YNAB for Alexa

Do you have an Amazon Echo, an Amazon Dot or a Fire TV Stick with Voice Control? If so, you can enable the YNAB skill and talk to your budget.

Enable the YNAB Skill

1
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.
2
In the menu along the left, go to Skills list.
A white list on a black background, has Skills near the middle.
3
Search for YNAB and select it.
A search bar along the top has why-nab typed in, and the why-nab skill appears below with the blue tree logo.
4
Click Enable and you will be directed to a login page.
Below the why-nab logo is a yellow button that says Enable.
5
Sign in to your YNAB account and select the budget you want Alexa to use. Then, click Authorize.
A drop-down menu lists the available budgets, and a blue Authorize button is below the menu.

Talk To Your Budget

Now that you have an Alexa client and have enabled the YNAB skill, you can begin talking to your budget. The YNAB skill supports many different variations of questions and prompts, but here are some best practices to get you started:

To launch YNAB for Alexa
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.

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. Update the name of an account or category to something more Alexa-friendly!

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