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Application Spotlight: YNAB (You Need A Budget)

What is YNAB?

YNAB, You Need A Budget, is in my opinion the best way you to easily manage your money. It places everything in an easy to read list and makes it painless to track your expenses. The apps for your phone and tablet help to make tracking expenses quick and easy. It also allows you to easily check how much you have left in various budgets so that you can quickly make sure you are staying within budget.

YNAB also has some excellent Email Courses where they talk about how YNAB works and how to properly use it. They also talk about some basic concepts of Finances and have suggestions on ways that you can manage your finances. One of my favorite concepts they suggest is living off of last month’s income. This has helped me stay very comfortable with my finances since freelancing does not always offer the most stable income.

Why not use something else?

It is true that there are other free options. I have tried many of them and they never worked correctly for me.

Mint:

The issue I had with Mint is that it always pulled transactions. When I initially used it there was no way to manually track expenses. Because of this I never really watched what I spent. YNAB has forced me to enter transactions and really make me think twice about purchasing various things.

Local Desktop Apps:

I have used many different applications that only have a local application. I have gotten annoyed with these because there was no syncing so I had to physically backup the database. This also became difficult because I was unable to enter transactions as I made them. This meant I would sometimes come back and then I would be over budget since I couldn’t watch it as I made purchases.

Why should I use YNAB?

YNAB is something that has personally helped me save money and plan around many various large purchases that I have to make each year. Trying to do this tracking through Excel sheets became very difficult and not doing anything was not a possibility. Being a techy person I wanted something that would work on a computer and being a young developer I wanted something that would sync with the cloud. If these are the things you are looking for in a Finance application then this is the app I would suggest for you. Overall it is simple to use and it just works.

YNAB is now a fully web based application and has a yearly fee. They are very good about refunding you your money if for some reason you are unhappy with the service. Be sure to check them out and they do offer a 34 day free trial: Click Here

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