Excluding expenses for big projects that don't represent regular spending habits
The critical function that YNAB provides is the ability to manage a relatively stable inflow/outflow pattern on a monthly basis. At least that's what we want. We ran into a point of confusion when we started a renovation project.
Here's what happened.
1. We refinanced and took out cash. This reduced our home equity, increased our cash, and the only aspect of the transaction that was recorded as an expense was the cost of refinancing, which was rolled into the mortgage as a liability.
2. We put the refinanced funds into an account and added that account as a tracked account in YNAB. I think that is where we made the mistake, but I'm not sure.
3. We have regular income and regular expenses that are critical to our financial success. Being able to report on just that activity is important.
What we've found is that any transaction that is spent on the renovation which comes out of the account that holds those funds appears as an expense for that month, which skews the reporting for our regular income and spending patterns.
1. Is there a way to do what we did, but exclude transactions from this account from the regular reporting?
2. Is there a better way to track this type of scenario?
3. If I remove the budget category that I placed the renovation funds into and remove the account from tracked accounts, will there be any adverse effects on our current records in YNAB?
the budget category that I placed the renovation funds into and remove the account from tracked accounts,
If your money is truly in a tracking account, then it can't also be in a budget category.
If you want to plan with that money, you'll want it on budget. If you're going to spend from any on-budget accounts for this renovation project, you need that money on budget. You can filter that category out on reports.
What's the point of excluding the renovation from the budget? Why sequester the money in an account instead of a category, anyways?
Categories are how you define the purpose of money in YNAB.
When you view your Income v expense report, you can use the drop down option (top left hand side of the screen) to exclude certain categories from the display. I tried to post a small image to demonstrate how to do this but it was blocked. I prefer to do this because all the money spent on such projects is money which I have saved for the purpose so no loans/repayment is involved. I do prefer the regular reporting to reflect day to day expenses so I can better monitor my essential outgoings (to see how much I really need when I retire).