Do you bother inputting pending transactions?

Wondering if I should stop bothering putting in pending transactions and just waiting until they're cleared? Oftne the date I put them in isn't the date they clear and are recorded on my bank balance, and it can make reconciliation a pain if a bunch of the get cleared at once (eg after a weekend).

Is there any advantage to inputting transactions whilst they're pending?

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  • I don't care what date the bank clears my transaction, I care when the money was committed to the purchase. 

    The main benefit of inputting transactions as they happen instead of allowing the bank to import them is that your category balances are always accurate. 

    Like 7
  • I do 100% manual input so yes, I input pending transactions. I want my category balances to be impacted so that I can make future spending decisions with confidence that all past expenditures have been taken into account.

    Like 3
  • The way that I use to reduce the effort is to use Scheduled Transactions for everything I can. I have about 200 scheduled transactions. Some of them, where I don't know the exact amount ahead of time, I leave the amount open ($0). This does work for automatic matching when importing from the bank. Or when the amount becomes known, having all the other information ahead of time makes entry of the dollars faster.

    Like 1
    • casner Are you saying that if I manually enter a scheduled transaction for a future date with a $0.00 amount it will match the transaction when downloaded from the bank/CC ? Even though the amounts don't match? I don't enter future transactions where I don't know the amount until I actually see the bill because I thought they would never be matched correctly by YNAB.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      KnitPurlKnit I enter future transactions once I see the bill, typically a few weeks before it's paid. One approach is to put the month in the memo when you update the amount. When the scheduler date advances, it will not match the memo, so you know it's "stale".

      If not doing that, then no, automatic import won't match a $0 transaction, but it's easy to manually match to update the amount, keeping all the other details you previously entered. The less typing, the better, IMHO.

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    • dakinemaui That's what I thought. I do the same thing you do: wait for the bill to arrive to see how much it is, enter it then and there as a future transaction. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      KnitPurlKnit Some people use the scheduled date as a reminder to manually pay, so a $0 amount works great for them as well. They would then just update the amount on the newly entered transaction.

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    • dakinemaui I set up the actual payment to be sent by my bank's bill pay  the same day I enter the scheduled transaction into YNAB. That way I don't need any reminders :-)

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      casner I used to do the 0 thing but learned from others here to put the month number in the memo instead. This way I just have the one recurring transaction for each bill and I can tell by the number whether it's been updated yet or not.

      Like 2
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Yep, me too, thank goodness for neat tricks like this that we've learned from our fellow YNABers.

      Like 1
  • Reconciliation isn't a pain for me -- a transaction is either there or it's not regardless of the date. In fact, I usually sort by outflow amount and only look at the date if there's another transaction with the same amount.

    Like 1
  • I prefer to let the transaction clear and show up on its own, even if it's delayed, but from time to time I'll manually input pending transactions for categories where my balance is already running low. It keeps me from forgetting and spending money that's already been spent.

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  • I enter them as soon as i know about them.  Usually at time of purchase, sometimes when i'm reviewing my account and sometimes not until they import if I missed one. The sooner the better.

    Like 2
  • The new pending transaction feature will make this just as easy as approving cleared transactions.

    Like 1
  • I used to do transactions for $0 but I would end up missing them. Now I make them for the anticipated amount (usually the average) so that I have the scheduled transaction show up when I am calculating my budget amounts. It helps to see if I need to put the money in the category budget now or if i can wait two weeks until my next payday.  I generally do not have an issue with the reconciliation because i do it regularly and I have auto import.

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  • To borrow a term, I view my budget as the "Source of Truth", my trusted view of what should be. I manually input every transaction as soon as they happen, but still import automatically and use linking.  If the transaction is an automatic transaction, like my car insurance, I make the manual entry repeating. If I've accounted for everything, then there should be no unlinked imported transactions. The only exception is interest, both credit card and savings account.

    My logic is that the dollars are gone the instant the transaction happens, not when they come out of the account.  As a result I have an more accurate data when making spending decisions or using rule 3 and rolling with a punch.

    So far reconciling hasn't been a pain, but I'm about a month an a half in YNAB.

    Like 2
  • I track as soon as I spend the money, so I know what my up to date balances for my categories are.

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