vs. Mint

YNAB: The app focuses intensely on budgeting methodology, making it a hands-on product. With YNAB, you plan every dollar you spend. It's about making active choices with your money. YNAB also has great guides and a community where you can get tips.

Mint: Unlike YNAB, Mint is more automatic. Mint shows all your financial data, like bank accounts and bills, in one place. It's good for seeing where your money goes and getting alerts.

YNAB vs. EveryDollar

EveryDollar: Created by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, it also follows the zero-based budgeting principle. It's about planning your money at the start of the month. It's simple and follows Ramsey's advice. The basic version is free, but paying more gives you extra features like automatic bank links.

YNAB: Whereas YNAB is more about being involved in your budget regularly. It also teaches you a lot about handling money. YNAB is flexible and lets you adjust your budget as needed.

YNAB vs. Quicken

Quicken: As a comprehensive financial management tool and among the best budgeting apps, Quicken does a lot. Apart from budgeting, it helps with investments and paying bills. It's a bit complex and is mainly on computers, not phones.

YNAB: It focuses on budgeting and teaching you good money habits. It's user-friendly and offers good support.

YNAB vs. Rocket Money

Rocket Money: It helps track your subscriptions and manage bills. It's good for keeping an eye on regular payments and setting up simple budgets.

YNAB: It's all about detailed budgeting. It encourages you to be active in managing your money, not just watching it.

Copilot vs. YNAB 

Copilot: It's pretty and good at analyzing your money. It sorts your spending and earnings and helps you see your money habits. However, it's only for iPhone users.

YNAB: It's more about doing regular check-ups and updates on your budget. It's available on more devices and focuses on actively managing your budget.

How to Use the YNAB App?

There are some quick and easy steps one can take to get started with the YNAB app. Fortunately, this YNAB review includes this info as well. 

Step 1 - Sign Up and Set Up Your Account
The first thing to do is to visit the YNAB website or download the app. Then, create an account by signing up with your email and creating a password. Once your account is created, you'll be guided through the initial setup.

Step 2 - Create Your Budget Categories
After logging in, users will need to create budget categories. Now, YNAB will provide some default categories. However, you can customize these to fit your lifestyle. Typical categories include 'Rent/Mortgage,' 'Groceries,' 'Utilities,' 'Entertainment,' and 'Savings.'

Note: Remember that these numbers may need to change or be modified throughout the month as expenses come up or priorities shift. 

Step 3 - Link Your Accounts

After setting up budget categories, users will need to add their financial accounts, including checking, savings, credit cards, and loans. You can either link your accounts for automatic updates or enter your transactions manually.

Step 4 - Assign Your Dollars (Give Every Dollar a Job)

The next step is to allocate your available funds to each budget category. The goal is to assign every dollar you have to a specific purpose, whether it's spending, saving, or investing. It is an essential step that helps users to make better use of available funds.  

Step 5 - Record Your Spending


As you spend money, record the transactions in YNAB. Assign each transaction to the appropriate category. If you’ve linked your accounts, many transactions will be imported automatically, but always double-check for accuracy.

Step 6 - Regularly Check Your Budget

Users need to frequently review their budget categories to ensure they’re on track. YNAB encourages active participation, so the more you check in, the more control you'll have over your finances.

Step 7 - Adjust Your Budget as Needed

Life is unpredictable. So, If you overspend in one category or have an unexpected expense, adjust your budget. Move money from one category to another to cover the overspending. This ensures that your budget always reflects your current financial situation.

Step 8 - Use Reports for Insight

YNAB offers various reports (like spending trends or net worth) to give you insight into your financial habits. Use these reports to make informed decisions and to adjust your budgeting strategy over time.

Step 9 - Engage with the YNAB Community

If you have questions, want tips, or just need some motivation, the YNAB community is a great resource you can leverage. Participate in forums, read blogs, and consider joining webinars or workshops.

Step 10 - Review and Plan Regularly

In the end, budgeting is a continuous practice, and reviewing your spending is more than important. Hence, users must review their spending each month, adjust their categories, and plan for the next month. Regular reviews help you improve and refine your budget to better suit your financial goals.

The Conclusion 

YNAB stands as a great solution for anyone looking to manage their funds as efficiently as they possibly can. They say you should make your money work for you, and that’s exactly what YNAB does. The application aims to help users break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, get out of debt, and save more money. 

We hope that this You Need a Budget review gives you an in-depth understanding of different factors like YNAB pricing and how YNAB works. Lastly, if you are also associated with a similar app looking to expand your reach and profits, you can get your product reviewed to get an expert opinion on the same.

Our expert reviewers will carefully assess all the concerned factors and help you propel your critical factors like user acquisition and downloads. For more such information and reviews, keep exploring MobileAppDaily. 

General FAQ

  • How much is the YNAB app?
  • What is the YNAB app?
  • Is YNAB a safe app?
  • Is YNAB free?
  • Is YNAB suitable for beginners in budgeting?
  • Can I link my bank accounts to YNAB?
MobileAppDaily Team
Written By MobileAppDaily Team

MobileAppDaily host a team of experienced technical writers, industry wizards, and app experts who have an exact knack of content that caters to the needs of the mobile app targeted audience. We strive to bring you the best of tech!

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