Major discrepency when reconciling

Hello.  I'm very new.  Briefly: did the free trial and loved all of the steps and theory behind each of them.  I decided to purchase the subscription and am excited about making the commitment to YNAB.  

I just tried to reconcile for the first time in six weeks and I'm so confused.  I read all of the docs and help articles and YNAB said that if there is a discrepancy then I should just do an adjustment and move on. 

I tried to do that.  When I made the adjustment it said that I had 10,000 plus dollars to be budgeted.  That is not the case.  My checking only has about 1,400 in it minus a few smaller items.  

I think that in those first few weeks, I only focused on the budget process and maybe not anything else and now items are "locked".  Some items could have been cleared or not cleared.

I don't really care what happened the first six weeks I just want to make the appropriate adjustment.  There are only some smaller items that have not cleared.  

Thanks so much!

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  • What is the balance on your checking account in YNAB? Is it correct?

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  • No, not correct in YNAB.

    Cleared balance is --8,985.32  (negative)

    Uncleared balance is 7,998.47 (positive)

    Working balance is --986.85 (negative)

    Actual account balance of bank is 1,428.41

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  • If this is the first time you're reconciling, nothing should be 'locked' as that only happens after you reconcile. I would go back and look at the items, make sure you didn't have an extra 0 if it's off by 10k, maybe that is the case, and finally - if you don't care what happened the first 6 weeks, you could simply start over. It seems very odd for it to be off by that much.

    One other thing to check for is overspending. I learned recently that cash spending bumps credit card spending, so if you overspend in cash after a credit transaction, YNAB will automatically move cash from available cc funds over to cover the cash spending. Interesting topic, and now that I know about it, it's much easier to manage. Hope this helps!

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      • swissypug
      • Swissypug
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Orange Wildcat I actually did another quick reconcile but thought that I undid it all.  Decided that I would wait until I could really have the time for an accurate reconcile...so maybe the one that I undid messed things ups.  Looks like a fresh start will be the best thing anyway.  

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  • If you really don't care about the first 6 weeks you might be best off with a fresh start. 

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  • If I do a "fresh start" is it best to wait until we get paid?  And then use that money as the to be budgeted?  Any other tips for fresh starts on YNAB?

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      • Orange Wildcat
      • One dollar at a time!
      • Orange_Wildcat.1
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jennifer Swenson If you're ready to do a fresh start now, you would start off with the cash you have now and expenses going forward. This would get rid of the past 6 weeks of history, but you'd be starting over, and can reconcile more regularly. Depending on how much activity you generate, it might be wise to reconcile more frequently, so that you always know when it went awry. 

      From the YNAB fresh start button: 

      "Starting fresh will let you start budgeting from today without having to set up a brand new budget. Transactions and any data you've entered in your budget will be deleted, but accounts, scheduled transactions, and budget categories will be saved.

      A copy of this budget will be saved in case you're not happy with the changes. Fear not!"


      Hope that helps!

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  • As far as tips for reconciling - I peek at my accounts a few times a week and make sure they match up. I also make sure I have enough money in credit card payments, and then I know exactly where things are. It really depends on how much you want to be on top of things, but I think to start off, it's a good idea to do it often til you get the hang of it, then you can feel more confident letting weeks go by, and not miss a beat. 

    Funnily enough, I didn't reconcile much my first year. It wasn't until I asked my boyfriend a question, that he said, are you not reconciling? I thought I was, but I was only clearing them. Anyway, it's made my life much simpler and clearer as to what I have and don't have for spending.

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      • swissypug
      • Swissypug
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Orange Wildcat  Very helpful tips.  Thank you so much.  

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      • Orange Wildcat
      • One dollar at a time!
      • Orange_Wildcat.1
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Jennifer Swenson you're very welcome! It takes time, and you'll learn what works best for you as you go. I've been using it for 2 years now and still find new features or things to improve my budgeting! Hope you get it all sorted!

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  • Thank you, everyone, for their help.  I now understand better about how reconciling can be very helpful or really mess things up if not done correctly.  

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  • Somewhat related question. I did a fresh start  on 4/7/18 and used the cleared balance from my checking account as initial balance as usual. Imported for the first time and transactions from prior to 4/7 were brought in, which really screwed up my balances in YNAB. This is the kind of stuff I seem to get stuck on when initially using YNAB. 

    If someone could direct me here I'd really appreciate it. I need to get the first couple months going and I think I'd be fine, but this kind of stuff, discouraging.

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  • Every Saturday morning like clockwork (and while still in my PJs and with steaming fresh cup of coffee in hand) I reconcile my accounts in YNAB. It has become such a satisfying ritual for me that I miss it if I'm not at home and don't have access to my budget on a Saturday morning.

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