Deleting a Category

Can I simply delete a category when I no longer need it? In my case I no longer want to have an emergency fund - but I seem to remember trying to delete a category before and finding it threw off everything because it deleted everything from the very beginning. I think in frustration I ended up creating a fresh start which I really don't want to do.

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  • You can delete a category that does not have any transaction history on it. If you have any transactions on that category (at any point in history), then deleting the category will result in that transaction being uncategorized and thus throwing off your budget because you now have have transactions floating around without a home. 

     

    If you just don't want to see that category, but preserve the transaction history you can simply choose to hide the category. It will move the hidden category section at the bottom that is usually minimized. 

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  • Also, if you have ever budgeted funds to the category (even if there were zero transactions) those funds will need to be rebudgeted in every month that they appeared.

    Like 1
  • Hi Powder Blue Trumpet !

    Chahan is exactly right! 

    When you delete a category that has previous information in it, two things happen:

    1) You are asked to choose a new category for the existing transactions (Uncategorized is an option).
    2) Any money budgeted to the deleted category (in all months) is sent back to To Be Budgeted. 

    To clean up your budget after the deletion, go back and budget money to the new category you assigned in Step 1 above. That will keep everything in line!

    However, if that category was there for a reason (not by mistake), hiding it is the best option. For instance, if you had a "Vacation" category, you shouldn't delete the category after the vacation. Instead, hide it (to preserve the category history) or, edit it to start saving for your next vacation. :)

    Like 1
  • How DO I delete a category? When I click on it the only option I see is to "hide" it. Essentially, I want to delete my "Credit Cards" category and add all of my monthly CC bills to my "Monthly Expenses" category. I tried dragging and dropping but it won't let me do it from one category to another (?) 

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      • Jannelle
      • jannelle_ynabsupport
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Holly Marrow Great question! Since the credit card categories are created when you add a credit card account, you can't delete the categories unless you also delete the CC account. 😊

      It sounds like you have a credit card though? If you need help with getting a hang of CC handling in YNAB, here are the two best resources to help you understand how credit cards work in YNAB (if you haven't already had a look!):

      - The Help Docs section on Credit Cards & Debt

      - The workshop titled Master Credit Cards with your Budget

      Of course, you can always write to us with questions!

      Like
  • I created categories for two one time purchases that will never happen again. I don't want to hide them because they'll still be there just taking up space, which bothers me. However, I don't want to have to recategorize the purchase. Why isn't there a way to customize the budget categories month to month?

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      coolcoolcool 

      coolcoolcool said:
      I don't want to hide them because they'll still be there just taking up space

       I'm not sure what this means. They will be hidden, so not taking up space.

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    • nolesrule It still sits at the bottom of the budget in a category labeled Hidden Category, i.e. not actually hidden and taking up space. 

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      coolcoolcool So don't scroll to the bottom.

      Hidden categories takes up one line the size of a category group regardless of the number of categories you have hidden and it's anchored to the bottom of the category list. It's not significant enough to waste time fretting over it.

      Most people even forget it exists.

      Like 2
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      coolcoolcool I try to find a general category for those one time things. So all my kitchen gadgets go in one category even though any particular one may never need to be replaced (not a great example, but there are other things like this) I occasionally have small one-time things that I can't figure out & so I put them in a "random fees" category since that's usually what they are. Otherwise I might create a category for "one time purchases" and put the details in the memo.

      Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      coolcoolcool 

      Could you repurpose the one-time use category(ies) by naming it/them to something more generic?  For example:  If you buy a bed and use a "new bed" category, chances are you're not going to need to save for or buy another bed any time soon, but you might need other furnishings before even thinking about another bed, so renaming the category from single-purpose "bed" to generic purpose "furnishings" would resolve that one-time category.

      Once I finished paying off my car loan, I renamed my "car loan" category to "next car" category and began setting aside a monthly amount towards a replacement car.

      However, my smokes category was simply hidden when I quit smoking.

      Like 2
  • I deleted a few categories before realizing the past transactions linked to them would all need to be recategorized. Now I’m confused about what to do with them. If I categorize them against other budget line items will they throw the dollars off since they aren’t new expenditures?

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    • Hi Forest Green Grizzly !

      When you deleted the category, did you choose to leave the transactions as Uncategorized? If so, you'll need to go through and categorize each one. They will affect the dollar amounts in that category for when they were dated. For instance, if you deleted a category that had a transaction from December, when you recategorize the transaction it will affect your December budget. 

      If you haven't logged out or refreshed the page, you can Undo deleting those categories and take them one at a time instead of all at once.

      Like
  • I had over 20 hidden categories from many years of YNABing across different versions. I decided to do some cleanup on them. I got rid of all of them except for two that I decided to keep around as I could possibly use them again in the future.

    Here was my process:

    1. Unhide a few categories at a time that I was working on eliminating.
    2. Right-click on a category and select delete.
    3. Select an existing category to recategorize the transactions to. (choose something most similar)
    4. Occasionally some funds would appear in To be Budgeted. I would just put these back into the category above that I had recategorized to and I would end up back where I started in that category.

    I also had a handful of credit card hidden payment categories. In order to get rid of those, I had to go into my closed accounts and reopen them and convert them to checking accounts. Then I deleted the credit cards which removed the hidden credit card payment categories. Finally, I re-closed the converted credit cards.

    The bottom line is that it feels good to have cleaned up all those hidden categories. My budget now feels pure. 😅

    Like 1
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