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YNAB vs. EveryDollar: Which Is the Best Zero-Based Budgeting App?

When it comes to taking control of your finances, there’s no doubt about it: You need to budget. And one of the best ways to make budgeting easier is to use an app.

Now there are plenty of apps out there, and it can make your head spin to compare and contrast them all. So, here’s a rundown of two of the top contenders in the budgeting apps space: YNAB vs. EveryDollar. They’re both zero-based budgeting apps, but which is better? Stop the head spinning and let’s find out.

 

Key Takeaways

  • YNAB (You Need a Budget) offers only a paid version of their budgeting app.
  • EveryDollar offers a free and premium version of their budgeting app.
  • Both YNAB and EveryDollar follow the zero-based budgeting method.
  • YNAB and EveryDollar have similar features.
  • EveryDollar’s paid version offers a cheaper annual price than YNAB.

What Is YNAB?

YNAB (You Need a Budget) began as a spreadsheet program created by an accountant and later launched as a web app in 2015 and a mobile app in 2016. This budgeting tool offers only a paid version with features that support their four rules of budgeting:

  1. Give your money jobs (aka, use the zero-based budgeting method).
  2. Save up chunks of money each month to cover bigger expenses that don’t happen each month.
  3. Move money around from one category to another if you overspend somewhere.
  4. Save up a full month of income so you can pay this month’s expenses with last month’s money.

And what’s the payoff? Well, of course budgeting has its own rewards, but if you want to talk dollars and cents, YNAB claims budgeters save an average of $600 in the first two months of using their product.1

How Much Does YNAB Cost?

The YNAB app doesn’t have a free version of their budgeting features. They offer a free trial, and then you can pay $14.99 per month or $99 per year for the app.

What Are YNAB’s Features?

Free Features Include

  • None!

Paid Features Include

  • Create a monthly budget
  • Access your budget on your computer, phone or tablet
  • Customize budget categories and lines
  • Set and track goals
  • Securely connect your bank account to your budget
  • See spending and net worth reports
  • Use the loan calculator
  • Split transactions
  • Talk to a live person for customer support
  • Join live Q&A sessions with YNAB teachers
  • Get tracking recommendations for your manual transactions
  • Have your transactions categorized automatically

What Is EveryDollar?

Money expert and bestselling author Dave Ramsey started giving financial advice on the radio back in 1992. Today, The Ramsey Show has millions of weekly listeners. Somewhere in between, Ramsey Solutions realized they needed to provide an on-the-go tool to help people live out the advice they heard on air over and over again—create and live by a zero-based budget. As a result, the free and premium versions of EveryDollar launched in 2015.

EveryDollar's features are designed to help you (the budgeter):

  • Make a customized budget that reflects your life, your goals and your priorities
  • Keep a clear view of what’s left to spend (so you don’t overspend)
  • See how your money habits line up with your money goals (so you can make changes when you need to)
  • Adjust your budget with ease based on spending, life changes, or anything else that pops up
  • Connect and learn through live group coaching sessions, video tutorials, and customer support (because you don’t have to do this alone)

In the first two months of budgeting with EveryDollar, the average active user finds an extra $790 they were spending without even knowing it!

Save more. Spend better. Budget confidently.

Get EveryDollar: the free app that makes creating—and keeping—a budget simple. (Yes, please.)

Start EveryDollar for Free

How Much Does EveryDollar Cost?

EveryDollar offers a completely free version of the app. (Heck yeah!) You can also start a free trial of the premium version which costs $17.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

What Are EveryDollar’s Features?

Free Features Include

  • Create a monthly budget
  • Access your budget on your computer, phone or tablet
  • Customize budget categories and lines
  • Create unlimited budget categories and lines
  • Set up sinking funds and track savings goals
  • Split transactions
  • Set due dates for bills
  • Talk to a live person for customer support

Paid Features Include

All the free features, plus:

  • Connect to multiple financial accounts in one app
  • Set and track money goals (vacations, emergency funds, mortgage payoff, retirement and more)
  • See custom budget reports
  • Export transaction data
  • Join live Q&A sessions with professional financial coaches
  • Automatically stream your transactions into your budget
  • Get tracking recommendations for your transactions
  • Set due date reminders for your bills
  • Calculate your current and projected net worth
  • Plan your spending based on when you get paid and when things are due with “paycheck planning”

YNAB vs. EveryDollar Comparison Chart

 

YNAB

EveryDollar

Free version

✔️

Cost of paid version

$99 per year

$79.99 per year

How much you’ll save or find in your first two months of budgeting

$600

$790

Unlimited budget categories

✔️

✔️

Secure bank connection

✔️

✔️

Transactions automatically streamed into your budget

✔️

✔️

Goal setting and tracking

✔️

✔️

Budget reports

✔️

✔️

Net worth calculators

✔️

Live customer support

✔️

✔️

Live group Q&A sessions

✔️

✔️

Here’s the deal: When it comes to budgeting apps, YNAB and EveryDollar have a lot of the same features. But here are some key differences between the two:

  • EveryDollar has a free version. YNAB does not.
  • EveryDollar has a cheaper annual cost than YNAB.
  • Based on customer survey results, EveryDollar budgeters find or save nearly $200 more in the first two months of budgeting than YNAB budgeters.

In the end, EveryDollar was created on a foundation of solid money principles that have stood—and will stand—the test of time (30 years and counting!). Several reviews online and in the App Store and Google Play say it’s easier to use overall.

Money

Start budgeting with EveryDollar today!

And if we’re talking about saving money (which budgeters do best), EveryDollar gives you the free option that YNAB just doesn’t have. Plus, if you decide to go with the paid version, YNAB costs more for an annual plan. So, when you’re trying to pick which one to use, we think you need the better budgeting app: EveryDollar.

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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