Alexa for YNAB: The First Budget That Talks Back

Gain More Control of Your Money (By Yelling at It)

YNAB + Alexa
YNAB + Alexa

Step 1—Get an Alexa Client

You have an Amazon Echo, an Amazon Dot or a Fire TV Stick with Voice Control—you’re good to go!

Step 2—Enable Alexa for YNAB

To enable Alexa for YNAB, go to http://alexa.amazon.com in a web browser. If you’re on a mobile device, you’ll be prompted to download the Amazon Alexa Companion app. If you are on a desktop device, you’ll be taken directly to the Alexa web app.

1) In the menu, go to “Skills” list.

2) Search for and select “YNAB.”

3) Click “Enable.” You will be directed to a login page.

4) Provide your YNAB login information and sign in.

5) Select the budget you want to use with Alexa and click “Authorize.”

6) You will be taken back to the Alexa Companion app where you should see this message:

Step 3—Talk to YNAB

Now that you have an Alexa client and have enabled the YNAB skill, you can begin talking to your budget with Alexa!

The YNAB skill supports many different variations of questions and prompts, but here are some best practices to get you started:

To launch Alexa for YNAB:
You can say something like “Alexa, launch Why Nab,” which will start the skill with a friendly greeting and ask you what you want to do. Or you can just tell Alexa exactly what you want to do.

To check a category balance:
“Alexa, ask Why Nab What’s the balance of Transportation?” “Alexa, ask Why Nab for the balance of Eating Out” “Alexa, ask Why Nab are we able to spend any money on Gifts?” “Alexa, ask Why Nab how much cash do we have available to spend in our Gas category?”

To record new spending:
“Alexa, tell Why Nab to record a new transaction.” “Alexa, tell Why Nab I just spent 9 dollars and 32 cents.” “Alexa, tell Why Nab I just received 10 bucks.” “Alexa, tell Why Nab I received 5 dollars yesterday.” “Alexa, tell Why Nab I spent 12 dollars and 13 cents in my Checking account on Groceries.”

At any time you can say:
“I’m done” “Help” “Start over” “Quit”

Wow! This is awesome! Do you have any Pro Tips?

Why, yes we do! So glad you asked!

Speak clearly! Obvious, but still!

Alexa is a good listener, but if your account or category names are really long or contain punctuation or rare words, she may have trouble understanding you. But it’s a quick fix to update the name of an account or category to something more Alexa-friendly!

If you have a category or account name with multiple words, you can say the first part, and Alexa can take it from there!

In addition to the sample phrases above, YNAB for Alexa supports many variations of requests—test her out!