Why do bank and YNAB balances get out of whack?
How does it end up that YNAB and my bank account end up not matching? I feel like my transactions have been accurately linked, and still after a month the account is off by plus or minus $100. It's weird. I'm just curious what the general cause is. It's not caused any major problems but I don't get why it happens.
Hi Julie !
The key here is to reconcile often. Direct import is not perfect and a number of issues can pop up. Sometimes transactions are missed, imported incorrectly, or otherwise - I once had a transaction import for the cashback amount I received without including the cost of the initial purchase (so $20 cashback without the $60 I spent on groceries).
When you reconcile often it's easier to pinpoint exactly what caused the discrepancy and if something is wrong with how transactions are importing, we can investigate! :)
Because there is information in your YNAB register that is incorrect.
That is really what it boils down to. There are several reasons why the YNAB register might not be correct: you didn't enter something correctly; something you thought was going to match didn't; you didn't account for something; all the way down to you don't know what the cleared balance actually is and you're looking at the wrong set of two numbers (this happens way more often than people think it does.)
The cleared balance in YNAB should match the cleared balance at the bank. An attitude has proliferated here and in other user communities that it's okay if they don't match as long as nothing bad is happening, or as long as the mismatch is small. Not so. They should always match. If they don't, find the error, and correct it.
There's also always user error. 😲
I had a fun one. Lost my car key in my purse (yes, really...hazard of being out of my usual element) so took an Uber to work. Ride was $19.72 and I tipped $3.00...but not immediately as I got there and we were busy so I just dove right in. Remembered to tip 6 hours later and logged the transaction as $22.72, which is typically how they reflect...except I guess it was late enough that PayPal had to pay the tip as a separate transaction. As I was approving and okaying and clearing, I cleared both the 19.72/3.00 and the 22.72 transactions thinking, oh, yeah, that's the Uber...
FFWD 24 hours...WHY DOES THIS NOT RECONCILE??? BANGS HEAD AGAINST SCREEN REPEATEDLY. Sleep on the problem. STILL NO MATCH. WHAT HAVE I DONE? Okay, I used a LOT of PayPal which takes longer to clear and then there was the holiday, give it one more day. AAAAAAAAHHH.
Lesson learned, don't just do the 19.72 + 3.00 math in my head. If my bank processes it that way, adjust my register.