Using YNAB budget for both Personal & Business?

So I have one YNAB Budget for both our business and personal - anyone else going this?

If so, any tips on how to best organize categories, groups, etc?

My reasoning is I don't want to keep reverting back and forth between budgets, and just have a better picture of future budgeting with opening and using only one combined budget.

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  • A combined budget with a Business group works well, IMHO, for sole proprietorships or a rental property where you're going to be taxed on that income (or write off the loss) anyway. The advantage/disadvantage is it's easier to blur the line between what's business and what's personal.

    Standard workflow applies: bring in income categorized as TBB, possibly using the Payee to differentiate the money from the business. Budget where needed, including to the business categories. If you're making an attempt to be somewhat "standalone", make sure the budgeted rollup for the business group matches the business income. (Search for the relevant inflow transactions in All Accounts and use the "Selected Total" to get that income total.)

    If you're trying to ensure a separation of those funds, you'd do well to use separate accounts and separate budgets. It will be more obvious if the business is (or is not) standing on its own.

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  • I have two budgets, one for each.  It's not that hard to switch back and forth and it was much harder when I tried to budget them together.

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      • Lawrence
      • lawrence
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      PhysicsGal me too. Some one mentioned doing them together but it just didn't work for me to I separated them out again.

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  • I agree with PhysicsGal . It gets a little too messy for me with one budget. I prefer to keep the bank accounts and budgets separate. Switching really is just a couple of clicks. But if you really prefer to only have one budget, dakinemaui makes some great suggestions. 

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  • I have separate budget accounts. I leave both of them open as individual pinned tabs in my browser. Switching back and forth is simply a matter or choosing a tab. 

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  • You can also open each tab in its own window in your browser and move them side by side on your screen, if looking at them both at once is helpful for you. 

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  • @dakinemaui 

    dakinemaui said:
    Standard workflow applies: bring in income categorized as TBB, possibly using the Payee to differentiate the money from the business. Budget where needed, including to the business categories. If you're making an attempt to be somewhat "standalone", make sure the budgeted rollup for the business group matches the business income. (Search for the relevant inflow transactions in All Accounts and use the "Selected Total" to get that income total.)

     I understood all of that until you got to "make sure the budgeted rollup for the business group . . ."  What does budgeted rollup mean? 

    I have two sole proprietorships, and my personal income all on one budget.  My payees for each category help keep it separate, but my huge confusion right now, since I've only been using YNAB Web for 2 months (long time YNAB 4 user), is the To Be Budgeted function.  I want to have my business income only go into business categories, and my personal income from my regular work go to personal expenses.  I tried putting all my clients' payments into a Business Buffer category, but then my Income v Expense report didn't reflect actual income.

    Any ideas?  So far the YNAB Web improvements have made life a little easier, but I'd already figured out some of the improvements and implemented them in YNAB 4 (credit cards so clunky in YNAB 4 but I figured out a work around).

    thanks!

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      SDSwmr "Budgeted roll-up" is the budget value/total on the business category group. If the group's budget total matches the income for that business line, you're golden.

      I'd also say that's more of a strategy for hobby/startup businesses. It sounds like you're substantially beyond that and would benefit from separate budgets.

      Something to consider at least. (You would need separate accounts as well if you go down that road.)

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  • Yes, I have a personal checking and savings account, and 2 separate business accounts along with a business line of credit (because I bought the second business and for a lot of reasons can't merge it with the first one), but the problem is that I've been using one credit card for business and personal use. 

    I could stop that and open a business credit card, and then having separate budgets would work.  I tried having separate budgets for a couple of years and it was horrible because I used one credit card for both, and then I had to make an entry in the business budget and close that budget, and then open the personal budget and make the same entry, so that the credit card account would reconcile in both budgets.

    I just thought the business credit card would add more expenses, but keeping everything separate might be worth it.  Right now I have about 80 categories between personal and business expenses, but except for the darn To Be Budgeted feature, it's been working. 

    Thanks!

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      SDSwmr Yeah, a separate credit card for each business would eliminate all the reimbursement tracking between budgets. (Note, it just needs to be a dedicated card, not necessarily a "business" card.)

      In a combined budget, it's a bit of a faff adding up income for each business and ensuring that same amount is budgeted to the category group. If that gets old, consider categorizing business income directly to a Business-TBB category under each business group (you create these), and then reallocate from each to the relevant business categories until that's $0. Effectively, a "budget within a budget". Then at the end of the month, recategorize all those Business-TBB transactions as the real Inflow:To Be Budgeted (to keep reports accurate), and delete the negative budget entries for each Business-TBB.

      Good luck, either way you decide to go.

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  • Thanks so much!  I believe I'll get a separate credit card to use for both businesses (they have always been on the same budget), create a separate business budget, and then personal and business expenses and income will be separated.

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