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22 Sep 2016

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

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by Todd Curtis

It’s not every day we get to talk about a new feature. Really, if we talked about a new feature every day, we’d have way too many features. But it’s exciting, even when they’re small. So here we go.

You’ve been there before. You’ve got a transaction in your YNAB register that you entered, let’s say on the phone. Then, another one comes in when you import, and they aren’t automatically matched. Here’s what you’ve been doing, and what we’ve been telling you to do if you asked: You delete one of them, clean up the category on the one you’re keeping, and move on.

But there’s something not-so-satisfying about that. And we get it. 

Tidying & Your Budget

One of the joys of budgeting for many of us (and this might be you whether you realize it or not) is the act of tidying and arranging. That’s right–The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up isn’t just a book about cleaning out your apartment.

It’s an impulse we have (again, that’s more of us than might realize it). It’s a feeling of taking control. With your budget, this means breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and getting out of debt, or taking that vacation you always wanted.

But it is also much smaller steps along the way. It’s about paying a bill on time – don’t underestimate the rush of good feeling that goes with that. It’s about scheduling a transaction that is coming next month. It’s about reconciling and knowing you know exactly how much money you have.

Introducing Manual Match!

So now you can match up your transactions. It works ike this:

  1. Select your two transactions that you want to match. Two. It has to be two, or you can’t match. Three’s a crowd, not a match.
  2. Head for the Edit menu.

  1. Click Match. Boom.
  2. From there, you’ll approve the transaction using the normal flow we’ve always had for automatically matched transactions.

When A Match Isn’t A Match

We spent some time when putting this feature together talking about when a match really shouldn’t be a match. I already mentioned that three (or more) transactions are not a match. Here are two other situations when you won’t see that option active in the Edit menu:

Different Amounts

We’re being pretty restrictive on this one, since transactions with different amounts really don’t match, which can cause problems with balances and reconciliation if you’re not really careful.

Double Imports

Two imported transactions can’t be matched. After all, your bank is probably pretty sure these are different transactions. And, just like different amounts, issues with balances and reconciliation can crop up if you call these two transactions one. For similar reasons, two user-entered transactions can’t be matched either.

Matchy-Matchy

We have a matching game at home where you turn over cards and try to match the different faces. My daughter has been beating me at this game since she was four-years-old. At thirteen, she still loves matching. And so do we all. So match your socks, match the app colors on your home screen (is that just me?), and match your transactions to your heart’s content!

 

Todd Curtis is YNAB’s Chief Customer Officer. Not everything in his life or house matches, and sometimes he even changes his shoes so they don’t match the color of his shirt. You can overdo it.

Your Next Step

Remember, budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. You can do this! Today. Right now. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress. (Ok, so kind of a lot.)

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