How to start seeing Transactions?

I just joined a day ago and am eager to get started categorizing my transactions.

I'd like to start by adding all transactions this month.

I linked my Wells Fargo account, but I don't see anything indicating it will automatically be added.

I tried to import with a .csv file of my activity, but YNAB tells me, "We could not find any valid transactions to import from the files provided."

Where should I go from here?

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  • You're better off not adding past transactions. The budget is the plan for your FUTURE spending. Make categories and allocate money according to your priorities. You will have plenty to do to get that in order.

    You should have money available in a category before spending, so definitely the high priority categories are those with outflows coming up. You should probably enter those with the correct (future) date, and they'll sit in the scheduler until that point in time. (A subsequent import will just match the scheduler-entered transaction.)

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      • Khaki Storm
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      • 2 wk ago
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      dakinemaui agree 100%

  • Orange Sander

    You can do this by editing the starting balance transaction date.  Keep in mind that you'll need to update the starting balance value as well to match the account value on that date.

    I just started on the new YNAB and had the same question.   (I really want to see my recent historical data and am willing to spend the extra time categorizing transactions to get there.)

    • By the way, I tried putting my start back to January 1, 2020.  So far, only transactions from earlier this month are available for import.  I'll wait another half-day to see if this changes after the normal 12 hr bank data pull.

    • Hi Steel Blue Horse !

      Just a heads up, Direct Import will only provide historical transactions from 15 days in the past. To pull anything further back than that, you'd need to use the File-Based Importing option. 

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    • Faness Oh, Thank you for sharing that! 

  • Hi Orange Sander !

    That CSV error occurs when the CSV file isn't properly formatted. Importing CSV files is a last resort option because there isn't an industry standard format and they need to be formatted just right but we can help you with that.

    Here's an article that covers Importing a CSV file that will show you how to format the file as well as an (unofficial) CSV converter created by a fellow YNABer which may help convert your CSV file from your bank into a compatible format.

    We don't recommend importing past transactions, but I wanted to send these links along in case you plan on using CSV files going forward! :)

  • Steel Blue Horse said:
    I really want to see my recent historical data and am willing to spend the extra time categorizing transactions to get there.

    You should be aware averages will be skewed by the "open-loop" spending when you didn't have a budget. I would suggest using a separate budget if you insist on analyzing historic spending.

    • dakinemaui When I import prior months, I also provide a matching budget for the prior months.  (Otherwise, it just looks too messy.)  In my current situation, I already have a real budget I've been using for the past few months, so it's a simple matter of entering the same info (rather than guessing what it should have been).

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