Savings categories

When the savings categories are in the budget section, those dollars have to be allocated to a budget category group, yes? I think I would prefer savings to be under tracking and not attached to the budget. Can I move them to tracking, and how? Or do I have to create assets under tracking? Thanks.

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  • Keep savings in your budget. Your categories tell you how much you have saved for each purpose. It's fundamental to proper use of YNAB. 

    Like 5
    • HappyDance
    • YNABing consistently since 2014
    • HappyDance
    • 1 yr ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    Gray Crab

    It's a common question by newbies:  how do I keep my savings out of the budget? If new YNABers ignore the recommended practice and put their savings off budget, they Inevitably return a couple of months later and ask:  why does YNAB show all my savings as "spending" in the reports, and the answer is, "because you set up your savings account off budget".   Anything off-budget is OFF BUDGET. Then the next stage is usually a complaint: why is YNAB making me define my car insurance funds as new income when I transfer from savings to chequing? and the answer is, again, "because you've made your savings off-budget". Money entering the budget (whether income or from savings in a tracking account) is treated as income.

    Try a month or two of running your information in YNAB as per the recommended set up. Doing so won't alter anything in the real world where you keep your money.  I think you will find being able to assign your savings to specific purposes provides an incredible sense of control.

    Like 4
  • Thanks very much to you both. I find keeping my savings in the budget super-confusing. I still don't get why I can't just move savings to checking when I'm ready to spend it. But I'll take your wise counsel into account! Thanks again.

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  • I should note I'm not a newbie--I've been using YNAB for several years now and the savings category has always confused me and made me feel not confident in how much money I actually had in savings.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 6
      • Reported - view

      Gray Crab you have exactly as much money in savings as your category balance says you do. 

      Like 6
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Gray Crab Keeping your savings on-budget is vital for a lot of reasons, but the main ones are: (1) There's no clear distinction between your "current" budget and your "savings," and trying to make one will drive you nuts with frequent and unnecessary transfers, and (2) YNAB is about giving your dollars jobs, and you can't give jobs to off-budget dollars. The more you can sort your money into clearly labeled envelopes, the harder it is to spend it mindlessly or to drift through without a plan.

      This doesn't include investments or retirement savings, which do belong off-budget, but if you're not yet retired, those dollars are probably already in special accounts that function as de facto categories. 

      Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Gray Crab Are you consistently using your categories to guide your spending?

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  • Gray Crab Keeping your savings on budget is the right way to go here! I know you mentioned using YNAB for a while now, have you taken any of our workshops?

    We have a Reach Your Savings Goals workshop available to help you learn how to handle savings in your budget and reach any goals you’d like to set. You can also ask questions live, so we can get any doubt or confusion ironed out. :)

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  • Hi Gray Crab, I've just read your question, the advice of others and noticed that you posted it about six months ago. Did you end up moving your savings account on budget? Did it work/make a difference for you?

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  • I am kind of new to this but I understand why YNAB dosen't want you to track your savings as a tracking account. If you keep it a budget category, when you budget to it, your TBB goes down, but the money never left your account. Those dollars were given the job of saving (even if they just got moved to your account). That's why it dosen't matter where the money is, the giving it a job is the thing that keeps it as savings and not crazy income. 

    Like 1
    • Slate Blue Pilot (2903ac015cdb) 

      Slate Blue Pilot (2903ac015cdb) said:
      the giving it a job is the thing that keeps it as savings

       This is exactly it! Budgeting those funds towards what you're saving for is what matters. Whether you're saving for a New Car or a Rainy Day, putting that money aside for those specific jobs is saving them. :)

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