This tweet was posted by @YNAB today, which I easily replied to. I was driving to work this morning and thought it was a great question to expand on.
I could talk all day on why I think YNAB is better than Mint. All of my arguments though, could be boiled down to a couple of things.
- The 4 Rules
Now, awareness is something that I like to talk about here on the blog. But really, it plays into why I think YNAB is superior. When I used Mint back before YNAB (circa 2009 - 2011), I was always behind on what I had actually spent and still had to track my budget and spending in a spreadsheet separately. Mint essentially, was on autopilot. Some people thing that having your financial software import all your transactions automatically is the superior function. Sure, this is helpful. But there is a better way. YNAB forces you to be mindful of what you spend, thus inputting all your transactions (easily via the iPhone), or you can import your bank's transaction history if you happen to forget some purchases. Even if you do the import from the bank, you still have to categorize your purchases and make a concious decision of what category they will come from. When I used Mint, purchases would go into any which category and I felt like I was always playing catch up.
The other reason that YNAB is better than Mint is the 4 Rules. They are:
- Give every dollar a job
- Save for a rainy day
- Roll with the punches
- Live on last month's income
Without going into too much detail about the rules, these are the foundations of how YNAB operates. The program is built specically around these mottos and frankly - who wouldn't want to manage their money and live this way? Why would you not want to assign a job to every dollar? Don't you want to know what you spend your money on? If you're trying to get out of debt, it sure would be helpful to squeeze every last dollar you could, so that you can throw it on your debt.
If you haven't done the trial of YNAB yet, I would highly recommend it.