Looking for personal budgeting software - YNAB alternative

Hello… I’m looking for a budgeting software like YNAB. I was using YNAB for years and I loved it but the company is, even more than others, leaning to the dark side of the force.

The issues I have with it:
First they promised to honor former YNAB4 owners with a lifelong subscription of 50 USD. They “forgot” about their promise and raised the price tag 40% last year, without any notice.

Then they started being kind of “toxic”? towards way of using a budget that doesn’t fit in their view. Like my wife and I have separate bank accounts and we have a family account. We put all our money, except a small part, onto the family account. I asked their support how to manage this and their answer was that this isn’t normal, a family should always have just one bank account. They alleged that my wife and I have trust issues because we aren’t throwing all our money into one place. They provided some half baked solutions but I found their attitude very offensive.

Now, and this is the final straw, they are closing their support forum. They are telling people that a forum is not the right place for support.
There is a obviously a trend. And I don’t think it is a good one.

I’m looking for an alternative to YNAB. Something maybe with a native Mac app.
What are using for personal financing?
I’m glad for any suggestion…

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They have always been sketchy in my book. “We don’t do data imports from banks because you should enter it manually so that you can really see where your money is going.” Until they found they could do a subscription service if they did.

I haven’t been to their forum in at least a decade, but it used to be a great place for encouragement and help. Maybe that has changed and it’s best to close it down? Large forums tend to get a bit crazy.

As far as budgeting, you can easily do envelope budgeting in a spreadsheet. It won’t be as fancy, but you can manipulate the data how you want to. I found I don’t need envelope budgeting, but I have a monthly budget template I use in Excel.

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Yikes! That’s sad to hear. I used YNAB a few years ago but their approach didn’t really jive with my workflow. I went with Mint as a replacement that year but once they were purchased I moved out and haven’t found a great replacement. Watching this thread to see what others have found. I really need to get us* back on a budget.

“Us” meaning “me and the mouse in my pocket.” My wife is as thrifty as they come.

Wow, that would definitely cause me to have trust issues with them. Good luck on your search for a replacement.

Some time ago I discovered my bank has built in budgeting & features like the ability to connect to other accounts, etc. I gave them a try when Banktivity moved to subscription only and never looked back.

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What bank? (20 chars)

I once enjoyed using MoneyWell. It has the YNAB bucket approach in what I considered to be a more intuitive (more mac-like) UIX. The Website shows MoneyWell is still be actively sustained even if not constantly updated.


JJW

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I used Banktivity for a year and didn’t like how it visually represented budgets. It seemed unnecessarily cluttered. I really like the clean display of YNAB.

I also used Numbers for awhile but found it too clunky to work with regularly.

I’m currently back on YNAB but I’m not going to renew. Gives me about 6 months to figure out a new solution. Right now I’m leaning toward trying Numbers again but taking a different approach.

I ran through a bunch of finance apps and never found one that worked for me, though most of the sore spots were personal preference, not failures in the apps. You may just need to demo a bunch of apps until you found the one you like best.

I’ve also moved from YNAB. I’ve been trying Buckets. It’s a newer app, made by one developer. Its equivalent of YNAB goals are streams of money coming in and automatically ‘pouring’ set amounts into budgets, but then manually allocating to budgets after that. It’s $50.

The same developer has also made an account sync that costs $15/year which securely wraps MX, a Plaid competitor: https://www.simplefin.org

There’s no reporting in Buckets yet, but it’s just a sqlite file, so you can connect to it and pull any data you want. The developer is busy due to the YNAB-related attention but he’s responded to my questions so far. He said he’s probably going to include the ability to run custom SQL with the in-app reports feature.

Oh, and it is an Electron app, and probably will always be an unoptimized one. And iOS is very alpha and multi-Mac use is client-server only unless you bring your own sync.

All that said, I’ve been liking it.

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That’s a disgusting attitude to have, how someone manages their life and finances is nothing to do with them. My wife and I maintain separate bank accounts and divvy up the bills.

Early in our relationship we shared a bank account and my wife used to phone me to ask if she could spend money, I didn’t think it was fair that she feel she had to do that. so we set up this arrangement so that she can spend whatever she wants, whenever she wants on whatever she wants so long as she covers the bills she’s responsible for.

My wife shouldn’t require my say so to spend her own money.

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If you’re just looking to budget (as opposed to banking and reconciling accounts and transaction) I would suggest learning your way around Numbers (or Excel). They um, excel at this sort of thing and once you set it up, it’s pretty easy to work with. Learn a couple of formulas and how they work and you have a system that will never be changed or up-selling or things like that.

It’s not that hard to get started, and there are a ton of resources and templates available.

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Does the Mac version of Excel allow for VBA scripting? I can’t recall right now. VBA scripting is very, very powerful in Excel, but I have some vague memory of it not working well or at all with Mac Excel…one of the reasons why I never got MS Office on my Mac. That and there’s no Mac version of Access.

I really missed scripting when I was playing around with Numbers.

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When I open the Numbers dictionary in my copy of Script Debugger, there is lots there. Try AppleScript and Numbers: Cell Formulas as a starting point. It is different from VBA but the Mac is different from Windows. :slightly_smiling_face:

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No, it was a great place with really great people till now. The problem seems to be that YNAB coaches need to pay 500 USD for their coaching license and there are too much helpful people in the forum that give help for free. There still is the Reddit sub, but there are lots of toxic people downvoting every critical post.

I’ve found Actual Budget today, it is a rebuild of the classic YNAB4.

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Yea, this is exactly why we decided to have our own accounts besides the family one. We don’t want to justify ourselves or ask if the other one is ok with buying stuff.
(Most of the time it’s me having to justify buying plastic mini figures for Warhammer tabletop :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

They even put up a tutorial claiming that couples who trust each other just need one budget.

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Nice! Thanks for sharing. Looks like they don’t have automatic transaction import yet, so I’ll have to wait for that. We play the credit card points game in my house, so the idea of manually importing transactions from a dozen+ places each month is enough to deter me.

Sweet! A new area to explore I don’t yet have time for!

Seriously, I’ve been wanting to explore Numbers more but I wasn’t sure what I could script. I’ll have to dig in deeper with this. If it has a quarter of the functionality of Excel VBA that would be great.

Thanks!

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P.S. Script Editor is the app that Apple supplies to get started with AppleScript.

Script Debugger (Late Night Software | The home of Script Debugger) is an additional app made by an excellent developer that you may want to graduate to someday.

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That is why I left the forums, the YNAB community in general has always been far too drink the Kool-aidy.

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Interestingly, we’re leaving YNAB as well, and currently have a cheap windows machine to run the old YNAB on, but missing out on mobile sync. Similar reasons to you - though I have never used the forums and the new method of using credit cards never really gelled (so much so, that the credit card account we have is down as a checking account).

I’d had a play with Moneywell in the past and didn’t get on with it and I’d never really found a solution that worked quite as nicely as YNAB so thanks all for posting suggestions.

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I left YNAB a couple of years ago. The cost and flaky syncing with Capital One ended up driving me away. Took me about a year for settling for Simplifi by Quicken/Intuit. It isn’t a perfect product, but it meets some goals for me including syncing with my banks, mobile entry, and basic budgeting.

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