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You Need a Budget 4 Featuring Cloud Sync

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Piggy Bank: YNAB ReviewYou Need a Budget is a budgeting software developed to give users complete control of their money and their budget. In recent news You Need a Budget has announced the release of YNAB 4, and it offers cloud sync capability, enabling users to gain even more control over their finances. Below we will take a look at exactly what the YNAB 4 software has to offer users and why the new cloud sync feature is such a great advancement!

What Is “You Need a Budget”?

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You Need A Budget is a downloadable software intended for those who are tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Available for both Windows and Mac users, YNAB is designed to help users build up their savings, decrease debt and focus on where monthly paychecks are going. There are four main goals for using the You Need a Budget software that are highlighted through the features that they offer: giving every dollar a job, rolling with the punches, saving for a rainy day and stop living paycheck to paycheck.

Give Every Dollar a Job

Giving every dollar a job is your responsibility as the “money earner.” If you don’t dictate your money, then your money dictates you, and that leads to debt, frustration and poor money management overall. Giving every dollar a job is a process of breaking down what money is available to you and designating exactly what that money should be used for. By giving every dollar a job, you are avoiding overspending in certain aspects of your life which later lead to trouble when your bills come due. Divide what money you have among the expected expenses in the upcoming period by using the You Need a Budget software, and you will be aware of exactly what funds you have available for specific activities. One example of a spending category is “eating out.”

Roll with the Punches

Everyone likes to think that they can “roll with the punches,” but financially for most people, this is not the case. The You Need a Budget financial management software allows you to designate where your funds go so that if overspending in one category does occur, you can avoid going over budget by making adjustments. YNAB gives you the opportunity to adjust your spending categories to account for any overspending so that you can stick to your monthly budget. If you fail to make these changes, the software will see it as overspending and compensate by deducting from next month’s money. This process teaches you to actively track purchases ensuring that you stick to your budget.

Save for a Rainy Day

Rainy days happen to us all, but the You Need a Budget software is designed to allow for those days and ensure that we are not left in the lurch when they arrive. By implementing a system where each dollar you earn has a job, you are more able to set aside money for rainy day expenses – or that property tax bill you completely forgot about until you got a statement through the mail. No longer are you faced with having to fund large payments (or worse, stick them on your credit card) because you have been budgeting for this “unexpected” expense using the YNAB software.

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Living paycheck to paycheck is not only stressful, but it also leads to spending money that you don’t have in hand yet. With the You Need a Budget system you learn to build a buffer that puts you spending last month’s paycheck this month, so you are no longer spending what you don’t have.

What Features Does “You Need a Budget” Offer?

With many new features being announced by You Need a Budget with the launch of version 4 and the cloud sync, there is a good deal of features – old and new – to cover.

A Free Demo

One of the most appealing factors for newcomers to the You Need a Budget software is that there is a free demo available. For 34 days, new users can experience a full-featured demo version of the YNAB software. Sign up today for You Need a Budget.

Affordable Pricing

A onetime fee of $60 (no additional fees after the initial download) makes the You Need a Budget software affordable for many users.

Daily Classes

One feature offered by the You Need a Budget software that is not offered by most other financial services is education. YNAB offers users daily classes that are designed to support healthy spending and teach new users how to make the most of the YNAB software. Current class titles include Introduction to YNAB, Budget Workshop, and Handling Credit Cards.

Budgeting Interface

YNAB offers users a clean and easy to understand budgeting interface that gives complete control over accounts and spending categories. One of the unique features of the YNAB software is that it does not enable helplessness by directly importing banking transactions into this interface. By forcing users to add their transactions manually or via spreadsheet importation, YNAB prompts increased awareness over personal finances.

Payment Scheduler

While YNAB believes that users should be completely conscious of all expenditures, monthly payments that never change can be scheduled through the payment scheduler. This enables planning for those monthly payments that are set to deduct automatically from your bank account each month.

Inline Transaction Splitting

Inline transaction splitting allows users to split expenditures between budgeted categories to the penny when needed.

Note Taking

Sometimes the “Memo” field just isn’t enough, but with the You Need a Budget software users can now keep notes wherever needed to record information for transactions.

Net Worth Reporting

Net worth reporting is a “perk” of YNAB that allows users to track their net worth and work towards increasing that number by decreasing debt.

Spending Reporting

Spending reporting is one of the most important features of any budgeting software because it raises awareness of exactly where money is being spent. Spending reports through You Need a Budget can be viewed by category or by the payee.

Search Function

Unlike many other budgeting software options that make search functions difficult to navigate, YNAB has an easy to use search function with many different defining factors.

Windows and Mac Support

Unfortunately, many budgeting software options are exclusive to either Mac or Windows operating systems. YNAB 4 is supported on both systems and with the ability to install YNAB on as many personal systems as desired. With the new Cloud Sync users can even jump between the two operating systems!

Easy Data Export

You Need a Budget allows users to export budget data in both XML and CSV format.

No Upgrade Fees

You Need a Budget does not feature upgrade or subscription fees. Payment is a one-time deal, and it includes all newly released minor upgrades on the software purchased. Of course, there is a fee for major upgrades such as moving from YNAB 4 to YNAB 5 (should they ever introduce version 5), but this is how these upgrades are funded.

How Much Does You Need a Budget Cost?

Currently, You Need a Budget can be downloaded for free for 34 days; this trial service is a fully functioning demo. If at the end of your trial you decide to purchase the software the current cost is $50/year for the Windows and Mac versions. If you are a student, you can get your first year free!

What Should I Expect from the YNAB 4 Upgrade?

You Need a Budget made one of the major upgrades mentioned above in their software June 21st, 2012. This upgrade is still active today but has had many updates. Its initial launch featured cloud sync and a number of other improvements. Take a look at what YNAB 4 has to offer:

Improved Workflow

Cloud Sync

The cloud sync feature is designed to update ALL devices using your copy of YNAB automatically, in real time. This service utilizes the free file storage service Dropbox and ensures that no matter where you are you can access your most up to date budgeting information. This feature is particularly appealing to those who share budget files with significant others or other family members since it allows for them to view changes made to the budget in real time.


For those who work in the tech world “autosave” is a feature that should come with just about any software and now it comes with YNAB 4. YNAB 4 is set to save your files at regular intervals as you are editing as well as when you close out the program so that you never have to lose data again.

Version History

YNAB 4 has also introduced a version history feature. This feature allows users to restore their budget from previous versions to make undoing a mistake in the budget quick and easy!

All Accounts View

The all accounts view on this newest YNAB release allows for users to view all transactions from each account in a single location. This feature means that users can now view all transactions within a time period from a savings and checking account at the same time.

Improved File Exporting

The new You Need a Budget software allows increased flexibility in data exporting. Users can now export exactly what they see on their screen based upon search information or filters that have been set.

Automatic File Handling

Automatic file handling is particularly helpful for those who run multiple households and must manage multiple budgets. This feature allows for users to control all budgets and files from a single location rather than having to open various files from different places.

Budget Switching

In past versions of the You Need a Budget software, the program had to restart completely when switching back and forth between budgets. This process was extremely frustrating and time-consuming but now budget switching is fast and easy!

New Print Engine

The new print engine in the YNAB 4 version allows for users to print information from the screen by sending it directly to the printer – this means no more PDFs to work with. The new print engine also means that data will no longer get cut off and will be much more readable.

Improved User Interface

Improved Clarity

The new interface on You Need a Budget 4 is much clearer and makes the budgeting process much clearer, consistent, readable, efficient and intuitive.

Collapsible Account Groups

Having multiple account groups can get out of hand, scrolling through accounts is frustrating and time-consuming. Collapsible account groups now allow users to collapse budget and off-budget accounts to create a much cleaner and neater interface.

Collapsible Scheduler

The scheduler on YNAB 4 can be easily tucked out of sight to ensure that the user interface is as clear as possible to maximize space.

Better Budgeting

Unified Budget Information

Unified budget information gives users a full overview of their monthly budget information rather than older YNAB versions which split this between the top and bottom sections of the month.

Improved “Current Month” Cues

To make the current budgeting month more easily distinguishable, the new YNAB version has changed the color of past months to make them stand out. This change has been made in addition to featuring the current month header and the current month timeline.

Balance to Zero Feature

The balance to zero feature allows users to zero out the category balance in a number of categories at once. This option can also be set for a per-budget cell basis if it is required for a single budget cell.

Seamless Accounting

Account Reconciliation

You Need a Budget 4 has a wizard that makes account reconciliation easy.

Improved Data Importing

The newest version of the YNIB software is now able to import data without duplicating transactions as far as QIF files are concerned. Also, the new YNAB version also ensures that users do not see data before their start date unless they specifically select to do so.

Improved Date Filtering

The improved data filtering function on YNAB 4 allows users to filter their accounts and show various date ranges including this month, the previous three months, last year, the year to date and a custom date range.

Send to Scheduler

YNAB 4 no allows for users to send future dated transactions directly to the transaction scheduler with the click of a mouse button!

Enhanced Reporting

Spending Reports

You Need a Budget 4 now allows users to view their spending based upon payee information or by category. This set up allows users to filter out accounts, payees and categories to eliminate any undesired information.

Income Vs Expense Report

The income vs. expense report is designed to help budgeters get an overview of their current financial status. This new reporting system allows users to see their net income to ensure that they are making more money than they are spending. This report option also allows users to see totals of spending and spending averages over time.

Net Worth Report

The new net worth reporting system allows users to view an easy to read report that can be fully controlled with filtering options. Users can now filter information based upon dates, eliminating the inclusion of irrelevant data.

Why Choose You Need a Budget 4?

With all of the upgrades and improvements that have accompanied the release of You Need a Budget 4, there are many more reasons why those seeking financial security should try YNAB. This newest software release offers a whole new level of budgeting control that is to date unavailable in any comparably priced software.

Why Is You Need a Budget So Special?

There are a good many financial management software options available on the market today. Many people ask why they should choose one software over the other. With You Need a Budget, the answers are obvious for those who have given it a trial. YNAB features up to date elements that allow mobile management of finances not only possible but incredibly easy. Not only does YNAB offer these up to date features, but they believe in teaching budgeting rather than automating budgeting. One of the biggest downfalls in budgeting software choices these days is that they don’t focus on consumer education; rather they focus on making this fast and easy. Certainly, YNAB 4 makes budgeting finances fast and easy, but they take a whole new approach. YNAB focuses on education as a means to healthy financial living.

The YNAB Philosophy

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Visit You Need a Budget’s Website

YNAB believes that financial management should be easy and they’re prepared to take the hand of anyone willing to listen, and teach them how to live a financially unburdened life. So confident is You Need a Budget in their product that they offer clients a free trial of their service in addition to free educational classes and a free 50-page e-book designed to teach the methodology of YNAB. Focused on the four core rules of budgeting, this e-book is all about teaching a life change and setting clients up for success even if they don’t purchase the YNAB software!

Do You Really Need a Budget Management Software?

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You’re a whiz with numbers, and you are pretty good at estimating how much you have left in your bank account at the end of every month. Would a software like YNAB 4 be helpful to you? Most definitely. YNAB is easy to understand for beginner budgeters, but it is efficient enough to manage money for even the most experienced budgeters as well. YNAB takes the uncertainty out of financial planning and sets users up for success in savings. If you are unsure as to how YNAB could help you all you need to do is contact their customer support and explain that you are unsure if this is the program for you. An associate will be more than happy to walk you through the software and find the answers you need. Better still, download a free trial copy from the You Need a Budget website and give it a test run. What better way to determine if YNAB is the right service for you than actually giving it a try?

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

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1 Comment on "You Need a Budget 4 Featuring Cloud Sync"

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I am looking to be better with my finances in the new year and DEFINITELY need a budget but have been trying out different financial software companies and this one in particular sounds more appealing for many reasons so am going to give them a try too.

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