A simple YNAB feature that delights me

September 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm 3 comments

This may seem odd, but there is a little feature in YNAB where I can exactly match up my current bank account balance to my YNAB account balance.  It’s actually pretty simple, but each time I try it and it works the way I hope, I just love it.

Go with this for a minute.  I know it won’t make sense up front, but just try me:

I wrote a check out to a friend some months back.  I’m guessing either he lost it, forgot about it, or never intended to cash it.  I had started using YNAB to track my spending, so this check is listed in there, but month after month, he doesn’t cash the check.

In YNAB, you don’t have a balance column by default, but this is one you need for a Checking or Savings account, in my opinion.  To add one, hit the “+” sign in the upper right of your account screen and you’ll be able to edit your columns.  At this point, your YNAB account screen probably looks like something out of Quicken, which is to be expected.  If you are like me, you enter future transactions in YNAB well ahead of the actual dates (perhaps you’ve written out checks for future bills or scheduled on-line payments).

So, go to your banks website and log in to look at cleared transactions… Mark all the ones as cleared in YNAB that your bank shows as cleared.

When you have all the transactions that have cleared your bank marked in YNAB appropriately, hover your mouse over the balance column for today’s date.

It will pop up a small bubble that will tell you your cleared bank balance, your uncleared total, and your working balance as of the date you hovered over.  (Your working balance is your cleared balance minus your uncleared balance.)  And yes, in my case, the cleared bank balance total YNAB shows actually matches my bank account balance to the penny.  It has for months.  It doesn’t matter that my friends check has never been cashed.  It knows that, and it factors it in.

I’m not sure exactly why, but to me it is very reassuring to see that my account balance in YNAB for the current date matches the bank’s records.


Entry filed under: General. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andrew Radford  |  January 1, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Just wanted to let you know that this post from over two years ago was useful for me today.

    • 2. ptaylor  |  January 3, 2016 at 8:55 am

      I’m glad to have been helpful.

  • 3. Sunali Lewis  |  May 12, 2016 at 2:20 am

    THIS IS WONDERFUL. Thank you!


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