The difference between YNAB and Quicken/Spreadsheet is: Quicken is good for tracking/reporting on PAST spending, spreadsheets are good for planning FUTURE spending, YNAB is good for keeping me on track TODAY.YNAB is envelope style budgeting - if you don't have it you don't spend it. Instead, as Patzer said, if something unexpected comes up or you overspend in a category then you look into the other categories to see where you can pull the money from (or else YNAB will force you to account for it with less money to budget next month). I'm a satisfied YNAB user who used Quicken and spreadsheets for 15+ years previous to YNAB and will never go back! If you don't want to spend the money on YNAB, you could try using envelopes and cash instead, Dave Ramsey style. Also there's a cheaper version of YNAB that is Excel based (with less bells and whistles).
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