Search This Blog

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why Didn't I Purchase This One Sooner? - Top Rated Personal Finance Software Critique

By Landon Parker

What good has it done to track it in Quicken when all that information is readily available on Web sites maintained by my employer, my bank, and my investment firm" Giving up all that useless detail really can help you focus on budgeting, and in my opinion that's the most important thing - plus I don't need to spend nearly as much time as I used to spend with Quicken. In Quicken, I just see what I've spent after the fact, and it doesn't carry month-to-month very easily. YNAB has a great approach and is straight-forward and very useable. I usually write everything down with pen and paper. I bought this because of other reviews and will say I am glad I did. I bought YNAB Pro last July, and since then, I have made measurable progress in the form of a paid off credit card, a steadily growing savings account and an upcoming annual car insurance payment that I'll be able to pay in full. If you want to be proactive with your finances, you should seriously consider YNAB.

And to make the software work, you have to understand and use the "YNAB Way." This is the first piece of software that I've used that I feel has actually helped me get a budget that helped me plan for the future rather than simply report on the past. Do not mistake YNAB as a financial tracking system; if that's what you're looking for don't buy it. YNAB is a hard-core, balls to the wall BUDGETING tool for planning your monthly expenses with the sole purpose of getting a grip on your out of control spending so you can begin saving money and basically build up that nice nest egg; creating financial stability and freedom in your life. When updates and enhancements are released, you get them automatically, not the next year, and it isn't asking you to go out and buy the whole program again every year! Bottom line, way more value in YNAB than in anything else I have ever tried!

It gives you a simple, straight forward way to see how each purchase, each bill, each dollar leaving and entering your account affects all the dollars around it. Every couple years I see money rolling out of my pockets like a cheap strainer, and get the gumption to budget.

The success of YNAB is in its approach (the 4 rules, which are key to its success) and the customer service (which is pretty much unrivaled in my experience). And there's a pretty fabulous forum community as well (shout out to all my fellow YNAB users). It would definitely benefit from some more efficient programming (e.g. I think a well written C++ implementation would be way faster and more efficient). The idea behind YNAB is great but delivery of that idea is short. Basically, YNAB tells you where you are spending your money and that is the main strength of it. This software is great in managing/budgeting your expenses. The only bad thing is the amount of work that you have to put in (recording). Before buying YNAB, you must understand what it is and, perhaps more importantly, what it is not. YNAB is not an accounting system, it's a *household* budgeting system.

He emailed me back within hours and said a refund was absolutely available, but suggested I wait for the new version that would be available within a day. I waited, and was totally impressed! Rule Two is that you must operate a zero based budget. Every dollar of income needs to be assigned to a budget category.

About the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment