A user to user chat about the new YNAB reconciliation workflow.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 10.51.01 AM

A Note from Jesse (3/3/14): I meant to write this last week, but was out of town. I apologize that I didn’t write it quite a bit sooner.  I want to make clear a few things: 1) We understand that we slowed down the workflow of many users. 2) We do hear your feedback. We may not always agree with user feedback, but we do listen. I feel like that distinction needs to made. 3) To address the workflow we’ve made worse, we are working on an update that will be better than what we had before, and better than what we have now.  It will also improve the workflow (even more) for those confused users whom we were originally trying to help. Thanks for your patience as we iterate. We mean no malice. To fewer keystrokes for all. – Jesse

This post is for a very specific type of YNABer:

(If the following doesn’t describe you, carry on, and have a great weekend!)

1. You update your Budget Accounts frequently, and you know your YNAB ‘Cleared Balance’ matches your online account balance.

2. You’re thorough, so you like to use YNAB’s Reconciliation feature to officially lock down transactions as soon as the bank has cleared them.

3. Because you updated your Budget Accounts frequently, and because you knew your YNAB balances always matched your bank balances, you could trust YNAB’s suggested Reconciliation number.

(That was a mouthful, but you understood it if you’re this type of YNABer.)

4. YNAB’s new Reconciliation workflow has thrown off your game, and you’re mad.

I’m not part of YNAB feature conversations, so let’s just talk user to user for a second. I used the new workflow to reconcile accounts this morning, and I found it pretty straightforward.

I went into my credit card’s online account and manually entered a few missing transactions. I made sure the card’s current cleared balance matched my ‘Cleared Balance’ in YNAB.

I clicked ‘Reconcile Account,’ and saw this (click to enlarge):

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 10.54.15 AM

I knew the account was current as of today, and I knew the cleared balances matched in YNAB and in the online account. The old YNAB Reconciliation would have filled -$773.54 in for me, so I just typed it in myself and clicked ‘Begin Reconciliation.’

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 10.00.55 AM

Couple clicks later I was finished.

In other words, the new reconciliation process does cost me a few extra key strokes. But given my habit of frequently updating accounts and visually matching cleared balances and online balances – the few extra keystrokes are all it cost me. Right around five seconds per account in added work.

Trust me, nobody on the YNAB team likes to disrupt users’ flow, but the old reconciliation flow was positively wrecking the budgets of newer users way too often. Might there be a happy medium? I imagine so. But if this feature stays as is forever – just speaking user to user – I’m feeling fine about it.

Update: Jesse tells me that he and the product team recognize the need to serve both types of workflow. They hear the feedback and plan to address this in a future release.

We’ll Soon Be Tweaking the Reconciliation Process in YNAB

A Note from Jesse (3/3/14): I meant to write this last week, but was out of town. I apologize that I didn’t write it quite a bit sooner.  I want to make clear a few things: 1) We understand that we slowed down the workflow of many users. 2) We do hear your feedback. We may not always agree with user feedback, but we do listen. I feel like that distinction needs to made. 3) To address the workflow we’ve made worse, we are working on an update that will be better than what we had before, and better than what we have now.  It will also improve the workflow (even more) for those confused users whom we were originally trying to help. Thanks for your patience as we iterate. We mean no malice. To fewer keystrokes for all. – Jesse

In any account in YNAB, at the bottom, when you click the “Reconcile Account” button, you get this:



We’ll soon have something like this (though we’ll be tweaking the actual dialog box a bit):



Based on our teachers’ working with many YNABers, many of you simply click the blue, very inviting “Begin Reconciliation” button, not giving much thought to the Statement Amount value that we provided for you.

That amount is the cleared account balance.  We’re hoping it matches your actual bank statement balance, and so we would prefill it for you, and save you a bit of work.

If it’s wrong, hey, you just provide the correct statement amount. But if it’s right, we saved you five or six keystrokes.  If you’re really well off, maybe we saved you ten keystrokes. ;)

That’s all fine and good, and how it’s been working for the past 18 months or so.

Except when it’s wrong, and you don’t realize it’s wrong, and then things really go south.

I watched Julie reconcile the other day.  She’s sharp as a tack, but reconciliation is completely foreign to her, and she didn’t understand why she had to reconcile even after she had already cleared all of the transactions. The old CPA in me was agonizing over completeness, and accuracy, and she was just wanting to get on with it.

Anyway, I watched her reconcile and she didn’t even notice the value we had pre-filled in. It was luckily the right value, but it isn’t always, especially for those of you that eschew importing.

At the end of the day, our thinking is something like this:

If we provide the default value as the cleared account balance, and we’re right, we’ve saved some percentage of users some number of keystrokes.

If we provide the default value and we’re wrong, and the user notices we’re wrong and corrects it, we haven’t saved anything, but haven’t hurt anything either.

If we provide the default value and we’re wrong, and the user doesn’t notice it, we have done some damage, because the user is now reconciling [against/with/to]* a bank statement balance that isn’t the statement balance at all.

You provide a default value when you can be right a reasonable amount of the time, and do no damage when wrong. You do not provide a default value when you may be wrong a reasonable amount of time, and being wrong does damage.

For those of you wondering what the heck I’m talking about…this bit’s for you.

If you’ve thought your account balances are reconciled, but are maybe just realizing there’s this default value that we’ve been populating…and maybe they aren’t reconciled, do not lose any Christmas holiday time over it.  Reconcile to your current bank balance and record a balance adjustment (the software will walk you through it). Here’s a support article to troubleshoot reconciliation.

That $45.27 discrepancy is not worth three hours of hunting for a needle in a haystack. Really. As a former CPA, I give you permission to just make the adjustment and move along with your holiday planning :)

Once you get the first reconciliation, subsequent reconciliations are a breeze.

* During work on the [new/improved/upcoming] reconciliation dialog [box/window], our internal [company/team/group] chat tool [lit UP/exploded/went-tiny-scrollbar-on-us] when we [began/started/commenced] debating whether someone reconciles to a bank statement, against a bank statement, or with a bank statement.  Against sounded [mean/unfriendly/standoffish] and hey, we’re [friendly/caring/happy] folk. Reconciling with your bank statement [sounds/seems/appears] a bit like maybe you had a [fight/squabble/falling out], but the bank statement sent you [flowers/chocolates/an apologetic text--Really?! A Text?!] so it’s all good now… I think we settled on to. Or maybe with, despite the delivery-of-flowers implication. I don’t [recall/remember/care ;)] Aren’t you so sad that you couldn’t take part in that early-morning [discussion/argument/conversation]? I mean, really! Look what you [missed/avoided]!

Full Results of the YNAB User Deep Dive Survey

6,047 of you took part in our recent survey, and it only seems fair to show you the results.

I want to thank all who participated, as well as the several dozen of you who sent emails with recommendations for how we can make the survey more accurate. I’ve already incorporated the changes into next year’s version.

I found a few data points interesting:

  • YNABers have relatively low unsecured debt (question 10), with over 36% having no unsecured debt at all (woohoo!).
  • 2/3 of us have under $5,000 in emergency funds (question 13).
  • 70% of us are saving less than 10% of our take-home income for retirement.
  • 43% are living on last month’s income (awesome).

Which stats jump out at you?

survey-gender survey-age survey-relationship survey-income survey-income-type survey-income-frequency survey-children survey-pets survey-rent-or-buy survey-debt survey-secured-debt survey-retirement-balances survey-emergency-fund survey-savings-rate survey-using-ynab survey-transaction-entry survey-mobile-platform survey-on-budget-accounts survey-off-budget-accounts survey-master-categories survey-total-categories survey-open-mobile-app survey-open-desktop-app survey-significant-other-participate survey-last-visit-forum survey-started-over-ynab survey-debt-paid-off survey-increased-savings-balances survey-living-on-last-months-income survey-reduced-monthly-expenses survey-how-many-mentions survey-total-converts

By the way, I’ve (randomly) chosen the winners of the YNAB t-shirts and the iPad. If you get an email from me today, you won!

Favorites Coming Back to the iPhone

First, I want to let our Android YNABers that we’ve won over our Android developer. He’s been part-time for the past several years, and will be joining the YNAB team full time in January!  I’m very excited about this for two reasons:

1) Android development speed will increase, and

2) I no longer use an iPhone, but rather a Galaxy S4. I’m in your corner, Android folks!

iPhone Favorites are Back

I made a misstep in yanking the favorites feature from our iOS 7 redesign. I assumed the workflow of the Favorites was in speedy transaction entry. Favorites was an old feature, and we’d introduced the superior Geosmart Payees in the process. Using Geosmart Payees means if you’re standing in McDonald’s, having just purchased a salad (!), and go to Add Transaction, YNAB would think something like:

Hey, this guy’s in McDonald’s (again). Last time, they categorized the transaction as Restaurants : Fast Food – Moderately Healthy, so we’ll pre-fill the transaction with McDonald’s, that category, and today’s date…

In the end, all you do is hit ‘Add Transaction’, add the amount, and you’re done. It’s lightning-fast–much faster than finding the relevant Favorite category on your phone, and going that route.


iPhone Favorites were Used for Speedy Category Balance Checking

Yep. This is the workflow I completely overlooked.

People chimed in on Twitter with the release, begging for favorites to come back. I was, at first, perplexed, until I realized they were using the feature to check their few key ‘mobile’ categories (eating out, gasoline, entertainment, etc.).

Whoops.  Now you good people were stuck scrolling and scanning through your (probably too many? Maybe?) category list just to see if you had the $8 available for a gourmet McDonald’s salad.

This excellent behavior, to check your category balance before spending, as quickly as possible, needed support (again).

You Can Now “Pin” Categories

pinned categories main view


At the top of the Budget view, you have your pinned categories. No swiping/scrolling necessary.

(If you need to swipe to see all of your pinned categories, because you’ve pinned say…more than ten… then you’re misunderstanding this feature :) You just pin the ones you really care about, and really need to check, on the go, on a regular basis.

To pin a category, you can press the ‘Pin’ button on the top-right of any category view:

pin from category

For a bit quicker method, you can swipe a category to the left, from within the Budget view, to pin/unpin:

budget screen slide button


From a design point of view, this beats the prior implementation of having a completely separate Favorites view.  These pinned categories are accessible right away, and no other tap is necessary to get to the other categories, if needed.

Other Changes

You’ll see from the shots above, that we’ve added back the totals for the master categories. We’ve deemphasized them appropriately, because they’re not nearly as important as actual category balances, and this now sits much better with me.

We also now allow you to have a split transaction that contains both an inflow, and an outflow. Use cases of this are small, so we were hesitant, but we feel like the implementation didn’t provide much, if any, design overhead, so we put it in.

An example:

mixed split inflowIf you want to change the Transfer : Cash sub-transaction to an outflow, you’d tap the green ‘+’ sign. It basically lets you toggle it from ‘+’ to ‘-’ and back again.

iOS users, enjoy!

Android users, I’m with you guys. Really. I’m using the Android OS, learning its ways, and becoming a fan. I’ve seriously turned my entire life upside down in switching to Android, just to show you how devoted I am to the YNAB-Android cause. Be not dismayed.


YNAB Mobile Apps are Now Free

Before I get to the announcement, I wanted to let everyone know that  the Android app now has Geosmart Payees, which gives it full feature parity with the iPhone! Android users will love that feature.

Starting today, we’re making our mobile apps free for both iPhone and Android. If you’ve been on the fence about whether $5 is worth it, I guess now that question should be answered :) Download the iPhone or Android app (on Google Play only for now; we are still waiting on Amazon approval).

We’ve had a lot of internal discussion about this, and I even posted a question about it on Facebook to see what you guys thought.  The reaction was mixed.  Some said they were happy to pay for it, and were worried that development would slow down if we didn’t charge for it.

Others said that they thought the app should be combined, and they felt a bit nickel and dimed by the second purchase.

A few even said that they didn’t have a smartphone, and wouldn’t want to subsidize development of the mobile apps with their desktop purchase.

Over the last while, we’ve increasingly felt that it wasn’t making much sense to charge for the mobile apps, since the desktop is required for them to have any functionality.

Friction during the trial of YNAB

A potential new user comes to YNAB (likely referred by a friend), sees what we have to offer, and jumps into the trial.  But a big part of what’s making a lot of YNABers successful these days is cloud sync. Users can sync with their spouse’s data, enter transactions on the go, and feel more in control of their money.

But these trial YNABers were in a bit of a pickle.  Do they purchase the iPhone or Android app so they can test cloud sync? (iPhone had the Lite version, but did the trialer know what the difference was based on their experience? Android didn’t even have a Lite version, so the problem was compounded).

On top of not being able to give the full YNAB experience a fair shake, we were also adding one more thing to think about when it came to answering the question of whether or not YNAB–as a package–was worth it.

Advantages to making the mobile apps free

So, we’re making them free.  This has three advantages, the last one being small, but still nice:

1) Those of you worried about development slowing on the mobile side because we’re making them free, don’t worry about it.  We’re fairly confident that the improved experience for trialers of YNAB will improve conversion rates, and that those improved conversion rates will translate into more revenue than was earned when we were charging for the mobile apps.  (Mobile app revenue, as a percentage of total YNAB revenue, is very very small, so this idea is not at all a stretch.)

2) Those of you on the fence about the $5 app being worth it won’t have to ask yourselves that question anymore.  You’ll just have to think about the one-time purchase, and go from there.  The cognitive load for potential purchasers will drop, and we think that will help them come to the right decision. (The right decision, in this case, is to buy ;))

3) We won’t have to send refund checks of $4.99 to people that accidentally purchase the mobile app, not realizing that the desktop app was required!  That doesn’t happen a lot, since we use a very big screenshot to warn people, but it still happens, and it won’t anymore :)  Yeah for less overhead!

To those few that mentioned not wanting to subsidize mobile development with their desktop purchase, I’ll just have to come clean and let you know that you already have.  The mobile app revenue has never made enough to cover their own development costs.

What about those that just purchased?

There will always be some people that just purchased.  We’ve had our builds ready to go free for quite some time, and basically have just been waiting on for the various store approvals (still waiting on Amazon).  So we haven’t given a second thought to which day, or time of week or month would be ideal to make this switch.

The fact of the matter is that there is no ideal time, and we have to make a cutoff somewhere.

Hopefully those that just purchased understand that the change means no offense, and that if you felt the app was worth the $5 purchase before we made this announcement, that doesn’t suddenly change how much you feel the app was worth :)

Conclusion: We’re excited

In the end, we’re excited to make this change.  We think it will help a lot more people appreciate exactly what YNAB has to offer, will lead to increased sales, and will help us further development to make YNAB–the whole system–even better.

Spending Trends is Back, with a Whole Slew of Other Improvements & Fixes

We’re about to push out another free minor (that term is used loosely here) update to YNAB 4.  If you haven’t yet upgraded from YNAB 3, you can do that here at the usual discount.

At any rate, here’s what’s coming very soon (if it hasn’t already based on what I’m hearing from our developers!).

The Spending Trends Report is Back

Little did we know how much you guys liked the spending trends in YNAB 3.  They’re now back in YNAB 4, but much-improved.  We no longer have the issue of trend lines crossing all over each other, creating illegible masses of spaghetti.  We’ve gone with the stacked bar chart that makes things much clearer on an individual category basis, while also allowing you to see the overall trend.

You can drill into a category section, and drill even further to see the list of transactions that make up that segment.  That drilldown functionality is also available in the Spending by Category and Spending by Payee reports.

I made you guys a quick video to highlight the new addition to the Reports Family:

Report Settings are Now Saved Between Runs

You know how you have that one category that always need to exclude from your report? Or how you’re always wanting to see Last Month’s report, and keep having to change the date filter?  Now your report settings are saved from one start of YNAB to the next.  We thought you’d like that. (We’ve enjoyed the change internally as well).


We’ve also continued to polish and refine the app in ways you’d likely only notice if they weren’t right.  Ian (rodeoclown on the forums) sent me a list of 25 improvements, a few of which I’ve highlighted below (the rest can be found in this release’s notes when you install the update.

  • Changed keyboard shortcuts to make more sense:  Ctrl/Cmd+R for reports. Ctrl/Cmd+T for All Accounts.
  • Adding a new transaction to a register now scrolls to show the added transaction.
  • You can now clear transactions by hitting ‘c’ while editing (but not when a text field has focus).
  • Category names in QIF exports now match the QIF spec.
  • Date filter settings are now per-report instead of being shared.

Ian also sent me a list of 36 fixes where one of the line items was “several other bug fixes”, so we’re at 36+ on the fix count.

The Quality Assurance Gauntlet

Why did this build take longer than most?  We now have Vesna, our resident QA expert that keeps us on our toes :) Thanks to Vesna for helping us squash a lot of bugs!

YNAB 4′s Biggest Update Yet

Granted, YNAB 4 has only been out five months, but this version, pushed live about 12 hours ago, definitely has more new features and improvements than any free update we’ve pushed out for it yet.  (All YNAB 4 updates will be free. Our next major version would be a paid upgrade. I reiterate this only to avoid eventual confusion with our update/upgrade policy.)

New Features

  • In the Scheduler, there’s now an option to “skip this payment.”
  • When importing transactions, you can now opt to exclude the memo field from importation. I personally lobbied hard for this one, because my bank puts a ton of very non-useful information in those memo fields.
  • When viewing transaction lists (with the popover) in the Budget or Reports section, there is a “Show all transactions in the Register” button that will take you to the Register with the appropriate filters set. Very handy.
  • Searching for multiple values of the same type now does an OR operation. So you could search for “Category: Christmas” or “Category: Gifts” to see all transactions in both of those categories. This works for payees, memos, flag colors, etc.
  • From the All Accounts tab, you can now search for specific accounts.
  • From the All Accounts tab, you can also now search for Open/Close/Budget/Off-Budget accounts.


The Payee Settings dialog got a complete redesign. I jumped the gun and wrote about this new feature a while ago. You can read all about it here.

More improvements:

  • The budget screen loads much, MUCH faster.
  • Entering amounts in currencies using something other than “.” for the decimal separator now converts to the correct separator when the “.” key is pressed on the number pad.
  • Clearing a large number of transactions is now much faster.
  • Reconciling for the first time now runs much, MUCH faster.
  • If you’re importing multiple accounts simultaneously, YNAB now jumps to the All Accounts view automatically on completion.
  • Split transactions now show an amount remaining when the inflow/outflow is $0.
  • Selecting another transaction while adding a new transaction now cancels the transaction entry.
  • When matching imported transactions, the check # field is now ignored unless it contains an actual number.
  • QIFs now export using DD/MM if the date format is DD/MM.
  • The Closed Accounts sidebar group now has a subtotal displayed.
  • YNAB now accepts QIF accounts of type “CC”.
  • The Register now scrolls to the currently selected transaction when changing search criteria.
  • YNAB no longer steals system focus once it has started.
  • Reconciling transactions now automatically also “accepts” the transactions.

Bug Fixes

I count 59 distinct bug fixes, and many crash fixes.

Quality Assurance Pro is Now on Board!

Everyone say hi to Vesna, now our resident Quality Assurance pro! One of the reasons this build took a bit longer than we all thought was because Vesna likes to run a tight ship, so this build went through much more stringent testing than anything we’ve done in the past. I think we all agree that it’s our best build yet.

Unrelated: We’re Hiring

If you, or anyone you know, is an expert Ruby on Rails developer, we’d love to have them apply for a full-time position, working with a team that is distributed, friendly, and making a difference in people’s lives. Job details can be found here.

What’s Coming for YNAB 4

Back office discussions (over Skype, since almost all of us live in separate states, countries, or hemispheres) for YNAB 4 went something like this:

Team Member A: “Man, this is going to be great. I’m so glad we fixed ________.”

Team Member B: “What about payee settings? Are we going to overhaul that?”

Team Member A: “We need to…I don’t think we’ll have time.”

[Collective moans commence.]

I’m pleased to announce that, along with a ton of other fixes and improvements, we’ve completely overhauled the payee settings screen for our coming free update. It’s now much, much easier to use.

And I’ll bet 75% of you have no idea what I’m talking about. Well, you’re missing out on some serious time savings!

Our old payee screen looked like this:

The new screen looks like this:

You know that person that’s always willing to sing in front of people, but doesn’t sing nearly as well as they *think* they sing, so it ends up creating an awkward situation for everyone present?  That was how I felt about our old payee settings.  Awkward. A bit embarrassing.

You’re About to Become a YNAB Power User.

For those of you that have never seen the Payee Settings with the old version (again, no surprise if you haven’t used it–it was very confusing), you’re about to learn how to shave significant time off your YNAB workflow.  Some of you may even miss the time you had previously spent with your budget. It’s okay…but we all think you should find an additional hobby to fill the time.

Managing Duplicates

The easiest way to manage duplicate payees is through the Payee Settings.  For instance, our car and homeowner’s insurance goes through Bear River Mutual.  I scan through my list and notice I have a duplicate situation:

That just won’t do.


I know a bunch of you just breathed a big sigh of relief, knowing there’s no longer that duplicate payee sitting in my budget file.  Please ignore the Bear Paw one right above.  Come on, just ignore it. ;)

Managing Payee Import Rules

I have a combined payee now, and I notice that it has a bunch of “import rules” attached to it:

Payee Rules are handy little devils. And I think it’s important you know how to use them if you ever import your transaction files from your bank.

The gist of a payee rule, is that if a transaction is imported from your bank, and it fits one of the rules, then it will be automatically renamed to that payee.

For example:

If an imported payee contains “Bear River Mutua Ins.” anywhere in its imported payee, then it will be renamed to Bear River Mutual.

YNAB will automatically create rules when you rename an imported payee, which is why you see a lot of my “Is : Bear River Mutua Ins. Paymt 0812″.  At some point in the past, the transaction was imported with that as the payee, and I renamed the payee to Bear River Mutual, so the rule was automatically created.

Many banks and/or payees will dump a lot of junk in the payee field, like the transaction ID, or the date of the transactions, or the store number (Walmart #23 vs. Walmart #37…they’re all the same to me), and we OCD types certainly don’t like things junking our payee list, so the rules help.

Can you see from the above, that my rules with this payee are now redundant? If an imported payee contains “Bear River Mutua Ins.” then I don’t need a rule capturing the payee if it’s “Bear River Mutua Ins. Paymt 0812″ because my first rule already captures it.

So, with our fancy new payee settings area, I’ll consolidate my rules down to just one:

Now any transaction that contains “Bear River” will be automatically renamed to Bear River Mutual.  You know, since my homeowner’s and auto insurance (both through Bear River) are under my Bills : Fixed category, I could take this one step further and have the payee not only automatically renamed, but also automatically categorized, using the dropdown right above the rules section.

When creating a rule, just click the little ‘+’ button next to an existing rule and you can go to town. Your options are:

Removing a Payee from the List

The only way to genuinely remove a payee from your Payee Settings is to no longer use it in any transactions.

However, if you just want to clean up your dropdown of choices when entering a transaction (and you know you do…), that’s easy enough.

Select the payee you’re going to remove, and then un-check the box that says “List and autocomplete this payee.”  The payee will no longer show up in the dropdown, and if you’re typing the payee, it will not show up as an autocomplete option.

Once you’ve done that, in your list of payees, you’ll see an icon indicating it’s not being included:

You notice that Boden that’s bold?  Blockbuster Video (bless their hearts, we haven’t been there in years), is also bold. A bold payee means it has rules attached to it.

Comb through your payee list, combine duplicates, create renaming rules and auto-categorization so importing time is cut by two-thirds (I’m serious people! That’s totally doable!).  You’ll love it.

Payee Settings, the feature you never knew existed, now much improved in YNAB 4.

wanted to show screenshots of the new Trends Report, but alas, it’s not *quite* ready for show and tell yet.  That will likely have to come in the free update after this one.

I don’t have a firm date on when our next update will go out, but it should be fairly soon, provided all still continues to go well in the betatesting arena.

P.S. This is totally off-topic, but for those of you that use Valve’s Steam for gaming.  YNAB is up for their Greenlight, where we would actually be available on the Steam platform for purchase.  We have to get votes though, so if you want to vote for us, you can do that here. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s okay too!  (If we do end up selling on Steam, it won’t change anything at all for you guys, it will just be another channel in which we can market YNAB. Gamers need a budget.)


YNAB 4.1, Some New Features, Improvements, and Fixes

Most of you have already downloaded YNAB 4.1, but I wanted to call out some of the cool stuff we threw in there (besides the 63 small fixes and 15 improvements).

I made a four-minute video highlighting the changes:

Income Breakdown in the Budget

Expand the budget header (click on the Available number at the top) and you’ll see how that number is derived. If you want to see which transactions make up your Income, click on that number.

Yes, that was a feature in YNAB 3 and we pulled it for YNAB 4. It was brought back because it was used way more than we had anticipated. :)

Use the ‘c’ key to clear or unclear transactions

Clearing and unclearing transactions was the only common transaction action that required the mouse. No longer. Just hit the ‘c’ key and it’ll toggle the cleared status of a transaction.  You can do this in bulk as well.

Search for ‘Unreconciled’ transactions

There is now a search available, “is:Unreconciled” which will show you…well, your unreconciled transactions. Handy if you want to have reconciled transactions be out of sight and out of mind.


We made a whole slew of changes you can read about in the release notes of the software. If you haven’t yet upgraded to YNAB 4.1, start up YNAB 4 and go to Help -> Check for Updates and it’ll prompt you.

If you’re still using YNAB 3, and would like to upgrade to YNAB 4, enter the email you used to purchase in our upgrade tool, and it will take care of the rest!

Roadmap & Feature Requests

We’re already well underway with new features and improvements for the next update! Keep in mind that this is a free update and there will be many more minor version updates to come (with cool features we couldn’t hold back), before we release a major paid upgrade to YNAB 5 :)

YNAB 3.5 is Out

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your YNAB engine. When you do, you’ll be prompted to update.

And you should.

I’m just going to give you the highlight reel of what was months of work, and then another month of work by our superstar betatesters to find every little bug so we could squash them.

First, let’s start with the biggest feature yet: We’ve added commas to both the Budget and your Accounts’ register. That’s right, 1000.00 is now 1,000.00.

I jest! (Sort of — no commas for a year? *sigh* See, even I don’t get every feature I want right away.)

Numero Uno: Error Checking

Warnings, reminders, and errors, oh my!

Even you Top Gun Budgeters out there know that you occasionally have a mental slip. We’ll catch them now for you. Read about my discovery of a few errors in my own file back when I was running the alpha.

Turn on Error Checking in the File menu. Then turn it off again right there as well when you see all the errors :) Just kidding! Use this very thorough guide to error checking. When all of those errors are gone, warnings are erledigt and reminders are taken care of, you’ll feel awesome. The same way you feel after you’ve straightened all the pencils in your desk drawer (pointed north, perfectly parallel) and alphabetized your bookshelf.

This will keep your Budget balanced with your On Budget Accounts forever.

What? What did I just say? On Budget?

II: On/Off Budget Accounts

You can now designate whether an account is ON or OFF Budget. Checking? On. That Loan to your brother-in-law? Just let it go man, he’s not going to pay it back. Or you could make it Off Budget. Your Mortage? Off. Line of Credit that you tap into (you’re getting better and you soon won’t at all once you’ve become Habitually Aware)? On. Credit Cards? On. Car Loan? Off.

You’ll love how we separate the different types of accounts on the left-hand navigation. Budget tab is moved to the TOP to show that it’s the KING. On Budget accounts fall underneath it to show that they’re budgeted.

C: Fresh Start

For those of you that just turned Error Checking on and don’t want the warm fuzzies that come with taking care of all the errors, employ a Fresh Start (find that in the File menu). We’ll keep the categories and account balances, but lose the rest. Ahhhhh. Bliss. And with Error Checking on, you’ll be set for that not to happen again. And no, historical data isn’t nearly as important as you’ve been conditioned to think, *but* since we’re all filing taxes right now, do make sure you’ve saved your old file.

Other Awesome Things That Don’t Get Their Own Heading

This is for the newbies out there. Taylor built a newbie…handholding tutorial. Start a new budget and you’ll see it in action. It’ll help out the new YNABer a TON and we’re very excited to have it in there. No more questions on the forums about…anything really. :)

We’ve updated the help file a ton. I’ll bet you a sugar-free donut that your question is answered in there.

Adding subtransactions automatically sets your cursor in the category field. This streamlines split transaction entry a bit.

We’re more aware of plural(s) throughout the app.

Backups are no longer made when YNAB saves only because of a settings change.

When adding a transfer transaction from an On Budget to another On Budget account, the category field is skipped (it’s not needed — and that’s enforced with our error checking mode now as well, so don’t even think about it!)

We can now display notifications on startup.

Double-clicking on a bank statement file (OFX/QFX/QIF/CSV) no longer brings up the file-chooser.

And heckfire if we didn’t fix a typo in the Payee Settings dialog.

Enjoy the update. As always, updates are free, upgrades are not (though we always price to show our customer love). And, as is obvious from the past year, our free updates are big. Typos and all.