YNAB Review

You Need a Budget or YNAB (pronounced as “why-nab”) is a cloud-based personal budgeting program that applies zero-based budgeting techniques.

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United Kingdom

About YNAB

The program, which was established in 2004 by Jesse Mecham and his wife, Julie, began as a basic budgeting spreadsheet template until it evolved into the cloud-based version was launched in 2015.

The couple follows four principles to manage their expenses, which they developed into a software. Its focus is to help people manage their finances responsibly.

In 2011, YNAB emerged as the most popular personal financing software in a poll among Lifehacker’s readers. Wirecutter also recommends YNAB as a great budgeting apps choice in 2021.

Can I use YNAB for international bank transfers?

YNAB is a budgeting app and does not offer international money transfer services to its clients. When YNAB is linked with the user’s personal account, YNAB registers international bank transfers done so that the user can still monitor international bank transfers.

How long do transfers take with YNAB?

Transfers are logged in YNAB, but the user's bank serves the actual money transfer. If the bank is linked with YNAB, transfer details will be imported once the bank has cleared the transfer.

Are there transfer limits?

The user's bank sets transfer limits. YNAB imports transfer transactions.

Can I use a YNAB debit card when traveling abroad?

YNAB does not endorse any banking or financial products, such as debit cards.

YNAB Exchange rates and fees

YNAB does not use exchange rates. However, it can reflect the actual exchange rates and fees used by the user’s bank in facilitating the money transfer.

Exchange Rate

YNAB does not have any exchange rates available for their clients, but a service called Multi-currency for YNAB claims to use “an exchange rate accurate to within 24 hours.“ The exchange rates may be retrieved through the Free Currency Converter API. However, the information can only be retrieved once within the day.

Transfer rate

The user’s bank transfer rates apply, and YNAB simply imports the information based on the user’s bank transactions.

Additional costs

Since YNAB does not handle banking transactions, they do not impose charges on the users' financial activities. The user's bank will charge all additional costs.

How do YNAB transfer fees compare to using a money transfer provider?

YNAB does not have any transfer fees because it does not provide a money transfer service. YNAB clients may do so through banks where they have an account.

Wise, WorldRemit, XE are some of the money transfer providers that YNAB clients may consider alternatives. Clients may prefer Wise because of its transparent fees, which can all be calculated using their website. It gives clients options to choose their transfer method. Factors such as the total transfer amount, flat fee, and currency exchange rates are considered in the breakdown of transfer fees.

YNAB pros and cons

Potential clients interested in YNAB may need to weigh some pros and cons.


As soon as you sign up for YNAB, you are automatically given a free one-month trial.
YNAB has features that make budgeting more manageable: YNAB can sync with more than 12,000 banks and multiple devices.
YNAB does not require credit card information upon signing up. It guarantees that the data shared in the YNAB app or software is encrypted to prevent data breaches.


Their monthly subscription plans cost 11.99 USD a month and 84 USD a year, which could be considered expensive for a budget management app.
Aside from a lack of reporting, YNAB does not have investment tracking or bill tracking.

What customer support options are available?

A client can directly reach YNAB through their contact form. Its customer support team usually responds within 24 hours.

Since the team of YNAB works remotely, it built the self-help center to guide its clients into the different functions of their app or software. Clients can browse through the help center at their own pace to familiarize themselves with the app, ultimately resolving their questions.

The support forum is a venue for various members to talk about their experience and concerns with their usage of YNAB.

Additional products of YNAB

  • Multi-currency for YNAB – This service helps a user convert an account into a currency they would like to keep the account in

  • You Need A Budget book – Jesse Mecham explains and shares more about his four rules in his book, which can serve as a guide to financial literacy that many clients seek to learn with the help of the YNAB app.

  • Free workshops – Online workshops are available daily to help people master budgeting skills.

  • Videos – YNAB offers videos on how to achieve financial goals.


YNAB was founded in 2004 and remains one of the top budgeting apps or software for personal finance. Many of their clients find their platform beneficial, as written in the reviews found on their homepage. They allow real-time tracking and multiple synchronizations of devices with their app. With their simple pricing plans, many enjoy YNAB as part of their everyday life that helps them achieve, track, and reach financial milestones as envisioned by Jesse Mecham using their four rules.

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Keith Hodges
Keith Hodges
Keith is a digital specialist with a background in the financial industry, both as a marketeer and a journalist. Keith joined in order to take the business to the next level and expand our offering in multiple international money transfer markets.