Personal finance software reviews You Need A Budget review

You Need A Budget App Logo 2015
You Need A Budget overview
Version testedYNAB 5a
Getting startedSubscriber only content
Everyday useSubscriber only content
SupportSubscriber only content
Mobile appSubscriber only content
Test scoreSubscriber only content

You Need A Budget is personal finance software that allows users to manage their funds without needing access to months of historical data. 

It promises to help you pay off debt, save more money and create a flexible budget that makes it easy to achieve your financial goals.  

We put You Need A Budget through rigorous testing in lab conditions, analysing and providing star ratings each of the features that we know are important to personal software users.

We also asked Which? members to monitor their spending for one month using the software, and asked to see if they felt more in control of their finances at the end of it.   

Our review includes the full results of our lab tests, comments from You Need A Budget’s users and an overall verdict from our personal finance software experts.

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You Need A Budget - lab tests

Getting started

Downloading and installingSubscriber only content
Ease of data inputSubscriber only content
Speed of data inputSubscriber only content
Overall scoreSubscriber only content


We reveal how easy it is to get started using You Need A Budget. We asked our lab testers to manually input two sets of fictitious financial data, as well as import CSV and QIF files from various sources in order to calculate star ratings for both ease and speed of data input.  

Ease of use

NavigationSubscriber only content
Search functionSubscriber only content
Grouping transactionsSubscriber only content
Generating reportsSubscriber only content
Setting goalsSubscriber only content
Setting remindersSubscriber only content
Overall scoreSubscriber only content


Our lab testers tried out dozens of YNAB’s features and issued star ratings for its search, navigation, grouping, report generating, goal-setting and reminder scheduling functions.      

We surveyed hundreds of personal finance software users, who told us these were the elements that were most important to be able to use easily.


Step-by-step guideSubscriber only content
Phone supportSubscriber only content
Email supportSubscriber only content
FAQsSubscriber only content
ForumsSubscriber only content
Overall scoreSubscriber only content


We tested every element of YNAB’s customer support and gave it an overall star rating based on the range and quality of the services on offer.

What do You Need A Budget’s users say about it?

We asked four Which? members to test out You Need A Budget for a month and give us their opinions on each element of the software.

Our review features their verdicts, as well as comments from other You Need A Budget users.   

Although these don’t affect the product’s overall test score, they should help give an idea of who this product is most suitable for.

Which? verdict on You Need A Budget

Suitability for beginnersSubscriber only content
Suitablity for expertsSubscriber only content
Mobile app Subscriber only content
Test scoreSubscriber only content


We reveal how suitable You Need A Budget is for beginners, who tend to struggle with computers and organising their finances and experts who are more experienced in these areas. We also tested and rated the associated YNAB smartphone app, which comes free with the software.

Our test score ignores price and is based on overall ratings for ease of use (55%;) getting started (15%); overall rating for beginners/experts (15%); support (10%); app score (5%).     

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