When comparing GnuCash vs YNAB, the Slant community recommends GnuCash for most people. In the question“What are the best cross-platform budgeting apps?” GnuCash is ranked 1st while YNAB is ranked 11th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Small business accounting
Pro Double Entry Accounting
Pro Investment Support
Pro Multi-platform and free
GnnuCash supports Linux, OSX and Windows and is also free on those platforms.
Pro Easily set up
GnuCash walks the user through setting up their accounts making setup extremely easy for new users.
Pro Auto backup
GnuCash has auto backup settings so users can set it and forget it.
Pro Provides a method for budgeting
Provides a 4 step method for budgeting money, that really makes budgeting simple and powerful.
Pro Free trials available
YNAB lets you try it's software free for just over a month. This gives you a bit of flexibility when doing a monthly budget - 4 extra days to review your budget and determine whether YNAB helped out enough to justify the $5 price.
If you're a student, you can get an additional 12 months for free (for a total of 13 months) and after that you can get 10% off yearly subscriptions.
Pro Online web app
Pro Mobile apps for easy expense tracking
Pro Easy to manage and flex budgets
I've tried several including Quicken desktop app and I just like the way YNAB works. It is easy to learn and actually works as advertised.
Pro Understands human beings and reality
It allows you to move around budget allocations. Sometimes you just need to spend that extra money in one category and take it out of another budget without losing control of the overall budget. It's flexible, clever and understands life.
Con Double entry accounting may be confusing or difficult for non business owners
For those that are unfamiliar with double entry bookkeeping it may be difficult to understand making using GnuCash a bit confusing on how it works.
Con Subscription based
Instead of a one-time purchase, you will need a subscription to use YNAB after the free trial. Subscriptions can be bought annually for $83.99, which is about $6.99 per month.
Con Data is stored in the Cloud
All budget data is stored in the cloud on AWS servers which are most likely based in the United States.
Con Learning curve
There is a learning curve to the YNAB method.