YNAB Alternatives

Continuing the discussion from YNAB:

I’m looking for/at YNAB alternatives.

  • bank account syncing not necessary for me, but very important for my partner
  • I need a good way to manage my credit card that I pay off at the end of every month and all money spent is already budgeted
  • goals and sinking funds are very important to me
  • need to be able to budget out five months at a time

I’ve signed up for Lotus to give that a go, and I’m looking at Actual Budget. I have until the end of May 2022 to find a new solution.

this thread is to share resources, alternatives, and experiences, I’ll continue to update my findings as I go.


I’ve heard several people mention Buckets (budgetwithbuckets.com) and Spendwise (spendwise.io), but I haven’t tried either.


I think Buckets is next on my list to try! I have heard some good things. big downside to both is that there is no mobile app. I do like the price point for both.


Buckets apparently has a mobile app on the way, but no timeline for delivery. They do seem to be pretty transparent with their information though.


Okay. I"m a boomer, admitted. What’s YNAB?

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YNAB is You Need a Budget; it’s a subscription budgeting app (which used to be downloadable software). They recently announced a price increase that particularly affects long-time users who were early adopters of the app when the company switched to the subscription model.


There’s time stamps of the OMD reviews of all these budgeting apps here too, with reviews


thank you! will check that out later this evening!


I really like YNAB but they just raised their price again. May start looking at alternatives. I mostly just use the webapp on my PC, but the mobile app is nice when traveling.


I also mostly use the web app unless I need to check something in the budget. the major hike in price is definitely what has me searching for alternatives.


Lotus Budget:

so far I’ve only filled in initial amounts.

organizing and naming categories is unnecessarily clunky - their pre-set categories only allow you to delete them if you assign a new category for the money to go into even when there is zero money and zero money history.

selecting a new category when the one you’re deleting has no money/money history does generate a little error bubble, but then the category is gone and you’re good to go.

the layout is simple, very similar to YNAB. it is also a zero-based budget like YNAB. you can budget many months in advance.

haven’t figured out their debt model yet, and no goal setting features seem available.


FYI, a lot of people on the YNAB Reddit page are talking about Buckets as alternative. Going to take another look at it tonight!


Debt model is simply an account with a negative balance, which is easy enough.

Updating my budget today. Lotus is very, very clunky. I’m irritated that I can’t simply add, subtract, or transfer amounts between budget line items. While I’m pleased with the zero-based budget, I might have to call it quits on this one.

Did you try importing your YNAB budget? I think that Buckets is next on my list. One concern I have is the sustainability of the service since it is only one person behind it, but it’s a small concern especially if the budgeting is good.


On another forum I hang out on, someone mentioned Actual today as a good option comparable to YNAB. Haven’t tried it as I use YNAB4, but thought it might help someone who’s looking to change.


Thanks for starting this thread. My YNAB subscription renews in January and I was grandfathered in at $50/year until now, so I’m also considering a move and it is helpful to see what others are considering as alternatives.

I may let my subscription renew for one more year just because my renewal date is so soon but I’m definitely going to start testing some other apps to check if I can get what I need cheaper or for free.