As someone who has been using spending plans since 1999, I think I have tried every software and spreadsheet that exists. I consider myself rather expert in Excel and have spent a lot of time tweaking that software so I can keep my numbers. But nothing has every come close to my experience with YNAB.
Please note that I do not get paid or receive any type of remuneration from YNAB. I just love it! In fact, I have told many in DA about it and they have switched to it as well.
What I love about YNAB:
1. It is truly an envelope system on the computer!
2. It is easy to accumulate money in categories
3. It is simple to use with a highly intuitive user interface
4. It provides excellent reports
5. Entering spending transactions is just like using a check register
6. Moving, adding, and changing categories is simple
7. I don’t have to try to program it to do something that I need as it does it all
8. It has helped me understand many concepts that are crucial to my DA recover, such as living in the next month or what YNAB calls “the buffer.”
9. I can easily copy the planned spending from month to month and change any month easily.
10. It is easy to reconcile with my bank account and shows me clearly when I have overspent or overbudgeted.
Here are a few screenshots from my own spending plan:
In this image, you can see categories for two months as well as planned and actual spending.
This screenshot shows how simple transactions are. You can put in cash, savings, any kind of accounts, even track your debts. (Click on the image to see it more clearly.)
Keeping my numbers and accumulating in categories has been made so much easier by using YNAB. I would never go back to anything else. You can try it free for 30 days and if you ask around, I’m sure there are DA members who can help you with it. In addition, YNAB has a great community of support.
I know that everyone may not be able to afford YNAB, which is currently $60. So, three members of DA have also created a spreadsheet for members. You can find it in the sidebar of this blog.