A couple going over their budget.

Rocket Money vs YNAB [2024]

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors, and we might earn a commission if you click on one.

Daily morning coffee. Movie with a friend. A dollar here, ten dollars there. Before you know it, your finances can end up in a total mess. 

It’s a common problem, with an incredible 84% of Americans saying they overspend. 

But here’s some good news: There’s an app for that! Multiple apps, actually. And Rocket Money and YNAB are two of the best.

Below, I’ll lead you through a detailed Rocket Money vs YNAB comparison. They’re pretty similar, but they have slightly different features and very different pricing models. 

Read on to learn more. 

Rocket Money vs YNAB Overview

Both apps in the Rocket Money vs YNAB debate have a similar model. They sync with your various bank accounts and financial services so you can track your money in a single place.

Sounds convenient, right?  

Let’s take a closer look at what each company has to offer.

What is Rocket Money and How Does Rocket Money Work?

Rocket Money is a personal finance and budgeting app that specializes in managing subscriptions. 

You know all those apps, streaming platforms, and other services you’ve signed up for? Some of them are probably charging you even though you hardly use them. That’s where Rocket Money comes in. The app will track all your subscriptions and help you cancel the ones you don’t want.

This subscription management service sets Rocket Money apart in the YNAB vs Rocket Money conversation. The app can also do a whole lot more.

Here are Rocket Money’s main features:

  • Subscription management: The Rocket Money app will automatically find your subscriptions for you.
  • Spending insights: Even if you spend money with different cards and accounts, you can track them all from the Rocket Money app. 
  • Bill negotiation: Rocket Money will talk to utilities and other companies to lower your monthly payments, even waiting on hold if necessary.
  • Net worth: The app will display both assets and debts, giving you a complete look at your wealth and financial well-being. 
  • Smart savings: You can schedule automatic deposits into a savings account at a partnering bank. And yes, the accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), so the first $250,000 you deposit will be safe. 
  • Credit score: Not only can you check the all-important number, but you’ll also see a detailed breakdown of your credit. 
  • Budgeting: You can set limits in different categories and then track your spending to make sure you follow through. 

So yes, Rocket Money can act as an all-in-one personal finance app – just like YNAB! That’s why the YNAB vs Rocket Money choice is such a tough one. 

Interested in Rocket Money? Then, your first step is to create an account on the official Rocket Money website or download the Rocket Money mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. 

From there, you’ll choose whether to use the free version of the app or pay for the “Premium” version. 

The free version is pretty amazing, allowing you to link your existing bank accounts to Rocket Money and then manage your finances. But with Premium, you’ll get added benefits like subscription cancellation assistance and automatic savings. 

Learn more about the Rocket Money app by reading this Rocket Money review.

Try Rocket Money Now

A cell phone displaying a Rocket Money app screen showing current spending for the month compared to their average spend, when payday will be, and various account balances.
Rocket Money lets you monitor your financial accounts in a single place. 
Source: Rocket Money

What is YNAB and How Does YNAB Work?

YNAB stands for “You need a budget.” It’s a wealth-building app that makes it easier to track your spending and meet your financial goals.

Like Rocket Money, YNAB offers a wide variety of helpful tools. That’s why both sides in the Rocket Money vs YNAB debate are so appealing!

Here are some specific features that YNAB offers:

  • Bank import: You can sync your existing accounts to YNAB so that all your transactions automatically appear within the app.
  • Sync across devices: Your YNAB account will be accessible from your computer, phone, or tablet.
  • Subscription sharing: Up to six people can access the app with a single subscription. 
  • Goal tracking: You can decide how much you’d like to save, then let YNAB record your progress.
  • Loan calculator: YNAB will show you how much you can save by paying off your debts.
  • Spending reports: When you see exactly where your money is going, it can help you make smarter financial decisions. 
  • Net worth reports: Building wealth is crucial for your future, and YNAB will tell you how you’re doing. 

To get started on YNAB, download the mobile app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. You can also head to the official YNAB website and click “Start Your Free Trial” in the top-right corner.

Yes, YNAB offers a free trial. You can test out the app for 34 days, then decide if you want to follow through with a paid subscription. 

Once your account is up and running, you’ll make your “money plan.” This is where you sync your existing accounts and set your savings targets. From there, it’s just a matter of sticking to the plan – with YNAB there to guide you.

In addition to some incredible features, YNAB has a basic philosophy made of 4 simple rules:

  1. Give Every Dollar a Job: That means you should know ahead of time what you’ll do with your earnings.
  2. Embrace Your True Expenses: Some non-monthly expenses can fall through the budgeting cracks, but you need to count them toward your total spending. 
  3. Roll with the Punches: When something unexpected happens, you need to accept the financial effects without guilt or anguish. 
  4. Age Your Money: You can alleviate stress and stay ahead by using money from previous paychecks for the current month’s bills. 

This guiding philosophy is a real point of distinction in the YNAB vs Rocket Money debate.

Try YNAB Now

The YNAB app displayed on a laptop and two different cell phones.
YNAB lets you track your financial progress across different devices. 
Source: YNAB

Rocket Money vs YNAB Cost

Budgeting can be a major money-saver. So in theory, you should come out ahead by using either app in the Rocket Money vs YNAB conversation. 

But it’s still important to consider how much these apps will (or won’t) cost you. That’s why I’ve laid out all the details below. 

Rocket Money Cost

Rocket Money has a free version, which gives it a major advantage in the Rocket Money vs YNAB debate. 

With the free version of Rocket Money, you’ll get:

  • Account linking
  • Balance alerts
  • Subscription management
  • Spend tracking

Want even more? Then, step it up and get Rocket Money Premium, which offers:

  • Subscription cancellation assistance
  • Expert advice via chat
  • A “smart” savings account
  • Net worth tracking
  • Unlimited budget assistance

The premium membership has a sliding payment scale of $4 to $12 per month. That means you decide how much to pay! If you choose a monthly cost of $4 or $5, you’ll be charged for a whole year all at once. Otherwise, you’ll pay on a monthly basis.

Rocket Money also offers a 7-day free trial for premium memberships. 

*Note: Rocket Money’s bill negotiation feature has a separate cost: 30% to 60% of the money you save in your first year – and which amount you pay is up to you. 


YNAB has two payment plans:

  • Monthly plan: You pay $14.99 each month. 
  • Annual plan: You pay $99 each year, which saves you $80.

Not sure you want to commit without learning more about the app? Don’t worry! YNAB offers a 34-day free trial. That’s a super long trial period – which makes YNAB stand out in this aspect of the Rocket Money vs YNAB conversation. 

According to surveys conducted by the company, the average YNAB user saves $6,000 in their first year. So, the subscription fee is money well spent!

Pros and Cons of Rocket Money vs YNAB

There are a few amazing traits that Rocket Money and YNAB share. They both sync up to existing bank accounts, meaning you won’t have to waste time inputting data. And they both make it easy to track your finances in a single place, which should ultimately save you money.

But there are also some major differences between the two apps. That’s what makes the YNAB vs Rocket Money debate worth having! 

So, how can you decide between them? By considering the pros and cons of each side, and I’ve listed them for you below!

Pros and Cons of Rocket Money

Rocket Money Pros

  • There’s a free version. You can track your spending and subscriptions just by downloading the mobile app for free.
  • You can use the app to cancel and manage subscriptions. This focus on sneaky monthly expenses sets Rocket Money apart in the Rocket Money vs YNAB debate.
  • There’s a special bill negotiation service. The experts at Rocket Money can do the dirty work of talking to companies until they lower your monthly bills.

Rocket Money Cons

  • The free version is limited. To access Rocket Money’s best features (including smart saving and unlimited budgeting help), you’ll need a paid subscription. 
  • There’s an extra fee for successful bill negotiation. You’ll have to pay 30% to 60% of the money you save. 
  • The free trial period only lasts 7 days. If you’re considering a premium membership, you won’t have much time to decide if it’s worth it.

Pros and Cons of YNAB


  • The free trial lasts 34 days. That gives you plenty of time to decide if a YNAB subscription is worth the money.
  • There’s an underlying philosophy. YNAB draws on four financial rules – meaning there’s a method behind the app’s model. 
  • Users report significant savings. According to surveys, the average YNAB user saves $600 after just 2 months and $6,000 in their first year. 


  • There’s no free version. This is the most obvious strike against YNAB in the Rocket Money vs YNAB comparison. 
  • A YNAB subscription costs $99 per year (or $14.99 per month). You can get Rocket Money Premium for less. 
  • It can take some time to figure out. It’s great that YNAB has a financial philosophy, but users can sometimes struggle to fully understand the “rules.” 

Rocket Money vs YNAB Reviews

Who can give us an inside scoop in the Rocket Money vs YNAB debate? Actual users, of course! Let’s look at some reviews.

Rocket Money is a popular service, earning 4.5 stars on the review site Trustpilot.

In a 5-star review, someone called Rocket Money “the easiest money management app I have ever used.” They liked how the app automatically places their transactions into categories. 

A 5-star Rocket Money review where a user says they like the design and ease of use.
A Rocket Money user says the app is easy to navigate.
Source: Trustpilot

Another user said Rocket Money gave them everything they were looking for, including a way to sync their family’s different accounts. Thanks to Rocket Money, they can now assess their finances “with a glance.”

A 4-star Rocket Money review where a user is happy with being able to synch all their accounts but one and has put in a request to add that one as well.
In a 4-star review, someone says Rocket Money is working as expected.
Source: Trustpilot

But not everyone praises Rocket Money. One user complained about the company’s bill negotiation feature, saying their Xfinity payments got higher instead of lower. 

A 1-star Rocket Money review from an angry customer who says the company actually made their Xfinity bill higher.
In a 1-star Rocket Money review, someone calls the app “a scam.”
Source: Trustpilot

And what about YNAB? It’s even more popular than Rocket Money, earning an average of 4.7 stars on Trustpilot.

One user said YNAB changed their life, helping them budget successfully after “a million” failed attempts.

A 5-star review from a YNAB customer who says the app changed their life in one year of use.
A user raves about YNAB in a 5-star review.
Source: Trustpilot

In a 4-star YNAB review, someone praised the app’s simplicity and its wealth of educational resources. But they also complained about the “lack of reports,” saying the info they received was “basically an Excel sheet.” 

A 4-star YNAB review from a customer who found the app intuitive to use but doesn't find the reports it generates very thorough.
A YNAB user calls the app “simple and beginner-friendly.”
Source: Trustpilot

In a rare 1-star YNAB review, someone said they were having trouble connecting their accounts to the app. This made YNAB time-consuming to use.

A 1-star review from a YNAB user who feels the app is more trouble than it's worth since it couldn't get their accounts to connect and customer servivce hadn't been able to resolve the issue.
In a 1-star YNAB review, someone describes the issues they had syncing their accounts.
Source: Trustpilot

Rocket Money vs YNAB Reddit

I found a fascinating Reddit thread about the YNAB vs Rocket Money debate. 

The original poster asked for a “fair comparison” between the two apps.

A Reddit post asking for help comparing YNAB and Rocket Money.
A Redditor asks for a Rocket Money vs YNAB comparison.
Source: Reddit

One person said they have both apps but only use YNAB.

Spmepne one Reddit saying they have both YNAB and Rocket Money and only use YNAB.
Someone on Reddit says they use YNAB vs Rocket Money.
Source: Reddit

Someone else looked into Rocket Money, noticed the emphasis on managing subscriptions, and concluded that it “doesn’t really look to be budgeting software.” 

*Note: Rocket Money actually does offer some impressive budgeting features. 

Someone on Reddit saying they don't think Rocket Money is really budgeting software and that it charges to do a lot of things you could just do yourself.
A Redditor says they can’t see the benefit of using Rocket Money. 
Source: Reddit

Another person offered a succinct comparison: YNAB focuses on budgeting, while Rocket Money focuses on subscription cancelation. 

Someone on Reddit says that Truebill (now called Rocket Money) is mor about bill cancellation and other features while YNAB has more budgeting features.
In a Reddit post, someone says YNAB is a budgeting app, while Rocket Money (formerly called Truebill) focuses on managing subscriptions. 
Source: Reddit

Rocket Money vs YNAB: Which is Better?

Both sides in the Rocket Money vs YNAB debate have a lot to offer – and that’s why there’s no clear winner. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Rocket Money is better if you:

  • Have a lot of subscriptions that you want to manage and cancel.
  • Want help negotiating your bills.
  • Want to save money (since Rocket Money is cheaper than YNAB and even offers a free version)

Try Rocket Money Now

But YNAB could be a better choice if you:

  • Want a personal finance “philosophy” with clear rules to live by
  • Plan to focus on budgeting (not bill negotiation or subscription management) 
  • Are willing to pay $99 a year for budgeting assistance

Try YNAB Now

Really, you can’t go wrong with either service. They’ll both place all your account details in a single place, allowing you to get a snapshot of your financial situation. 

And since they offer free trials, you could even try both before deciding which you prefer!

Looking for other ways to improve your finances? Read this article on which savings account will earn you the most money.

Commonly Asked Questions About Rocket Money vs YNAB

Alternatives to Rocket Money / Alternatives to YNAB?

Here are some alternatives to Rocket Money and YNAB:

If you need help fixing your credit, check out our comparison of Credit Saint vs Lexington Law, or see if working with the best tradeline companies could be the right credit repair solution for you. 

Meanwhile, learn how to budget for non recurring expenses so you can be prepared for unexpected costs going forward. 

Do you get paid twice a month and find yourself struggling to account for that in your budgeting? Learn how to budget biweekly paycheck. And if you need to ramp up your savings fast, learn how to save $3000 in 3 months.

If you’re looking for a low-tech, hands-on budgeting method, learn about cash envelope categories. And if you need to boost your savings fast, the 60/30/10 rule budget can help.

Then use a net worth tracker to see how your new financial strategies are paying off. 

Is There a Better App Than Rocket Money? 

YNAB isn’t necessarily “better” than Rocket Money, but it offers a similar service – just without Rocket Money’s focus on managing subscriptions.

You could also use apps and platforms to make extra money online. Learn more with this article on how to earn free money.

Here’s how to make an extra $100 a week. And learn how you could make money as a mystery shopper in this Field Agent review.

Make money just for opening a bank account or inviting a friend to with a Chime referral bonus.

Does Rocket Money Help With Budgeting?

Rocket Money can definitely help with budgeting. In fact, that’s one of its main features! You can use the app to set spending limits in certain areas, and then record your transactions to keep yourself on track. 

What Is Better Than YNAB?

Not everyone would agree that Rocket Money is better than YNAB, but it’s definitely cheaper, and it offers some exciting features that YNAB lacks. For example, you can use Rocket Money to cancel unwanted subscriptions and track your investments.