I am determined to do something different with our finances this year, so here I am. Here I am also pretty confused. I attended the Getting Started workshop, but still feel lost.
I can't figure out how to import from my bank.
I can't figure out how to keep my checking account balance current in YNAB without manually entering it. I have yet to even get started with any of the other stuff, bc I'm confused about even the basic checking account balance going.
I'm also not sure what the Payee section is about and how to make that work, especially for money I'm putting in to be budgeted (like a paycheck).
Do you need to import transactions or can you enter them manually? I have never imported transactions and prefer it that way. Unless you have too many to manage manually, I suggest at least starting out by entering everything by hand. I find it keeps me in closer contact with my budget and I don't have to deal with imported transactions not matching actual entries. (I did in the past, with Quicken, and soon stopped doing it because it was more work for me than manual entry.)
What do you mean by "Payee section"? The field entry on the transaction line? That would normally be the company/person/utility you are paying money out to, but in the case of income, it's actually the PAYOR (who is giving you money) and you are the real payee... just a question of terminology. For example, for my annuities, the Payees are the organizations I worked for that are now paying me. If that's not what you mean, explain a bit more... someone will help you!
I've done 100% manual entry since I started in 2014. I never have more than 5 or 6 transactions a day and it only takes a few moments to add them, either at point of sale on my phone or in the evening while I'm watching TV. The direct connect is really only supposed to work as a backup/double check because it will always be a few days behind the actual transaction and you need to have your category balances accurate if you want to make informed spending decisions. Your account register is just like a check book register where you enter the transaction. Yes technically your paycheck deposit would have you as the payee, but don't overthink it - you are one party of the transaction and the payee is for the other party to a given transaction.
Yes, I manually input transactions as well, it's the only way to make sure everything is absolutely up-to-date. The phone I check the account balances and reconcile every weekend. I don't even use manual import for this unless I have fallen behind and there are at least half a dozen entries to be entered. Usually there will be a couple of items that haven't cleared at the bank yet, so I just leave those uncleared in YNAB and reconcile to the current balance in the actual account. This works fine for me and if I know that the balance in YNAB matches that in the real account then I know that my budget is accurate and I have never had to input any manual adjustments as a result.
Thank you for your responses. Am I understanding correctly that if it shows I have a number by the "import" button- that all of those transactions have all cleared my bank?
Essentially, when I click that button and go through and assign categories and approve the transactions that popped up, those are all cleared in my bank already?
I absolutely love all of the manual import love in this thread! :)
LJ as for Payees, those are meant to help you identify where money was received from or where it was spent. If you have multiple jobs, the Payee could be "Job A" for one job and "Job B" for the other to help keep these separated. The same holds true for stores you shop at - maybe you always by coats from "Store A" but work clothes from "Store B". This is really helpful when looking at reports on your budget!