irregular savings

I use an app called Digit. For those of you not familiar with it- it connects to your bank and then makes withdraws for you into a savings account. I love it and will continue to use it. The problem is; the frequency and amount of the withdraws are totally random and all based on what the app determines I can afford to save and on what date.

So I may go 2 weeks with only 2 withdraws, for 2.00 dollars and 5.00 dollars. Then the next month when I haven't spent as much money it will determine that it can take 4 withdraws in a 10 day period ranging from a few dollars, all the way up to 30 (these numbers are just for an example). It is all variable and there is no way for me to control it, really.

So how do I budget for that in? I will make it it's own category but not sure how to assign an accurate amount of dollars to that category.

Would I add up what the last couple of months looked like and then maybe assign the average amount it seems to take each month?

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  • Like all these other "savings" helpers, all they do is move money between accounts. When your accounts are all on budget (and they should be), moving money between accounts doesn't affect the budget.

    Like I recommend for everyone else who uses these programs, since you are using YNAB, you don't need it. Turn it off. All it will do is create extra work for you.

    With YNAB, you save money for a purpose when you budget it to a category. It doesn't matter what account the money is in.

    Read: The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts: It’s Complicated

    If you want more money in savings categories, tighten up your spending categories and put the money in your savings categories.

    If you want more money in your savings account because you feel like you have too much money in your checking account, then just transfer money to your savings account.

    Just note that the two sentences above describe two very unrelated things.


    ETA... There's a long history of new users asking this very same questions. Pretty much everyone who uses YNAB for more than a couple weeks and has asked about it has realized they no longer need it (all it does is create extra work to manage the meaningless transfers) and has turned it off.

    Like 4
  • LJ said:
    It is all variable and there is no way for me to control it, really.

     One thing you can control is getting rid of the $2.99/month charge. Is it really worth it? You could be making category assignments manually, and fully within your control.

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  • Thank you for your feedback, I will definitely give it some thought. As of right now, I am terrible at saving money, so having a service that does it behind the scenes for me has allowed me to finally have some emergency money. 

    I am still struggling to understand even the basics of YNAB, so I won't be turning it off in the immediate future. But I can see your point that once I get comfortable with YNAB, I may very well decide I don't need it anymore. 

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
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      • Reported - view

      LJ YNAB is very easy.

      1) receive money

      2) budget it into categories

      3) spend based on your category balances (that means making sure your category has enough money in it before you decide to spend the money)

      Some categories, like an emergency fund category, will be for saving, so you won't be spending that money.

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