Payee Cleanup

Hi there, I'm curious what people find useful about cleaning up payees? I have a ton as I have never managed them at all. Is there a benefit to combining the crazy amounts of amazon into one payee and then adjusting on each imported transaction to be the "main" payee you created? What does this benefit?

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  • I had a lot of payees I'd only used once and will never use again. Like the roadtrip gas station, for instance. I cleaned them up and all of those one-off payees are now simply "Gas Station" and are automatically categorized as Transportation. Doing this across the board gives me more peace of mind and enables me to find payees more quickly without all the junk.

    Also, the Renaming Rules make it easy for me to auto-categorize things—like those pesky Amazon charges! Anything that contains "Amazon" is automatically renamed just "Amazon" and is auto-categorized to Household.

  • so do you pick a payee for each transaction? I've always just let the import do it and never thought to adjust the payee, does this benefit certain reporting? Is it more handy for people who log their own transactions?

    • Forest Green Commander I pick a payee for each transaction! I like to see a neat account register, but it also just makes it easier to find a past transaction if I need to. For my main credit card, the real name of the payee is often buried in a long string of nonsense. :)

      • MadDog
      • Navy_Blue_Pegasus.2
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Commander I find it quite handy for manual input. When you have a million Amazons to choose from it can get confusing just on its own and then result in mismatches if you also use either file based or direct import. I just did another clean up and it helped alot. If you do various fast food restaurants, each one is different so you teach it to use the main one similar to Amazon. Also, sometimes the name imports weirdly such as missing part of the name. You can rename to what you will remember or make it more similar to the actual name.

    • Matthew  Does it matter if you just delete a bunch of payees to assist in the cleanup? Does that clear out the archive of your transactions?

    • Forest Green Commander When you delete a Payee, YNAB will ask you to reassign the payee of those transactions to a different payee. I believe it's equivalent to merging payees.

  • The other real benefit to me is reporting, I like to see how much I spend at Walmart, that's easy to do if every Walmart transaction is listed as Walmart, not quite as easy when they are Walmart, WAL-MART #1456, WAL-MART #1456         EVAN, WAL-MART #1456     SE2, WM SUPERCENTER #1456, WM SUPERCENTER #1456   307- etc..

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  • I thought I just cleaned up but I am still struggling with PayPal transactions. I set some rules to be “contains such and such” like “NYT via PayPal “ and rename to exactly that. Otherwise I don’t think renaming rules are helpful with PayPal. Today I see one that is 35 for Starbucks. I didn’t refill my card so I know it is actually PayPal something. Unfortunately the iPad app doesn’t support looking at the bank details. I have to go another source to figure out what that was for. I want there to be no renaming for PayPal *unless*. Has anyone figured that out?

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