Still a little confused

I have had YNAB for years now and keep starting over. I have a budget in excel, but would like to use YNAB. I have a roommate that pays bills and the money he pays, I put into savings. How do I account for that in YNAB. I have the bills listed in the event I need to start paying them again, but i would like to account for those amounts gong into a savings account.

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  • There are two things to consider with a transaction in YNAB - what account the activity happens in, and how it affects your budget. These are separate from each other. 

    When you receive that money from your roommate, ask yourself what job you want it to have. Are you wanting to send it to the electrical company? If so, put it (by budgeting) in that category. Are you wanting to save it for something specific? Make a category for that purpose, and put the money in there. Are you wanting to use it to advance another financial priority? Make a category for that and put it in there. The budget shows you the purpose of your money 

    The other aspect of a transaction is the physical location (like a bank or your wallet). If the money came into your checking account, but you would rather house those dollars in your savings account, then transfer them to savings. This does not change the purpose of the money in the budget, but it does keep the accounts matching real life. 

    Now, if your savings account is not on budget, you'll want to put it on budget. This will give you money in your TBB. The way to handle this is to think about what the purpose of those savings dollars is, make categories for them, and assign the dollars to categories. 

    Some common savings categories are medical, vet, house maintenance, car maintenance, vacation, technology replacement, unexpected (I don't categorize transactions to this - just pull from it if something I hadn't planned from comes up), and income replacement. 

    There's also a blog post about the relationship of accounts and budget in YNAB. Maybe someone will come and link that soon. 馃檪

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  • Blue Piano said:
    I have the bills listed in the event I need to start paying them again,

     This part confuses me. Is he reimbursing you for the bills? Are you somehow not paying bills at all? 

    If it's a reimbursement situation, you could simply categorize his payments as inflows to the bills categories. This would just change the way YNAB reports your income and bills expenses. 

    All of what I said above about how the savings account fits into the picture still applies. 

  • I will explain. Right now, my roomate pays the utilities and internet. He pays them directly. Since he moved in and pays those bills, I put the money in a savings account. I would like to keep track of the bills in YNAB, but I also want to show that the money goes into savings.

    I hope I am making sense.

      • Britnee
      • britnee
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Blue Piano you could create a category for them and budget the money there. I don鈥檛 think it will be in the reports as you鈥檙e not spending but you could keep a list of date/payment amounts in the notes. 

      Like 1
    • Blue Piano Easy answer: do what Britnee said and make a "Bills I Didn't Have to Pay" category and budget the appropriate amount each month.

      YNAB answer: Decide what benefit you will realize by saving that money.  Since you were able to save the money, what are you wanting to do with it?  Have it be there in case you lose your job?  Have it be there in case you have a large medical bill?  Accelerate savings toward education/vacation?  Have it be there in case your computer breaks?  Simply be there for otherwise unexpected expenses? 

      Make a category/categories with the desired purposes.  Be intentional about its job - the job of "I'm not paying electricity" means the dollars are unemployed in your budget.

      Go ahead - try it out.  If you really want to know how much you're saving on bills specifically, I'd keep track of that separately.  It sounds like you've already got that in a spreadsheet.  So, see what happens when you are intentional with your savings!

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