Advances and reimbursements to and from granddaughter

I have a budget category for my granddaughter.  I pay some of her expenses, such as her, toll road charges, etc.  She repays as she can.   Before I handled all this on a spreadsheet, but now trying to include in YNAB.   I budget a certain amount each month to that category so when I pay these expenses I know the money is there.  My problem is how to structure the reimbursements.  I would like to be able to use this information so I can give her an accounting from time to time. So far I know I can enter the reimbursements as an amount To Be Budgeted - which I then budget to her category, or enter using that budget category which appears in the activity column.  I'm leaning toward the latter because it shows all of the activity for the month.

Would like to hear how others handle this sort of thing.


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  • There are a number of approaches to tracking reimbursements, each with pros & cons. One of the easiest is to dedicate $X of your money toward fronting these reimbursements. As a one-time setup, budget $X into a Granddaughter category and make a note of the amount right in the category name. You can also make a Goal for that "seed" amount ($X).

    All expenses and reimbursements (both outflows and inflows) are categorized to the Granddaughter category. Nothing is categorized as To Be Budgeted.

    If the category Available is lower than $X, you are owed money. Choose $X in order to keep the category positive.

    This approach has the advantage of no ongoing budget entries, assuming the seed amount $X is sufficient. Just record transactions. If $X is insufficient to keep the category positive when actual charges are made, then move funds from elsewhere in order to make it positive, and edit the category name and/or goal to reflect the additional amount.

  • Thanks for the reply.  Your suggestion is pretty much what I am doing.  To this point it has been me putting more money into the category Now she has a better job and can set up a repayment plan.  Over the months it takes some time to figure out how much she owes.  I can use and am using a spread sheet, but I would like to do it all in YNAB if there is a way.

    • Sky Blue Hail 

      Sounds like you just need to add up the amounts you previously budgeted to her category and make a Goal for that total. The Inspector area (on the right) will tell you at a glance how much she owes.

      As she repays things (raising the category balance), it's your call whether to recapture some of that "seed" money or not. (If you do, make sure to edit the category name/note/Goal accordingly.)

      And yes, doing it all in YNAB is easier than a spreadsheet. If nothing else, you are already entering (or importing) transactions into YNAB because they impact your account balances.

  • I've got a tracking account set up for people who owe me money, when I buy them something or lend them some money it's a transfer from my current account to the tracking account (you'll also need a category, I use reimbursement) and when they pay me back it's just a transfer back (again you'll need a category, this can be either reimbursement or inflow, or whatever).

    The balance of the tracking account is what they owe, or if it goes negative it's what you owe them

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