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Personal finance software reviews

You Need A Budget review

By Joe Elvin

Article 6 of 6

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

We've put You Need A Budget through our intensive lab tests to see how it compares with other personal finance software packages.

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 for each of the features 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 by the end.   

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

You Need A Budget overview
Version tested YNAB 5 26/April/2017 version
Data input Subscriber only content
Performance Subscriber only content
Support Subscriber only content
Mobile app Subscriber only content
Customer score Subscriber only content

Getting started

Downloading and installing Subscriber only content
Ease of data input Subscriber only content
Speed of data input Subscriber only content
Overall score Subscriber 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

Navigation Subscriber only content
Search function Subscriber only content
Grouping transactions Subscriber only content
Generating reports Subscriber only content
Setting goals Subscriber only content
Setting reminders Subscriber only content
Overall score Subscriber 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 guide Subscriber only content
Phone support Subscriber only content
Email support Subscriber only content
FAQs Subscriber only content
Forums Subscriber only content
Overall score Subscriber 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

Overall rating
Who's it suitable for? Subscriber only content
Mobile app Subscriber only content
Test score Subscriber 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 performance (70%;) support (15%); and app score (10%).   

  • Last updated: June 2017    
  • Updated by: Joe Elvin  

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