Need some advice on son's savings account

I have a savings account for my son as one of the accounts in YNAB.  It isn't really a part of the budgeting process for us except that we try to transfer regular amounts into it for his future car, etc, and I guess technically it doesn't need to be an active account but that is just how I set it up when I began.  However, he got a small trust distribution from the estate of his grandmother and there is an additional $5000 'to be budgeted' now in YNAB, but in reality that money can't be used or budgeted since its part of his trust.  Question is how to handle this:  should I just change his savings account to a tracking account, or would it be reasonable to just make a one time budget entry that says 'Charleys trust - don't change'?  My guess is that it makes more sense to make his account a tracking account since that money isn't (or shouldn't be) a part of our regular budgeting process.   And if the recommendation is to make it a tracking account, how hard is it to change status from an active account to a tracking account?  Do you have to delete the active account and re-create it as tracking?  Or is there another way to do it?


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  • I personally would either have it as a tracking account or completely remove it from YNAB. Either way don't delete the account.

    I'm assuming that there is a category called "Son's Savings" and that the balance of his account is allocated to that category. In that case:

    If you decide to go the tracking account route, you should create a new account in YNAB. For the account type, pick "Other Asset". Create a transfer from the savings account to the tracking account and assign the category as Son's Savings. Clear and reconcile the savings account at zero balance. Close (do not delete) the Savings account (right click, Close).

    If you are completely removing from the budget just enter a transaction for the balance of account (call the Payee whatever you want). Clear and reconcile the savings account at $0. Close account.

    If you do not have a Son's Savings category that is equal to the balance of the savings account, well then you have budgeted those funds into your other categories. You'll need to add a category and get the category balance to equal the account balance by reducing other categories.

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  • I tried to do the tracking account option but screwed it up by reconciling the account before I transferred the balance to the tracking account.  So I just created a 'sons savings' category with balance set equal to what is in his account and all seems to be OK at this point.  Thanks

  • We don't keep any of our kids' accounts in our budget, nor do we track them (we can log in to see the balances). When we give them money, which we do on a weekly basis, it's treated as a budgeted expense expense.

    We have categories that we use as pass-throughs if the money has to go through our accounts in an intermediate step. In those cases, both the inflow to our accounts and outflow to theirs are categorized to the same category.

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  • Hi Slate Gray Storm !

    Sounds like you got it figured out, but I just wanted to add the full steps for how to change an account type. 

    Right now there isn't a one-click way to change an account type - but you can create a new account and move over the history. Here are the steps to do that:

    1. Create a new account to replace the current one by clicking on Add Account > Skip > Enter Name & Type. Do this first! You'll have to give it a slightly different name. Enter a $0 starting balance for now.

    2. Go to the original account, select all of the transactions, and move them to the new account using the Edit menu. *For credit card accounts, you may also want to copy over any notes or goals you had in the corresponding Credit Card payment category.

    3. Refresh your browser.

    4. Delete the original account.

    5. Now, you can edit the name of the new account.


    That should do it for you! (If you didn't already 😉)

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