Guess Categories for Split Transactions

It is a huge timesaver that ynab auto guesses the category you want, but it would be really nice if you could take it one step further.  Many of our expenses are split between things like, groceries and other categories (birthday, eating out, office supplies, etc).  It would be amazing if when I hit split it auto populated commonly used categories.  It is much quicker to click on the remove split button or even leave a $0 value than it is to type each category.

Let's take a quick look at what an example workflow looks like today:

1.  I'm entering data for a purchase I've made at Walmart.  I find the transaction and it looks like this:

Account      Date        Payee    Category           Outflow
Visa Card    2020-09-12  Walmart  Food: Grocery       $43.98

2.  I click on the category, and click the Split button.  It automatically gives me two empty categories with prompts to enter your values:

Account      Date        Payee    Category           Outflow
Visa Card    2020-09-12  Walmart  Split               $43.98
                                  <category>       <outflow>
                                  <category>       <outflow>

3.  I add another split, enter each category, and then fill in the amounts:

Account      Date        Payee    Category           Outflow
Visa Card    2020-09-12  Walmart  Split               $43.98
                                  Food: Grocery       $10.88
                                  Food: Snack          $3.75
                                  Work: Supplies      $29.35

If I'm often buying the same categories at the same stores, the workflow can be optimized and would look something like what follows:

1.  I'm entering data for a purchase I've made at Walmart.  I find the transaction and it looks like this:

Account      Date        Payee    Category           Outflow
Visa Card    2020-09-12  Walmart  Food: Grocery       $43.98

2.  I click on the category, and click the Split button.  It automatically gives me four entries based on previous entries:

Account      Date        Payee    Category           Outflow
Visa Card    2020-09-12  Walmart  Split               $43.98
                                  Food: Grocery    <outflow>
                                  Food: Snack      <outflow>
                                  Work: Supplies   <outflow>
                                  Gifts: Birthdays <outflow>

3.  It is much faster to nuke the Birthday entry, now I just have to type in the values in already created categories:

Account      Date        Payee    Category           Outflow
Visa Card    2020-09-12  Walmart  Split               $43.98
                                  Food: Grocery       $10.88
                                  Food: Snack          $3.75
                                  Work: Supplies      $29.35

I have a couple final comments.  A quick analytics exercise would make it easy to discover if split categories are generally the same for the same store across your user base.  You may be able to estimate how much time will generally be saved for each customer.

If there are concerns, guessing the splits could be configured to be enabled or disabled.  This enable/disable feature could be managed at an account level, or even toggled for each payee.

Lastly, if desired, the guessed splits could even be stored with the payee, allowing the user to override the automatic guesses for individual payee if desired.

None of these last two features--toggling the feature or editable split templates--would be necessary to launch this feature.  It could easily be added in the future based on customer feedback.

 

Historically, there has been a complete lack of clarity into the product backlog for YNAB, I've filed a feature request, but I've also published here so that the community has the opportunity to discuss in the open as well.

1reply Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Thank you for taking the time to submit a Feature Request! Currently, the logic for suggested categories is based on the last selected category for the entered payee. I'm not sure what it would take for the last "Split" to be re-created when a certain payee is selected, but I understand how that could save a few steps!

    Like
Like3 Follow
  • 3 Likes
  • 7 days agoLast active
  • 1Replies
  • 47Views
  • 2 Following