Database upgrade performed on Sunday November 6, 2016

11/6/2016 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Our hosting provider performed an upgrade on the database architecture that ClearCheckbook uses. When this change was made there were a couple hours of extremely long loading times for the website. We were able to make the necessary updates to fix the issues and now everything should be running optimally and the update provided by our hosting provider should result in less issues with database load times.

Massive DNS outage affecting many major sites also affected ClearCheckbook

10/21/2016 in ClearCheckbook News
Today, Friday October 21, 2016, there was a major DNS outage that affected an untold number of sites including Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, GitHub, New York Times, Heroku (who we use as a server solution) and more which took ClearCheckbook offline as well.

Unfortunately in situations like this there's nothing we're able to do. The issue was with technology controlling how the internet fundamentally works and nothing we actually have any control over.

It appears things are coming back online now. We're sorry for the inconvenience and wish there was something we were able to do.

More information on the outage can be found here:
https://www.wired.com/2016/10/internet-outage-ddos-dns-dyn/
https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/21/many-sites-including-twitter-and-spotify-suffering-outage/

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.

2015 Year in Review and What's Ahead in 2016

1/3/2016 in ClearCheckbook News

The biggest change for ClearCheckbook in 2015 was the switch from our old hosting environment on our dedicated server to a new hosting solution that allows for much easier data backups, scalable resource handling and much more in depth development tools we use for error debugging.

The old server we had the site running on was set up and started hosting ClearCheckbook back in 2008. After almost 8 years of service, the server was starting to show its age and the limitations of its hardware were becoming ever more apparent. This all came to a head on July 4, 2015 when the massive size of our transactions tables was causing major problems for the server. The site wasn't able to stay up for more than a few minutes before being overloaded and crashing. After hiring some great outside help, we got those issues under control and started work on the migration to our current hosting solution (that migration took place at the end of October and has been running extremely well ever since).

What we're currently working on in-house:
* File attachments for transactions. This will give you the ability to attach a receipt or document to any transaction you add to the site.
* Updates to the Jive feature that will show you when a transaction was jived and give you the ability to 'revert' back to the jive status on a certain date
* Saving import configurations so you don't have to select the same fields every time you import a file from the same source. This will be helpful if you import files regularly from the same financial institution.
* In addition to the above, we've got our normal backlog of suggestions and requests that we'll be working on.

What we've outsourced and is currently in progress:
* iOS app rebuild. The iOS app is currently being rebuilt into a native app that will work much more efficiently on the current and future versions of iOS.
* Android app rebuild. The Android app is also being rebuilt and will have an updated UI as well as some additional syncing features.

We'll keep you updated when we have more updates in regards to the mobile apps and when we launch some of the new updates we're working on.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or feature suggestions please pass them our way!

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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