Feature Request: Transactions Split "Preset Template" to help speed up handling Reimbursements (and also a plea for better shared expenses)

Hi, YNAB has saved me considerable time over the past few years compared to managing my personal budget in Excel, but since I've started sharing a lot of expenses with my partner, I DREAD updating YNAB due to the lack of shared expenses and reimbursements functionality. YNAB is really cumbersome for handling sharing expenses and getting reimbursements or doing the reimbursing. (For what it's worth, we use Splitwise to log shared expenses, which serves as main record, and which also functions as a check against YNAB if I entered in everything correctly.)

I'm aware the better reimbursement functions are "in the pipeline" but I wish there was a way to create a "transaction split" template and apply it to any transaction. For example, if I spend $100 on my CC, I would select that transaction and click on "Apply Predefined Split", then selecting "Partner 50/50", which would:

  1. Split the expense 50/50
  2. Allow me to select the category ("Dining Out" in this case)
  3. Duplicate the memo line into each split (or whatever; memo's behave weirdly in splits)
  4. Apply the Payee and Category that I predefined for the 2nd split portion (my partner's share)

This functionality would allow one to pre-set any of the fields in a split, or leave any of them blank to be filled out. For example, in my "Partner 50/50 Split" preset, I would just have to select the category for my portion, and everything else would be predefined. Ideally, the memo field would take the original's transaction memo field and duplicate it. Having this Split Preset functionality would allow one to quickly split shared transactions without manually creating a cumbersome split transaction with multiple fields to enter. 

 

My Setup

FWIW, here's my shared/reimbursed expenses setup, which follows the advanced structure that others use. It works well but can be cumbersome to update, due to YNAB limitations:

  1. First, I created a tracking account for "Partner Splitwise" expenses. Any expense that I incur gets split 50/50 (typically), while my partner's portion gets paid/transferred to this Partner Splitwise tracking account.
  2. Next, I created a budget category for "Partner Shared", so my partner's portion in the above split hits this category. This way, I have to budget upfront for my portion and my partner's portion until I get reimbursed.
  3. Next, I created an on-budget account for "Shared Expenses". Any expense that my partners pays for is manually added to this account. These expenses are entered as spits with an Outflow entry for my portion of the expense (and the appropriate category in my budget), and then an off-setting Inflow for the same amount. The Outflow split portion hits my budget with how much my partner spent on my behalf, and then the Inflow split portion offsets that with how much he covered for me. The Payee for the Inflow split portion is a transfer to the "Partner Splitwise" tracking account (Step 1), and the category is the "Partner Shared" (Step 2). The balance for this account should always be $0, or something has been entered incorrectly. (Shortcut: I group similar monthly expenses covered by my partner into one split transaction per budget category per month to speed up monthly budgeting.)
  4. Using this setup, the tracking account, "Partner Splitwise", should mirror exactly what I owe in Splitwise. It has Outflows for what my partner spent for me, and inflows for what I spent for him. The account balance will be negative (more outflows than inflows) when I owe money in total.
  5. When I owe my partner money, the negative balance should equal the available amount in my Partner Shared budget line (Step 2). This way, I've already got the funds allocated to reimburse him whenever I do so. It's simple to handle a reimbursement payment to him. It's a transfer from my bank account (or whatever) to the Partner Splitwise account (Step 1) as a positive inflow, which balances out the negative Splitwise account balance. The budget category for the transfer is "Partner Shared", which should also bring down the Available budget amount to $0. All of the above accounts and budget categories should now be $0, the same as the balance in Splitwise.

It would be AMAZING if YNAB could do all of the above automatically behind the scenes, or something similar. 

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  • Hello, Maroon Violin ! Thank you so much for making such a detailed feature request.

    May I ask you to copy and paste it into our Feature Request form? That will make sure our Product Team sees it!

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