Budgeting for unexpected items (car repair, etc.)

I'm just starting out on this and am really confused about whether I'm doing this right...

My question for the moment is: What do I do with money set aside for unexpected items like car repairs? Right now, I have $100 set up in my budget to save for car repairs. I won't use that, I hope, every month. But probably will every few months for brakes, tires, etc. I have a checking account and a savings account. Do I just transfer $100 monthly to the savings account? Then somehow categorize the transfer?

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  • Transfers between accounts in your budget aren't categorized, because only money coming into or leaving your budget needs a category. So you can put money in any account you want and move it between accounts as much as you want with no affect on your budget as long as those accounts are all part of your budget.

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  • https://www.youneedabudget.com/the-relationship-between-your-budget-your-accounts-its-complicated/

    ( did I just create a text expander shortcut for this link? Yes, yes I did.)

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    • WordTenor As a serial TextExpander user myself, I see everything right with this. ;)

  • Hi Ian Schulze !

    Take a look at the link WordTenor shared, I believe it'll shed some light on things. Since you've categorized that $100 to car repairs, those funds will sit there until you're ready to use them or until you move them somewhere else. Whether that $100 is in your Savings or Checking account makes no difference - those dollars already have a job no matter where they're located. :)

  • Thanks all. I'm new to the YNAB system, so I was still thinking of money in my checking account as being able to be spent. Instead of money being in the account and earmarked for something budget-wise.

      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
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      Ian Schulze The money that is available to be spent is the money in the category you want to spend from. You do need to be sure that the account you want to pay from has at least that amount (eventually, as you build up funds, this becomes a non-issue and you'll know that any spending below a certain threshold is fine from that account), but other than that, your accounts don't come into the question when it comes to spending or saving. You do that with your categories. 

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