Income from "Tracking" Accounts

I'm new to YNAB in the last month so apologies if this is an obvious question.

I love the Income vs Expenses report and it is a huge driver for me to use this platform but am having issues getting funds to display correctly. 

Here is the problem... I have a Fidelity Investment account linked to YNAB and have an amount deposited to it each paycheck directly from my employer.  It is considered a "Tracking" account not a "Budget" account by YNAB (not sure why).  Because it is a Tracking account I am unable to categorize the transactions to it and the data isn't being pulled into the budget/reports.   That $100 from every check really should be shown on the income section of the report otherwise the numbers are just incorrect.  I see similar issues where dividends & interest aren't pulled back in as income as well.

The question - Does anyone know how to have income like this pull into the budgeting /reporting tool?

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  • As far as YNAB is concerned, income is just money that is entering your budget. Money going directly into an investment account is not mart of your budget, and rightfully, investment accounts should not be part of the budget because 1) they are volatile, and 2) the time horizon for categories in your budget is different (generally much, much shorter) from the time horizon of money that you are investing.

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      I would add one more tracking account definition to the first two posted by nolesrule .

      3) investment accounts are not transaction accounts and the funds in them are frequently (usually) not liquid.


      My tracking accounts include: a loan I made to a family member (an asset, yes, but not liquid until it's actually repaid), all my tax-sheltered registered retirement accounts, my employer pension, my car, and my employer-funded HSA (from which I can only claim specific health expenses).

  • Cyan Violin said:
    That $100 from every check really should be shown on the income section of the report otherwise the numbers are just incorrect. 

     If you were to put the $100 first in your checking account and then transfer to your investment. You would see the $100 as income and then the $100 as an expense because of the transfer to investments. Resulting in the same net income vs. expense. So it would not matter for this report. The dividends and interests have nothing to do with your income vs expense since you keep them invested, they aren't liquid and can't be given a job.

    For the net worth report, you can add the tracking accounts there so you can see how your total assets are tracking, including dividends.

    If your problem is for tax reporting: I wouldn't only use YNAB for that. YNAB is a budgeting app not an all finance app. For the $100, it should be included in what your employer report anyway. For the dividends, taxes on those are usually more complicated than a simple number and you need other reports for your taxes anyway.

  • The point of YNAB is to plan your spending. That's why investments and dividends don't show up.

    You can shoehorn in the direct deposit with a split transaction, but that seems to be of little value when your tax statement (W-2 in the US) gives you the same information. Seems like busy work to me, but it's your call though:

    Split 1: Inflow for the entire salary including the direct deposit to the investment account

    Split 2: Outflow for the amount going to the investment account, categorized to a category for Investment Contributions 

    Net: the actual portion that hits your checking account

    Make sure to budget for the investment contributions.

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