How do I refresh?

Just wondering how to refresh my account so they all show the correct balances and bring in any new transactions? Does it happen daily or is there a refresh button I can click? Couldn't find anything like that...

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  • ps. I don't want to enter anything manually :)

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  • It happens once or twice a day. However, you should definitely do manual entry. It seems like it would be a huge pain, but it actually makes life easier in a lot of ways--mainly, you never have to wait for a transaction to clear your bank to see it reflected in the budget. (Manual entry works very well along with automatic import, and that's how I use it: when transactions download from my bank, I see them match to the ones I entered. It's very satisfying!)

    Reply Like 2
  • Thanks...I don't want to enter anything manually though. I am budgeting for both myself and my husband and I definitely do not want to go through all of his credit cards and my credit cards constantly and entering everything each one of us spends, way too time-consuming! It's got to go in automatically or this is not going to work for us. Hopefully that's not a deal-breaker with this software... The transactions will go in automatically and get categories, right?

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 8
      • Reported - view

      Heather Ryan Maybe, maybe not. If you've never used a payee before, you'll have to assign the category. How is a computer program going to know the correct category.

      And sometimes, even historical information isn't going to be enough. Was that purchase at the grocery store just groceries? Or was it something else? Or was it a split across multiple categories. Accuracy will always require human input.

      We have a bunch of bank accounts and credit cards and it takes me 10 minutes a day to manually keep all of them up to date. If 10 minutes a day is too much trouble to get control of your finances, then improving your finances isn't a priority and you might as well just stop now.

      Reply Like 8
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Hi, Heather Ryan

      You can rely predominantly on bank sync entry if you like, but you will have to tell the software how to categorize your purchases to each vendor the first time you make an entry with that payee/vendor name.  Until you tell your YNAB budget that Starbucks should be categorized as Pocket Money  or Restaurants, YNAB won't know how to assign that entry.

      It takes me a minute or two each day at most to do my entry.  One of the reasons it takes so little time is the fact that the software does indeed remember how I  categorized the last transaction to that same vendor/payee.  Almost all of my transactions (both inflow and outflow) will auto-fill by suggesting the category as I enter it based on how I categorized the purchase the last time.

      It's only the split entries that I do at a handful of stores, where one shopping trip might be to purchase items in as many as 5 different categories, that I have to spend any time fiddling with the entry.  And I only do that because I want the distinction of all those categories. I deliberately defined those categories when designing my budget.

      I am firmly in the manual entry camp, and I don't have any accounts linked.

      Reply Like 3
    • If 10 minutes a day is too much trouble to get control of your finances, then improving your finances isn't a priority and you might as well just stop now

      Am I reading this correctly?  What you're saying is unnecessarily passive aggressive, but more importantly it's incorrect. No one is suggesting they won't invest the necessary time. But if paid software can't use the available data to streamline finance it isn't the users fault.

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  • Side note, I do 100% manual entry (2-3 minutes per day max), but it is my understanding that for those who do link their accounts, the download isn't truly automatic. You'll get an icon telling you that a particular account has items to import and then you have to click to actually import them.

    Reply Like 3
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Oh, good point. The notification is very obvious on the phone app but less so on the web site.

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  • Hi Heather Ryan !

    If you're using Direct Import, you should see a number appear next to your import button once new transactions are available - such as: "Import (3)". The import button is at the top of your account register and clicking on it, in this example, will bring in those 3 transactions. 

    In the mobile app, you'll see a red dot on the Accounts tab and when you click there it will prompt you to 'View' your ready to import transactions. :)

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  • Wow, none of these people at all answered your question. It's like they have no idea what your asking. I can answer by saying that right now, YNAB doesn't appear to have a refresh button, so your at the mercy of whenever they feel like refreshing your accounts. My balance has literally never been correct and I have to manually fix it everyday. Really not seeing the point of this software, it's just exxel with an ever so slightly cleaner UI I guess?

    Reply Like 2
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Grizzly Would it be Excel with an ever so slightly cleaner UI if it didn't do importing at all? Because you're supposed to manually enter your transactions as you make them; the direct import is a backup in case you forget something. You are supposed to be mindfully engaging with your spending decisions, not putting them on auto-pilot to clean up after the fact.

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    • bevocat Why on earth would anyone pay for a system designed to auto link to your accounts in order to make banking easier, only to then manually enter all of the information?

       

      You guys in this thread saying you enter everything manually are, in my opinion, either confused or idiots. Go use a checkbook if you want to do it all by hand, why are you paying for this service?

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      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Grizzly for me, the whole point of a budget software is to help me be more aware of my spending. Every system that depends on direct import has delays, at the very least due to delays at the merchant end. Therefore, the only way I can be certain to know my current situation is to manually enter transactions. Some people use direct import as a backup or double check, but I just reconcile accounts.

      Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 7 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Grizzly Perhaps you are projecting with your ad hominem.  This isn't ex recto I'm talking here. This is the YNAB methodology.

      https://www.youneedabudget.com/direct-import-direct-schmimport/

      The methodology is facilitated by the software, and any conveniences that may show up in the software ought not be construed as a change in the methodology.

      Reply Like 4
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 7 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Grizzly - many people using YNAB have been using it for years and years (YNAB Pro was first released in 2006 or 2007) before direct import was added as a feature in late 2015. YNAB is a methodology first and the software is to support the methodology. The YNAB materials are very clear that the methodology is for manual entry and direct import to be used as a backup/double check. So all these people doing manual entry are in fact using the product exactly as designed.

      Reply Like 4
    • jenmas etc, Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't aware this was meant to be used as a manual tool. That's not how it's advertised or presented initially to new users. With this knowledge, I'll be happily moving over to Mint, a system designed as a strong UI for interaction with your money. Why won't all of you? It seems like if you aren't using the automation function, I'm confused why anyone would use this. It really is just slightly better UI excel if your individually adding line items with the bank info, vendor info, amount, transaction type and goods/services.

       

      I'm not trying to be aggressive, just annoyed that a service isn't what it appears: An automatic method of categorizing and understanding bills and budgeting. Clearly I'm not DIY enough to write down all my transactions by hand like we did in the 90's, so this just isn't the product for me.

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Grizzly Because I tried it for a year and a half and Mint sucked. I had a proliferation of accounts for my goals, no clarity about where my money was going or what I had available to spend, and no way to roll with the punches when I needed to make changes. I was definitely no better off when I stopped than when I started, and so I tried YNAB and had my car and all credit cards paid off within a year. I'm saving more for my long-term expenses than ever before, I've rolled with the punches of having my car totalled, and I feel confident in my spending decisions.

      Nobody can understand your own money better than you. If you don't want to put in the time and effort to do it, I guess it's just not a high priority for you. That's okay, it's just your preference. Have a good time with Mint; you'll get to know the support people really well complaining over and over about the connections being unreliable and broken.

      Reply Like 2
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 7 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Grizzly I find Mint to be a backwards looking tool. How much did I end up spending on groceries last month? Oops, that was more than I wanted to! Oh well, I'll just be different this month. This is why people say budgets don't work because you don't have the information until after the fact.

      Whereas with YNAB, it is proactive. I plan to spend $X on groceries this month and if I see that I need to spend more because the fridge broke while I was away from the weekend and I had to throw away a bunch of stuff, I can make the informed decision that having food to eat is a higher priority than seeing the touring production of some play and reallocate funds from my Entertainment category to my Groceries category. I didn't fail at budgeting this month - I just didn't accurately predict the future like every other human being. And there is nothing to "fix" or "make up for" in the future month because everything was addressed in real time. I have always lived on a lot less than I make so I use YNAB to make sure that I am setting aside enough for my quality of life goals - buying a new car for cash in 2030 (I expect my cars to last for about 15 years), donating more to charity, saving for retirement but at the same time putting the brakes on my Sephora habit.

      And it's not like I have to do a lot of categorization. Utility bills, mortgage, HOA, cell phone, cable, etc, etc are all set up as scheduled transactions so I just double check amounts (just counted, I have 36 scheduled transactions that include everything from Netflix, to annual fees on my credit cards, to mortgage, to Prime subscription, to monthly transfers to my taxable investment account at a brokerage). All credit card bills are set on autopay for the full statement balance. Outside my scheduled transactions, I buy like 2 things a day max so I'm spending less than 3 minutes per day on data entry (I might stop at the grocery store on my way home today, but if I don't I won't actively spend any money today, though I did have several scheduled transactions fire today: transfer of money to my high interest savings account, monthly donation to a charity, and my phone bill - took less than 10 seconds to approve them when they moved from the scheduler to the account register).

      Reply Like 3
  • Magenta Grizzly said:
    I'll be happily moving over to Mint, a system designed as a strong UI for interaction with your money. Why won't all of you?

     I laughed so hard I almost choked. 

    To put it simply, Mint is reactive. YNAB is proactive. If you want to watch your money do it's own thing, you'll enjoy Mint. If you want to budget, well then YNAB - see what I did there? 😉

    Reply Like 4
  • I am new to this software.  I have used Quicken for 20 years.  I like the forward thinking.  This seems like a David Ramsey envelope system with a Quicken gathering system.

    I am more aligned with Grizzley, in this thread.  I have over 20 accounts, and the link function is without a doubt a deal breaker for me.  I am not going to be manually loading squat. Refreshing 2 times a day is nearly okay for me.  The reason why I found this thread, was I am looking for the REFRESH BUTTON.  Why could you not keep your auto refresh system, and ADD a dam button > to force the issue when an individual wants that to happen?  To argue about the way you use the system seem pretty dam lame.  How about addressing the simple question on WHY you cannot add a button to SYNC.    

    Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Ivory Robot If I had to guess, it would be that a million users would be hitting it a million times a day each and their DI partner's systems would crash.

      If you're "not going to be manually loading squat", you should probably look elsewhere, because YNAB expects that you will be doing manual entry and using Direct Import as a backup in case you forget a transaction here or there. Relying on importing rather than manually adding your transactions means that your budget will always be out-of-date and you can't rely on your budget categories to guide your spending decisions. That's counter to the YNAB method, so they're not going to facilitate using their software counter to their method.

      Edit to add: I have umpteen closed accounts, 14 tracking accounts and 72 on-budget accounts. I'm not just talking the talk, here.

      Reply Like 2
  • I want to add to what others said about entering manually - I've been using YNAB for half a year now and since I am in Poland I can't use auto import. Initially I struggled a bit with entering things, usually doing it once a week or two weeks which made me spend 1-2 hours inputting things which was kind of a drag.

    Now I enter everything as soon as I can. Going back with the groceries? Input everything on my way home. Pumped gas? No one will mind if I'll take the spot for another 30 seconds (and if there is a line I can move a little bit).

    Most of the time I can input things immediately after paying. Then in the evening I spend 5 more minutes to fill anything I missed and I am done. 

    Once you get used to working with YNAB it'll take you 10 minutes every day to keep everything up to date, which you can do while, say, watching TV, waiting for water to boil or coffee to finish, the pizze to bake or while sitting on the toilet. Embrace the manual input!

    Reply Like 4
  • This was a great thread to find.  I am a newer (second month, just purchased) YNAB user and I was also looking for the "Refresh" button as I had a week where I didn't keep up with YNAB as well as I should have and wanted to completely catch up this morning.

    I am in the middle of the camp:  would like accurate importing / refreshing but get where the "manual input" crowd is coming from...being proactive is what this budgeting system is all about: knowing where your money is going, not where it went.  

    Mint, beyond the fact they are sharing my data, didn't work for me as it was just another software to determine how poorly I kept track of my spending and I couldn't look forward to next month.

    So, I am sticking with YNAB, despite the lack of a "Refresh" button and will start manually entering today!

    What a great thread...sometimes the internet is a good place.

    Reply Like 3
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Beige Drill And you are a classic example of the kind of person I was, that some people didn't think exist: coming from Mint, expecting things to work one way, learning what this system is about, embracing that since the old way didn't work, and improving your situation.

      We do exist! 😄

      Reply Like 2
    • bevocat I'm in the same boat. Mint didn't work for us.

      There are dozens of us! ...DOZENS!!!!

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  • Those foolish Mint people have so little control over their actual money...I am still not 100% YNAB yet (don't do credit cards) but I do the reconciliation dance multiple times a week.  I'm having (almost) weekly budgeting discussions with my partner.

    Being smart means not having an ego that prevents you from discovering new and novel ways of problem-solving!

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    • eloquentz
    • Numbers Wizard (Accountant), Acoustic Artist (Musician) and Jill of all Trades (Wife & Mother)
    • eloquentz
    • 2 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    If you are just blindly categorizing your transactions automatically, your bank probably has a spending tracker or some such. Mine does and it categorizes things by the type of merchant. I personally know it is slightly inaccurate because where I buy gas is listed as "general merchandise".

    Even if you don't want to do manual entry, you are still going to need to look at your transactions. Maybe some days/weeks it will be select all and approve. Other days maybe you usually buy groceries at one store, but this week you know that it was 50% clothes and want to split the transaction. Maybe some stores are groceries sometimes and Christmas gifts another time. Also, sometimes the direct import hiccoughs and imports something twice or three times. This past month I had to reject a few transactions because they kept importing and trying to match again.

    It's totally fine to just let all your transactions import, but you still need to be mindful of the budget and actually budget those funds. You can't just categorize your transactions, all that does is make that category overspent. You need to go to the budget screen and allocate your money to that category. And you also need to periodically reconcile your account register in YNAB to your actual bank balance.

    If all you want to do is categorize your transactions, that's not budgeting. That's tracking your spending. Looking at spending history can give you a clue as to how much to budget.

    Budgeting is telling your money where to go. Tracking your spending is watching where it went.

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