How do I track/manage side gig income (as deposits and cash-on-hand)?

I started with a fresh budget on Sept 1 and am happy with my category structure.  I am a detailed person and want to track my side gig income  whose primary goal is to pay off debt.  I need help to accomplish my intent so I can close out September's budget.  I have a sub category called Side Gig Income Tracking which has no money assigned/budgeted.  My intent was to put my incoming monies here then move it to Ready-to-Assign (RtA) when I was ready to pay down debt.  At first, I set the category for my income (which comes in via Venmo or app to my checking account or cash in my hand) to "Side Gig Income Tracking".   *See positive amounts in screen print under Activity.   I read in this forum that it had to be in RtA for it to show as income on the Income vs. Expense report.  So, I tried something different with cash:

1)   I created a transaction and put $55 into RtA; the only logical account was Cash. 

2)  I then moved it from RtA (or cash account?) to "Side Gig Income Tracking"

3)  This resulted in it showing as income (yay!), no cash in cash account (yay), but a negative transaction in "Side Gig Income Tracking" (what/why?).  The +$55 is in assigned, the activity is 421.92, and the available amount is only 476.92 when I should have 476.92 + 55 cash = 531.92 which is how much income I made on side gigs.  It appears that I  documented receiving  55 cash then it disappeared.

Please advise how to transact this scenario in YNAB (for the deposits into checking AND for the cash in hand).   Also, please include how I would Move it to my loan category next month to pay down that debt.   It appears that I  documented that I got 55 cash in then it disappeared.




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  • Hey Debt Free Take 2 ! Thanks for sending over those screenshots! The number on the expense side of the report for the Side Gig Income Tracking Category is a positive number that is the sum of each of the transactions you see in the activity screenshot (including that Venmo transaction - was that Side Gig income? If so, edit the transaction so that it uses the Sienna Shuttle payee, and categorize as Ready to Assign, then assign to the category).

    Here's what I'd suggest: use the Sienna Shuttle payee for all of your income for this side hustle - you can edit all of the inflows to your Side Gig Income Tracking category if they are actually Sienna Shuttle income. It doesn't matter which account this shows up in - it can be in cash or checking, etc. Assign to Ready to Assign, and then move the money to your Debt  Paydown category. It will sit there until you use it to pay down debt. 

    Quick question: are you paying down debt on a credit card that is included in your budget, or is it something outside your budget?

      • Debt Free Take 2
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      Marisa   Thanks!  It sounds like I don’t need the category of Side Gig Income. Yes, the Venmo payment was also for SS.  I am tracking my loan as a category and will move the money there. I will use the Income report to get a summary of my income.   You were helpful!

  • When I ran an Airbnb I had an entire separate checking account, credit card and budget for my business.  I highly recommend that.  It's best for the IRS in case you ever get audited. 

    • PhysicsGal Yes - good point. I find a separate account and budget are really helpful as well.

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