Do you need YNAB 4?

I like to budget my checking account. And my credit card account. And my savings account and health savings account. I like knowing that I know where the money went, and how much is left in the account, and that the bank and I agree about how much is left in the account. I also like being able to keep up with all my budget categories – knowing how much I have left for the month, how much I’ve spent in a month. I previously used two programs to accomplish these two goals: an Excel file to keep up with my budget, and Microsoft Money to let me quickly balance my checking account. The problem was that I had to enter every transaction twice to get the results I wanted, and I could only keep up with my checking account since it took so long to input all the data. It was an onerous task to say the least.

Until my friend Landon Vick told me about You Need a Budget, or YNAB! It isn’t cheap ($65), but this program allows you to do everything at once: its keeps up with your budget categories, and it keeps up with your check register – and it does this across all your accounts! That is, all your accounts are connected to your budget, and every time you make a purchase, whether with your credit card or debit card, the proper budget category is reduced; when you deposit money or receive a refund, the proper budget category is increased. I used to go through my credit card statement when I paid it, and was surprised by several purchases. No longer – now, the second I enter them into YNAB, they affect the budget and I know how much is left in each category. And when it comes to balancing your checkbook, you do it right there in the program. All in one budgeting and check register. It also allows you to carry budget categories over from month to month, whether negative or positive, so that you can save up for certain purchases, or pay back yourself for certain purchases.

Now, YNAB has come out with YNAB 4 and it’s even better. I’m sure there are lots of reasons it’s better, but the one that made it worth the $40 upgrade charge for me is that now when I enter a transaction on my Iphone, it automatically syncs through Dropbox with the file on my home computer. That means 1) Elizabeth can instantly see where we are at financially from home without waiting for me to come home and sync the transactions; and 2) I don’t have to come home and sync transactions, or enter receipts. It takes all of 15 seconds there at the cash register.

So, if you’re trying to figure out how to get ahold of your finances, or keep better track of where your money is going, or make your life easier, I encourage you to purchase YNAB. No – they aren’t paying me to write this, I recommend it so highly because it is such a good piece of software (though they will pay me $6 and give you $6 off if you purchase it through this link!  http://ynab.refr.cc/9NT93G6).

If you have questions about how to use it or implement it, feel free to ask me. I love talking about budgets with folks and would be happy to talk with you about yours.

SDG,
The Farmer

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by mom on July 11, 2012 at 7:36 am

    sounds like yet another reason for a visit! i’m checking on flights soon!!

    Reply

  2. Very cool. You are quite technologically savvy!! 🙂

    Reply

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