Reasons Bank Balance would be higher than Checking Balance in YNAB

Hello,

I didn't see any other forum posts exactly like my question so I decided to post. I've been using YNAB for over a month now and purchased it as I found it's really helped me see exactly how much money I have been spending in certain areas and making sure I don't think I have more money to spend than I really do!

However, today as I am reconciling my account (I do it about twice a week) I noticed my actual bank balance (including pending transactions) is much higher than the checking working balance I have in YNAB (this is not my budget balance by the way!) My bank balance is $459.93 and my working checking balance is $263.55 which is about $196.38 difference.

I manually enter my transactions and have gone through the last week to ensure I didn't import the same transaction. Any suggestions on what it may be? I do have a few transactions in my bank that I am waiting for a tip to appear with it (but this accounts for about $6 total).

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  • Hi PopcornSinger ! I'm so glad that you're enjoying YNAB! I'm happy to help figure out what's going on. 😀 Since you mentioned that you reconcile regularly (yay!) and this is a recent change... it shouldn't be too hard to find!

    Let's go through those steps to reconcile your account one more time. Here are a few things that could be throwing off your balance in YNAB:

    • missing transactions that need to be entered
    • an incorrect starting balance
    • transactions that are cleared at the bank that don't have the green "C" in YNAB
    • inverted numbers (entering $20.54 instead of $20.45)
    • entering a transaction as outflow instead of an inflow

    Look for any of these between now and the last time you reconciled.


    Here’s how I approach reconciliation issues in my own budget: 

    • Make sure the transaction dates in YNAB match the dates on your bank’s website
    • Unclear all transactions since your last reconciliation. You can select multiple transactions, then choose Edit > Mark as Uncleared
    • Compare the reconciled balance with your bank balance on that date. 
    • Clear the next day's transactions and check the bank balance at the end of that day to make sure it matches.
    • Continue day by day until you find the problem.


    Let me know how it goes! We'll get you back on track! 

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  • Thank you, Nicole. It seemed to sort itself out for the most part, I'm assuming my bank wasn't reflecting some transactions correctly (pending like tips, etc) and due to the excessive amount of shopping for Christmas it was too much to filter through. I now have it fixed, however. 


    Thanks. :)

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    • Hi PopcornSinger !

      Ah, those pending tips are often the nemesis of my personal budget too. I'm glad everything is sorted out! Let us know if we can help with anything else. 😀

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  • Nicole I followed your approach listed above for reconciling. Unlike PopcornSinger  I have not been good about this. In fact, I haven't reconciled my account since 9/6/2019. Partially because there's been a $400 difference and I've been too afraid to dig through to find it. So, I started working my way back by comparing the actual bank balance to the YNAB balance by date. Eventually, I worked my way all the way back to my previous reconcile date and found it to be off. That's what has me stumped. How could my reconcile balance be off by $400? And, it's exactly $400. Was it a typo? I also did a search for$400 charges in my bank account and came up with nada. Any thoughts? 

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    • Foxhorns If you're reconciling to a register on the web, they often display according to the purchase date. Thus, a transaction could be "inserted" earlier in the register than your previous reconciliation date even though it clears after that. Chase is especially bad about this.

      Personally, I find the file-based import to be invaluable for reconciliation, and I'll download transactions starting well before the last time I reconciled (i.e., two months for Chase). YNAB can match far more quickly than I can. I don't know whether Direct Import would be immune to this issue (i.e., how far back they go).

      If you're clearing manually and still have a discrepancy, don't stop once you've hit transactions in YNAB that have been previously reconciled.

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  • I'm not familiar with the file-based approach. Do you mean you download a CVS file just for reconciling? Or you download transactions exclusively, instead of having them entered in YNAB automatically. 

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    • Foxhorns I enter transactions manually to eliminate any delay.  I download QIF (or other standardized format) every week to speed up the clearing/reconciliation process for high-traffic accounts. The CSV format is not standardized and frequently will not work well.

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