Exporting transactions to Excel (YNAB4)


I'm still using YNAB 4 (nYNAB scares me!)

I'm trying to export transactions for a specific category, but can't seem to get it to work.  When I look in YNAB4, the balance says one amount (say $380) but when I total the transactions I am able to export it's over  $1,000.

What am I doing wrong?  And how can I do it right!


8replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Hi Buff Navy Blue Yearling !

    Sorry for the delay here! The export should show what's in your budget automatically. Are you getting the same altered numbers every time you export? Would you be able to post a screenshot of what you're seeing?

  • Hey Navy Blue Yearling !


    A couple more questions, in addition to Faness', if you don't mind! 

    1. Are you doing the export from the "Spending by Category" Report? 

    2. Are all the transactions the same, but maybe the -/+ for each transaction is wrong? 

    3. Double check your filter settings for export too, perhaps not all budget accounts are included? Or even the dates could be set incorrectly?


    Let me know what you find! 

  • Navy Blue Yearling

    In YNAB 4, the way you export selected transactions is:

    1.  Search for the transactions you wish to export.  In the case you mention, you'd do a search for your category of interest.  If you only care about one account, you can search in that account; if you care about all accounts, you search in the All Accounts screen.

    2.  When you do the actual export, a dialog box pops up that lets you select CSV or QIF.  There is also a check box, by default unchecked, labeled "Export current register view only."   You want to check that box.  If you don't, YNAB 4 will export everything in your budget.

    If you select QIF, you'll get a file that can be imported to Quicken but doesn't make much sense in Excel.  If you select CSV, you will get two files.  One is labeled register, and will be just the transactions you selected if you checked the box.  The other file is labeled budget, and will list the budget screen for every month in your budget.  If all you want is transactions, ignore the budget file and work with the register file.

    If the category of interest is embedded in some split transactions, the export will also give you the rest of the splits in any transactions that contain the category of interest as a split line item.  If you're only interested in the part of the split that's the category of interest, you will need to edit the file in Excel to manually delete the other lines from the split transactions.  Split transactions is my best guess why your category sums to $380 but the exported transactions sum to over $1000, but it's possible something else is going on that I haven't thought of.

    Like 1
  • Thanks for the replies - sorry it's taken so long to respond, but my wife is away at a sonference so I'm doing the single Dad thing!

    I've not had a chance to go back and try the suggestions yet.  I'll hopefully get a chance tonight and report back!


    Like 1
    • Navy Blue Yearling Buff, no rush! Good luck holding the fort down until your wife returns! Just let us know if you're still having trouble! :)

  • OK - this is really confusing and frustrating as I'm an accountant and can't figure this out!

    Shot 1 - when I search in YNAB under the category "Reimburse", I get a total of $695.01.
    Shot 2 - the current month.  You can see the Balance is $137.88.

    I would have expected these two amounts to be the same.  As Patzer said, it could be to do with split transactions.

    When I export the transactions to CSV I get the $695.01 total again.  Looking at the split transactions these look OK.

    My problem is my wife purchases stuff for work, and takes a long time to claim the reimbursement, so it's hard to work out if there are things she has bought but not claimed back.  Hence this process and now problem!


      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Yearling 

      A couple of thoughts on the mismatch between the balance and the total of the transactions.

      First, unless you also screened by date, the transactions will be for the entire period your budget has existed.  Depending on how long that is, that could be a lot of history to dig through looking to reconcile something.

      Second, the balance is reflective of both transaction activity and budget activity.  If there has ever been a month with a nonzero budgeted amount in Reimbursements, the transaction total will not match the category balance.  This can happen if you ever deliberately budgeted to cover the Reimbursable expense, or if you let YNAB cover a negative at month rollover.  In YNAB 4, many people used the red arrow to carry negative category balances forward for reimbursable expenses.  I never did that (no need in my case, and it grated on my sense of covering overages), so I'm not sure how the red arrow would affect the reconciliation you're looking to do.  Your numbers look to me like there is +$832.89 of budget activity in Reimburse over the historical months; but it's always possible that something else is going on.

      If I were setting up a Reimburse category, regardless of whether I set it up in YNAB 4 or nYNAB, I would pre-fund it with the maximum amount (rounded to a nice even number) that I expected to be pending reimbursement at any time.  Then going forward, I could just record expenses and reimbursements to Reimburse and have it all wash.   I could look and see, "Reimburse now has a balance of $1,534.26 and I funded it originally with $5,000; so $3,465.74 is pending reimbursement."  In addition to eliminating the month rollover confusion, this would reflect the reality that the employer requires you to be able to float (in this example) $5000 of expenses for the employer's convenience.  That $5000 is not available for your personal use as long as it is tied up floating your employer's expenses.

      Things get more complex for budgets that have multiple sources of reimbursable expenses; others have recommended a paired tracking account (YNAB 4 term, off-budget account) for each source to track what is currently owed to you.

      Like 2
      • Jannelle
      • jannelle_ynabsupport
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Sounds like Patzer covered it all!😍 

      Let us know what you find out.

Like Follow
  • Status Answered
  • 2 yrs agoLast active
  • 8Replies
  • 1815Views
  • 3 Following