You Need A Budget 4

Updated July 31, 2012
You Need A Budget 4
Bottom Line

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is well-known for its budgeting philosophy and features. YNAB teaches users how to set up and stick to a budget so they can rein in spending, pay down debt and accumulate savings, something reviewers praise. The software is now compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Experts say it's easy to use, but you also get free online coaching if you're having problems. There's also a 34-day (yes, 34) free trial for you to check it out.

YNAB does not track investment accounts or offer financial planning tools. Also, you have to download transactions from your bank and then import them into the program, rather than having the software do it automatically. For those who want more accounting features in an easy-to-use program, reviewers recommend Moneydance 2011. You Need a Budget 4 has just been released, so it has yet to receive many reviews. Reviewers at MacWorld give YNAB 3 a rating of 4 mice out of 5, and recommend it for users of Mac computers. Users of YNAB 3 can get a free or discounted upgrade to version 4.

ProsTeaches budgeting methodology, Low-cost upgrades from previous versions, Good customer support, Runs on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, Free 34-day trialConsEmphasizes budgeting rather than accounting, Doesn't track investment accounts, Doesn't download bank transactions automatically