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YNAB vs EveryDollar: Which Is the Best Budgeting App?

YNAB vs EveryDollar: Which Is the Best Budgeting App?
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Choosing a budgeting app to track your finances, set financial goals, and achieve financial freedom is a big decision. You have many options, but two of the most popular are YNAB vs. EveryDollar.

In this review, we provide an in-depth analysis of both zero-based budgeting apps, one of which Dave Ramsey uses.

EveryDollar vs YNAB Overview

YNAB and EveryDollar are similar in many ways, including that they both use zero-based budgeting; however, YNAB offers more in-depth features than EveryDollar, an app based on Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. Depending on the level of support you want, YNAB may help you keep better track of all your transactions.

EveryDollar focuses on your monthly budget, whereas YNAB focuses on your overall personal finance situation, helping you better understand your spending habits and getting you closer to achieving financial freedom.

ynab vs everydollar

YNAB wants users to get to the point where they don’t have to rely on each month’s paychecks to pay the bills. Instead, they want you to be able to live on ‘old money’ and continually reach new financial goals with the new money you earn. Imagine saying goodbye to living paycheck to paycheck. That’s the YNAB goal!

ynab vs everydollar
Build a Sure FIRE Budget

Manage your finances on one platform using real-time data. Make budgeting easier than ever with four easy rules and the help of YNAB. Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

  • Free Trial for 34-Days
  • Available on Multiple Platforms
  • Connects Multiple Accounts into One Platform
  • No Alerts
  • Learning Curve for New Users
Start FREE 34-Day Trial

EveryDollar vs YNAB Features

Comparing the features of EveryDollar vs. YNAB can help you determine which app you’re more comfortable using. Budgeting apps aren’t one-size-fits-all. The right budgeting app for you is the one with the features you’ll use.

EveryDollar Features

everydollar budgeting app

EveryDollar, one of the Ramsey Solutions products, offers a free version with limited features and a paid version with more robust features. Like most programs, the free version is limited but can give you an idea of how the app works.

The free features are for basic budgeting software. For example, you can create monthly budgets and manually enter transactions. The free budgeting software also allows you to create a sinking funds account, set due dates for bills, and split transactions between categories.

Everything in the free version is manual, but you can do the job if you don’t mind spending time working on your budget. However, some people prefer to be more hands-on, so they know their previous spending habits, what they must change, and how close they are to reaching their goals.

If you want more automated features, the following features are in the paid version.

Paycheck Planning

With the paycheck planning feature, you can track your paycheck cycle to prevent overdrafts and unnecessary fees. In addition, you can set up how frequently you want to spend money allocated for each category. For example, if you have $500 allotted for groceries for the month, you can set up how you want to divide the funds for the month.

You can also receive alerts when you risk overspending to prevent overdrafts. In short, it helps you create good financial habits!

Saving Goals

Set up short and long-term goals and track your progress in EveryDollar. So whether you’re saving for a vacation, renovating your home, or need to build up an emergency fund, you set the goal amount, and EveryDollar tracks your progress.

It can be eye-opening to see where you stand on your goals. Many people find this feature motivating because you see in real-time how much further you have to go, or you can celebrate your wins!

Custom Categories

EveryDollar allows you to make your budget as simple or complex as you want. You can keep the basic budget or set up customized budgeting categories to make your budget your own.

For example, you can set up budget categories for big items like housing expenses and then break them down into more detailed costs so you know at a glance where you’re spending money.

Linking Financial Accounts

Linking financial accounts reduces the risk of overspending or missing certain expenses. You can connect unlimited accounts, having your transactions automatically synced to your budget so you know where you stand in real-time.

This can prevent overdraft fees or the inability to pay certain bills because you didn’t realize your current balance. With everything synced in real-time, there’s no room for mistakes.

Financial Coaching

A premium version of EveryDollar includes financial coaching, where you can ask all of your financial questions and get the necessary answers.

Custom Budget Reports

If you have unique ways of looking at your budget, or you want to see specific information, such as your spending habits, average income, or any other budgeting information, you can create custom reports to meet your needs.

YNAB Features

ynab budgeting app differences

YNAB doesn’t have a free version like EveryDollar, but it offers more in-depth features to help you stay on track. YNAB operates on four important rules:

  1. Give Every dollar a job – YNAB believes every dollar should have a ‘job’ or be allocated to something before you earn it. For example, if you know you have $1,000 coming on payday, you should account for every dollar, including fixed and variable expenses, savings goals, and debt payments.
  2. Understand your true expenses – Many people only include regular monthly expenses in their budget, forgetting about irregular expenses, such as birthday gifts, car repairs, and insurance payments. YNAB encourages you to budget for every expense, breaking them down into monthly costs so you know your true cost of living.
  3. Be flexible – YNAB is a zero-based budget but believes in flexibility. Life changes and your budget needs to adapt when it does.
  4. Focus on aging your money – Your money goals should include ‘aging your money’ or living off last month’s or even previous months’ income. This stops the living paycheck-to-paycheck phenomenon.

Now that you know YNAB’s beliefs, here are some of its top features.

Build a Sure FIRE Budget

Manage your finances on one platform using real-time data. Make budgeting easier than ever with four easy rules and the help of YNAB. Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

  • Free Trial for 34-Days
  • Available on Multiple Platforms
  • Connects Multiple Accounts into One Platform
  • No Alerts
  • Learning Curve for New Users
Start FREE 34-Day Trial

Linking Financial accounts

Linking financial accounts ensures you are always on top of your budget and have the latest information about your spending habits, bank account balances, and progress in reaching your goals. In addition, you don’t have to manually enter transactions or worry about missing important transactions.

Real-Time Updates

You Need a Budget syncs across all devices, so you know you have the most up-to-date information in real-time, no matter where you check your bank accounts.


Set and track your goals so you know at a glance how far you’ve come, how much more you have to save, and the deadlines to do so.

Loan Calculator

Ever wonder how much you could save by making extra payments toward your debt? YNAB’s loan calculator helps you play with the numbers so you know how to handle your personal finances so you get out of debt early.

Spending and Net Worth Reports

You’ll love the spending and net worth reports if you’re a visual learner. You can see how far you’ve come, analyze spending categories, and get a better appreciation for your financial goals and their progress.

EveryDollar vs. YNAB Cost

The best budgeting software typically isn’t free, as is the case with EveryDollar and YNAB. While EveryDollar has some free features, they are basic. So here’s the cost breakdown for both budgeting apps.

EveryDollar Cost

EveryDollar has a free 14-day trial. After the trial, it costs $12.99/month, or if you want to save money, you can prepay for the entire year for $79.99, for a savings of $75.


YNAB has a much longer free trial that lasts 34 days. Like EveryDollar, YNAB has a monthly or annual subscription. If you choose monthly pricing, it’s $14.99 per month, and annually it’s $99 or $8.25 per month.

Using YNAB vs. EveryDollar: Which Is Better?

picture of budgeting app on device

Comparing the features of both budgeting apps helps you determine which is right, but what about their actual use? These popular budgeting apps have different ways of using their budgeting process.

Here’s how they compare.

Setting Up Your First Monthly Budget

Setting up your first monthly budget sets the tone for the app and your budgeting style. On EveryDollar, after creating your account, you can customize the prepopulated categories based on your financial habits, adding or deleting categories as necessary.

YNAB requires a little more work. First, you link your financial accounts and then must give every dollar a ‘job’ by dragging and dropping them into categories.

Reconciling Transactions

Both apps make it easy to reconcile transactions because they are automatically synced from your linked accounts. If you need to make any changes, you can do so manually.

Tracking Your Budget

The point of using a budgeting tool is to track your budget, and YNAB and EveryDollar do a great job. You can create custom reports, focus on specific spending categories, such as restaurant spending, or see your overall net worth within seconds.

YNAB Pros and Cons

Any budget app you consider will have pros and cons. Here’s how YNAB stacks up.


  • Automatically link bank accounts
  • Easily customizable
  • Offers a free 34-day trial
  • It teaches you to ‘age your money and stop living paycheck to paycheck
  • Has robust goal-setting tools


  • No bill payment feature
  • It takes longer to learn how to use
  • It doesn’t include investment features, such as investment tracking
Build a Sure FIRE Budget

Manage your finances on one platform using real-time data. Make budgeting easier than ever with four easy rules and the help of YNAB. Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

  • Free Trial for 34-Days
  • Available on Multiple Platforms
  • Connects Multiple Accounts into One Platform
  • No Alerts
  • Learning Curve for New Users
Start FREE 34-Day Trial

EveryDollar Pros and Cons

EveryDollar by Dave Ramsey has its pros and cons to consider too.


  • Automatically link bank accounts and sync expenses
  • Offers a basic free version
  • Easy to learn
  • Free 14-day trial


  • It doesn’t include investment tracking
  • The free version requires manual updating

Who Should Use YNAB?

Choose YNAB if you like distinct details and want to learn how to ‘age your money.’ If you’re meticulous about where every dollar goes and serious about the zero-based budgeting method, YNAB will provide you with the needed details.

Who Should Use EveryDollar?

If you want something more basic just to ensure you’re sticking to your budget and continuously creating financial goals, EveryDollar is a better option. You don’t have to worry about ‘aging money,’ but you should focus on financial freedom by following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps.

Related article: YNAB vs Quicken


You have some big decisions to make when choosing between You Need a Budget (YNAB) and EveryDollar. Since neither is 100% free, you should be sure they work with your financial institutions and jive with your financial goals.

How Are YNAB and EveryDollar Similar?

The most significant similarities between YNAB and EverDollar include:

  • User-friendly dashboards
  • Uses zero-based budgeting
  • Links to financial accounts
  • Updates in real-time
  • Offers customizable reports

How Are YNAB and EveryDollar Different?

Overall, EveryDollar is easier to set up initially, but YNAB offers automatic categorization, saving you time in the long run.

EveryDollar also offers financial coaching, helping you get answers to your questions or to learn more about the Financial Peace University, which EveryDollar is based on. However, YNAB claims users save much more money using the budgeting app compared to what EveryDollar claims.

Does EveryDollar Track Credit Card Accounts?

You can track all financial accounts on EveryDollar, including credit cards. This is especially important since it’s a part of Ramsey Solutions, which focuses on becoming debt-free.

Do YNAB and EveryDollar Have a Free Version?

Only EveryDollar has a free version, and it’s limited. The paid features offer much more robust opportunities to take control of your finances and reach your financial goals.

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Final Thoughts on the Winner

So who wins between YNAB vs. EveryDollar?

It depends on your goals.

Both apps have a monthly fee, link to your bank accounts, and automatically update in real-time. YNAB is more complex, but EveryDollar follows the Dave Ramsey baby steps, which may be a plus for some users.

Think about what you want from a budgeting app, and know that you can’t go wrong with either YNAB or EveryDollar.