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March 23, 2009


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Most people that previously used Quicken (including me) realize quickly that YNAB is the best Budgeting Software ever! Quicken's budget features are not good-they only allow tracking what you have already spent. YNAB is planning in advance of spending and gaining control of your money. Trus, YNAB needs better reports but they are coming soon.
If you want a free way to track investments, try GNUCASH. It helps to have an accounting background but it's really not necessary. I no longer use Quicken at all.

I love YNAB.
YNAB is a spending plan application, while most other programs are just expense tracking. Also keep in mine that YNAB is a thought process and mentality more than it is a program. You could just as easily join the forums, never buy the program, and make up your own spreadsheet and still be using YNAB.

While it is still a bit buggy at times, is a great FREE website. It does suffer a bit from being better at tracking your expenses than helping you budget, it does have a budgeting feature. And, again, it is free.

If you have... How do you like it? How long have you used it? Do you recommend it? Where did you get it? It lists for $49.95. Did you find it cheaper than that?

My family needs to budget our home finances. I have read that this is a good software for doing so.

I use Quicken and one of my favorite features was introduced with Quicken 2008 I think. It is called My Savings Plan. I had looked extensively at YNAB and other envelope budget systems, but I wanted a system that had the investment tracking features of Quicken along with calculation of net worth. Also I don't want to have to be keeping track of my financial life on two different pieces of software. Not all of my accounts link up with Mint so that was out of the picture.
So what is this My Savings Plan feature in Quicken? It is actually a very handy envelope budgeting system. My method is to total up my earnings for the month at the end of each month and set that as my budget for the next month. I then distribute that amount to my various budget and savings categories and Quicken tracks it all from there as I go, so I always know how much I have left to spend in a given month.
While I am sure systems like YNAB are handy I have become very comfortable with Quicken over the years and enjoy many of its features that YNAB doesn't have. Like FMF I have tons of historical data in Quicken that I don't want to lose now, plus I only upgrade every 3-4 years.

Bank --

I bought it initially and updated a few times on my own (can't remember where I bought it or how much.) Nowadays I can get a copy for free (I know people.) ;-)

I am still using Quicken 2001 and it does just fine. Granted it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the latter versions but for keeping basic tabs on my accounts it's all I need.

I will admit over the years I have been updating Quicken less and less now that sites like Mint have come along. This along with my Excel spreadsheet that keeps tabs on all my accounts I don't find the need to upgrade.

I have been a loyal Quicken user since about '96. It's got great features but it takes me a lot of time to enter data. Right now I am using Quicken 2004.

I agree that the budgeting feature in Quicken is pretty useless. I have been using the "Savings Goals" feature to approximate an envelope methodology with some success. Still, it's pretty time consuming.

I like Mint. However, while automatic, it really doesn't allow you to pre-plan your expenses. Still, it's a great tool to monitor your finances in one place with minimal data entry.

I am experimenting with using YNAB methodology using my current Quicken/Mint setup. I agree with the reader that you don't necessarily need the software to utilize YNAB.

Has anybody out there tried GNUCash? It's an open source alternative to Quicken/Quickbooks. It's free and it allows QIF (Quicken) imports. Could this be a tool that will enable us long-time Quicken users to migrate to something else without losing our hard-earned Quicken history? (For more info visit

Started using Yodlee four months ago. Free, and it auto downloads all my transactions, sends me a weekly report of my spending vs by budget in each category, with alerts if I go over in a category. I looked at YNAB, the only thing I saw it had over Yodlee was that you could track a category across months, i.e. if you went over one month and under the next, it took that into account. Yodlee just starts over every month. To me, that wasn't worth the cost to buy YNAB and change systems, though at some point it might.

I'm a dedicated YNAB user. Judging by the ratings for YNAB Pro on Amazon it seems I'm not the only very satisfied customer. I think it's easy to use and it also is better at helping you see the big picture and plan for expenses in advance. Most other programs like Quicken, Money or Mint only give you the play by play, i.e. get paid, pay the bills, balance the checkbook. With YNAB you're always ahead of the game and budgeting is much easier, especially for those with variable incomes. It all comes down to which concept works best for you. If you like to plan and have a buffer YNAB is clearly better for you.

Why does it have to be one or the other? I use both. I admit Quicken works great to keep track of expenses, earnings, and makes tax season less of a hassle, but it's useless for budgeting. I use YNAB for that and it's incredible. They complement each other extremely well. It would be great to have one program that combines the strengths of these two apps, but I yet to find one. Until then, YNAB and Quicken live side by side on my dock.

This question is for Trevor LeDain: YNAB, Mint and Quicken all seem to have attractive features and I am considering setting up and using all tree simulateously. How difficult and how time cosuming is it for you to use two systems at once? Do you spend a lot of time putting data in? Any advice?

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