Exporting YNAB to Ledger
My wife and I have been using You Need a Budget (YNAB) for a few months now. Overall, we like it, but the lack of reporting is a big missing feature. It’s hard to answer questions about spending trends, such as how much we spend on Dining Out every month.
Previously, I’ve used Ledger for accounting, and I really liked it. It’s a powerful tool, but the data entry is tedious.
Once I learned that YNAB data could be exported as a CSV, I realized that I could combine the best of these tools: YNAB for day to day transactions and budgeting, and Ledger for more advanced reporting.
I wrote a simple script to convert the CSV into a Ledger journal, and I pushed it to GitHub.
Now, I can run reports using the Ledger command line tool. For example, here is how I view my Dining Out spending per month (with a running average):
% ledger -f ynab_ledger.dat --monthly --average register Dining Out 16-Aug-01 - 16-Aug-31 Just for Fun: Dining Out $432.56 $432.56 16-Sep-01 - 16-Sep-30 Just for Fun: Dining Out $534.47 $483.51 16-Oct-01 - 16-Oct-31 Just for Fun: Dining Out $451.79 $472.94
You can see more report examples in the
ynab_to_ledger README or in the Ledger Manual.