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Become a YNAB Certified Coach

Channel your passion for YNAB into coaching others on how to find their way to less financial stress!

Financial control—pass it on.

You’re an expert at organizing your money, and because of that, you feel calmer and in control. You just wish you could help more people find that control in their own lives too.

As a coach, you’ll set the stage for clients to work through massive debt payoffs, break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, send their kids to college, finally retire—the list goes on. It’s no understatement that the work you do could change the trajectory of someone’s life.

Is the YNAB Certified Coaching Program right for me?

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Financial planners and coaches

Maybe you’re a financial planner or coach looking to help clients build more financial stability.

Life coaches, therapists, and teachers

You might be a life coach, therapist, or teacher who sees what a difference financial control could make in your clients’ lives.

YNAB fans

Or, hey…maybe you just love YNAB and want to spread the word. In all of these cases, the YNAB Certified Coaching Program is for you!
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What is a YNAB Certified Coach?

A coach expertly guides clients through creating and setting up YNAB specific to their financial situation and needs. By pairing the proven YNAB Method and powerful app with your newfound teaching knowledge, you can help your clients build a sustainable and effective system of everyday money management.‍

Once certified, this is your time—and your business. Just as a life coach or financial planner charges for their services, so can you. What’s it worth to someone to gain control of their finances by learning to YNAB? New users save $600 on average in their first two months…so…it’s worth quite a bit. And we didn’t even mention the incredible stories that will start pouring in once you help people get a handle on their finances.

What does it take to become certified?

After going through our training, our coaches will be ready to tackle any money management problems that get thrown their way. Here’s what certification involves:

Ten-week course
💻 Meet online with the group for 2 live sessions a week.
📚 Read and review the weekly course material.
👋 Post and interact with your peers in an online community space.
Practice client sessions
📝 Complete two sessions with two practice clients (four sessions total).
Final exam
🏅Upon course completion, you’ll get a Certified Coaching badge, be listed in our coaching directory, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively use YNAB to help clients get their finances on track.
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Program time commitment and cost

A small cohort of 20 people runs for 10 weeks, with 2 live sessions each week.

Program cost: one-time fee of $999 (no application fees).

Attend 15 of 20 live sessions

These sessions are 1-hour Zoom calls with a trainer and other coaches-in-training.

Review course materials

Expect to spend 2-3 hours per week studying the asynchronous course materials.

Practice client sessions

During the last half of the course, you'll spend time scheduling and facilitating sessions with at least two practice clients.

5-10 hour weekly workload

Live sessions, reading the course material, and practice client sessions average out to about 5-10 hours per week.

Course outline

Curious about what we’ll cover? We’ve listed out each week’s live session topics, as well as the corresponding course material you’ll go over on your own time.

Live Sessions

  • Welcome and Practice Call Logistics
  • Personas and Situations

Course Content

  • Welcome
  • Course Expectations
  • Code of Ethics
  • Finding Your “Why” In Coaching
  • Practice Calls
  • Client Personas
  • Client Situations

Live Sessions

  • Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job
  • Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses and Rule Four: Age Your Money

Course Content

  • Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job
  • Other Systems and the Myth of Forecasting
  • Rule Two Embrace Your Two Expenses
  • How to Determine True Expenses
  • Rule Four: Age Your Money
  • Dealing with Variable Income

Live Sessions

  • Rule Three: Roll with the Punches
  • Targets and More

Course Content

  • Rule Three: Roll with the Punches
  • Find the Money First
  • Targets, Planning, and More (Oh My!)
  • The Downside of "Workarounds"
  • Creating Your Own YNAB Examples
  • When to Start Over

Live Sessions

  • Walking Clients Through Set Up
  • Credit Cards and the Loan Planner

Course Content

  • Preparing for Your First Client
  • How to Walk a Client Through Set Up
  • Different Category Structures
  • Credit Cards
  • The Loan Planner

Live Sessions

  • Understanding Savings
  • Debt Pay Down Strategies

Course Content

  • Savings
  • YNAB's Debt Pay Down Strategies

Live Sessions

  • Managing Money with a Partner
  • Helping Clients Develop Habits

Course Content

  • Managing Money with a Partner
  • Different Ways to Divide YNAB Work Between Partners
  • Six Habits of Successful YNABers
  • Helping Clients Develop Habits
  • Software Skills Checklist

Live Sessions

  • Practice Call Debrief #1
  • Practice Call Debrief #2

Course Content

  • Practice Call Debriefs

Live Sessions

  • Practice Call Debrief #3
  • Practice Call Debrief #4

Course Content

  • Practice Call Debriefs

Live Sessions

  • Practice Call Debrief #5
  • Practice Call Debrief #6

Course Content

  • Practice Call Debriefs

Live Sessions

  • Practice Call Debrief #3
  • Practice Call Debrief #4

Course Content

  • Practice Call Debriefs
  • Wrap Up

Praise for the YNAB Certified Coaching Program

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The best part of this training program is the community!

Being connected to other YNAB coaches that are just starting out, and picking the brains of the ones who have been coaching for years, gave me confidence and support I needed to launch my coaching business.

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Highly recommend this program to others!

I began with what I thought was a strong understanding of YNAB as a personal user, but this training equipped me with concepts and questions I would have never been prepared to address without it. The YNAB coaching program is comprehensive, well organized, and useful. I’ve gained a level of confidence and a set of tools in teaching YNAB to others that exceeded my expectations in every way.

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Best practical business advice out there

Speaking as a business owner, I can say with full confidence that the written training materials in the YNAB Coaching Certification Program contain some of the best practical business advice out there. Combining those materials with the empathetic teaching from the YNAB team, I came out of the program feeling more confident and equipped in teaching my friends on YNAB.

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The official YNAB training program

I’ve been hoping for YNAB to put out something to help me train others in a more official way and with this program, it’s exactly that. A structured process giving me the tools to feel more confident that I’m teaching the right things.

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This program is inspiring!

YNAB's certified coaching program has not only helped me be better prepared to assist others in budgeting, but it has improved my own use of YNAB. The teachers' openness in what has worked for them, along with their warmth, encouragement, and humor has made this one of the most inspiring trainings I've ever attended.

Program requirements

  1. Pass a short YNAB knowledge pre-assessment.
  2. Fill out an application to join the program (spots are limited).
  3. If accepted, we’ll send you enrollment info and scheduling information for the cohort slot that works best for you.

You will not be charged any money until you are accepted into the program and agree to get started.

Program cost: One-time fee of $999. No application fees.

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Next training course:

Our next coaching certification training program is not yet scheduled. Check back later for more details!

Meet the YNAB Coaching Team


Curriculum Lead

Erin’s been teaching people how to use YNAB for over a decade, and especially loves training new teachers. She also works in curriculum development and helps other team members market the method.


Coaching Trainer

Lee has been teaching live workshops to YNABers since 2011. If he’s not teaching classes, you’ll probably find him on the golf course when weather permits.


Coaching Trainer

Dave teaches our free workshops, interacting with YNABers from all over the world. When he’s not teaching people about YNAB, he manages a homestead in Canada where he grows his own vegetables.


Coaching Coordinator

Kat has been a YNAB Support Specialist since 2017 and a YNAB user since 2013. She helps the coaching team as part of her work with YNAB Support.

Ready to become a YNAB Certified Coach?

Help people find their way to less financial stress! Get started with the short pre-assessment to begin your application process.

Frequently asked questions

We require that you attend at least 15 of the 20 live sessions, so it’s fine if you have to miss a few sessions. We will send out recordings of the live sessions that you’ve missed so that you can watch them asynchronously.

It’s a one-time payment of $999. There is no application fee, and you will not be charged until you’ve been accepted into the program and you’ve agreed to a cohort start date.

We realize that $999 is a significant cost. We feel like the program is worth it, though! It’s much less expensive than similar personal finance programs and you’re getting more than 20 hours of asynchronous content along with more than 18 hours of live sessions with YNAB coaching trainers. We are not treating this training as a profit center, so program fees go directly back into the program for teaching, tools and support.

We will offer several start dates every year, so if you miss this cohort or this round doesn’t fit in your schedule, there will be another opportunity. We are currently offering evening times (evenings for those in the U.S.) but don't expect to be able to offer any weekend times.

Although we’d love to include everyone who is interested, in past application rounds we’ve heard from more qualified applicants than we can accept. When it comes to making tough decisions, we fill each cohort with this criteria in mind. A competitive applicant will do their best to exhibit their fit in the written portion of their application.

Unfortunately, no. We don’t want the cost to be prohibitive, but we will be offering coaching cohorts throughout the year, and we feel like the value it offers is worth setting a target for in YNAB, if it makes sense for you.

Absolutely! In our beta trials of the program we had amazing coaches-in-training from the UK, Ireland, Canada and all over the US. As long as you are able to attend the live sessions, location does not matter. Also, all of the course materials and live sessions are currently only in English, so proficiency in the English language is required.

Yes. In some circumstances, if you are unable to attend classes for extenuating circumstances, or if you find that the program does not meet your expectations early on, we will be flexible with refunds. Before paying for the program, you will be able to see and thoroughly vet our refund policy and terms of service.

No. While we wish we could hire YNAB coaches internally, it’s just not feasible. You will not be a YNAB employee and you don’t receive pay from YNAB. Instead, you are encouraged to charge your clients for your coaching services.

The short answer is no. These programs aren't set up for employee participation, as various conflicts of interest could arise. It's important that we maintain the integrity of the Coaching Program and YNAB as a company.

We do allow coaches to apply for job openings, provided that they're willing to discontinue their coaching practice if they get hired. The only exception to this is our seasonal support specialist position; due to the temporary nature of the role, we aren't able to consider coaches for that opening.

Once you’re certified, you will continue to be part of our community. You will receive ongoing training, you will be fully aware of new features in YNAB and you’ll be a part of our coaching directory. As the program is just starting out, we’re still working on all of the details for post-certification support, but it will be robust.

Upon fulfilling all of the certification requirements (live session attendance, passing the final exam and completing the practice client sessions) you will receive a certificate and the official YNAB Certified Coach badge/seal for use digitally and in print materials. You will also appear in our official coaching directory.

Not directly, but we have a Coaching Directory, where all certified coaches can be listed. On top of that, we have put together significant content going over how to find clients and we plan to provide as much support as we can in that area.

Good on you for caring about the fine print! You can review our Supplemental Terms and Conditions right here.