YNAB’s developers have added the ability to turn on and off the running balance in accounts but, by default, that setting is off.
If you’d prefer the reverse to be true — that running balances are always the default and you turn them off rarely, if ever — the Toolkit has the right setting for you. The Automatically Enable Running Balance setting does just that — automatically turns on running balances in all accounts. Turn them off the same way you’d normally have to turn them on — by clicking on the View menu and unchecking the box.
I’m with YNAB on this one — I see very little value in displaying the running balance on account, ever. The way that YNAB orders transactions by date and then in descending value amounts — an order that cannot be changed other than through a very temporary act of sorting by inflow or outflow value — makes it impossible to match YNAB’s transaction display order with that of a bank’s transaction order. That’s because banks order transactions by the date and time that a transaction clears. Replicating that order in YNAB isn’t possible.
Therefore, matching an account’s running balance at any one time to the bank’s running balance is a fool’s errand. An exercise in futility. If you’re not using the running balance to match to your bank, what are you using it for? Especially on a permanent or on-going basis?
Are there occasions where the running balance is useful? Yes. Would I ever want to have them turned on by default? Absolutely not. They’re a distraction. And worse, yet, a waste of valuable screen space.