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Manage Payees

The feature that lets you do just that.

If you haven’t heard, we’ve rolled out a new feature that allows you to manage payees and, in a stroke of true creative genius, we decided to call it Manage Payees.

If you haven’t noticed it, yet, keep an eye out for a little message that’ll pop up in YNAB from one of our designers, Dylan. That message will tell you all about how to use Manage Payees. Or read this.

Why You’ll Love It.

Why would we build such a thing? Amazon. That’s why. When you buy from Amazon, sometimes your transaction is paid to Sometimes it’s a third-party seller on Amazon Marketplace. Maybe it’s a Kindle Store purchase. Perhaps you use Amazon Web Services. And, with the announcement that Amazon is buying Whole Foods, we could start seeing Amazon Whole Foods. If you use direct import, you already know where I’m going with this …

When you sync with your bank, all of those flavors of Amazon show up as a hot mess in your budget, but now you can clean it up in just a few clicks!

To quote ourselves, “Edit non-descriptive payee names and make your budget more luxuriously organized and skimmable—yes, that’s a word—than ever. With a few easy clicks, Manage Payees lets you edit, auto-categorize, combine, and delete your existing payees.”

One Little Interface Does It All.

Now you can select all of those Amazon derivatives and combine them into one pretty little payee name (we suggest “Amazon”) using Manage Payees. And the next time you sync with your bank? As if by magic—but really by YNAB’s Manage Payees feature—they’ll automatically be renamed to Amazon!

Take it a step further by specifying which category of your budget all of your Amazon transactions should automatically be assigned to (“Black Box of Spending”, for example).

Manage Payees also allows you to deactivate or disable payees that you no longer use.

WARNING: I don’t recommend cleaning up all of your payees in one shot. Try batches, start with A through D, or whatever feels manageable. It gets a little tedious, but it’s oh-so-fulfilling when you start. Anyway, just a warning! And, pro tip, don’t manage your payees right before bed because you’ll end up staying up too late. Cool?

A Note on Bank Integration

I also wanted to let everyone know that we’re working with a new bank integration partner. The transition has not been completely smooth, but one of the reasons that we like them is that they do a lot of payee clean-up for us already.

Hopefully, when you sync, your new transactions look pretty good, as is. I’m pointing this out because we want you to know that systems are continually evolving, and our goal is to make direct import as easy as possible for you.

A Caveat

If you’re a long-time YNABer, you’ll recall that YNAB 4 allowed you to use rules for renaming your payees. This iteration of Manage Payees doesn’t have that feature—the good news? We’re gathering feedback and will continue improving YNAB based on popular demand, so …

Tell Us What You Think!

This is the first version of Manage Payees, and we’d love to know what you think—tell us here! Your feedback will help us decide how this feature will develop.

If you can’t wait until next week for more whiteboard wisdom, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Manage Payees