YNAB vs Quicken 2024: Which financial tool is perfect for you?

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf


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In the realm of personal finance software, YNAB and Quicken are two powerhouses offering an array of financial tools to help you manage your personal finances. My comprehensive comparison provides an in-depth analysis of both platforms, focusing on their core features and benefits.

YNAB is Better for:Quicken is Better for:
Users focused on envelope-style budgeting.Users who want to manage various financial accounts in one place.
Those who prioritize setting and tracking savings goals.People seeking advanced features for tracking personal and business expenses.
People looking for a budgeting tool that teaches financial literacy.Those who need tools for investment and retirement account tracking.

Introducing the Platforms

Let’s take a closer look at the two contenders in this budgeting software showdown. I’ll start with some basics.

YNAB: Master Your Budget

ynab.com website

YNAB, or You Need A Budget, stands out as a budgeting tool that transforms the way you approach budgeting. It promotes an envelope-style budgeting system that can help you save more money, reduce debt payments, and better understand your spending habits. For a deeper dive into YNAB –– read my comprehensive review.

Quicken: Comprehensive Personal Finance Solution

quicken.com website

On the other side, Quicken provides a comprehensive range of features for tracking everything from personal expenses to investment portfolios. From real-time updates to your bank accounts, credit cards, and real estate, Quicken offers a one-stop solution for all your financial management needs. If you’re looking for more pros and cons of Quicken’s platform –– I have a full review.

YNAB Logo Quicken
Type of Service Budgeting software Personal finance software
Best Use Envelope-style budgeting Tracking personal and business expenses
Customer Support Help center and email Phone and live chat
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Modest Money Overall Rating
4.6 rating based on 5 ratings
4.5 rating based on 5 ratings

YNAB vs Quicken Video

Factor 1: Budgeting Style and Tools

YNAB follows an envelope-style budgeting system that emphasizes planning for every dollar

  • Quicken allows tracking personal and business expenses and offers premium plans for investment tracking.
  • For users looking for a disciplined and structured approach to budgeting, YNAB comes out on top.

YNAB: Envelope-Style Budgeting

With YNAB, you can plan for every dollar. It follows the envelope-style budgeting system, where you assign each dollar a job. This allows you to gain control over your spending habits and work toward your financial goals.

Quicken: Track Personal and Business Expenses

Quicken enables you to track both personal and business expenses, including medical expenses, alongside your bank accounts and credit card transactions. For users who seek advanced features, Quicken’s premium plans offer investment tracking and other financial management tools.

Factor 2: Savings Goals and Investment Tracking

YNAB encourages setting and tracking savings goals

  • Quicken offers tracking tools for investment and retirement accounts.
  • YNAB wins this round if your focus is on saving, while Quicken is superior for investment tracking

YNAB: Achieve Your Savings Goals

YNAB promotes setting and tracking savings goals. This tool not only helps you save for short-term goals but also helps you plan for your future financial needs, making saving an integral part of your monthly budget.

Quicken: Track Your Investments

On the other hand, Quicken offers a suite of tools for tracking your investment portfolio, including your retirement accounts. If you have diverse investment accounts and want to manage them alongside your daily expenses –– Quicken provides the functionality you need.

Factor 3: Customer Service and Support

Quicken offers phone and live chat support, providing real-time help.

  • YNAB provides a help center and email support.
  • For users who value real-time customer service, Quicken has the edge.

YNAB: Helpful Resources

YNAB provides a robust help center filled with useful resources. If you need more assistance, their team can be reached via email.

Quicken: Real-Time Support

Quicken stands out by offering phone and live chat support. If you encounter issues or have questions, real-time assistance is just a call or chat away.

Factor 4: External Customer Reviews & Ratings

External YNAB Reviews & Ratings

PC World5
Google Play4.8 from 15,059 votes
Apple App Store4.8 from 46,308 reviews
Trustpilotynab trustpilot review
G24.6 from 28 reviews

External Seeking Alpha Reviews & Ratings

Apple App Store4.8 from 110,2000 reviews
GetApp4.5 from 40 votes
Capterra4.5 from 40 reviews
Best Wallet Hacks4.2
Trustpilot4 from 273 reviews

Who is YNAB Best For?

YNAB (You Need A Budget) is particularly suited for individuals who have historically struggled with their finances or are managing joint financial responsibilities, such as in a marriage. It is an invaluable tool for those looking to make informed decisions and track expenses rigorously. YNAB doesn’t just facilitate basic budgeting; it educates users on effective money management, helping them adhere to their budget goals and potentially saving substantial amounts.

For those who prefer a straightforward, user-friendly approach, YNAB shines with its zero-based budgeting system and seamless bank account synchronization. It’s designed to be intuitive and easy to start, encouraging users to break the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck. If your aim is to follow simple financial rules, have mobile access, and employ budgeting tools to realign your financial path, YNAB stands out as an excellent choice.

Who is Quicken Best For?

Quicken is the go-to choice for individuals with intricate money management requirements looking for a reasonably priced, comprehensive tool. It offers a wide range of functionalities, including detailed reports, primarily accessible through its desktop version, catering to those who need more than just basic tracking. While it does have a steeper learning curve due to its complexity, users prepared to navigate through its advanced features will find it invaluable.

Quicken is particularly beneficial for users who want to incorporate investment tracking and long-term tax planning into their financial strategies. It’s a robust choice for people seeking to manage personal and business expenses efficiently and those who require sophisticated tools for monitoring their investment and retirement accounts. If you’re ready to delve into a more elaborate financial planning tool, Quicken could be the ideal solution.

Alternatives to YNAB and Quicken

If after reading this far in my YNAB vs Quicken comparison you are unconvinced that either is right for you, some other personal finance apps might better align with your needs. One popular budgeting tool that deserves mention is Monarch Money. From basic budgets to detailed budgets, Monarch Money’s budgeting features have been a savior to the financial life of many.

Monarch Money vs YNAB 300

The comprehensive financial dashboard and expert investment tracking are some of the standout features that have helped users make better financial decisions and achieve better financial health. To dive down into the details and see how they compare, check out my Monarch Money vs YNAB article.

The Verdict: YNAB vs Quicken

Though both YNAB and Quicken offer a wealth of features and tools to help you manage your personal finances, they cater to different needs.

Quicken’s extensive features, including personal and business expense tracking and investment management tools, make it an excellent all-in-one financial management tool. On the other hand, YNAB’s focus on teaching you how to budget and save effectively makes it a perfect tool for those seeking a disciplined approach to budgeting.

However, I give a slight edge to YNAB, mainly because of its commitment to teaching financial literacy and its effective envelope-style budgeting system. Its focus on creating a budgeting habit that helps you achieve your financial goals makes it an excellent choice for personal finance management.

If you’re ready to take control of your financial future with YNAB –– click here to start your free 34-day trial today.

If Quicken sounds more like your speed, then you can go here to get started.
Get up to 40% OFF on Quicken with our exclusive link for a limited time!

Learn More About YNAB

Learn More About Quicken


Does Quicken Have a Budget App?

Yes, Quicken provides a simplified version ideal for budgeting. Quicken Simplifi serves as an effective budgeting application and financial management resource, assisting you in budget planning, monitoring your expenses, and offering insights into your financial activities.

Can I Run a Business on Quicken?

Quicken equips users to handle not just personal financial management but also the running of small freelance enterprises and property portfolios. It allows you to create customer estimates, generate invoices and statements, monitor outstanding receivables, and manage your bills effectively. Quicken is instrumental in offering a clear perspective of your business’s financial inflow and outflow. If you operate multiple businesses, Quicken is capable of providing detailed financial insights for each entity separately.

While Quicken and QuickBooks are owned by the same company, they cater to different needs. Quicken focuses on personal finance management and can support small business activities. In contrast, QuickBooks is designed for the more complex accounting requirements of small to medium businesses and larger enterprises. Therefore, while Quicken can be used for managing small scale business finances, those with more extensive or specialized business needs might consider QuickBooks or another dedicated business financial management tool.

Can I Keep Using Quicken Without A Subscription?

Even if your Quicken subscription expires, you retain full access and ownership of your data thanks to the Quicken Data Access Guarantee. This means you can continue to view, edit, export, and manually enter transactions and accounts, specifically for Deluxe and higher versions, without an active subscription.

If your subscription expired before a new update was released, you will not be able to open your Quicken file with that latest update. However, you can still use the version of Quicken you had when your membership expired. This allows you to open your data files and, for Quicken Deluxe and above, keep using Quicken in a manual mode.

What Are The 4 Rules of YNAB?

The 4 rules of YNAB are: Rule 1: Give every dollar a job. Rule 2: Embrace your true expenses.  Rule 3: Roll with the punches  4: Age your money.