How to Import Transactions

How do I Import transactions from my bank or credit card company?


Importing Transactions Video

Step 1: Download a file from your bank’s website containing the transactions you want to import.

Learn about transaction data file formats and how to download them.

Step 2: Click on the Import button at the top of the account register  and a pop-up will appear:

Step 3: Click “Choose file to import” and find the downloaded file on your computer to import it.

If you click on the Import Preview button, you'll be able to see the transactions you are about to import. If you need YNAB to reverse the order of Payees and Memos that appear in the preview, check the box at the bottom left of the preview window.

Step 4: Check and make sure you are importing into the correct account.  You can change which account you are importing to by selecting a different account in the dropdown menu.

Step 5: Click on the Import button to import the file. A new window appears indicating the import was successful, and how many transactions were imported to the register.

Did you import transactions into the wrong account? No problem!  Select all the transactions that are in the wrong account by checking the tick box to the left of the transactions.  Then click edit transactions, or right click on one of the transactions (CTRL-click on a Mac), and select "Move to Account".   Choose the account you want to move them to.

What should I do after I import?

Review the imported transactions to categorize and resolve any that were matched against previously entered transactions.

Some transactions will need to be categorized before being approved. Highlight the transaction then select the appropriate Category from the drop-down choices in the Budget Category field.
If you approve a transaction before categorizing it, a yellow warning will appear.

Some transactions will simply need to be approved. Look over the transaction and if it looks okay, click the blue reminder icon and click Approve.

YNAB will help you match transactions from your bank if you have already entered that transaction manually.

Sample scenario: You go to McDonald's for lunch and you spend $7.81 using your debit card. You enter that spending on your mobile app.  A few days later, you download transactions from your bank and that same transaction is imported into YNAB again.

Here’s what we see upon import:

YNAB is showing the bank transaction info and what was entered manually. You can:

  • Click the Reminder icon to approve or delete the transaction.
  • Click on the transaction to edit it.
  • If YNAB was incorrect and the transactions should not be matched, click UNMATCH to separate them. 

Once you categorize a transaction, if you import from that Payee again, YNAB will remember how you categorized it. Once approved, YNAB selects your Payee over the bank.

How often should I import?

We recommend some manual entry, especially when you're first getting started since it helps you stay close to your spending. However, if importing is your main entry method, we recommend importing frequently to make sure your file stays up to date.

Learn how to control how things are imported.

Some of my imported transactions are transfers to other accounts, but they aren't being imported as transfers. What should I do?

Double click on the transaction in the payee field and then start typing the word transfer.  Select the account the payment is being transferred to, so it shows up in the other account.

In Payee Settings you can teach YNAB to recognize that payee as a transfer, so in future imports it will take care of this for you.