Make Converting Bank Transactions Easier With Sites Like Wesabe Or Mint

One unpleasant surprise about switching to USAA from Washington Mutual is that I could no longer download all my transactions in .CSV format. When I was with WaMu, this made it very easy to import all my banking into my tricked out Excel sheet I use to manage my finances. USAA only lets you download in Quicken or Microsoft Money’s proprietary formats. Cutting and pasting the transactions as they appear on the website, even in Print mode, still is less than perfect. What I found out though is you can use a personal finance management site like Mint or Wesabe to do most of the grunt work for you. UPDATE: Reader Stephen pointed out there is a handy link at the bottom of the USAA page that lets you export as .CSV. I didn’t see this link because I was looking at the “download fund activity link,” which doesn’t have a .CSV option.

Assuming you’ve already signed up with Mint or Wesabe, and gotten over the hurdle of providing your bank account login info to a third-party organization, to convert your bank’s gobbledeegook into useful Excel data:

1 Go to transactions
2 Click “Export all transactions” (at the bottom of the page)
3 Open with Excel.exe
4 Highlight just the first column
5 Tools -> Text to columns
6 Delimited -> Next
7 Select comma as delimiter ->Next
8 Select the columns you want to ignore (like purchase category
9 Finish

I haven’t tried it with Wesabe but here’s what their CEO says to do:

1 Click export at the bottom of your transaction list
2 Then you can export an Excel, CSV, OFX or QIF file from any account, tag, or merchant detail page.

Got a better way to do it? Let us know about it the comments.

P.S. USAA, and all banks, please enable .CSV downloads for transaction histories. Not everyone wants to shell out for a proprietary budget making program, especially when they keep making you pay every two years for pointless forced upgrades.

(Photo: Getty)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.