Why I don't use the imported transactions feature
I know others will disagree with me, however, I wanted to write a quick post and give another perspective. I started on YNAB4 which did not have the feature to import transactions, so maybe I am just old school. I have used Mint and other budget programs that auto-imported your transactions with no success ever. YNAB was the first to make me input all my transactions manually. Those of you who remember checkbooks it was the same way. Because of the processing time, it was very important to log each check in your register.
By manually inputting all of your transactions it makes you so much more aware of your actual spending habits. Sure you could import them all for the month and then look at your Reports, but I don't think that has as lasting of an effect as importing each individual transaction and re-budgeting if you overspent. I will compare this to counting calories. Every once in a while I use MyFitnessPal and will log every single calorie for a week. I travel a lot so usually when I am in a new place for an extended time and on a new meal plan is when I do this. Some people really have no idea what they are putting in their body. Even if you don't restrict what you eat by simply becoming aware of what you are will tend to alter your eating habits. The same is true for spending habits.
This is just food for thought. I know that YNAB was probably overwhelmed with requests for this feature. If you truly want to understand and control your budget don't import your transactions. Take the time and pride that your budget deserves and input transactions when you spend them. Reconcile twice a week. Watch as your spending habits improve and your budget grows.
Good luck to everyone and I hope that this helps some of you out there on your quest.
Really, whether someone is using DI or not, manual entry should still be the primary protocol. DI was meant to be used the same way that downloading QIFs was meant to be—to reconcile accounts.
I admit that these days I do let DI deal with the $1.30 I spend most days at the campus coffee shop. It’s also really great for dealing with my entire checking account—the only things that cross that account are scheduled transactions, so the scheduler inputs them, DI clears them, and I basically never look at that account. But most other transactions I enter manually for exactly the reasons you discuss. That the importance of manual entry is not being emphasized by support except when someone’s DI connection doesn’t work bothers me a lot.
Is it possible to direct import from time to time (such as when initially setting up, or from time to time), but the rest of the time do it manually? I have used YNAB 4 before (two years ago), and I'm thinking about trying the new YNAB. 'm starting fresh because our situation has changed since then. I have a LOT of accounts, and entering the startup information for all of them is going to be a pain.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I think it's insane to have to manually enter transactions. I have hundreds transactions per month...it would take me many hours of mind-numbing work and be totally error prone. Auto import is the only way to go for me. I have way better things to do then be a data entry clerk during my valuable spare time.
I'm new to YNAB, but I have used Mvelopes for the past 5 years so I've very familiar with the whole process. So far NONE of my accounts in YNAB are auto importing. Very disappointing. If it does not get sorted out soon, I'll cancel before my trial is over and go back to Mvelopes. I thought I'd try YNAB, because I like that they have an API. I wanted MORE automation, not less!