Here’s how to easily export YNAB transactions to Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel for analysis, backup, and migrating to a new money management tool.
Things to know about exporting YNAB transactions:
- Exporting budget and transaction data is only available in the web version of YNAB
- Your budget (including categories and Category Groups) and your transactions export as separate CSV files
- You can also export reports from the YNAB web app
How to Export Your Budget and All Transactions from YNAB
- Click the name of your budget in the top-left corner of the YNAB web app. and choose “Export Budget.”
- This will export a zip file that contains two CSVs: one for your budget including categories and Category Groups, and one for your transaction history register.
How to Export Select Transactions from YNAB
- Click an account (or All Accounts) in the left sidebar.
- Click the checkbox next to the transactions you’d like to export
- Click the name of your budget in the top left corner.
- Select “Export (X) Transactions” from the drop-down menu.
- Your transactions will export as separate CSV files
How to Import YNAB Transactions Into Microsoft Excel
- Open Microsoft Excel and create a new workbook.
- Click on the “Data” tab in the top menu and select “From Text/CSV” in the “Get & Transform Data” section.
- In the “Import Data” dialog box, locate and select the CSV file you downloaded from Simplifi and click “Import”.
- In the “Text Import Wizard” dialog box, select “Delimited” as the file type and click “Next”.
- Choose “Comma” as the delimiter and make sure the “My data has headers” checkbox is selected. Click “Next”.
- Choose the appropriate data format for each column (e.g., “Date” as Date format, “Amount” as Currency format) and click “Finish”.
- Choose the location where you want to import the data (e.g., a new worksheet or a specific range of cells) and click “OK”.
How to Import YNAB Transactions Into Google Sheets
Start by following the instructions above to download your YNAB transactions as a CSV file.
- Open a new Google Sheets document and go to “File” > “Import” > “Upload” to upload the CSV file you downloaded from YNAB.
- Select “Replace spreadsheet” to replace the existing data in the sheet with your imported YNAB transactions. Alternatively, you can choose to import your data into a new sheet.
- Once the import is complete, you may need to format the data to make it more readable. For example, you can adjust the column widths, add filters, or sort the data by date or category.
Google Sheets Import Method Two:
Drag and drop the two CSV files you downloaded from YNAB into your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com.
Prepping Your YNAB Budget Data for Tiller
If you want to use your historic YNAB data in a spreadsheet powered by Tiller, the next step is reorganizing your YNAB CSV to match the Foundation template Categories sheet.
The Foundation template offers a monthly and yearly budgeting option. It does not calculate your surplus or deficits per category month to month.
For envelope or zero-sum budgeting, you can add the Foundation template compatible Savings Budget solution built and supported in the Tiller Community. We’ll get to that step later.
- In your Google Drive double click the “My Budget as of [date] – Budget.csv file and then click the “Open with Google Sheets” button at the top.
- Open your Foundation template sheet from the Tiller Console (https://sheets.tillerhq.com/auth/google) and navigate to the Categories sheet (a tab along the bottom).
- First copy over your categories from the Category column in the YNAB budget CSV. Select the first category, hold shift, then select the last category to do a bulk selection. Copy the list by right-clicking (or CMD + C for Mac or CTRL + C for Windows).
- In your Foundation template right click the second cell in the Category column (row 2) on the Categories sheet and choose Paste Special > Values only.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the “Category Group” column in the YNAB Budget export to copy the Group data into your Foundation template.
- Set a type for your Categories, likely these will all be expenses except any credit card payment categories that should use the Transfer type.
- Add a group and category for your monthly income and choose the Income type. Simply type these in at the bottom of the list.
- If you’ve been using YNAB for a while, you’ll have multiple months of budget data in this budget CSV. The Foundation template 12-month budget start month is set in cell E1 on the Categories sheet. You can leave it set to the default January [current year] or change it to whatever month you like by entering the date for the first of that month and year. Learn more
- Copy the budget data for each month of past budgeting data you want to have in your Foundation template from the YNAB export. Paste it into the Categories sheet in the appropriate month column. As long as you didn’t sort the Categories sheet the values should line up with the Categories from the Budget export.
- Finally, if you want to see your categories list organized differently, you can alphabetically sort the categories list by the Category, Group, or Type column by clicking the small down arrow when you hover over the column letter and choose “Sort A>Z.”
Prepping Your YNAB Register for the Transactions Sheet
- Back in your Google Drive, open your My Budget as of [date] – Register.csv file as a Google Sheet.
- Check your Transactions sheet in the Foundation template and compare it against the data set in the YNAB register CSV file. If there is any data that you don’t want to move over from the YNAB register, clear it from the YNAB Register CSV file.
- If there is duplicated data in the Transactions sheet of your Foundation template that you want to overwrite with the YNAB register’s data, clear it from your Foundation template Transactions sheet.
- If you made changes to the Google Sheet version, export the YNAB register CSV file.
- Install the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets.
- Navigate to “Tools“
- Choose “Import CSV Line Items“
- Click the “Upload CSV file” button
- Locate your YNAB Register CSV file on your computer
- Click open
- Confirm upload
- Review the Transaction data for accuracy
This will pull all the data from your YNAB Register CSV into your Foundation template transactions sheet.
Note: The Tiller Community Solutions Import CSV workflow is supported in the Tiller Community.
Giving “Every Dollar a Job” With Tiller
If you prefer YNAB’s budgeting methodology, where you give every dollar a job, you can set up your Foundation Template budget so that your Planned Cashflow in the upper left of the Monthly Budget sheet is $0.
This means every dollar you plan to earn for that month is allocated to some category in your budget, whether you’re actually spending it or not.
If you prefer to see how your unspent or overspent funds from one month roll into the next month, check out the Savings Budget solution in the Tiller Community. You can add it right on top of your Foundation template, but you’ll use the Savings Budget dashboard instead of the Monthly and Yearly Budget dashboards that come as defaults in the Foundation template.