PocketSmith vs YNAB 2023
Trying to keep track of each and every financial transaction you make can be hard. The process gets even more challenging if you have multiple bank accounts, investment accounts, or other types of financial accounts to consider.
Manually tracking your cash flow is time-consuming, inefficient, and prone to errors. For that reason, many consumers turn to budgeting and financial forecasting tools. These services help them create a monthly budget, improve their financial situation, and uncover their true expenses.
In this PocketSmith vs YNAB comparison, we’ll be comparing the two popular budgeting apps against each other. Which service is better at helping its users reach their financial goals? Read on to find out!
|PocketSmith is Better for:||YNAB is Better for:|
|Tracking investment accounts||Tracking your bank feeds|
|Predicting future transactions||Zero-based budgeting|
Each of these budgeting tools can be accessed via a premium plan. While they both will let you track expenses in your current month, the exact expenses that can be tracked vary between the two.
There are also differences in the plan pricing, available features, and methodologies behind each platform that you should consider when picking a platform.
|Service Type||Personal finance app||Personal finance app|
|Subscription Fees||$9.95 - $19.95/month||$8.25 - $14.99/month|
|Supported Platform(s)||Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android||iOS, Android, Web|
|Maximum Accounts Analyzed||Unlimited||Not disclosed|
|Best Use||Budgeting, tracking, and financial forecasting||Budgeting, tracking, and financial forecasting|
|Modest Money Overall Rating|
Factor 1: Free Features
We’ll begin by looking at the free features offered by each platform. Both offer similar capabilities—such as cash flow forecasts, transaction history analysis, and goal tracking—that will help you get a better handle on your financial life.
However, the free plans also come with certain limitations that affect how feasible each option is in the long term.
PocketSmith is the Better “Free” Option
- PocketSmith has a free account option
- YNAB offers a free trial
- PocketSmith free users are limited to two accounts
Even those who don’t feel like paying for budgeting apps can take advantage of PocketSmith for free, although the user experience will be less than stellar.
The free version offers all of the basic features you expect, such as tracking expenses by category, creating custom budget category options, and offering financial forecasts. However, users are limited to tracking only two accounts, making this option insufficient for users with multiple debit cards.
The biggest limitation of the free version is a lack of automatic transaction imports. Free users will have to manually enter every transaction, taking away from the time they were trying to save by using a budgeting app in the first place.
Unlike PocketSmith, YNAB doesn’t offer an ongoing plan for free. It does, however, offer a free 34-day trial. This trial gives new users complete access to its premium plan for the current month (plus a few extra days), allowing them to start creating promising financial plans before committing to a subscription.
Factor 2: Paid Features
Next, we’ll look at the premium features offered by each of these financial tools. From keeping track of your personal finances using various spending categories to predicting account values in the future, the paid features have a lot to offer the average consumer.
PocketSmith is the More Capable Platform Overall
- PocketSmith can track investment accounts
- YNAB provides a purpose for every dollar
- PocketSmith forecasts future finances
The lower-tier plan of PocketSmith allows you to track up to 12 accounts, whereas the highest-tier plan supports the tracking of unlimited accounts. Both options allow you to create unlimited budgets.
Unlike the basic plan, paid versions of PocketSmith automatically import transactions from connected financial accounts, making it much easier to track your progress.
PocketSmith supports a number of different account types including checking, savings, retirement accounts, credit card accounts, loans, and investments. Being able to track all of these various account types allows you to see how much progress you’ve made toward your savings goal.
The platform can be accessed from a desktop app (offered for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers) or the mobile app (available on iOS and Android).
YNAB provides users reports in three different categories: “spending”, “net worth”, and “income vs. expense”. These reports can be incredibly useful for financial forecasting, but first, users will have to allocate where every dollar in their bank balance will go and set goals.
This approach may take some getting used to, but it’s fairly straightforward after the initial setup. YNAB can be helpful for tracking credit card payments (which should help increase your credit score), loans, routine bills, and income. However, it’s worth mentioning that YNAB can’t be used for tracking investment accounts, which is a drawback.
You can easily access YNAB via your browser. However, the platform also offers support for a wide variety of other devices, including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Android devices, and Amazon Alexa.
Factor 3: Subscription Costs
Ongoing expenses are important to consider when comparing budgeting apps. After all, you don’t want to end up spending more on the apps themselves than you’re saving! Let’s compare the costs of each app.
YNAB is the More Affordable Option
- YNAB offer monthly and annual billing
- PocketSmith is pricey
- YNAB has a free trial available
Pricing varies, depending on whether you opt for the “Premium” or “Super” plan. The “Premium” plan costs $9.95 per month, but you can reduce this to $7.50 per month if you pay for the entire year upfront.
With the “Super” plan, subscription costs jump up to $19.95 per month. This can be lowered to $14.16 per month if you pay for the year upfront. Due to its high cost, we do not recommend this plan unless you plan on tracking more than 12 accounts concurrently.
Learn More About PocketSmith
This budgeting app only has one plan and two billing options: monthly and annual. Paying monthly will cost you $14.95 per month, whereas a yearly subscription will cost you $99 ($8.25/month).
Learn More About YNAB
PocketSmith vs YNAB: Our Opinion
Both of these services are excellent ways to analyze financial statements, budget current funds, predict future spending, and generate financial forecasts. They also offer similar features like customizable categories and category rules.
Ultimately, the service you should settle on depends on the types of accounts you’re trying to track. If you’re only trying to track incoming and outgoing transactions on bank statements, YNAB provides an easy way to do so at an affordable cost.
Click here to try out YNAB free for 34 days!
However, if your financial situation is a bit more complicated (i.e., involves investment accounts), then PocketSmith is the preferable option. Although the interface itself may be a bit more complex, it offers a well-rounded way to track all of your finances in one place.
Click here to sign up for PocketSmith!