9 You Need A Budget (YNAB) Alternatives To Try This Year

By Todd Kunsman

Financial Independence

Published on

Updated on

If you are actively working on your finances and trying to budget better, then you’ve probably stumbled across the popular platform You Need A Budget (YNAB for short). 

And you might even be using the platform currently to get your financial life in control.

However, if you are on this post then you are probably ready for alternatives to You Need A Budget. 

There could be a few reasons you might want to switch like the costs, maybe you aren’t liking certain product features, it doesn’t fit your budgeting style, you outgrown the platform, or you just like to test out other products.

Whatever your reasoning, below you’ll find some of the top options to consider to mange your money, investments, and budgets.

Is You Need A Budget Worth it? 

You Need A Budget

Although you might be familiar and have used YNAB, you may also only have some basic understanding of the budgeting tool. If you are looking for apps like You Need A Budget, then feel free to skip down to the next section. 

Personally, if you are completely new to budgeting, getting out of debt, and ready to make a difference in your finances — then I think You Need A Budget can be a great place to start. 

If you are a complete beginner, they offer great resources, videos, and a platform that makes your financial decisions easier.

What can turn off new people is that this platform is not free, with pricing options at $11.00 per month or $84 annually (which saves you some money with this annual tier). And, you may want to pull more data in like your investments or other financial data.

YNAB does offer a 34 day free trial that you can take advantage of and get a feel for the platform and its value. Plus, the platform can save you hundred or thousands of dollars a year, while teaching you better finances along the way.

So if you do not have much experience with You Need A Budget and really are looking to work on strictly your budget, then I’d recommend checking out the free trial first before considering any alternatives. 

Best You Need A Budget Alternatives

Below are some of the best You Need A Budget Alternatives to consider using. Not all of these options are full budgeting software, but many will provide similar features and other options to improve your financial health. 

These are also in no particular order or preference. Hope these alternatives help you on your financial journey! 


1. Savology

One of the free financial platforms out there that might be worth using is Savology. The software is the newer kid on the block, but already is making some noise in the finance industry. 

While Savology is considered a financial planning tool, it can help you see your overall financial health. From your budgeting, spending, personalized action items, recommendations, and more. 

Building your plan takes a few minutes and is completely free to use. Yes, completely free!

So you might be wondering how it’s free. Well, Savology is paid through partnerships and any recommendations you sign-up for in the platform. It’s a common model for a few other finance sites, like Credit Karma for example.  

Get started with Savology here

Tiller Money

2. Tiller Money

When it comes to budgeting, some people just prefer to not deal with software at all. That’s what makes Tiller Money a brilliant alternative to You Need A Budget.

Instead, Tiller makes it easy to budget, track financial goals, and more — all through the power of their comprehensive Google and Excel spreadsheets.

When you sign-up, it creates customized spreadsheets based on the accounts you link up. They are super clean, easy to adjust to your preferences, and no manual data needed to enter in.

Plus, Tiller can easily pull in your YNAB data if you are making the switch. 

Tiller offers a free trial and costs $79 for the year. 

Personal Capital

3. Personal Capital

One of my favorite personal finance software is Personal Capital. If you are fairly active with your money and investments, you’ve probably come across this company.

With Personal Capital, you link any accounts you want like checking, banking, investments, credit cards and you’ll get overall view of your finances and net worth. 

Personal Capital is also free to use, but they do have paid investment and wealth services you might want to take advantage of as well.

The paid service includes managing your investments for you, which is done for a fee.Their minimum tier begins at $100,000 account size.

Personally, this is not something I use but you certainly can if it intrigues you. Otherwise, I like the free financial tools and reports that help you keep track and view all your finances in one place. 

Sign-up for Personal Capital for free.


4. Mint

One of the more recognizable names in this list for budgeting and money management is Mint. The platform was founded back in 2006 and is now owned by Intuit. 

With this free software, it allows the user to bring in most of their financial information like credit scores, bills and spending, and investments. 

Mint offers real-time alerts, like if you are due for upcoming payments, any late fees, if you are going over your set budget, and even any suspicious activities in your accounts. 

Personally, what’s really powerful about Mint beyond all their options is the budgeting aspect to the platform. You can get spending patterns based on your info, tailored budgets to help you meet your goals, and other useful insights. 


5. PocketSmith 

Another strong budgeting platform to consider using is called PocketSmith. I’ve actually only heard of them recently, but the company is growing and the platform looks incredibly promising.

PocketSmith is an online money management software that’s currently used in over 200 countries. They currently specialize in personal financial forecasting and use a visual approach to budgeting, with live bank feeds. 

You can manage multiple income streams (day job + side hustle), cash flow forecasting to achieve any FIRE goals, saving for a house deposit, while paying off a student loan, and even include keeping track of Airbnb earnings and expenses. 

Other features like budgeting calendar, multiple currency support, net worth, cash flow statements, and more. PocketSmith offers a free basic option and two additional affordable plans if you need more budgeting features. 

Get Started with PocketSmith here.


6. Goodbudget

As you can see, so far there are quite a few good options when it comes to budgeting and managing your money. Another one I recently found while doing my research is Goodbudget.

This virtual budget program ensures you stay on track with family and friends by using the envelope budgeting method.

If you are new to this budgeting style, Goodbudget has a simple resource that explains it in three steps. You can read about the envelope budgeting method here.

Besides using that budgeting method, you can sync and share budgets with others (like your significant other or even friends who use the platform), it helps you save for big expenses or other goals, and also keeps you on track with your debt payoff plan. 

Goodbudget can be used on your computer, Android, or iOS — so you have options to stay connected with your budget no matter where you are. And there are two tiers to get started: free and their Plus package which is $7 per month or $60 annually if you choose.


7. CountAbout

Previously, CountAbout was not on my radar but when looking for alternatives to You Need A Budget, this one did pop up quite often.

But, CountAbout was built to be more of a direct alternative to Quicken’s budgeting software (they aren’t on this list) and even can import info from Quicken right into their platform. You can also import any important data from Mint as well.

With CountAbout, there is no software to install as all you need is the internet to login. And depending on your financial needs it will cost $9.99 per year or with the premium version, $39.99 per year. 

Since they offer many features, I’ll just list a few here:

  • Automatic transaction downloading from thousands of financial institutions
  • customizable income and spending categories and tags
  • budgeting, reporting and graphs of your finances
  • iOS and Android apps, and more. 


8. EveryDollar

If you have been researching about paying off debt or your finances, then you’ve probably come across the popular name Dave Ramsey. He’s a well-known figure in the personal finance space, but sometimes a controversial one too.

While I think he has some great advice on paying down debt, I tend to disagree with much of his other insights. But that’s a personal choice and up to you as to decide if all his advice is for you. 

That said, he and his team actually have a budgeting software that they call EveryDollar. The platform is free to use and helps you get started with your budget and goals in less than 10 minutes.  You can add your income, expenses, track your current spending, and get recommendations. 

There is also a paid version called EveryDollar Plus, this comes with additional features and access to their Financial Peace University, to teach you more about managing your finances. This costs $129.99 per year, but they offer a 14 day free trial of the paid version to test out. 


9. PocketGuard

The last You Need A Budget alternative on this list is called PocketGuard. This money app is focused on a few key areas of your finances, which can help create good habits. 

PocketGuard can analyze the money you have for spending after setting aside enough for bills, goals and necessities. It shows you custom reports and categories based on what is costing you the most and gives you insight on what might be okay to spend on. 

You can also link your banks, credit cards, loans & investment in one place, which then helps you keep track of your account balances and net worth. Another good bonus is it tracks your bills and can help you negotiate better rates so you are saving more money. 

And besides the budgeting and insights aspects, PocketGuard features an auto-save function to help you build your emergency fund or any other savings goals you might have. 

PocketGuard offers a free trial, after that you can pay by the month at $4.99 (you get one week free), quarterly for $10.99, or annually at $34.99. Not a bad deal for all the financial power the app offers. 

Which App Like YNAB Is Right For You?

When you are considering one of the You Need A Budget Alternatives, you want to make sure the option you go with meets your personal needs.

Everyone will have a different opinion about what tool or platform is best, features they like, and what design or layout of the product they prefer. 

A few things you want to look for when choosing:

  • Does the platform or app offer more features than just budgeting? YNAB is great for budgets, but has limitations if you want more. Ensure the alternative you choose has options to connect other things like your investments, bill monitoring, or other money management features. Naturally, you might use more than one alternative as well. 
  • If you are struggling financially a bit right now or living paycheck to paycheck, then you’ll want to pick an alternative that has a free option. You might not get all the bells and whistles, but you can still find many awesome features to help your finances. And you can always upgrade, once you free up some cash since most of the paid versions are very reasonably priced. 
  • Look for a platform that is easy to use on both mobile and desktop versions. The last thing you want to do is complicate your finances further with features or design that you find challenging or confusing. Pick the one that is incredibly intuitive and convenient for you, but also provides the value you are looking for.

Again, it might be worth testing out all the options until you find the perfect option for you. Or you might use two of these for different reasons. It’s important that your YNAB alternative is something you can see yourself using for the long-term. 

My Top Alternative Choices Are:

YNAB AlternativePricingGet Started
Savology FreeLearn More
Personal Capital Free & Paid OptionsLearn More
Tiller Money Free Trial & Paid OptionsLearn More
PocketSmith Free & Paid OptionsLearn More
Do you love You Need A Budget? Have you switched to one of the YNAB alternatives listed above? Which is your favorite or least favorite? Let me know in the comments below!