Transfer money from Savings to an Investment Account

In YNAB, I have a savings account under Budget. I also have an investment account under Tracking. The latter is what YNAB seemed to force upon me when I created the account. 

I want to transfer $X dollars from the savings to the investment account, but the app wants me to categorize the expenditure as if it's an actual expense.  Do I just disregard YNAB's suggestion when I create the investment account and consider it an income source (like cash or savings) or is there another way to do this? I just don't know why I'd need to treat such a transfer as an expense.

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  • Tracking accounts are not part of your budget and any money that leaves your budget is an expense. I transfer $X to my investment account on the 30th of every month. I have a category called Investments. I budget $X to it every month. When the transfer happens, it is categorized to Investments.

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  • The vast majority will not make an investment account a part of a zero-based budget because the balance changes behind your back. The recommended practice is to not assume that all the money in the Christmas category will make it back after a trip to the brokerage and that you should call a spade a spade: that money no longer has the job of funding Christmas; it's job is to make money.

    OTOH, if you're OK with negative market movements resulting in effective "spending" -- and are willing to devote funds to cover such spending -- feel free to bring that account on-budget (i.e., as a checking account type). Reconcile/Update the account balance often enough that the difference between the YNAB and ever-changing real-world balances is negligible.

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