YNAB vs Quicken: Which Budgeting App Fits Your Unique Needs

When it comes to managing your money, it’s extremely important to keep an eye on where it’s going and how much you have coming in. That’s where budgeting apps like YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Quicken come into play. They both do a good job of helping you understand your finances, but they’re a bit different in what they offer.

Now that Mint has closed, if you’re struggling with debt or trying to save more, YNAB might be your solution. It’s pretty straightforward and focuses on giving you a clear plan for your cash. 

But if you’re looking for something that handles more than just your daily budget, like investments or business finances, Quicken could be a better fit. It’s got a range of options depending on what you need.

Choosing between YNAB vs Quicken really depends on what your financial situation looks like and what you’re hoping to achieve with your budget. Continue reading as I cover some important details that will help you decide.

What is YNAB?

YNAB, short for You Need A Budget, is not just a budgeting tool; it represents a shift in how you manage your finances. It employs an envelope-style system that encourages you to allocate every dollar a specific role, aiming to boost your savings, minimize debt, and enhance your understanding of where your money goes. This method requires an active engagement with your finances, prompting adjustments between each payday or whenever you receive income.

Beyond just an application accessible via both computers and mobile devices, YNAB embodies a financial mindset. It’s designed for users who are ready to take control of their spending actively. As part of its mission to educate and assist, YNAB extends beyond the app through a wealth of resources, including informative blog posts and complimentary workshops. 

These tools are designed to not only help you navigate the app more effectively but also to empower you to meet your financial goals.

What is Quicken?

Quicken is a well-known personal finance software that has been around since the 1980s, making it a trusted choice for many. It’s easy to use, which makes it a good option for people who are new to managing their finances. 

The software covers a wide range of financial needs, from tracking everyday spending to overseeing investments. It connects directly to your bank accounts and credit cards, and it can also track real estate values, offering a clear view of your finances all in one place.

YNAB vs Quicken: The Features

The easiest way to determine if a platform is right for you is to look at the features and see how they align with your needs. Here is my breakdown of the features:

Similar Features:

Both YNAB and Quicken provide robust tools to help users gain control over their finances. They offer features for tracking various accounts, including bank accounts, credit cards, and investments. Each platform allows for detailed reports that help users understand where their money is going, enabling a comprehensive financial overview from a single source.

YNAB Differentiating Features:

  • Working Balance: YNAB provides a unique feature where it shows the ‘working balance’ – your available balance minus pending transactions. This helps in making informed spending decisions and prevents overspending.
  • To Be Budgeted (TBB): YNAB encourages assigning every dollar a job, aiming for a TBB at $0.00, meaning all your income is allocated toward expenses, savings, or investments, promoting proactive budget management.
  • Age of Money: This feature helps users track how long their money has been sitting without being spent, encouraging saving and breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
  • Goals Setting: YNAB allows users to set specific goals for each budget category, aiding in savings and debt repayment plans, offering tools like the “Payoff Balance by Date” to strategize credit card debt elimination.
  • Wallet: A feature designed for cash transactions, allowing users to account for every dollar earned or spent in cash, beneficial for those receiving tips or cash payments.

Quicken Differentiating Features:

  • Specialized Business Tools: Quicken caters to small-business owners with tools for custom invoicing, separating personal and business finances, and property value tracking via Zillow, simplifying tax preparation and tenant payment tracking.
  • In-house Bill Paying: Offers the convenience of paying bills directly from the dashboard, supporting payments to various vendors like Netflix and AT&T, streamlining financial management in one place.
  • Lifetime Financial Planning: Unlike many platforms that focus on short-term planning, Quicken provides tools for life-long financial planning, including retirement and significant life events, with the ability to explore different ‘what-if’ scenarios.
  • Simplified Personal and Business Use: Quicken combines personal and business finance management in one platform, allowing users to switch between them seamlessly without the need for separate software, making it ideal for individuals who also run a business.

While both YNAB and Quicken offer excellent features for budget tracking and financial management, YNAB focuses more on budgeting and breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, whereas Quicken provides more comprehensive tools for both personal and business financial management, including in-depth long-term planning.

YNAB vs Quicken: Pricing

When it comes to pricing, YNAB keeps it simple: $11.99 monthly or $84 yearly, which saves you around $60. They claim this could help you save up to $600 a year. 

Quicken, on the other hand, has several plans, including Simplifi by Quicken, ranging from $34.99 to $99.99 per year, with potential discounts for new users or deals from third-party sellers. So, YNAB is all about straightforward budgeting, while Quicken offers more choices depending on your financial needs.

Conclusion

Both YNAB and Quicken offer unique features tailored to different financial needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a straightforward budgeting tool or a comprehensive financial management platform, one of these could be the right fit for you. Explore what each has to offer and take control of your financial future today.

For a focused approach to budgeting that can help you save more and live within your means, Click Here to try YNAB.

If you’re seeking an all-encompassing financial solution with a variety of tools for managing personal and business finances, Click Here to explore Quicken.