Transferring to investments

YNAB allowed me to realize I could transfer more of my money into my investment account, but the transfer shows up as an expense in my overall budget. I tried creating a category, adding the investment account and categorizing it as a transfer but it still shows up as a big red negative!
Does anyone know what I can do to fix this? My income vs expense reports are all messed up now!

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  • Income and Expense categories are just YNAB's way of describing money that enters or leaves the budget.

    Generally, you do not invest money that is in your budget because investing requires a longer duration than your saving and spending plan timeline. Additionally investments are volatile. As a result, you should not be investing your budget funds. Which means money you are investing would be leaving your budget.

    So, if you have extra money that you do not need to fund your budget and wish to invest it, then you would budget that money to an investment category, and the transfer to the off-budget account would be categorized to the investment category.

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  • When I started YNAB, I just happened to have a good amount in my savings that I felt could be more useful in my investment account. I added investments as a category so that when I feel comfortable, I can transfer money as I like to that account. I did categorize this last transfer as an investment but I want to know if I can remove it from expenses.

    I like using the income vs expense reports so I know that I'm budgeting less than my income. Should I delete this transaction and just change my starting balance?

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Alex You can filter categories in the income and expenses report

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      • Alex
      • ottobot
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule This is so simple but so helpful! I feel kinda dumb for not seeing that, thank you!

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  • Hi there Alex !

    It's expected behavior that transfers from a budget account to a tracking account would show as an expense in this report. Even though you're just moving the money to another account, the funds are still leaving your budget, which is how YNAB sees transfers from Budget to Tracking accounts. 

    If you'd rather not see these transfers in your Income versus Expense Report, you can uncheck the categories that are dedicated to those tracking account transfers and you'll see your expenses without those tracking transfers included, as nolesrule mentioned.

    And don’t worry, those dollars will remain reflected in your Net Worth Report as long as you have the tracking account included. 

    Like 1
  • Hi Nicole

    I have actually set up a manually 'tracking' investment account (managed fund) hoping the transfer in my checking account would register as simply a transfer to the tracking account. However, it shows up as an expense.  I have now set up an investment category as advised but I was hoping a transfer to a tracking account would be a more intuitive thing to do?

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Lavender Moose tracking accounts are not part of your budget and any money leaving your budget is an expense and therefore require a category.

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    • Lavender Moose As jenmas mentioned, the dollars in your tracking accounts aren't included in your budget. A transfer from checking (budget) to investment (tracking) shows as an outflow, or expense—those dollars are no longer part of your budget. That is how they move out, and your tracking account balance will increase.

      Check out this HelpDoc, for more details on how to make a transfer. Let me know if you have any questions!

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  • A simple strategy I use is to have my checking and money market at a brokerage (in this case Schwab).  Any funds beyond what is needed for the current month goes into the money market (and stays on budget).  However, once that gets to a level where I feel comfortable moving it an investment, I send it to a tracking account for that purpose with a category or Retirement or Savings.  Those funds leave the budget, but in a pinch, I could transfer them back if reserves were needed for an unplanned or emergency expense.

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  • Thank you for all your responses. Its great to see an active community here. At this point, I am not seeing much value in having tracking accounts other than quick glance net worth. That's ok. I am still learning the tool and what it does and does not do

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