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A bee working on its budget

The Beeminder YNAB integration is officially launched! YNAB is, certainly for the kind of people who read this blog, the best tool for budgeting. Beeminder is the best tool for getting you to use your budget. It’s a match made in money heaven. (YNAB is short for You Need A Budget and is pronounced “why-nab”.)

We think the integration with YNAB is going to be huge for you pecuniary akratics out there. YNAB is a smart budgeting tool whose philosophy is “give every dollar a job”. They have tons of educational resources to help you learn how to finance responsibly.

How does the integration work?

First you authorize us to connect to your YNAB account, which is just a button-click with a lot of scary-looking fine print. It’s read-only permission, so not too scary. Then you’ll see a screen like the following, asking you which budget and then which account in that budget you want Beeminder to track. For example, you might want to track a particular savings account. Then, choose how much money you want to commit to adding to that account per day.

YNAB goal creation page: at the top, the Beeminder and YNAB logos, followed by the option to choose which budget you want to track and which account you want to track. Then you enter the number you want to do in the box just above it. There's a checkbox below for adding extra leeway if you don't want your graph to start right away.

Or an account could very well be a loan you want to pay off. In that case you’re starting at a negative number but you’re still adding positive amounts of money to bring it up to zero.

Then you’ll choose how much money Beeminder will take from you if you don’t stay on track on that commitment, and then you’ll end up with a graph like this:

An example YNAB graph, with +£4 due in 4 days

Nicky needs to add £4 to their savings account in the next 4 days to avoid paying Beeminder their first $5. The irony of losing more money for failing to have enough money is not lost on us. Hopefully a derailment won’t trigger an indigence death spiral!

See our help article for more details on getting a goal set up, or if you’re ready to figure it out as you go, voilà:

Beemind your budget

We’re pretty excited about integrating with YNAB, it’s been a long-awaited integration around here, and you can find a number of YNAB fans in the Beeminder forum. The integration so far is pretty bare bones, and we know there are a lot of other things that are beneficial to beemind. Like perhaps the number of uncategorized transactions? Or the amount of money set into a particular budget category? Or regular reconciliations of your accounts?

Let us know in our forum poll what other things you’d like to be able to beemind about your YNABing!