Is there a point in reconciling/clearing balances if...

... I don't have a linked account?

I'm new at YNAB and am not yet sure what the point of the Reconciling/Uncleared Balance is.

I do everything manually and enter every transaction on my phone as it happens so having to clear a balance later seems like duplicating work. 

Am I missing something vital here? 

Thanks! :)

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  • Reconciling is very important. When youreconcile your account you are confirming that your cleared balance in YNAB equals your cleared balance at the bank. Once you click the reconcile button the transactions are locked.  In the future if you ever have a time where you fall behind you won’t have to look through as many transactions to get your account caught back up. 

    Reply Like 4
  • Manual entry is error prone. You might forget to record a purchase, or you might enter an incorrect amount.

    It's important to check your bank statements every now and then to make sure everything is in sync -- that your account balances in YNAB match the balance in the real world. That's all that reconciliation is.

    There's some delay between when you make a purchase and when it is posted to your bank account and effects your balance. This is especially true if you mail a paper check. It might be several days while the money is in-transit and the payee might not cash it immediately.   This is what the cleared/uncleared distinction is for.  

    Reply Like 3
  • It's taken me so long to compose a response that it's already been answered but I'll add my voice to the yes it's still vitally important to clear transactions only when they are cleared at your bank and to reconcile your accounts on a regular basis. It will both make YNAB easier and make you more likely to identify fraud or cheques etc that have not been presented or cleared at the bank.

    Businesses reconcile on a monthly basis. I personally reconcile in YNAB even more regularly. If there are any issues you have a solid starting point to investigate from rather than having to wade back through 100s of transactions.

    Reply Like 3
  • When you keep a secondary record,  you have to make sure that it matches the primary record from time to time.  That’s true whether the secondary record is a physical check book, and accounting ledger, or YNAB.  The point of reconciliation is to make sure that the record that you are keeping matches the bank’s. 

     The bonus to doing this is that you can hide reconcile transactions, so that you can only see transactions that have happened recently.  But it needs to be done whether you choose to hide the reconcile transactions or not.

    Reply Like 6
  • Thank you all! I knew there would be a reason for it! 

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  • So...


    I have a linked account, and I am reading that I still have to reconcile from time to time. But considering that some transaction takes 2-3 days to get seen by YNAB (Mind you, they are posted immediately in my bank with no delays. I see it and could manually import it with a .OFX file....), I will always ended reconciling a balance in advance of the transaction appearing in the account.... and this transaction would try to add/deduct from the YNAB balance.


    Feels like the Chicken and Egg Conundrum...


    (ps: Very new to YNAB and Loving it, but far from mastering all the principles)   

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      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Eric Poulin   You should be entering your transactions manually, not relying on the auto import. The auto import should just be a backup in case you miss something. Then you can properly use the cleared/not cleared tags to mark what your bank shows and what it doesn't to keep your account easily reconciled. 

      If you aren't entering transactions as they happen, you're leaving yourself open for surprises and you can't always trust your budget.

      Reply Like 1
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Eric Poulin you reconcile cleared balance at the bank to cleared balance in YNAB.   Uncleared transactions don’t come into play. 

      Reply Like 2
    • Hi Eric Poulin !

      Welcome to YNAB! :)

      Here's a quick link to our Help Doc on how to reconcile. When you reconcile, YNAB will ask you to confirm your current account balance. In YNAB, this will only contain your already cleared transactions, so you'll compare the amount in YNAB to the amount of your bank account - minus any pending transactions. Your pending transactions will import after clearing and they'll be reconciled during your next reconciliation. 

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  • Thanks Tobias , satcook & Faness ,

    I got my head around reconciliation and it does make sense to me now. The Clear/Unclear is still bugging me something but I got it! :)

    Thank you,


    Reply Like
    • Eric Glad that helped! Feel free to ask any other questions that come to mind! :)

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