Transfer to Savings Not Showing as Budgeted “Activity”

Hello, all!

Hoping someone can help. Here’s the problem:

A transfer from my checking account to my savings account is not showing up as “Activity” in my budget.

Both accounts (checking, savings) are inside my budget. (The savings is not a tracking account.)

I budgeted $2K for savings. I made that transfer from my checking account, as a no-category transfer between YNAB accounts. The transaction shows up in both accounts. (And correctly: Outflow from checking, inflow to savings.)

But it doesn’t show up as $2K (or any amount) of “Activity” back in the savings category of my budget. So I still show $2K budgeted, but it’s as if I hadn’t made the transfer. I’ve tried clearing both sides of the transaction.

Would I do better to make my savings account a tracking account, and then treat the outflow from checking as an expenditure? That would show up as “Activity.” Clearly I’m not understanding something.

Really trying to get this budgeting thing right. And I'll keep trying to find an existing answer. Greatly appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.


- Craig

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    • jenmas
    • jenmas
    • 2 mths ago
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    As far as YNAB is concerned, you saved the money when you put in the Savings category, not when you transferred it to your savings account. This article explains it best. I'm sure someone will come along and tell you that sure you can make your savings account a tracking account. But can and should are two different things. I recommend that you truly embrace the YNAB methodology and learn to separate location and purpose of your funds. That way you don't have to play games of "hiding" money from yourself. You check your categories before you spend. If necessary, you reallocate from one category to another but in a mindful way - choosing to take money from your rent category to pay for dinner but you don't like the leftovers in the fridge is silly and something that is beyond the scope of software program to fix.

    I have multiple savings and checking accounts on budget. The balances of these accounts do not match the balance of any category or group of categories. I have a 6-8 month income replacement fund as a category in my budget. Where do these thousands of dollars live? In all of my accounts. It doesn't matter.  

    As long as I spend according to my budget categories, I know that I will always have the funds available.  Sure I may have to move things around but since I put the majority of my spending on my credit cards, I only have to worry about the dates when credit card payments are due. And since I get the statement at least 21 days before the due date, that's plenty of time to make sure that the checking account balance is where it needs to be.

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  • Hi Craig !

    Jenmas is exactly right! I just wanted to include a few more links that address handling savings.

    – Here's an article showing you how it all works.
    – Take a look at this 7-minute Whiteboard Wednesday about savings.
    – Attend the free workshop about savings called Reach your Savings Goals! :)

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    • Craig
    • Alice_Blue_Leopard.2
    • 2 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Thanks so much, folks! I really appreciate your help. Bloody determined to make this work. I'll read the articles, and watch the video, that you suggest. Again, most appreciated. Enjoy your (upcoming) weekend!


    - Craig

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