Hidden Categories vs. Deleting a Category
Hello Budget Buddies.
I'm curious to see how/if other people have dealt with this.
I just started using YNAB in May, and thanks to it and a few well-timed side hustles, I was able to save up for a bicycle replacement (my main mode of transportation) to my dream bike in a few months. I created a category for the bike simply titled "Bicycle Replacement" and set aside money over a few months and then purchased the bike! Huzzah!
But now what do I do with that category? I don't really intend to save up for another bicycle replacement... With the amount I spent on this one, I'm hoping it will last me for quite some time. 😳
Similarly, I recently moved and created a category for moving expenses. But I'm settled in now and really don't plan to move again any time soon (at least I really truly hope not!). I also recently paid off a credit-building loan to my bank that was also category.
So currently, the bicycle and the loan are now "hidden categories" and the moving expenses simply got renamed to "home improvements". I'm curious what other people do once a category has fulfilled it's usefulness and you find you no longer need it. Do you delete it? Rename it? Hide it indefinitely? I don't particularly like the hiding option, as I imagine over time, as I hide more categories, it will throw the reports off in a weird way.
Happy budgeting, y'all. I'm a 100% convert to the ynab life. I'm still not a rich person, but I've never felt more financially secure in my life and that's been a priceless feeling. Besides, my wealth has always manifested in ways other than money. 😊
Thanks in advance for your opinions and insights!
If your bike is your main mode of transportation, keep the category and start budgeting for the next one. Even if that means putting $1 per month, it's easier to put in $1 every month over a long period than $200 over a few months. This category could also be used for the bike maintenance or parts that you will most certainly need if you prefer.
Never delete a category that has transactions in it. If you don't like hiding, you can use the idea of the Wish Farm: https://www.youneedabudget.com/wish-lists/
Hidden and deleted categories don't show up under reports, but that's not the end of the world. I think the main utility of the reports is to help budget for future purchases.
I would personally hide if I didn't have an idea of something new for which to save. Otherwise, I would rename it.
Consider a bike maintenance category?
Hi sgard !
I realize I'm a bit late, but welcome aboard the YNAB train - I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the ride! ;)
When you're done with a category, you can either hide it or repurpose it. We don't suggest deleting categories that have previous spending in them - it uncategorizes the transactions and sends any funds that were budgeted towards that category back to To Be Budgeted. It can cause a bit of a mess.
Instead, I'd vote for a Bike Maintenance category or changing it to your Transportation category if that's how you tend to travel. :)
Here's how I think of it. There are two types of categories (well, probably more than that, but two for the purpose of this discussion): Budget categories and Spending categories. Instead of a bike, imagine you want to save for a big vacation next June. But you also want to save up for a weekend trip in January.
So, you would have three categories: two budget categories, June Vacation and January Vacation, and one spending category, Vacation. The Vacation budget sits empty until you go on vacation. The other two categories are where you save up for the specific vacations.
The most important part: Log your transactions to ONLY the Vacation budget! When you actually go on that January trip, here's what you do:
1. Before the trip, move the money from the January Vacation category into the Vacation category.
2. Delete the January Vacation budget, you don't need it any more.
2. Go on vacation! Have fun!
3. Log all of your transactions to the Vacation budget.
4. If you come in under budget, move the money from Vacation to June Vacation (or wherever). If you come in over budget, well... You'll have to figure that part out. :)
This is what I did for our vacation this summer, and it worked out great. The pros to this are that the report shows exactly how much I spent on vacation. The con is, it doesn't show WHAT you spent your money on over vacation. I guess it depends on what you prefer, but option B is, forget about the Vacation budget. Just move the money from January Vacation to the categories that you will be spending on during your vacation and go from there.
So yeah, keep your bike budget and start saving already for the next one! You'll need one eventually!
Max Green said:
My budget categories never have any transactions logged against them so they can always be safely deleted.
Realistically, you could have logged transactions to January Vacation. YNAB will prompt you for a replacement category when you delete January Vacation. The funds that subsequently show up in TBB can be moved to the generic Vacation after the deletion.
As an example, I would buy plane tickets directly in the January Vacation category. This avoids having to move money to the generic category multiple times.
I saved for a kitchen appliance, and bought it today. Now I’m trying to figure out what to do with the category. I don’t buy appliances on a regular basis so that would be a daft sort of catch-all category also. There’s more stuff like this in the wish list, just the one-off’s.
I understand the vacation example perfectly but I have a fever and can’t come up with anything for these kind of purchases and I’m getting annoyed with the transaction left open 😆 Any ideas?
Right now I’m thinking ‘wish farm one-offs’, or something similar.