App review: YNAB

YNAB (You Need a Budget) is a handy app that lets you track your spending in real-time…
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App review: YNAB

YNAB (You Need a Budget) is one of the most popular budgeting systems around. And there’s now a mobile app to go along with it, free to download from the App Store or Google Play.

So if you’re sick of being skint long before payday, and want to control your monthly budget much better, read on…

YNAB has been around for a while as a desktop-only version, but now it’s available online, backed up with a mobile app.

YNAB doesn’t just help you monitor your income and expenses, it also gives you help and support to help you deal with the causes of any financial problems you might be having.

We’re happy to report that YNAB is really user-friendly and easy to set up. All you basically need to do is input how much money you’ve got on payday, and portion it out into different spending categories. You can then record your outgoings in real-time using the app.

How can YNAB save you money?

YNAB works on the concept of ‘piggybanking’. This means that you divide your income into separate spending categories on payday, then making sure you don’t go over your budget on each category.

So for example, if you put £50 a month towards eating out, you won’t be able to spend more than that when you reach your limit - even if you’ve still got money set aside in other categories.

The aim of ‘piggybanking’ is to bring a bit of discipline and order into your spending. It also lets you plan ahead for larger one-off expenses like holidays and birthdays.

What can you do with the YNAB app?


The YNAB app comes into its own when you’re out and about and want to control your spending in real-time. You can use it to:

  • Check your category balances before you make a purchase.

  • Enter a transaction as soon as you spend something.

  • Sync with other devices using your YNAB account. So if you’re sharing with a partner, you’ll both know how much you can spend in any category.

  • Move cash between categories. If you’re on a night out with friends, you can move funds into your ‘Entertainment’ category and carry on socialising.

Our final thoughts…


Don’t forget that the YNAB app isn’t a standalone budgeting tool. It’s a companion piece to the online YNAB, so you’ll need to set up an account by heading over to the YNAB website.

There’s a cost involved in signing-up to YNAB, so check out their pricing page for details. If you don’t want to shell out for the service straight away, they offer a 34-day free trial to help you decide. We like the fact that they don’t collect your credit card information during the free trial. This is because, in their words: “It’s lame when companies do that.”

If you use YNAB we’d love to hear from you. Does it save you money? Is it worth what you pay for it each month? Share your thoughts below.

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