Hiding Christmas Transactions
My wife and I work on our YNAB finances jointly and regularly. Inevitably, during the holidays, it makes Xmas shopping very difficult to "hide" the transactions so as not to spoil what the gift is. We've tried the "don't look yet" thing but we are both spending separately and if I'm not looking while she's accepting transactions, she is looking and seeing mine.
It's so very easy to spoil a gift with the auto import. We using different credit cards, but if you click the "All Accounts" and X new transactions to import, approve, categorize, it will show all the transactions across all accounts, e.g., checking, credit cards, etc.
The only trick we have seems to be to to stop importing transactions on the credit cards we use separately to purchase gifts and keep a manual reconciliation of said credit cards, masking the name of the store and the memo field (which sucks to figure out later). This is also problematic as we generally use the same credit card (which we YNAB pay off each month 😁) to earn points, etc.
Any better ideas out there?
We've had the same issue for years of joint budgeting.
2 methods that have worked for us:
1 - use paypal or venmo or equivalent. Can deposit cash into those accounts, then buy the gift with those accounts. Most online retailers will use at least paypal. then paypal/venmo does not report the spending back to YNAB. (This is separate from the paypal function to link directly with your CC or bank and directly pay using the card without ever depositing the cash into paypal, dont do this as it will sometimes give the transaction details back to your CC and thus, back to YNAB, we also know this from experience)
2- use a trusted family member. We will sometimes have my parents buy the gift then we just pay them back via money transfer, for added xmas security, pay them back after xmas so your spouse does not know the exact amount for the gift and cant guess based on amount.