YNAB Review Part 1 – Introduction

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Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement or sponsored post, nor are there any affiliate links in the post. It is simply an honest review/recommendation of this product.

One of the most frequent questions we’re asked on budgeting is which software to use. While there are a ton out there to choose from (Mint, QuickBooks, etc), our personal recommendation is YNAB (an acronym for You Need A Budget).

In this post, I want to discuss some reasons why we like YNAB so much.

Why YNAB?

YNAB is built for personal budgeting. Their philosophy is based on a zero-budgeting technique, which means that all money coming into your account must be assigned to a category. Every dollar must have a name. If you’re familiar with our eBook, you know that we recommend the same method.

OK, what’s so great about it?

If you’ve read our free eBook, one of our recommendations if you’re in debt is to take out a sheet of paper and WRITE all of your debts. Every single one. Why? Well, partly it’s because you need to get face to face with how much you owe. You need to VISUALIZE it.

Playing from that same concept, this is one of YNAB’s biggest strengths. It forces you to manually record all of your transactions. There’s no linking with your bank accounts or credit card accounts. It’s manual. Once again, the goal is for you to VISUALIZE what you’re spending and HOW you’re spending it.

Is YNAB free?

No, and nor should it be. There are two reasons why.

Firstly, paying for software ensures that you get support from the people who make it. Not only does YNAB offer outstanding support, but they offer FREE classes on anything from how to get started to handing credit cards. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself at the classes they offer.

The second reason is that you’re more likely to USE something if you’ve paid for it.

There is good news. YNAB offers a 34 day free trial for you to FULLY use their software. Why 34 days? Because what would be the point of  a financial software if it was only valid for 3 or 10 days? They want you to cycle your finances for more than a month to see if you like it.

What’s next?

Next week, I’ll go over some basic budgeting techniques that YNAB offers. I’ll even show how to effectively save for your emergency fund and getting your savings together for Hajj.

Adam Taufique

Adam Taufique is a founding member of Qur'an Weekly and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb in his community and has served in Masjids from being a weekend school teacher to youth coordinator. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @adamtaufique.

3 Comments

  1. Mansoor Ansari
    October 28, 2013

    I signed up Learnvest few weeks back. There were three features that I wish it had

    1) Ability to import historical data?
    2) Ability to export data from Learnvest to excel, etc.
    3) While it’s great at tracking data from linked accounts, any manually added account can’t have txns posted in it.

    How does YNAB deal with these points?

    Reply
  2. January 17, 2014

    I’ve been using YNAB for a few months, and it’s really helping me keep track of my expenses and to stay within my budget. Jazak Allah Khair for sharing!

    Reply

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