You Need a Budget (YNAB) and Their Scandal

This is not a dramaful blog.

Let us discuss… some drama.

If you know me, you know that I’m big on using the You Need a Budget website for tracking my spending, budget, debt, etc. I’m a huge advocate for it, often given passionate explanations for why You Too Need YNAB! I’m on the Facebook YNAB group, learning and helping others troubleshoot as I can. I have the book.

I was grandfathered in under the old pricing range, which was PROMISED would last and then later have a 10% discount. So I was paying $5 a month.

Legacy members were promised, in 2017, that they would ALWAYS pay $45 a year.

Then I get an email. This is a ‘final reminder’ email of a price change.

… there were no prior emails.

Apparently it was announced in the PHONE APP. Ya’ll, I don’t have a smart phone BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL I CAN AFFORD ONE. So it was a total surprise.

First, this email is not from the owner of YNAB. Apparently they have a new CEO we’ve never heard of! And he wants to increase the monthly pricing to $15! And, no, there won’t be new features. No, no new support. No, not even porting to Amazon Fire which I desperately want. Oh, and that 10% discount? Yeah, no.

Just, we need more money, sorry. Gonna triple what you’re paying without any benefit to you.

Clearly tone deaf.

This is a BUDGETING program for people who are STRUGGLING to PAY THEIR BILLS and GET OUT OF DEBT.


I could get Amazon Prime for that much for a whole lot more benefit! I only have a bare handful of subscriptions for ANYTHING. BackBlaze, Patreon for my #1 favorite author, Kindle Unlimited, Microsoft 365 FOR WORK, my Title IV loan help, and YNAB. About $80 total. NOTHING ELSE because I can’t afford to pay for frivolous subscriptions that bleed money.

Then he does an AMA on Reddit.


People are so mad they’re downvoting his replies and making them vanish which is then aggravating people asking questions because they don’t see an answer. His answers are smarmy and vague and often talk about ‘reaching other audiences’.

Excuse me?

Your audience is very clearly people who are struggling to pay their bills. That is your company’s brand. That is why you sell subscriptions in the first place… because people want what your brand is offering.

People are announcing their cancellation of the service in droves. Someone counted over 1000 declared cancellations, and how many more didn’t bother to say anything? I nearly walk at this point.

Total disaster.

I tell my husband. He declares we are NOT spending $15 a month on it, no way, no how.

Further looking shows that a yearly subscription is $100 or so. About $8.50 a month which is a more reasonable jump. But I hadn’t been paying the yearly because I’m tight, so I have to scramble for money. WITH NO WARNING, THANK YOU, BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A SMART PHONE.

I haven’t left.


But I’m pretty steamed.

This CEO is so incredibly tone deaf it’s astounding.

So if you’re reading this, brand-new-CEO? You missed your mark, misread your audience, betrayed your brand, and shoved your foot in your mouth. This is not a good start.

And I’m looking for other options. What does everyone else use? I’m not looking for tracking spending, I’m looking for budgeting software. I used to do it on a spreadsheet, but I loved how easy it was on YNAB and that it was available wherever I had internet.