Splitwise + YNAB via Zapier?


I'd love to have all my splitwise transactions in ynab but from what I understand there are no good automated solutions for it so far.

I noticed that ynab + zapier solution was announced recently.  Zapier also seems to support splitwise. I started setting it up but found it to be a bit complex/tedious.

I am wondering if YNAB can officially create a zap for this.

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  • You can make your own. I don’t use Splitwise so I can’t test it, but you can set up a transaction when a Splitwise entry is made.

  • Hi Forest Green Falafel ,

    Thanks so much for reaching out! The best way to set up a Zap is to do it yourself, like Tomato Tamale  mentioned. This allows you to customize the Zap to bring in the information and create the output exactly how you'd like. 

    If you're running into any issues with the process or getting stuck at all, let us know what's going on and we'd be happy to help! 

  • Thanks for the quick reply. 

    The reason I asked for a sample zap is because there are bunch of complications that the zap needs to handle. For example, it needs to look at both payers and payees and figure out the amount that I actually paid and what I owed. 

    I did try creating it and made some progress but haven't gotten it working properly yet.  I am not familiar enough with the zapier platform, in particular I am not sure if it's flexible enough to let me do the above. 

    If I can get some help with this then would be great. Otherwise I'll try few more things later. 


  • I'm having the same kind of issue. The best I was able to do is create a YNAB transaction that has the list of amounts as a memo, so that I can edit the transaction in YNAB when approving it, find the right amount in the note and input it as inflow or outflow manually. Far from ideal.

  • After months of thinking "someday maybe," I finally built the Zap I've been envisioning today to connect Splitwise with YNAB.  It's mostly working great!

    Here's the way it works:

    When I create or edit a transaction in YNAB with a green flag, it sends that transaction to my household group in Splitwise, where it's split equally.

    Then, in the next step, it creates a line item in my YNAB Splitwise account for the amount I am owed (or owe).  This part is all working beautifully, and is going to save me hours this year, and help my budgets be more up to date than ever.

    The only complication is, I can't seem to map the category in that final step.  The YNAB-Splitwise account transaction should have the same YNAB category as the initial transaction that kicks off the sync.  So I want to pull the category directly from that record that kicks off the trigger. 

    But the way it seems like I would need to do this in the Zap is: Use a Custom Value (Advanced) and then select the field from that record.  Trouble is, this returns a string, and I need an ID.  

    There's some help text:  

    Provide the Category ID, not the Name With Category Group here. Not sure how to use custom values? Learn more here.

    And, in fact, it looks like in that picklist, the key-value pairs are there.  But so far I can't figure out how to access the ID value, only the string value. (I also tried creating a lookup table earlier in the process, but similarly could not figure out how to access the category ID to generate the table.)

    Maybe I am missing something obvious?  I am so close to getting this to work exactly as I want it to!

    Thanks in advance for any help with this!

  • (Just to suggest one possible solution, if YNAB made the category ID explicitly available to Zapier, that seems like it would make this easy to resolve. 

    Additionally, maybe worth noting that the Payee selection in my final step seems to work the way I would expect categories to work (i.e., I can specify the string value of the payee, rather than an ID value, and it just works, even though it also seems to know that there are key-value pairs for Payees in the Select Existing Payee picklist...)

    Also very possible that I am just missing something basic about the way Zapier works.  Anyway, any help will be appreciated!  Thanks again!!  

  • ... apologies for having a conversation with myself here, but realized that functionally, this doesn't matter too much, because as long as the original transaction has a payee with the correct category associated, YNAB is going to associate the Splitwise-account transaction with the same payee-category.

    So, while I would still be interested to know whether there's an easy solution here that I am missing, I don't think this is a big functionality hurdle anymore!

    However, I've realized that creating this as a single zap has some limitations, namely:

    1) Multiple steps mean I will need Zapier premium.  Is there any chance that adding a flag  to a transaction could be added as a Zapier trigger, so I don't need a filter step (and so less of my YNAB data is sent to Zapier to begin with?  It doesn't really need to evaluate every transaction, for my purposes!)

    2) Transactions that are added to Splitwise by other household members will be missing, since the entry criteria is a YNAB trigger rather than a Splitwise one.  So, since I need a separate zap to capture those transactions that originate from others on Splitwise anyway, and since I need less data from the original YNAB transaction than I thought, I might as well de-couple the zaps  (and end up with one where YNAB flagged transactions -> Splitwise and a second one where Splitwise transactions --> YNAB Splitwise account ledger).  This would allow me to stay on the Zapier free tier and save $240 a year (I know fellow YNABers will appreciate the this reasoning!) ... but none of the current YNAB triggers in Zapier would allow me to execute this workflow without a filter step.

    Any chance that YNAB could add a Zapier trigger for transactions that get a (specific colored) flag added?

    (I promise I will not post any more about this today!) 😄

  • Hi Matthew P.

    Thanks so much for detailing what you're trying to do, and what limitations you're running into!

    I went ahead and passed along your request for a Zapier trigger for transactions based on flag color to our team that works with Zapier. I'm not sure if or when that will happen, but I've passed it on for review and to the right team now!


    If you have other specific questions about Zapier/Splitwise/YNAB, let me know--it sounds like you got as far as you could with that limitation in place!


    Thanks so much, 

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  • Zapier is so cool. Was able to set up a 'zap' to parse my emails and automatically input all withdrawals.


    But it's SO expensive. Can't see paying $20-$45 a month for some of their more advanced functionality.

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