Categorizing Amazon purchases

I find it super cumbersome to categorize my Amazon purchases. To the point that I'm wondering whether or not YNAB is the right tool for me. I'd say 30% or more of my purchases are from Amazon and it doesn't leave me any sort of easy way to track what items were purchased for which order. My current process is going to my Amazon orders and CMD+F for the purchase price in YNAB and then logging the category that way. Even this doesn't always work because the order might have multiple categories of items in it. 

I'm considering just having an Amazon category and calling it a day, but that feels broken. 

How do you track your Amazon expenses in YNAB? Do you have a better way? 

16replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I enter a single transaction in my credit card account, possibly split if there are multiple categories. This transaction actually adds funds to my Amazon gift balance, which is used for the Amazon purchase. That balance gets charged as items ship at random times for various amounts (possibly combined), but I don't care. More details here:

    https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/k9vcv8

    Like 1
  • You don't really explain what is cumbersome about it. 

    When you make the purchase enter it in ynab straight away and categorise it. You can set it for a future date if you want to wait until it gets charged. 

    You can use split transactions or individual ones per item, whatever works for you. 

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 12 days ago
      • Reported - view

      SgtBatten The issue is multiple items in the order often result in multiple outflows, but the user recorded them as a single outflow (exactly as you recommend). The actual outflows are not always known immediately, so the desire is to avoid having to edit transactions just because Amazon charges when things ship.

      Like
      • Saish Dawg
      • saish_dawg
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Seems a minor issue.  You can click "view your recent order", and immediately Amazon will show how many it was split into.  I do that by reflex as soon as the purchase screen completes. 

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Saish Dawg 3rd party merchants often ship/charge separately from what that transaction list shows. In my experience, even the Amazon fulfillment doesn't agree 100%.

      And it is a minor issue, but one I can easily sidestep. So I do.

      Like
      • Saish Dawg
      • saish_dawg
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Yes, a few times a single item in a single order was billed up to three times (still adding up to the total), which was mysterious.  Though, the simple click on the order to review works for me enough of the time to treat anything else as a true exception.  But point taken, and fair enough.

      Like
  • Someone posted before about using a report from amazon. Let me see if I can find that info. 

    Edited to add - ha ha that someone was me

    Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 12 days ago
      • Reported - view

      I don’t know how to link to my old post but this is what I posted a while back. Not sure if it helps with your question. 
       

      Amazon Order History Report!!!

      •  
      • MXMOM
      •  
      •  
      • mxmom
      •  
      • 4 mths ago 
      •  

      This was posted over on the Facebook YNAB Fans group by someone (not me) but I have seen alot of people having problems with the Amazon order reconciliation so I thought I would post this here in case it didn't make it here or if you are not on that FB group. Again, not my discovery. Credit to another person (whose name I won't share because it is a private group). 

      If the person who posted this on FB is also on here, please come and claim credit for this.   

      __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

      As many of you know reconciling Amazon order to YNAB is a pain due to the way Amazon bills on delivery. We will put in an order into YNAB for say, $55.93 and Amazon will bill it as 3 separate orders and we then have to crawl through the orders page to find it. 

      Well I just discovered this link: 

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html…

      I will build an order report for Excel and you can search by amount!! Very helpful for us and thought we would share.

      Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM I believe Amazon has taken away access to this report. 😒

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant Dang, why do they do that? On a related note, we have a weird Amazon charge on our card this week.  The payee says Amazon Channels and shows a recurring charge.  I have combed through all things Amazon (order, Prime, etc) and can't figure it out.  

      Sep. 8, 2020

        Amazon Channels amazon.ca BC 11.29
      Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 9 days ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Look under My Subscriptions - it sounds like it's adding a premium channel on to your Prime Video. (HBO, etc.)

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant yes, thats what I thought but I didn't see it.  I am going on the website today.  Sometimes all the info doesn't show up on the app.  

      Edited to add - just got off chat. Sure enough it was a charge for SuperChannel.  Cancelled it. Hubby doesn't recall ordering and we share the prime video with the kids so maybe one of them ordered it for something.  Amazing how they just click "order" and then assume some magical money fairy takes care of it.

      Like 1
  • Maybe I should have added that I have my credit cards set to auto-import. So I'm not manually adding these orders to my accounts, they are showing up and I have to split them up and categorize them manually. 

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 10 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orange Orca if you're waiting that long, I think you're doing the best you can. Once you find the total on the Amazon site, the Transaction detail will help you categorize/split.

      Alternatively, don't wait for Import to enter the transaction. I find that to be much easier.

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orange Orca I enter everything manually and then get great satisfaction when the link icon happens on import.  

      Like 1
  • This has been a big issue for me also and I've tried several different solutions, most of which don't work very well. I've gotten to the point where I use the gift card method whenever purchasing more than 1 item at a time. It solves all the category issues I was running into. Here's the drill:

    Go to check out and see what the total amount of the order is. Keep that number handy. Then, while still in Amazon (either in the mobile app or in a browser), go to your account page and look for your gift card. Click the button that says "Reload Your Balance". Reload it with the exact amount of your order total. Then go back to the check out page and select the Gift Card as your payment method. (sometimes it takes a few minutes for the reloaded amount to show in your gift card balance. If it doesn't show up in a minute or 2, refresh the page) In YNAB, record the transfer from the source you used to reload the gift card. Then enter the total Amazon transaction into YNAB as you normally would, using the Gift Card as the payment method. However Amazon ships and bills won't matter any longer as there will only be one transaction to clear - the one where you transferred money from your bank/credit card to the gift card.

    This method is a bit convoluted until you do it a few times, but it definitely works and does away with the multitude of transactions that Amazon resorts to.

    Like
Like Follow
  • 9 days agoLast active
  • 16Replies
  • 157Views
  • 8 Following