Login issues from February 21, 2017

2/21/2017 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Our hosting provider made some version updates to our servers that were incompatible with the services we used for authenticating our logins. There was no notice of this upgrade or else we would have worked to ensure there was no downtime. We fixed the problems that arose from the update so you should have no issues logging in anymore.

What's been happening at ClearCheckbook - February 2017 Edition

2/7/2017 in ClearCheckbook News

We've been busy with a lot of updates and upgrades to the systems that run ClearCheckbook and our mobile apps. This blog post will cover a lot of those changes and how they affect ClearCheckbook.

1. DNS / SSL Updates - The biggest change this week has been switching DNS servers and SSL certificates. Our old DNS provider was discontinuing service so we found an alternative that also has some really cool features such as automatic asset minification and caching which have cut down bandwidth by over 50% daily.

Since we switched DNS providers it also gave us the opportunity to update the way we handle SSL certificates and serving our site over HTTPS. This fixed some of the redirect issues some people were experiencing when entering http://clearcheckbook.com. Now all urls are redirected properly to https://www.clearcheckbook.com. These new SSL procedures also brought up a couple unexpected errors though, which brings us to...

2. Android app connection issues - When we switched DNS servers we started receiving messages from some Android app users saying the app would no longer connect. At first we thought it was simply a DNS propagation issue but after a few days of people still having problems, we finally figured out that it was due to the new SSL certs that use the latest ciphers not supporting some legacy Android versions and really old versions of Windows. Once we discovered this we were able to make some changes to the way SSL certificates are handled and provide an older certificate for these antiquated systems, while still serving the most recent and secure certificates to modern day technologies.

3. API updates for mobile apps - We've been busy making updates to the API for our mobile apps which include adding the Bill Tracker and currency + conversion methods. The current iOS app is almost finished being updated to add the Bill Tracker as well as the auto-complete feature.

4. Android app 2.0 - Our developer is finishing up some of the last pieces of the new Android app and we'll be launching the previously mentioned beta testing very soon. Thank you for those who have submitted your information to our beta testing program. We'll be sending out invites soon to download and start testing the beta app. If you're interested in helping us beta test the new Android app and haven't already done so, please sign up to be a beta tester!

5. Updated Pie Year Charts - We realized that our old 'Pie by Year' charts weren't that helpful. They were small and didn't show all of your spending in a very intuitive way. With the update to the Pie Year Charts, we now use one large chart that shows both parent and sub categories on the same report in a very nice and clean way. Below the report we also have a breakdown of each of your categories with total spending for the year.

This new view of your spending for the year is a great way to help figure out where you can cut back on for 2017. We also recommend taking a look at the chart and using the information from 2016 to help you set your 2017 budgets. The Pie Year Chart is available to all premium members and can be found by clicking on 'Reports' at the top of the page, then click on the 'Categories' tab and finally 'Pie by Year'.
ClearCheckbook Yearly Pie charts
Click for full screenshot of yearly pie charts


We want to apologize to anyone that was affected by the DNS/SSL legacy issues but those have all been sorted out and we hope you're able to connect without any issues now. There's been a lot of activity behind the scenes lately and soon you'll start to see some of that make its way up front in the way of the mobile apps being updated (iOS) and overhauled (Android).

If you have any questions about these upgrades or simply want to leave us any comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Thanks,

Brandon O'Brien
Founder, ClearCheckbook

Request for ClearCheckbook Android App Beta Testers

1/31/2017 in ClearCheckbook News
We're happy to announce that the new ClearCheckbook Android app is nearing completion and we'll be ready to start beta testing it soon. If you're an Android user and would like to sign up to help us beta test the app, please submit the email address associated with your Google Play account on our beta signup page here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/android/signup.

Beta testing for the app will run for a couple of weeks which should give us time to address and fix any bugs or issues with the app. After that we'll launch the app to the public.

We've been putting in a lot of work into our API to make sure the Android app (and the iOS app) will be great tools for you. We'll also be releasing a big update to the iOS app soon that will contain auto-complete and the Bill Tracker.

ClearCheckbook Welcomes 2017!

1/1/2017 in ClearCheckbook News
The start of a new year always brings a renewed interest in keeping your finances under control. At ClearCheckbook we want to make this as easy for you as possible. To help make our Jiving (balancing / reconciling) process much easier to understand for beginners, we made a dedicated tutorial page that has a video tutorial as well as a guided written walkthrough and some troubleshooting FAQ's. This tutorial can be found here: https://www.clearcheckbook.com/help/jive

This time of year can also lead to some headaches when it comes to adding transactions. When you're adding a transaction, be very aware of which year you're adding it for. If you add some transactions for early 2017 and then go back to add some from December 2016, make sure the year is switched to 2016. Also, the opposite is true. If you're adding transactions from late last year and then want to add a transaction for January 2017, make sure the year is correct. If it's not correct, the transaction will be added as January 2016 and you won't see it at the top of your transaction list (since it'll be with all of the year old transactions).

2016 saw a lot of behind-the-scenes work plus some new features and a revamped iOS app. Plans for 2017 include a new Android app as well as a lot of enhancements to ClearCheckbook as a whole.

We've been very pleased with the continued growth of the site. You can help us even more though by spreading the word of ClearCheckbook to any friends or family members who might be looking to get a better grasp on their finances for the new year.

Thanks and happy new year!

- The ClearCheckbook Team

Announcing Jive Lock for your transactions

9/8/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates

Use Jive Lock to disable editing and deleting of transactions that have been jived.

We just released an update that adds the ability to lock all transactions that were jived more than a specified number of days ago. We're calling this feature Jive Lock and it's available to all ClearCheckbook Premium members.

Using Jive Lock will help keep your jived balance in check by preventing any alterations to jived transactions which could throw your balance off. Another way to think of this is archiving jived transactions but still having them displayed in your transaction register.

All jived transactions that have been locked will replace the icon with a icon in the transaction register.
ClearCheckbook Jive Lock

You can set jived transactions to lock after 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 or 90 days from the date the transaction was jived. This will give you at least one day to make any modifications or unjive a transaction before it's locked. The only times when a locked transaction can be modified are when you mark a locked transaction as 'paid' through the Credit Card tool, use the Delete All Transactions setting or by using the Start Over setting.

You can enable Jive Lock and set the number of days by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page, then click on General Settings.

ClearCheckbook iOS app now available!

8/16/2016 in ClearCheckbook News
We're happy to announce that the ClearCheckbook app for iOS is now available for download in the App store.

The app has been completely redesigned from the ground up using the latest iOS development tools and technologies which will help future-proof it for upcoming updates to iOS.

The ClearCheckbook iOS app behaves similarly to the old app and has most of the same features. One thing to note is to edit or delete any accounts, transactions, budgets, reminders or categories, simply swipe the item to the left and you'll be presented with an option to edit or delete it.

This is just the first iteration of the app. We've got a lot more updates for it in the works and will let you know more about those in the future.

iOS Screen Shots:

iOS App - Account Overviews
Account Overviews
iOS App - Transaction List
Transaction Register
iOS App - Budgets / Spending Limits
Budgets
iOS App - Add Transaction
Add Transaction
iOS app - Reminders
Reminders / Recurring Transactions


We want to give a special thanks to all of the users who helped beta test the app over the last few weeks. You provided some extremely valuable information that helped us catch and fix a lot of issues.

If you have any issues while using the app, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom right side of ClearCheckbook.com and we'll work on getting any problems fixed.

ClearCheckbook Premium Members can Attach Files to Transactions

1/4/2016 in ClearCheckbook News

We're happy to announce an update to ClearCheckbook that allows all premium members to attach files to their transactions. This is great for attaching purchase orders, receipts, contracts, statement of works, etc to your transactions for archival purposes and to easily correlate transactions with any necessary documents.

If you're already a premium member, you can enable the Attach a File feature by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page and then click on Manage Custom Transaction Fields and then change the drop down list next to the Attach a File option.

Once you've enabled the Attach a File option you'll see a new option on the Add and Edit transaction fields that allow you to select a file. When you add or edit a transaction after selecting a file, the file will be given a unique codename and uploaded via secure connection to our file hosting server.

Click to view


Once you've attached a file to a transaction, you can view it by clicking the paperclip icon. This will download the file to your computer so you can refer to it as needed. You can also use the Search tool to find all transactions that have an attachment associated with them. This will make it extremely easy to hunt down the necessary transactions if you're searching for the file later.

Click to view


This has been a highly requested feature and we're happy to have it out and available for use now. There aren't immediate plans to integrate this ability into the iOS or Android apps that are currently being rebuilt but it's something we'll look into for a further update.

The fine print: The files you attach are limited to 2mb in size and have certain file format restrictions only allowing documents and images (such as PDF, JPG, PNG, XLS, etc). Deleting a transaction with an attachment associated with it will also permanently delete that attachment from our servers. Editing a transaction and replacing the attachment with a new file will permanently delete the old attachment from our servers.

Introducing Grouped, Combo and Income Budgets plus Including Future Transactions

4/14/2015 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've been hard at work creating several new updates to the Budgets tool here at ClearCheckbook. Today we're announcing and launching Grouped, Combo and Income budgets as well as the option to include unpaid bills and un-posted scheduled transactions.

We receive suggestions for site improvements all the time and this round of updates represents some of the most frequently requested ideas. This is the biggest update we've ever made to the Budget tool and we're happy to share what these new features will do for you.

New Budget Features!

Grouped Budgets
  • This update gives you the ability to group multiple accounts and categories into a single budget.
    • Grouped Budgets will let you create, for example, one budget that covers both your Checking and Savings accounts but ignores the others. You can also create a grouped budget that covers multiple categories without having to rely on organizing your subcategories.
Combo Budgets
  • Combo Budgets let you create an Account/Category combination.
    • This update will let you create a budget that, for example, covers any expenses made to your Eating Out, Entertainment and Miscellaneous categories but only if they come from your Debit account.
Income Budgets
  • Set a budget goal for how much you want to save and see how you're progressing toward that amount.
    • If you select the Income Budget option, we'll handle the budget a little differently by tracking all of your deposits made to the budgeted account or category and showing you your progress toward the amount goal.
Other Updates
  • An option to Include Future Transactions
    • When this option is enabled we'll search all of your upcoming and unpaid bills from the Bill Tracker as well as any upcoming and un-posted scheduled transactions from the Reminders and Recurring Transactions tool. Any bills or recurring transactions that meet that criteria and fall within the budget duration will be counted toward the budget.

We've added icons for Grouped, Combo and Income Budgets so it's easier to differentiate them in your budget list and budget history reports. These new features are available now for anyone with a ClearCheckbook Premium membership.

Here are some screenshots from the new Budget updates. You can also check out our video tutorial that covers all of the new budgeting features.
New Budget List
Budget List
Combo Budget
Combo Budgets
Future Budget
Future Budget

Are you a University student? Get a free year of ClearCheckbook Premium!

3/26/2015 in ClearCheckbook News
At ClearCheckbook, we strongly believe in the importance of financial literacy and having a good grasp on where your money is going. Student loan debt now tops $1 trillion (averaging over $24,000 per graduate) and is higher than both auto loans and credit card debt. Student loans also have the highest 90+ day delinquency rate out of mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt.

With that in mind, we want to do what we can to help university students have firm control of their finances before graduating. To play our part, we're offering a free year of ClearCheckbook Premium to anyone with a valid .edu email address.

When you register for ClearCheckbook and use a .edu email address, we'll include a confirmation link in your Welcome email. Simply click on that link to activate your premium upgrade. If you're already a member with a .edu email address, you'll see an alert on the Dashboard with a link to send a confirmation email. This free upgrade has no strings attached and no billing information is required.

The only reason for the email link confirmation is to ensure the email address is valid. Per our privacy policy, we won't send you any offers or sell off your email address. We just need to make sure you're actually the owner of the .edu email address.

I started ClearCheckbook when I was in college because I needed a way to manage my own finances. Living on your own and going to school plus all the responsibilities that comes with it can be hard to adjust to at first, but setting budgets and controlling your spending is a great way to set yourself up with a good financial foundation.

ClearCheckbook Reaches 50 Million Transactions

5/5/2014 in ClearCheckbook News
We've passed another milestone today by now storing over 50 million transactions that our users have entered. We're averaging about 28,000 new transactions added each day which is a huge amount!

We're extremely happy to see the site continually growing and we have some great updates planned for the future. We'll post more information about these updates over the next couple of months.

Thanks again for using ClearCheckbook!

Viewing Multiple Accounts on Transaction Register

1/22/2014 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We just released a new feature, some updates and a few bug fixes. The main new feature is the ability for Premium members to select multiple accounts to view on the Transaction Register. If you're a premium member the Accounts drop down list is now a multi-select form where you can select among any of your active accounts. By selecting multiple accounts your balances will update accordingly and the register will show transactions for each of those accounts combined.

The Search tool was also updated with some new options. When you're searching or exporting transactions you can now select to exclude transfers and paid credit card transactions. This will make it easier to see the correct balances for accounts since you can eliminate duplicates (eg: you paid your credit card with a transfer so now you can hide all the paid transactions since they're covered by that transfer).

In addition to those updates we also knocked out a few small bug fixes related to exporting transactions and the reminders/recurring transactions gadget.

If you're a premium member trying to select multiple accounts and it doesn't seem to be working correctly, please refresh the page about 5-10x in a row really quick to clear your browsers cache.

Automatic backups of your ClearCheckbook data to Dropbox

11/27/2013 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're happy to announce the launch of a new ClearCheckbook feature that lets you enable automatic backups of your ClearCheckbook data to your Dropbox account.

If you're a premium member and you have a Dropbox account, you can now enable automatic backups by clicking on Tools at the top of the page, then click on Automatic Backups. Once enabled, your data will be backed up to a CSV file on your Dropbox account each night as long as you've added new transactions since the last backup, have an active premium membership and have the feature enabled.

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