YNAB Review: First Look at You Need A Budget 3 «

YNAB Review: First Look at You Need A Budget 3

You Need A Budget for All Operating Systems:
You Need A Budget (YNAB) started off a few years ago as a spreadsheet template, then as Windows desktop budgeting software. Now YNAB has morphed into an impressive Adobe AIR application which works on Windows, Mac and Linux computer systems. Adobe AIR is a free download, which YNAB provides during installation.
You Need A Budget won the Best Windows Personal Finance Software 2011 category of About.com Readers’ Choice Awards.

Use YNAB on Multiple Computers:
It’s not unusual for two or more people to need access to the same budget on different computers, but most software licenses cover one computer. When you buy You Need A Budget, you are free to install it on any computers in your home, and the data file can be shared over a network.
Guarantee and Free Trial:
You Need A Budget offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but use the free 7-day trial before you buy.
YNAB iPhone App:
You Need A Budget for iPhone is an app that lets you enter transactions while you’re out and about and then sync via wifi with the desktop version later. Viewing budget category balances, account balances, and historical transactions are also supported. YNAB for iPhone uses an unlock code to keep financial information secure, and more features are being developed for the app. Updates are free.
YNAB: Never Spend Beyond Your Means:
You Need A Budget helps you to become financially secure by living on last month’s income. Larger, less frequent expenses are budgeted for to prevent financial surprises, and these four personal financial management principles are built into the way YNAB works:
1.Decide how to spend or save every dollar that comes in.
2.Build savings into your budget for unexpected expenses and long term spending.
3.Over spending one month can be averaged out without messing up the budget.
4.Work up to having a full month’s worth of cash built up so you never live paycheck to paycheck.
If you’re ready to get serious about paying down debt, YNAB gives you a way to plan for success and to see your progress.
Help Documentation
YNAB’s help documentation is easy to find in the lower left corner, and can probably answer just about any question that comes up about using the software. In addition to the documentation in the software, there are online discussion forums, a quick start guide and video tutorials available, so customers are never without free support. There are free online classes each month, and you can purchase a one-on-one coaching session if you want that kind of assistance with YNAB. All these support options do not suggest that YNAB is difficult to use (it isn’t). I think it gives each user a choice of ways to learn how to use the software most optimally for their circumstances.

New Look and Faster Performance
YNAB 3 has been redesigned from the ground up, and it really shows compared to the previous version, YNAB Pro. YNAB 3 looks great and is very easy to navigate, with significant improvements to make the software faster to use. For example, funds that are budgeted but not spent in a given month roll over into next month’s available funds, called the starting buffer in the software. The reports quickly drill down to show general spending to more specific expenses, and navigating through different months for a selected charted report is as easy as using a slider at the bottom of the screen.

YNAB Makes a Good First Impression
My initial impression is that YNAB has come a long way from when it was a spreadsheet template, while keeping with the envelope budgeting methodology. YNAB is 3 is easier to work with, yet stays true to the original personal finance management principles that build a solid financial foundation.


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