Understanding transactions

When this app processes transactions, it looks for any new/updated transactions in foreign currency accounts and creates/updates corresponding difference transactions in the difference accounts that match the currency and account kind (see the Approach section in the introduction for a reminder of why).

For the most part, you can just create, import, and reconcile foreign currency transactions as normal. See below for some special cases, such as transfers between currencies, to be aware of.

In addition, the app creates a daily exchange rate adjustment transactions in each difference account so that its balance tracks the latest exchange rate (to within 24 hours).

Transfers between currencies

When you transfer money to a different currency account, the exchange rate your financial institution gives you will almost certainly be different than the rate which this app would use for automatic conversions. This means you have to enter the transaction specially to account for this difference.

To enter a transfer to a different currency account, you must use a split transaction:

For example, if:

you would enter this split transaction in the Euro account:

[transfer to local currency screenshot]

Notice that you categorize the difference ($110 - €100 = 10) to the as Exchange Rate Adjustments. Since the amount leaving the Euro account is less than the amount going to the U.S. Dollar account, you need to do something with the difference, so that's where you put it.

Note that if you were transferring to a currency worth more, the amount leaving the source account would be greater than the amount going to the destination account, so the difference would go on the Outflow side instead of the Inflow. You don't really need to worry about that though; just put it on the side that YNAB tells you to, and it'll all work out.

When this app processes the transactions, it will create an adjustment transaction in the difference account that balances the difference between the exchange rate your financial institution gave you and the rate this app uses, so the actual amount going to the adjustments category will be much less than what you entered above.

If you're transferring to another foreign currency account with a different currency, the process is the same. It doesn't matter which currency's difference account you transfer the difference to; the end result will be the same either way. If you're transferring to another foreign currency account with the same currency, just do a normal transfer (no need to create a split).

This all sounds kind of complicated, but you really don't need to worry about the details. This app doesn't have any special logic for handling any of this, it's just a natural consequence of the approach. Just enter a split transaction like above with the amounts of currency that your financial institution tells you going out of and into each account, and whatever's left over (which YNAB tells you) to to the adjustments category, and it'll all work out!

If you forget to make a split transaction and just do a straight transfer, it's not a big deal. This app will end up making a big adjustment transaction, because it has to account for the full difference between the currencies, rather than just the difference between your financial institution's exchange rate and the app's rate. There's a good chance you'll notice that and, if not, you'll definitely notice when you try to reconcile the destination account. You can just fix it then, and a new adjustment transaction that cancels out the mistake will be created automatically. Once again it'll all work out fine!

Preventing automatic conversions

If you want to prevent a foreign transaction from being converted, put <NOCONVERT> somewhere in the memo field.

Deleted transactions

The YNAB API does not provide a way for apps to delete transactions. As such, if a foreign currency transaction is deleted, the corresponding difference account transaction cannot be deleted. Instead the difference amount will be changed to 0 and the memo will be set to <DELETED>. For all intents and purposes, this has the same end result. Feel free to delete these transactions yourself, if you wish, but they won't hurt anything.

Next: Settings


Copyright © 2019-2021 Emanuel Borsboom | Help | Privacy policy | Contact us | Patreon | Uptime
This app is not a part of the official You Need A Budget product.