Automated transfer between checking and savings after import

Hi All,

Question about transfers between the account. I have a checking account and savings account in my budget on YNAB and I import my checking account bank statement and reconcile every month or so. Problem is with the transfer between these 2 accounts once the bank statement is imported into YNAB. 

As shown on the picture above I have multiple "Keep the Change" balance transfers happening between checking to savings and sometimes a few transactions that happen in the reverse direction. Currently I have edit the Payee in each of these transactions to 'Transfer: Savings Account' to transfer them while leaving the category blank. As you can see that is very time consuming.

Seems like there should be a much easier and more intuitive way of doing this all together. is there? I have automated changing the Payee names of multiple other transactions to what I want the same way - but unfortunately can't do that with Transfer as it is a reserved key word.

Please share what is the best way to get this automated.

Thanks in advance,


8replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • When you import, the system cannot tell the difference between a transaction and a transfer. The absolute easiest thing to do is to get rid of the save the change program because if you are using YNAB with both accounts on budget, you aren't "saving" anything as every penny already had a job. If you want to move funds from your checking account to your savings account in order to gain interest, just do it all in one chunk rather than bits and bobs here and there.

    Like 1
  • When importing the data, YNAB4 can automatically convert these transactions into Transfers for you.

    1. Open Payee Settings.
    2. Select  "Transfer : Savings Account" from the Payee list.
    3. Add a Rename rule to this Payee: "Starts with KEEP THE CHANGE".

    Next time you import the data, any payees starting with KEEP THE CHANGE will be automatically converted into "Transfer : Savings Account" transactions for you.

    Like 2
  • Thank you elsewhere - that did the trick! Appreciate the help.

  • One more question - when adding a rename rule - is there any way to use wildcards such as * or ? (or something else)?

      • elsewhere
      • elsewhere
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Abhi Oommen YNAB4 provides four text matching options for your Payee renaming rules:

      Is: Exact match;

      Starts with: Starts with the text you specify;

      Ends with: Ends with the text you specify;

      Contains: Contains the text you specify;

      These four options should provide all the wildcard functionality that you need, especially so, given that YNAB4 allows you to define multiple rename rules per Payee.

    • elsewhere thanks. Can we mix and match was my question to be more precise?

      For example:

      I have chase card auto-pay transactions for my card and my wife's card going from the same bank account, the only way to distinguish them is with the card holder names in the payee field.



      There are other payee's which has INDN: and our names in them as well. So I was wanting to add a rule which says the Payee name

      Starts with: "CHASE CREDIT CRD DES:AUTOPAY ID:" AND Contains:"OOMMEN ABHI" to be moved to my Chase credit card budget account

      and Payee name

      Starts with: "CHASE CREDIT CRD DES:AUTOPAY ID:" AND Contains:"OOMMEN ANN" to be moved to my wife's Chase  credit card budget  account.

      I guess that is not possible, is it? Can that feature be requested?

      • elsewhere
      • elsewhere
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Abhi Oommen Does the AUTOPAY ID:XXXXX0000123456 value change every time a payment is made or is it always the same value when transferring to the "OOMMEN ABHI" account? Were the sample records you provided complete or is there any more information after INDN:OOMMEN ABHI CO ID: that would help uniquely identify the record for rule-matching purposes?

  • Turn off keep the change. You don't need that bank functionality when using YNAB, because your savings is determined by your budget categories, not by your account balances. It just creates more work.

    Like 1
Like1 Follow
  • Status Answered
  • 2 yrs agoLast active
  • 8Replies
  • 1277Views
  • 3 Following