Manage shopping that involves more than one category?
When I shop somewhere like Target, I may get clothes, groceries, and things for my son. Do you split those expenses to apply them to multiple categories? I'm confused...
For me, it depends.
If the majority of the cost (perhaps 90%) is groceries, and the rest is clothes or gifts, I usually don't bother splitting. I just put it under groceries.
If it's more evenly split, I will do a split transaction.
And lastly, if the 'small amount' is a category I want to cut back on, I will definitely record it correctly. Like if you have a "Electronic gadgets"-category and want to cut back on your gadgets, always put these expenses in that category in order to keep track.
But in the end it is all up to you. If you want to buy a gift and take it out of the grocery budget - YNAB is fine with that.
I always split. It can be a pain because I have to sit down with the receipt and figure out my 5% Redcard discount, then see what items were and were not taxable and then figure out how I want to apply the $0.05 coupon for using my own bags (which I always do because in my county they charge $0.05 per bag). I mean, I usually come up with a number that is about $0.11 different than my receipt (seriously, 11 cents almost every time) so in the end I just pick which category to "discount" but still, it's pretty darn accurate.
Also a splitter here! :) But I completely agree with others here - it really depends how detailed you prefer your budget to be. Some like to group anything bought at the grocery store under "groceries", even if that includes paper towels, counter cleaner, trash bags, etc. It keeps things simple. But if you like to break things down even more, then splitting would be your best bet.
Even though there's no right or wrong answer here, I'm going to go ahead and mark this post as Answered. But don't let that stop the discussion! Carry on! :)
I find it too easy to inflate the consumables purchases and run out of money before the end of the month. I split it all out and this assures me that I can buy the basics I need but let the extras slide to a more convenient time (I can go without replacing a light bulb, but I need a minimum amount for bread and milk.)
- Sundries (every non-edible consumable item I use to keep me, my clothes, or my home clean, functioning and smelling fantastic: so aluminum foil, batteries, laundry soap, air freshener, light bulbs, .....yada....ad infinitum)
- Groceries (fresh stuff I buy weekly, monthly)
- Pantry-Freezer (bulk orders of meat, buying case lots and other bulk items, condiments, allowing me to take advantage of good sales without compromising my ability to eat normal meals)
- Gracious Living (*new category, intended for those more expensive items I would use to host guests or treat myself)
Most of all, though, I like the sense of control this has given me. It has evened out my budgeting, a big plus. I no longer have lumpy budget months where I'm buying everything that has run out because I've separated out the categories I totally consume from those in which I need to build a little for irregular purchases.