Several years ago, I discovered a budgeting application called YNAB, aka, You Need a Budget. It provides a unique approach to personal finance. Although frustrating at first, I found that it really worked for me and I haven't found anything quite like it. If you're looking for a great way to manage your money, check it out.

When I started using YNAB, it was a binary download and ran on Adobe Air (remember that?) for the GUI and your DropBox account for storage. It was fairly primitive back then, but they've come a long way. Now, YNAB is a Web and a mobile app (a very impressive mobile app I might add). No more thick client.

There's something that bothered me about using YNAB as a Web app: I had to fire up a browser tab any time I wanted to just get a quick look at my budget. There are key indicators in YNAB like your income, budget, amount to be budgeted and the age of your money that are pretty important. I'm a developer and I'm lazy. I don't want to open a browser tab every time I want to check the pulse of my budget.

Wouldn't it be nice if I had some kind of YNAB widget in my macOS menu bar? Well, I 've always wanted to build a macOS app and this would be a nice, simple intro to doing so. Also, YNAB has an API. So I put about 2 weeks of time into learning Cocoa and macOS development (using Swift of course), which is actually difficult because there's not a lot of up-to-date information out there. Plenty for iOS, but very few blog posts and how-to's for the Mac.

After getting YNAB to approve my use of their API (and OAuth2 authentication) I submitted my app to the App Store and now it's available for the price of a Starbucks Coffee. I plan to write more about the whole development experience in a future post.

If you happen to be a YNAB user and a Mac user, you can find the app here.