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Been using GNUCash for the past four years, and I'm slowly learning the more advanced features over time. Until now I've never needed to bother with future dated transactions, but recent large unanticipated expenses in a short timespan are motivating me to start recording lumpy expenses / transactions in advance instead of dividing them up into monthly estimated payments with a spreadsheet.

GNUCash seems to formalize future dated transactions, with 'Future Minimum Balance' calculated fields, and with a reconcile feature. But I'm not sure what the difference between 'cleared' and 'reconciled' is typically used for, and when they would be set.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

"Cleared" means that the transaction is settled at the bank/merchant. An example would be when you pay a credit card bill, the bank will acknowledge receipt of your payment at some point.

"Reconciled" means that you've verified the account against your records. In this case, you want to verify your future dated transactions against the actual statement received from the bank/merchant.

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I use quicken and interpret them this way:

"Cleared" means it was a downloaded transaction from my bank.

"Reconciled" means I have reconciled my statement (paper or pdf) against my account.

Typically transactions will go from "blank" (none) to "Cleared" to "Reconciled" over the course of a month.

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