Semi Automatic Statement Uploading

Hi There,

 

I use YNAB in such a way that I update my transactions to YNAB on a monthly basis. This way I dont have to worry about registering expenses every day. 

 

What I usually do is

  1. I export my banks statements (as there is no integration supported by YNAB for UBS or Revolut accounts)
  2. I convert the statements to YNAB supported format
  3. Upload the statements
  4. Do the budgeting for the next months or two and analyze

What is your opinion on this method?

I would like to further automate this method such that

  1. I just upload my bank statements directly to a dropbox folder
  2. BOOM the statement transactions get loaded onto YNAB with some code I wrote

Therefore causing the system to just be a one human intervention to load the transactions to YNAB, once per month, or once per period that I want to be updating YNAB.

Please share your thoughts on this. Would love some inputs.

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  • Sincere question: what is the benefit of YNAB to you? It is a very expensive solution for the kind of post-hoc tracking you’re doing. 

    Reply Like 1
  • Hi Maroon Leopard !

    I appreciate you being thorough in explaining how you use YNAB! To me, it sounds like you're using YNAB as a tracking system, and not a budgeting system? 

    YNAB is meant to be very hands on (as often as you spend money!), so I don't have any tips on how you can automate things more, in fact, I recommend automating things even less! 😉

    To start, I suggest taking a step back and reading over the YNAB method (we all need a refresher sometimes!) or take our "Learn the Four Rules" workshop. YNAB helps you look forward and proactively decide where to spend your money (budgeting!) instead of looking back and kind of wondering, “Gosh, what happened? Where did it all go?” which is what most financial tracking software does. 

    Let me know if you have any more questions at all! 

    Reply Like
  • Hi  Jannelle ,

    Thanks for your response. I could not agree with you more,  I will most definitely re-read the material you have shared.  But this is exactly the issue that I feel I am trying to solve with this process. As the steps of Rule 1 describe:

    1. Get some dollars.
    2. Prioritize those dollars.
    3.  Follow the plan.

    Follow the plan is where I struggle as I don't like to manually register ALL the transaction that I make every day I find this excessively time consuming, and therefore cannot follow the plan. 

    Much like you said "YNAB is meant to be very hands on (as often as you spend money!)", the money  spent needs to be updated to YNAB as often as possible, my goal here is to be able to increase the frequency that I update YNAB from monthly to a weekly or daily basis by just being able to upload statements to the converter which pushes them to YNAB. Is this method really going against the YNAB principles?

    WordTenor said:
    Sincere question: what is the benefit of YNAB to you? It is a very expensive solution for the kind of post-hoc tracking you’re doing. 

      WordTenor currently my solution is post-hoc, but I want to be able to do it ad-hoc but without too many manual inputs from my side. Does that make sense?

    Reply Like 1
    • Hi Maroon Leopard !

      I hope you don't mind me jumping in here! 

      I couldn't help but notice you mentioned writing code to push those transactions from Dropbox to YNAB. Have you taken a peak at the API section of the forum? There are a few users who have written code to pull transactions directly from their bank accounts, which would cut out the middle-man in this instance.

      Outside of relying on that automatic import, is there anyway you could find the time to increase how often you're importing transactions? I imagine importing once a month means you're dealing with a lot of transactions which could take a sizable amount of time. However, if you switched to importing even once a week, you'd be dealing with less transactions which should make for a faster process.

      Using YNAB once a month causes a lot of its value to be lost. The key here is to interact with and use YNAB more often - this is how you transition from tracking to truly budgeting, monitoring your spending and planning for your expenses in advance.

      Reply Like 1
  • Hi  Maroon Leopard ,

    Thanks for your reply. dont mind you jumping in at all ;) Inputs and feedback is what I would like. 

    Faness said:
    Have you taken a peak at the API section of the forum?

     I don't know specifically which discussions you are referring to but if you could share them that would be fantastic. 

    Faness said:
    here are a few users who have written code to pull transactions directly from their bank accounts, which would cut out the middle-man in this instance.

     Ideally, this is precisely what I would like to be able to do, but in order to achieve this, one would need an API to be provided from their corresponding bank. In my case, there are no API's available for the two banks I am currently using: Revolut and UBS (or at least as far as I am aware). Therefore have no way to pull the data from automatically.

    Faness said:
    Outside of relying on that automatic import, is there anyway you could find the time to increase how often you're importing transactions? I imagine importing once a month means you're dealing with a lot of transactions which could take a sizable amount of time. However, if you switched to importing even once a week, you'd be dealing with less transactions which should make for a faster process.

    Couldnt agree more,  this is the reason why I would like automatic parsing of statements as on a daily/weekly basis could be the next best thing.

     

    Please be aware: that this solution I propose is not for everyone, it is really for those of us who: 

    1. Do not have a bank that offers an OpenAPI to interact with
    2. Are lazy and dont want to input each transaction they make manually
    Reply Like
    • Maroon Leopard I think being willing to write code to format your bank files for easier import is far from lazy! :)

      I am not Developer Savvy, so I was referring to the general API section. However, I took a quick browse and this post on Importing Transactions from Monzo and this post on Mimicking an Import might be helpful.

      If you have questions about the API, I highly suggest posting in the API section. Our developers monitor that section and they can far better answer any API questions than I can. :)

      Reply Like 1
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