If you think you can run YNAB 4 as is for years (and there's no reason to assume you won't be able to) then yes, I would recommend YNAB 4. That said, the software isn't really that special. It's the philosophy/method that is so awesome. So be sure to read up on that and use YNAB to implement and follow the method.
People don't really need financial software tools
. They need a philosophy, a well thought out methodology, and a set of practical techniques to do it. YNAB provides that. The software is just icing on the cake.
Someone told me that they'd been using really old finance software for 15 years before they switched to YNAB last year. They expect to continue using YNAB 4 for the next 15 years.
It wasn't me. But I've done the same. As do most major corporations who don't ever do anything willingly when it comes to making changes to their financial software. Once they've got it debugged and customized - and it's doing what they want it to do - they leave it strictly alone. I worked in corporate accounting for several years. And the software I had at my disposal was written in either COBOL or RPG. It didn't have much in the way of bells or whistles. Most of it was strictly batch in fact. You got a two foot tall stack
of "cornrow" computer output once a week that you broke apart and put into into binders - and then you did you work using those. First with a calculator and greenbar paper. Later with the only spreadsheet worth using at the time, which was Lotus 1-2-3
. Not too elegant maybe. But you knew that the numbers that were on the reports the "big iron" generated were as accurate and correct as the raw data that was fed into them. You could trust
what you were being told by the program. And getting it to that point didn't happen overnight.
If you told the accounting or financial planners of that era that there was going to be upgrades done every year, there would have been an armed revolt and no federally owned bird sanctuary would have been safe. Because in the finance word "If it ain't broke, then leave the bloody thing alone!" was the first, last, and only rule when it came to software.
Civilians don't seem to realize that there's seldom a good reason to upgrade financial software unless it's broken. And since the chances of breaking rise exponentially whenever you upgrade, unless there's an absolutely critical reason to bugger with something, you're far better off leaving it alone.
YNAB is coming to that realization I think, and desperately trying to figure out what to do. Their method is very simple (like any good financial method will be) - and it just works
. It takes about a half hour to read through and digest it. And about a month of focused commitment to get in the habit. After that, it's yours
and you don't need anything further from them.
Pretty hard to do repeat business in that scenario.