Money management apps

I have a YNAB account still in the UK. You just have to input it manually which I think is a benefit as it helps me think about purchases as I am making them. Got the app and it works well for me :+1:


Most people I see on the forums choose to do it manually in the US anyway, as you suggest it allows you much more control.

I think that Money Dashboard and Yolt have the best collection of banks, etc that they support.
I think that Emma has the best interface. Emma needs to increase the banks they support quickly otherwise I think they’re going to fail.
I love that by paying a subscription, Money Dashboard doesn’t sell my data to anyone.
While Yolt’s interface is somewhat childlike, I do prefer its dashboard and the customisation options.


Has anyone got any invites for Emma?

I’ve been trying HSBC Connected Money, Yolt, and Emma for a couple of weeks now.

Some thoughts below. Overall, Emma is the one I like most. This is even though it does not support all my banks whilst Yolt does.


  • Doesn’t support Monzo (so basically DOA)
  • Of the three it seems to be least reliable in connecting to my banks - sometimes will get an unable to authenticate error for a bank.
  • However I do like that when you click on a transaction you can see similar prior transactions (similar to Monzo transaction history when you click on a transaction in Monzo). Neither Yolt nor Emma seem to have this.

Yolt & Emma:

  • Both support Monzo.
  • Yolt supports a much larger set of banks (including all of my banks). Furthermore, Yolt is the only one of the 3 to have added support for open banking APIs from some legacy banks, so appears to be fastest moving in this area.
  • Syncing seems quicker in Emma and background sync seems more up-to-date.
  • I prefer the way the transactions list is formatted in Emma. In particular, superior use of icons in Emma makes it easier to identify certain categories of transactions at-a-glance (such as Excluded transactions and Investments). Emma also seems better at parsing merchant names from transaction data provided by the banks.
  • I prefer Emma’s recurring payments feature to Yolt’s track bills feature because Emma provides an indication of whether a particular payments has changed from the previous month.
  • I was originally a bit put off by Emma’s cartoonish interface, but I’ve come to like it and prefer it to Yolt’s interface.

I see myself sticking with Emma - especially when it adds support for my last bank. But excluding Connected Money and Yolt, does anyone prefer a different account aggregation app over Emma? Might give it a try.


I’m hoping for integration with Plum soon. It’s saved me so much money without me realising, and you earn interest! Game changer.


Any links to skip the queue for Emma? Quite interested to give it a try

This is a VIP ticket to skip the queue and join Emma!

Moneyhub but they do charge a fee after a trial period but they don’t sell your data on.

With the release of the YNAB API recently, you can create a tool to sync Monzo spending to YNAB automagically.

And the service itself, outside of auto bank sync, is available in the UK too.

So I’m a big advocate of YNAB.

The video posted above showed it, and others, but ultimately I think with most budgetting apps, if you step-change your way of budgeting you need longer than a month to do it.

The thing I really like about YNAB, vs perhaps others like Yolt, Emma and Plum is the granularity it’s budgeting solution offers. That, coupled with the ‘envelope method’ is very very powerful.

Most budgeting tools I’ve seen are effectively about tracking the money I have spent; rather than planning the money I will spend.

e.g. in Yolt, it can tell me I normally spend about £150 a month on transport. I set a budget. It tracks what I spend. The budget doesn’t actually mean I can afford what I’m setting.

in YNAB, I tell YNAB as and when I get paid. And then I budget that money as I get paid. I’m giving my money a job. Every single £ in my YNAB budget has a job to do.

It allows me to save money for Christmas each month, or for the Big Holiday. or slog £4.55 per month to my annual travel insurance policy. Without losing track of it in some broader category. I can tell it I want to spend £20 on coffee this month, £50 on lunches at work, £100 on groceries, £25 on Cat Treats… rather than one of many generic categories.

And because it’s more granular, and more manual, I have full visibility of what my money is doing, what I can afford, etc. Not some AI squirrelling away money.

I really like it, it’s definitely transformed my approach to money. Thoroughly recommend it, but it does take time to learn.


Question: with Monzo do you still feel like you need to use YNAB?

With the new Summary feature and pots, I feel that this is essentially a simplified version of YNAB.

It’s a good question - but yes.

In short (I could go on for days…)

  • I’ve got multiple accounts and credit cards. YNAB handles the lot very well.
  • I am actively managing some lines of credit. YNAB gives visibility.
  • The granularity is very important to me. It’s helpful to differentiate when I shop in the same place for, say, Groceries vs Household Supplies. Or Eating Out vs Coffee (etc).
  • I’ve not used Summary exhaustively, but from what I can see, it assumes anything “not in a pot” is free to spend. (I’ve not added direct debits yet, but assume that captures it). So to ‘earmark’ money for a specific purpose, I’d need to create a pot, which then means I can’t spend that money (directly).

I do think Monzo and YNAB work very well together - and I do like the budget/summary/pots features - I’d say they give a more ‘rough overview’ of financial wellbeing, than specifics.

Edit: Ok, a bit longer than anticipated - but I do really like YNAB! Not intended as a negative toward Monzo, they fit very different purposes, but with YNAB it basically lets me know that across all of my accounts, all of my financial commitments, and expected costs of living are accounted for, with actual cash on hand.


How much is YNAB?

It’s $83 odd a year now. I used to use it but the cost became too much. I still try and stick to the principles with Monzo but the granularity, as mentioned above, is nowhere near in Monzo.

It’s probably worth it for a year to learn the process then after that to use free tools to try and emulate it.

That is the one drawback. Somewhat pricey. If I wasn’t grandfathered in at a different price, I’m not sure I would pay $84 as a brand new user.

(That said, if you signed up before the $84 was introduced you should still get the old price - may be worth checking).

Value wise - while the cost is certainly more than a number of other options - I’ve saved more, and felt far less stressed as a result of using YNAB than other systems I’ve found.

I forgot about the management of various accounts you might use YNAB for. It is useful in managing credit cards, savings, investments etc.

I’m still using the desktop version and tbh there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just a bit of a pain when I have to sort out a transaction in Monzo & also YNAB, but it’s something I’ll gripe about and immediately deal with it.

I’m good with money so I would be extremely surprised if it could find savings of over £80 a month ***year. I prefer a service that would offer me ads or get money from other institutions to pair me with them rather than outlay money initially.

Just to clarify, the price is $84 / year. Comes out to about £6 / month. (But appreciate the rest of your comment!)