You’re about to go by your favorite coffee shop. But wait, how much do you have left in your coffee budget? You only have seconds to make the decision. You open your phone, scroll, tap, tap tap tap, scroll, scroll. Alas! The moment has passed. It took too long. No coffee for you.
But now…BUT NOW! Imagine this: the urge for a coffee strikes. You open your phone, and right there on the home screen you see your coffee category: $14 remaining. Instant feedback. Grande for me! And you shimmy into the coffeeshop for a guilt-free spending extravaganza.
Yes. That day can now be a reality. Welcome to widgets for YNAB.
Wait…YNAB Widgets? What?
If you’re a mobile user, you now have the ability to view categories right on your home screen. They may seem like a little thing, but trust me friends, they are not. You have not fully lived your best budgeting life until you’ve tried these.
Widgets are available in iOS 14 and Android 7 or higher and come in multiple sizes. They mirror important information from the app so you have quick and easy access to it.
How to Add a Widget for YNAB on iOS
- From the Home Screen, touch and hold a widget or an empty area until the apps jiggle.
- Tap the Gray add (+) button in the upper-right corner.
- Select YNAB and choose from three widget sizes:
- Small: one category
- Medium: three categories
- Large: seven categories
- Tap “Add Widget”
In the example below, you can see this user has opted for two small widgets (one category each) and one medium widget (three categories).
How to Add a YNAB Widget on Android
- From the Home Screen, touch and hold an empty space, or pinch the screen with two fingers.
- Select YNAB and choose from two widget sizes:
- small = one category,
- large = scrollable list with as many categories as you’d like
- For a large widget, tap Save after you’ve selected your categories. A small widget will take you back to the Home Screen after selecting the category.
In the Android example below, you can see this user has opted for two small widgets (one category each) and one large widget.
Add widgets to quickly see the categories you use most often on your home screen.
Now, let’s say I don’t need to see your Vacation balance, but would rather see money available for gas in that widget. No problem. Just press and hold the widget, then tap “Edit Widget” (iOS) or “Reconfigure” (Android). Just tap on the category you want to remove and select a new one. Use the hamburger menu to drag them into any order you want.
Tip: If you don’t have an edit or reconfigure option, to make a change, delete the widget and re-add it with newly selected categories.
What Widget Size to Use
YNAB Widgets give you quick access to category balances you use a lot and a quick way to enter spending from those categories.
- Small: The smallest widget gives you one category. (grocery balance check? Always)
- Medium: Got a favorite three? Use the medium widget on iOS. This is great for those flexible spending categories like eating out, coffee, groceries, or clothing.
- Large: Have a gaggle of spending categories to keep an eye on? Use the large widget for your master view. You can choose up to 7 on iOS and Android will let you choose as many as you want in a scrollable large widget.
These Large widgets show seven categories of your choosing on the home screen.
Tap a YNAB Widget to Enter Spending
Just tap the category you’re spending from in the widget, and YNAB opens up and ready to go–the category is already selected for you—and it’s just waiting for the amount from you!
What’s Better than One Widget? Stacked Widgets!
On your iOS device you can have more than one widget stacked on top of each other to save space on your home screen as long as they are the same size. Just add another widget then drag and drop it on top of your first one.
You can customize the categories in each widget and a simple swipe will change which one you’re viewing. This is really convenient if you’re short on home screen space—just use the smallest widget with as many as you’d like stacked underneath!
Our Favorite Uses for YNAB Widgets in the Wild
1. Widgets for Your Not-So-Budgety Partner
One of my favorite uses for widgets is to get my not-so-budgeting husband on board. We’ve been using YNAB for years but it’s only in the last few months that he’s actually opened the app. But it can be overly complicated to him, and he really only cares about one category: his fun money.
So…widgets to the rescue! He can now add just his fun money as a small widget and always know the information that matters to him (and nothing more).
2. Widgets to Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
You’re railing hard toward a financial Target, maybe that’s a down payment, a new puppy, or a new couch. Add that category as a widget and all of a sudden you’re seeing that reminder front and center on a daily basis. You want a little nudge to hit your Target faster? Well here it is. Add it as a widget and watch your progress build.
3. Widgets for Your Kidgets
If your kids have a category in the budget and you are the go-between every time they want to know the balance, reduce that friction/annoyance by adding a widget to their phone that will always show them their balance without immediately seeing the rest of your budget.
Widgets for YNAB give you even tighter visibility into the information you want to know. What categories are you adding to your widgets? What are your favorite uses? Let us know in the comments below!