Rocket Money vs YNAB 2024: Which budgeting app is better?

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
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Managing your finances effectively is a critical aspect of maintaining financial health and using a budgeting tool can be a game-changer. Budgeting apps like Rocket Money and You Need a Budget (YNAB) can streamline the budgeting process, helping you track your income, expenses, and financial goals. But which tool is the right one for you?

My following article will compare and contrast Rocket Money and YNAB, two popular budgeting tools, to help you decide which platform best suits your financial needs.

Rocket Money is Better for:YNAB is Better for:
Those who prefer a high level of customizationThose new to budgeting who would benefit from a more structured methodology
Users seeking an intuitive and straightforward interfaceUsers interested in a platform with a strong emphasis on financial education
Individuals who desire a unique blend of flexibility and ease of useIndividuals who value a tool that syncs seamlessly with their financial accounts

Introducing the Platforms


YNAB stands out with its unique budgeting methodology based on four rules. This approach provides a structured framework that guides users in managing their finances. While YNAB offers some customization, it stands out for its focus on financial education and the ability to sync seamlessly with users’ financial accounts. For more details, check my in-depth YNAB review.

For a deeper dive of all things YNAB, check out my full review of the platform.

Rocket Money

Rocket Money is a budgeting app that offers high customizability and an intuitive interface. The platform allows users to tailor their budget categories and set personalized financial goals. With clear visualizations of income, expenses, and budgeting goals –– Rocket Money delivers a user-friendly experience.

Rocket Money Logo YNAB Logo
Type of Service Budgeting App Budgeting App
Best Use High customizability and ease of use Structured budgeting and financial education
Customer Support FAQ and email support Comprehensive knowledge base, email, and live workshops
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Modest Money Overall Rating
4.4 rating based on 5 ratings
4.0 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: Budgeting Methodology

YNAB Stands Out With It’s Structured Approach And Educational Principles

  • Rocket Money offers a flexible approach to budgeting, allowing users to create personalized budget categories and goals.
  • YNAB utilizes a unique budgeting methodology based on four rules.

Rocket Money: Flexible Budgeting

Rocket Money allows users to create personalized budget categories, offering flexibility in how you manage your finances. Whether you have specific savings goals or want to track particular spending habits, Rocket Money can accommodate your needs.

YNAB: Four Rules of Budgeting

YNAB, on the other hand, offers a unique and structured approach to budgeting. The platform utilizes a methodology based on four rules:

  1. Give Every Dollar a Job
  2. Embrace Your True Expenses
  3. Roll with the Punches
  4. Age Your Money

This approach is excellent for those new to budgeting or who prefer a structured financial plan.

Factor 2: User Interface and Accessibility

YNAB’s Clean, Sleek Designs Gives It An Advantage In Overall User Experience

  • YNAB provides a clean, user-friendly interface with comprehensive features.
  • Rocket Money is adequate for those seeking a budgeting tool with an appealing and intuitive interface.

Rocket Money: Intuitive and Easy-to-Use

Rocket Money offers an intuitive and straightforward interface that allows users to navigate through the app easily. Its visually pleasing design elements make budgeting less daunting and more enjoyable.

YNAB: User-friendly with Comprehensive Features

YNAB, on the other hand, boasts a clean and user-friendly interface. While it might have a steeper learning curve due to its comprehensive features, YNAB provides ample educational resources to assist new users.

Factor 3: Financial Goals and Reporting

The Goal Tracking Feature of YNAB Shines

  • YNAB emphasizes goal tracking and offers detailed reports for analyzing spending patterns and budget performance.
  • Rocket Money has personalized financial goals and a visual representation of income and expenses.

Rocket Money: Personalized Financial Goals

With Rocket Money, users can set and manage personalized financial goals, making it an excellent tool for financial planning. It also provides clear visualizations of income, expenses, and progress toward financial goals.

YNAB: Detailed Reporting and Goal Tracking

YNAB, on the other hand, emphasizes goal tracking and provides detailed reports that allow users to analyze their spending patterns and budget performance. It’s an excellent tool for those who value data-driven insights to guide their financial decisions.

Factor 4: Customizability

YNAB’s Guided Customization Stands Out

  • YNAB offers guided, easy to navigate, customization.
  • Rocket Money is better for those who want a more personalized budgeting experience.

Rocket Money: User-driven Customizability

Rocket Money is no slouch when it comes to customizability. Users have the freedom to tailor their budget categories and set personalized financial goals. This feature is especially beneficial for users who want their budgeting tool to fit their unique financial circumstances and goals.

YNAB: Guided Customization

YNAB offers customization but is more guided in its approach, applying the four rules of budgeting. This approach is excellent for users new to budgeting who may benefit from a more structured methodology. If you are already a budgeting expert, then this guided customization might feel restrictive. But if you are like me and like the help of proven, guiding principles, then YNAB’ customization is appreciated.

Factor 5: Ease of Use

YNAB Teaches and Guides

  • YNAB also offers a clean, user-friendly interface and is designed to match its unique budgeting methodology.
  • Rocket Money caters to those who value simplicity and ease of use in their budgeting tool.

Rocket Money: Intuitive Interface

Rocket Money features an intuitive and sleek interface, making it easy for users to navigate and understand their financial data. The setup is straightforward, and the platform provides clear visualizations of your income, expenses, and budgeting goals.

YNAB: Guides You Through

New users might need some time to familiarize themselves with the four rules of budgeting and how to apply them within the platform. Luckily, YNAB does a good job of providing resources to make this learning process quick and painless.

Rocket Money and YNAB Alternatives

If you have read this far in my Rocket Money vs YNAB article and aren’t convinced their monthly subscriptions are worth it, don’t worry, there are other quality personal finance apps out there.

If you subscribe to the zero-based budget philosophy but don’t like the offerings of YNAB, you can consider EveryDollar.

To learn more about personal finance guru Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar and see how it compares, consider reading my YNAB vs EveryDollar review.

If you need more help than monthly budgets to reach your individual savings goals, Quicken offers a wide range of premium features.

A complete money management solution, Quicken has been a solid option for over 40 years. To see how they have adapted to keep pace with all the new expensive budgeting apps available, check out my YNAB vs Quicken article.

If you are a former Mint user and looking for a replacement, there are plenty of popular budgeting apps at your disposal. YNAB has many of the same standout features that Mint formerly provided to users and could be a better overall budgeting platform. To see how they compare, my Mint vs YNAB comparison is a good starting point.

The Decision: Rocket Money or YNAB

After comparing these two powerful budgeting tools, it’s clear that both Rocket Money and YNAB have a lot to offer. YNAB’s unique budgeting methodology and focus on financial education make it an excellent tool for those new to budgeting or who need a more structured approach.

On the other hand, Rocket Money’s high level of customizability and ease of use make it ideal for users who prefer a more personalized and straightforward budgeting experience.

Although both platforms are incredible and cater to different user needs –– I give a slight edge to YNAB. Choosing YNAB as your budgeting app offers several advantages. Its goal-tracking feature allows you to easily set and monitor both spending and savings objectives, thanks to its effective target-setting capabilities.

YNAB’s loan calculator is another valuable tool, helping you understand the time and money you’ll save by paying extra towards your debt. Additionally, the app’s interface is uncluttered, and free of pop-up ads or third-party content, ensuring a smooth and focused user experience. If you’re interested in a more structured and educational approach to budgeting, click here to try YNAB free for 34 days.

If Rocket Money seems more appealing to you, Click here to get started with Rocket Money today.

Learn More About Rocket Money

Learn More About YNAB

Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.