There are plenty of apps out there to help people with their finances, but I find that people often talk the most about the two biggest: You Need a Budget (YNAB) and EveryDollar. If you’re new to the finance world, maybe you haven’t heard about them yet, or maybe they’re the only two you can remember hearing anything about. Either way, today we’re going to explore some of the pros and cons of both apps, and at the end I’ll talk about which one I prefer.

Now, before we start I just want you guys to know, this is NOT a sponsored post. I have experience with both EveryDollar and YNAB and I want to share that! So let’s get to it.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Before we get into the pros and cons of the app, I’m going mention the most important aspect right up front: the cost.

YNAB costs $6.99/month or $83.99/year (USD).

I know it might seem counter-intuitive to spend money on something that’s supposed to save you money – trust me, I felt that – but it’s absolutely worth every penny. It also comes with a 100% money back guarantee, so if you at any time decide this app is not helping you save money, you get a refund. So that’s great. But the best part, you can download the app for free and give it a try for 34 days.

Now, if you’re a broke-ass student, have no fear! It’s free for you! They offer YNAB to students for free, so long as you can prove you’re enrolled in classes. Okay, now that the money part is out in the open, let’s look at the app itself.

Pros of YNAB:

  • automatic uploading of transactions (if you link your bank account)
  • helpful and motivating emails
  • it’s available in different countries and you can choose your currency
  • customizable budget categories and headings
  • available on iOS & Android
  • free for students
  • daily reports about your net worth and age of money
  • free 20 minute online workshops (setting up a budget, dealing with overspending, debt & credit cards, and so many more!)
  • forward-focused thinking: what you can do to change now, not ways you should have done better in the past
  • easy to contact support centre

I had to contact the support centre because of an issue importing my transactions, and they were helpful, fast, and kept me in the loop every step of the way. Unfortunately for me, things changed with my bank and I couldn’t use automatic transaction uploading anymore. But the support centre was able to offer me other options for uploading transactions (though I ended up sticking to manual transaction input).

Cons of YNAB

  • the cost (even though it’s affordable, it’s still annoying to have to pay $9 CAD every month)
  • You either pay or you don’t use the app. EveryDollar offers a free version and a pro version. It would be nice to see YNAB offer something like that, too!
  • Automatic transaction importing only works for some Canadian and American banks. If you’re outside North America, you’ll have two options: manual or File-based import

Final remarks:

YNAB categories and sub-categories

As you can see, you can customize YNAB however you like. I have sub-categories under vehicle for my gas, my partners, my insurance, his insurance, etc. I love the control and freedom the customization allows me. I like to break things down quite intensely throughout the month so I can track exactly where the money is going. YNAB allows for that.

The one aspect I genuinely love about YNAB is the utter and complete control and customization. I love that I can create my own budget groups (debt payments, savings, vehicles, house, just for fun, etc.) and that I can also customize the smaller categories within each group. Here’s a screenshot of my budget underneath the vehicle heading.

Now let’s move on to EveryDollar!


Again, we will start off with the cost of the app. EveryDollar is completely and utterly free to use the bare bones app! They do offer EveryDollar plus for $129.99/year. I know what you’re thinking: $129.99 (USD) is A LOT of money! But EveryDollar comes with Dave Ramsey’s well-known course: Financial Peace University.

I’ve never taken Financial Peace University, so I can’t speak to its greatness, but I have heard from other people it’s quite revolutionary. Here’s a great review of Financial Peace Univeristy by Steffa at Plantsonify! She talks about some of the pros and cons of Financial Peace University and why being on the same page as your spouse financially is so important. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about it, check out her post!

Now then, when you download the EveryDollar app you get a free fifteen day trial of EveryDollar plus. So you can always try it first before committing. Free trials for the win!

Pros of EveryDollar

  • access to financial peace university (plus version)
  • access to budgeting tools (plus version)
  • automatic uploading of transactions (plus version)
  • helpful and motivating emails & a callback option
  • it’s available in different countries and you can choose your currency
  • available on iOS & Android
  • Easy to contact staff and get support
  • free
  • guides to budgeting & budgeting how-to’s

Cons of EveryDollar

  • You can’t customize the headings (you only get to use the headings provided: income, giving, savings, housing, etc.)
  • hefty price tag for the plus version
  • free version means you import your transactions yourself

Final Remarks:

EveryDollar categories
EveryDollar categories

The one aspect I really enjoy about EveryDollar is the price! Free is amazing, especially if you’re just starting out and you don’t know how to budget. While the plus version comes with quite a few perks (looking at you, financial peace university) I really appreciate that Dave Ramsey offers a free version of the app.


Overall, you really can’t go wrong with either app. If you want to save money, pay off debt, and know exactly what your money is doing, both these apps are fantastic. At the end of the day, I went with YNAB. I love the customization, I love the app’s easy to use programming, and after the 34 day free trial I was hooked.

I’ve tried to make the switch to EveryDollar a few times (especially after I had to start manually importing all my transactions on YNAB) but I always end up back with YNAB.

If you can’t make your decision right now, pin this post and save it for later! And if you’re new to budgeting, check out my post that details how to build a budget!

What’s your favorite budgeting app and why? Let me know in the comments!



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