Coming Soon: Pending Transactions

You may have seen whispers of the Pending Transactions beta floating around… and they’re rolling out soon to a budget near you! Like other releases, we’re using a phased approach.

Pending transactions give you quicker insight on the activity in your accounts linked with Direct Import. If you’re familiar with scheduled transactions, they work similarly.

Not all financial institutions offer support for pending transactions. So, there is a chance you may not see them once the feature rolls into your budget.

Here’s the full scoop! We hope you’ll love them. A few things to note:

  • A pending transaction will have a clock icon once it’s been entered in your account register.

  • The pending version imports as uncleared. When the final transaction is posted by your bank, it will import again as cleared—and match, if the amounts are the same.

If you don't see them in your budget, yet—sit tight. Once it's been released to all YNABers, we'll announce it loud and clear! We appreciate your patience.

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  • Hi there! While I like the idea of this, it's not the most helpful for transactions with a tip. The pending transaction will show $4.87, but then when it clears for $6.00, I'm left with a pending transaction that doesn't match anything that syncs. I then have to manually delete that original one. Is there a way we can turn off this feature since it's not important to me and I don't like the manual work of correcting it?

    Like
    • Hi Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk !

      In the account register, you can minimize the Pending Transactions section by clicking on it. Those Pending Transactions won't enter your register unless you choose to enter them at that moment, if you minimize the section and ignore them, they won't enter your register until they clear your account (like regularly imported transactions). 

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness The desire is to have a more accurate category balance, including at least the pre-tip amount. Since YNAB entered both, it should be able to correct when the cleared version imports.

      In other words, match on more than amount. Perhaps authorization code or transaction ID.

      Like 1
    • dakinemaui If the Pending Transaction is entered into the register, it can be re-entered into the register once it clears. If a YNABer chooses to later match the Pending version to the cleared version, the cleared balance will be saved.

      Like
    • Faness Get ready for the feature requests, then. Lots of people will approve the pending or even make a mistake adding in the tip, and the cleared will not auto-match. My point is there's probably enough information so that *it could* auto-match -- even with a different amount.

      Doing that would remove the main reason (as I see it) that people feel shakey about this. It would work if:

      * pending is ignored,

      * approved by mistake

      * a mistake is made while trying to do the right thing and update to include the (wrong) tip

      * updated with the correct tip

      It sounds like it will only work correctly in 50% of the cases upon release. Of course people are shakey!

      Like
    • dakinemaui To my knowledge, these transactions don't share the same identifying information on the back-end. They're still separate transactions taken from the bank, but matched based on the logic that was already in place for transactions in YNAB (date and amount). 

      This has been a slow ramp, there's still only a small percentage of YNABers that have this feature as we tackle any questions or confusion as we go along. We've been digging into the feedback we've received so far, but I tend to hear more from the YNABers who don't have the feature yet. I'm hoping that's a good sign, that once the feature is in place it makes more sense, but we're still taking things slowly.

      Like
    • Faness and dakinemaui thanks for the suggestions and thoughts. I get the workarounds, but ultimately am not a fan of any of them. I don't like ignoring pending transactions or manually matching/editing transactions, and I don't think the extra day or two of visibility is worth the hassle. Hopefully a feature to turn off or opt out of pending transactions might be in the works?

      Like
    • Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk Minimizing the section is the current equivalent to turning them off (you won't see them in the register and they won't import until they're cleared). If you want the option to completely remove them from the register, so that they don't appear as an option at all, you can use the Feature Request form to submit that feedback. :)

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk If you just match them when it comes in, then the correct amount will overwrite the other amount. No manual work required.

      Like 1
      • Budget_NC
      • Tomato_Snow_237e7f17927
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness Just want to let you and others know that I have done that.

      Like 1
    • bobbucy Thank you! We're still rolling this feature out slowly, but no changes to report as of now!

      Like
    • dakinemaui The problem with that is finding the auth code (which can be long and annoying to enter) or the transaction id may require me to login to my bank. 

      Like
  • Hiya - but then won't I still have to periodically go in and delete transactions that never got matched to anything?

    Like
    • Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk 

      Don't blindly accept pending transactions. If you left a tip, edit the amount to include the tip.

      Like
    • dakinemaui Yup, get that. I just don't like having to edit / delete the pending transaction since when it actually clears the bank, it's base + tip. Not a fan of the extra step / reconciliation.

      Like
    • Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk It's supposed to be a prompt to enter into the actual register for the correct amount, including tip if you know there is one. If you do that, there will not be any more manual steps and nothing to delete. 

      Like
    • dakinemaui But what if I don't remember how much exactly I tipped? If I'm off at all or don't add tip, when the full transaction hits, I'll have two lines. I'll either have to delete the original or edit it to match the exact amount.

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk or manually match. Time will tell.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk Don’t accept it. Problem solved.

      Like 1
    • Superbone Correct me if I'm wrong, but then the category balance is less accurate.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Sure, but it’s just as accurate as it would be if the pending transaction never showed up like before this feature. The whole purpose of the pending transaction feature is to shorten that gap between when the purchase was made and when it shows up in YNAB for users that don’t want to input their transactions.

      If it were me and I didn’t remember the tip, I’d put it anyway and either guess at the tip or enter it as is and then match it when it clears. But this person says they don’t want to do that. So that answer is, don’t do it.

      It’s like the old joke, Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” Doctor: “Don’t do that.”

      Like 4
    • Superbone Sure, but in this case, I would think there's enough information to self-correct. Isn't the entire point of the feature to help the user who didn't manually enter that transaction?

      Like
    • dakinemaui Pending transactions don't have to be used in the register at all. If they're minimized and ignored they'll have no effect on the register. They won't enter the register until they naturally fall out of that pending status and enter the budget as cleared.

      We have a lot of YNABers that are shakey about this new feature but it's completely optional. Ignoring them will keep your budget functioning as it was before they were an option, but choosing to interact with them can give YNABers a touch more awareness on what's coming into their register.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness I really like the feature for my use case. It's silly people are complaining about it before they even have it. On the web app, you can hide the section and everything will work like before. Not sure about the phone app as I normally approve on the web app but if there's not already, there should be a way to turn them off there too.

      Like 1
      • Krys
      • I like bacon and sarcasm
      • Krys
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Superbone You can hide it in the Apple app.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Krys There ya go then! What's the big deal?

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Superbone yes sometimes we have guessed amounts where someone forgot the actual amount and threw out the receipt. We enter what we think is correct and then when the transactions import, I manually match them and the amount that imported is the updated amount. 

      Like 3
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Haven't all  of us YNABers done that?  Maybe other people are much more organized than I...I just put a ? in the memo field so I know it's questionable, but usually I'm close enough that it keeps my category balances from being too off for too long.

      Like 4
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal The one flag we use is red for an estimated amount.

      Like 2
    • Faness I had the Pending Transactions section minimized and can ignore them only as long as I haven't manually entered any transactions. If I have, then they link (in the regular part of the register) and only after I approve the link do I find out that the imported transaction was actually "pending" since now it shows the gray clock... So is it YNAB's new recommendation that we stop manually entering any transactions??

      Like
  • Kha-ai Nguyen-Wilk said:
    I just don't like having to edit / delete the pending transaction since when it actually clears the bank, it's base + tip. Not a fan of the extra step / reconciliation.

    There are a number of options here! :)

    1. You can ignore the pending transaction - it won't be added to your register. You can wait until the cleared version later imports and use your register as normal.

    2. You can edit the pending transaction - if you know the correct amount, edit it before accepting the pending transaction. It will be listed in your register as pending and when the cleared transaction imports it will match automatically.

    3. You can accept the pending transaction without editing the amount. This is the only option that will require an additional step later. The pending transaction will be listed in your register as pending. When the cleared version imports, you'll select them both to manually match them - which will save the cleared balance over the pending balance.

    Number two is the ideal option here, but we know things don't always go as planned! If there's a transaction you're just not sure about, you can either ignore it until it clears on its own or edit it later. :)

    Like 1
    • Faness You missed #4: they make an entry error while attempting #2. It, too, requires further action.

      Like
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Then you have to add "make a mistake and take steps to fix it"  to every single discussion around process. 

      Like 2
    • dakinemaui In that case, #4 is a forced occurrence of #3.  Essentially, it's still an incorrect amount that will need attention later. 

      Like
    • Herman This one is special because the error can probably be auto-corrected.

      Like
  • I'm one of the users seeing pending transactions, and I really like it. The clock icon is a nice at-a-glance way to see that something is pending, and I've only had one transaction (out of maybe 75) that didn't match up because of a tip, and that was because I accepted the transaction before the tip had been added and didn't update the amount manually before it cleared with the tip.

    I deleted the pending transaction that had the wrong amount, and just left the cleared transaction in the register. Since that instance, I've simply added in the tip when the pending transaction shows up without it.

    I agree that there are other data points that SHOULD be able to be matched so that if the initial amount doesn't match because of a tip, that the two transactions can be matched up automatically anyway. This would eliminate some of the need for watching these things like a hawk, but would also eliminate the need for watching these things like a hawk, which is what we're supposed to be doing, according to the YNAB method. So... *shrug*

    Like 2
  • Faness said:
    To my knowledge, these transactions don't share the same identifying information on the back-end.

    Thank you for that information. It would seem that eliminates the possibility of auto-correct, then.

    Like 1
  • I finally opened this topic up and read what people are saying about it. I've been seeing pending transactions but I haven't been using them really, just noticing them in there and waiting till they clear.  

    I know so far in my ~1.5 years of consistently YNABing it's been really helpful for me to just enter my transactions manually as I go, which allows me to find the money right away if I don't have any in the category, or enough in the category.  But I'm also trying to find a balance for my long term use of YNAB, so that it is as little work as possible for me with as much benefit as possible for me (minimizing the effort/reward ratio), so it might be worth using pending transactions to not have to enter them manually, at least during most of the month.   

    The last week of the month I'll probably still enter them manually, since I'm paid monthly at the end of the month and I usually have to move money around quite a bit that last week.  Once I finish saving up for a car I'll probably loosen up my budget and that will be less of an issue, but until then, I'm going to try using these pending transactions to save myself some effort.  I was having to approve transactions anyways, since I also connect all the accounts I have that will connect, so they catch any errors in entering my transactions, so this skips one step in that process. 

    Another great thing about this is that my fiance doesn't YNAB, but I will see his grocery spending pretty quickly now, instead of either trying to find the receipt or looking in the pending transactions in the account.

    Thanks YNAB programmers!  This is a great feature.  Maybe I should go find that SaaS thread and say I'll gladly pay annually if they make it so convenient that I no longer even need to enter my transactions most of the time.  So check budget before spending, approve and categorize transactions once a day (<5 mins) and budget monthly is all I really need to do now, if all of my spending accounts are on budget and connected to YNAB.  

    Like 1
  • PhysicsGal said:
    Maybe I should go find that SaaS thread and say I'll gladly pay annually if they make it so convenient that I no longer even need to enter my transactions most of the time. 

    What about the people that can't get their accounts to link consistently? I feel fortunate that all my accounts link correctly but I did quit on Capital One partially because of that issue. I do feel bad for those people that struggle to connect and I get their frustration.

    Like 1
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Funny i love the capital one connection.  It's the only one I get complete control over when i import transactions.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman Cool! How does it work these days?

      Like
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone For me, when i sit down to budget i click the little key thing that indicates the account needs authentication, i select the number to text to, copy the code when it pops on my phone, paste into the box and it connects and updates.  Never have a problem getting it to go through and i don't have to worry about YNAB having checked 5 hours ago before the over night batch posting finished so i have to wait 3 hours for my transactions to load.   It seems ynabs timing is NEVER right for me to be able to pick up yesterdays transactions first thing in the morning when I actually want to update my budget.

       

      eta: that said, i don't think i'm on plaid.  whatever i'm on works pretty well with all my accounts.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Herman Yeah, that’s not too bad. And at least you know your account is safe due to the 2FA.

      Like 1
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Superbone True, that's annoying and definitely would give me FOMO if my accounts wouldn't connect (My one account that won't connect also feels FOMO).  But they can still import files I think.  I think I used to do that with YNAB3?  It's been so long...maybe I should try that with my other account?

      Writing this inspired me to try it for my one card that won't link and it worked well, but I'll still need to enter transactions manually, it just makes it easier to get the cleared transactions cleared, IMO.  Might be worth doing before I try to reconcile.

      Like 2
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal Yeah, I've been doing manual import the last month or so.  I actually prefer it, because I control when the import comes in.  It seems like it was NEVER available (when I wanted it) when I was using the Direct Import.  So instead of being frustrated, "Ok, I'm here, ready to do my updates and reconcile, and there's nothing imported!"  even though when I logged into my account, there were new transactions that "should have" been imported, I just save myself the frustration and import it when I want it.

      Like 2
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  • I also think some people are using mobile app only which has no ability to reconcile. Also the credit card payments on mobile require the person to enter the Transfer:card as payee whereas the web app makes paying credit card payment simple. Until the mobile app is full functionality I think people will have problems. 

    Like
  • Thank you. This is wonderful news!

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