Problems With Money In Excel

New Contributor

Two Problems in setting up Money In Excel


1. Setting up my bank: my bank requires a code to be typed in. I receive the code on my phone. When I type it in in the Money for Excel set up it doesn't go through. Is there a work around? Otherwise I can't add my bank. 

2. In the Money In Excel templet there is a section to add custom Expense Categories. Unfortunately I have more categories than the sheet allows and it is a locked section. How can I increase the number of custom categories? 

7 Replies
Best Response confirmed by Bruce_Gilbert (New Contributor)

@Bruce_GilbertI have a similar problem with Money in Excel. The Plaid integration does not utilize two-factor authentication which I use with my bank logins.

I received a response from Plaid Support: For clarification, Plaid does support multifactor authentication. However, there is a type of MFA called perpetual one-time password (OTP), which is much harder to support. This type of 2-factor authentication prompts the user for an OTP code on every login, which prevents our automated updates from collecting account data. For that reason, we can't support this type of MFA at this time.
I wouldn't mind a prompt to put in a 2nd factor code. In fact, I like the idea of knowing when Plaid software is culling information from my accounts. But you can't sign up your institution in the first place because they don't support this type of Multi Factor Authentication. MFA.

Also, no one has ever responded to their other disappointing feature, "Categories" for spending. Besides rediculously broad categories for your spending like "Shopping" you are very limited in the number of custom categories you can create and you you also can't have sub-categories for spending like Insurance > sub category Auto >sub category Homeowners sub category Liability etc.



Double underscore to what Bruce has said.

  1. If Plaid is not going to be able to support the dual-factor authentication that Fidelity (which is just one of the institutions they can't support currently), then MIE is not useful to me.
  2. Those  budget categories, and the whole structure, are so poorly thought through. Not only should you be able to look at, say, Insurance collectively AND in sub-categories like Life, Auto, Health, Home... There's also real value in differentiating between high level expense categories like Fixed, Basic, and Discretionary.

Fortunately I'd recently developed my own  income and expense tracking spreadsheet. What MIE offers that's nice (the foregoing limitation with Fidelity aside) is that automatic importing of data from one's financial institutions, but it ain't all that hard to go get the CSV or XLS files they now all provide, albeit in some pretty idiosyncratic forms.



I would love to see how you have formatted  your income and expense spreadsheet for yourself and how your workflow works for downloading files from financial institutions. Is that possible?





Regarding the procedure for downloading from financial institutions, the ones I use--Chase (Visa), Amex, Apple (MasterCard), Fidelity (checking), Citibank (Visa)--all make it possible to download monthly statements in XLS or CSV format. The tricky part sometimes is finding the place on their websites. A tip: Amex gives you a choice of CSV or XLS: pick the CSV. For some reason they chose to make the Excel formatted file "look pretty" rather than be functional. So not only is there totally gratuitous use of colors, but things like vendor addressses are multiple lines in a cell.....the CSV file is all you need; has all the data, and neatly fits.

Once downloaded, it is necessary to select only the columns you need for your own spreadsheet: I use "Date" (of transaction, not date of posting); "Description"; "Misc" which some cards fill with their own budget category based on vendor; and, of course "Amount".   So I edit the file and get the columns in that order and then copy and paste onto the bottom of my transaction database.

Same for checking accounts and, in my case, occasional transactions from my IRA, from which I get my (retiree) income.


As for seeing the layout I use, check your messages here on this website.


I don't believe that you are limited in the number of categories and subcategories that you can create. The 'Categories' worksheet starts out with 100 formatted rows but if you happen to exceed that, you can just expand the table. The easiest way to do this is to go to the last, rightmost cell in the table and hover your mouse over the bottom right corner. Once your mouse pointer changes to the diagonal double arrow you can click and drag down to add rows. Note, you can't expand to the right which would add another column. The formulas wouldn't know what to do with that extra column and you will get an error saying that you can't resize a table that's adjacent to a hidden row or column. 




Regarding your proposal for adding sub categories, I'm not sure what you mean. I was able to make sub categories exactly as you described. 


I hope this helps.