Importing exported transactions into a new budget - is this possible?

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  • Exactly what I'm looking for. I assumed it would be straightforward! I have exported budget and register to CSV, but can't see the point of doing that if we can't import it.

    I started a new budget a year ago, called "2018", intending to do the same for "2019" and so on thereafter - to keep reports and things clean and straightforward to compare year on year. Also to keep things from slowing up as there gets to be lots of history.

     

    But it looks like we must enter every account and category manually, which seems ridiculous. In YNAB 4, we'd have been able to copy and rename the budget file(s) then delete all old transactions in one go. Yet another thing that's less simple in the web app.

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      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      mand Yep. That's correct. You can't.

      Reply Like 1
      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      mand You can do a fresh start, which works similar to YNAB4, wiping your history but keeping account names/connections, categories, payees, etc. That definitely does help with reducing the manual work required in starting a new budget for a new year. https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/200-making-a-fresh-start

      But it's true that there isn't currently a way to duplicate a budget or export/then import transactions from an old budget.

      Reply Like 1
      • mand
      • mand
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben Thanks but a fresh start isn't what I need. It would delete all past transactions in my 2018 budget. It would only be helpful if I could duplicate that budget, rename the new one "2019" and *THEN* do the fresh start. - In fact, that would be the very simplest way of doing what I wanted to do.

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      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      mand Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but doing a fresh start doesn't mean anything happens to your previous budget -- the transactions in the current budget don't get wiped. That current budget gets backed up and is accessible to you if you ever need to go back to it, then a new budget is created just for the fresh start. When you do a Fresh Start, you wind up with two budgets, old and a new, with the new cleared of history so it's ready to work with.

      Say you're wanting to start fresh for 2019. You do a Fresh Start on your 2018 budget. The 2018 budget is saved, in case you ever need it, and a new 2019 budget is created based on the 2018 version without transaction history but keeping things like categories, accounts/account connections, etc.

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      • mand
      • mand
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Ben Oh, I thought it just wiped the old one - I mean, I didn't realise it backed up. Or rather I'd forgotten.

      I'll have to decide if it's too late now that I have seen this (late seeing the email notification - because of the dreadful internet I just mentioned in another reply!) - eleven days into the year, I have done a lot of budgeting already and so it's a chore to change over now. Maybe I'll call this budget "2018-19" and do as I wanted to for 2020.

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      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      mand From the support article:

      Don't worry—a copy of your current (now old!) budget will be archived with today's date, which you can reference anytime by choosing Open Budget in that same menu.

      In your Fresh Start budget, you'll see your account names, scheduled transactions, goals, notes, payees, and budget categories. Even your Direct Import connections will all be brought into the new budget for you. All transaction and budget data will be cleared out so you can start fresh.

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  • No.  This is a glaring weakness of nYNAB.  Until there is a "save as" or "restore from backup" or functional "import from exported CSV" function, I will need to keep a parallel budget in YNAB 4 as the backup plan for user error when/if I mangle chopping down my working nYNAB budget to eliminate old data, unused accounts, unused categories.   I just hope that the YNAB organization gets around to fixing this before Windows or IOS makes YNAB 4 non-functional.

    Reply Like 1
      • mand
      • mand
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Patzer Do you mean that you're doing all your inputting, reconciling and other work twice? That would be too much for me. I manage without a backup and fingers crossed that I don't screw up (too badly!) in nYNAB, and that the YNAB cloud never lets us down. :|

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

      mand Yes, I do the input twice.  It's a minor nuisance, compared to the major nuisance that reconstruction after a major failure would be.  I've lived through the latter; I'd rather have an ongoing chore at about the level of difficulty of brushing my teeth each day rather than make recovery from a disaster worse.

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  • It's as I thought, but it's so ridiculous to have an export function but no import function, that I assumed I was missing something. Come on, YNAB, please prioritise this, it's is a basic essential.

    I have given up my intention of having a separate budget for each year, and while I can see it's nice to have longer-term average spends (and so on) available to view, I must hope the thing doesn't become unusably unwieldy as time goes on. My system is slow, my internet is rural and appallingly slow, and everything is already ridiculously slow so anything that loads it further is very unwelcome. It's already inconvenient with not enough keyboard shortcuts and most of them working only intermittently.

    I suppose I should be glad that we have the CSV export, at least - for when I end up researching and choosing an alternative to YNAB. It looks certain that I shall sooner or later. But having glanced at the CSVs - they aren't at all friendly, either.

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  • My interest in the import export topic is about SPLITTING the 2018 file into 2 so that each of us (me and partner) would take responsibility for some of the accounts and some of the categories. If others are interested in doing this, let me know and I what describe what actually worked for me. 

    Also remember - the bank only provides the date, payee and amount for each transaction - we decide and record the categories that are important to us for each transaction as they come in. The fact is that YNAB is a very big help in simplifying this decision making process thru payee history, recurring transaction info, and a bunch of importing and reporting features. I suspect (as a one time developer) that it is these 'under the cover'  activities that make the export then perfect import challenge very difficult.  To me, the YNAB benefits more than make up for some of the deficiencies.

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