Moving money between accounts

I set up a savings account on YNAB--not connected to the actual savings account, just a virtual spot where I can move savings from the YNAB register. But how do I actually move the money over there? Is there a button I'm not seeing for moving money between accounts? 

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  • You should create a transaction. When you tab over to the Payee field, in the drop down the first options will be all of your other accounts that will be payments and transfers and you select the appropriate account as the Payee and just enter a transaction.

    However, if you are not actually moving money to a savings account, you really shouldn't try to do it in YNAB. It works best when it reflects reality. It sounds like you are trying to save by account rather than save by category. Once money is assigned to a category, it is "saved". If you consult your budget categories before spending rather than looking at your account balance, the money in Category X will always be available to be spent on Category X. Plus you are setting yourself up for a giant headache when trying to balance and reconcile your actual account.

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  • Purple Mermaid You shouldn't do this.  That's what categories are - they are virtual accounts where money is placed so you won't spend it on something else.  Creating an Account for the savings is not the way to do it.  Accounts are only for actual real world accounts at actual banks or bank-like entities.  Make a category for your savings and budget money to it.  The whole point of YNAB is you assign purpose for your money through Categories, not Accounts.

    Again, do not do this.   Do not create fake accounts.

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  • Okay, thank you both. I definitely won't do this. 

  • Hi Purple Mermaid !


    I agree with the others here, but I thought I'd send some more resources! We think of savings a little differently at YNAB (here's an article that talks about how it works), and it's a bit of a shift in thinking! Before YNAB, you may have used multiple accounts to separate your savings goals. 

    However, when you're using YNAB, your accounts really just become containers for your money, because it's your Budget that's giving each dollar a job. When you transfer money between two budget accounts, nothing changes in the budget because money hasn't entered or exited the budget.  If you want your savings dollars to change jobs, you may want to move money from one category to another.

    When you want to save money for an upcoming expense or a savings goal you have, simply budget that money toward a category you've created for that expense. Here's a quick video to demonstrate this concept.

    Looking forward, we recommend keeping your account structure simple, because it keeps your financial life simpler, and leaves more time for you to focus on your priorities. 

    Let me know if you have any questions at all! 

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