Teacher Summer Pay
I am a public school teacher and get paid 10 months of the year. When I started using YNAB years ago, the county was pulling money out of my paycheck monthly to cover the other two months. Two years ago, the county stopped doing this. The first year that they stopped, I tried to save the money in my budget myself. Let’s just say that I am not as dedicated as some YNABers are and I did not have enough money saved when the summer months of no paycheck came (also didn’t help that my husband was surprisingly unemployed that summer). We survived but decided we needed a new plan the next school year that would keep the money where we couldn’t touch it until those summer months. Our bank has a “teacher summer pay” account. They automatically move the needed money from my paycheck monthly to the account and then pay it out during summer months (the move it from an untouchable savings account to my checking account). This worked much better this summer. The problem and the reason why I am posting is that I cannot figure out how to do this correctly in YNAB. I made it a tracking account but it still asks me for a budget category. Since I can’t spend that money in my monthly budget, I don’t want it in my budget at all (because then I think I have more money to spend monthly than I really do have). The money is deposited into my regular savings by the school system, then my bank moves a portion of it to the teacher summer pay account. So I somehow need to show in YNAB that the money has been moved. Then I need to show in the summer months that the money in the summer pay account is my income those months only. Help! Thanks!
I would personally do one of two things. Either I wouldn't have it as an account at all, not even off budget, and just treat the transfers into my checking account like paychecks out straight to TBB. If you're not tracking all your net worth, and you don't ever look at that account, this might reflect reality best.
You could even do this with the off-budget still showing and having the category be TBB.
The other option I would consider is having a category called "Summer Pay" or something that is a pass-through category, so the transfer would be categorized as Summer Pay, and then you could transfer those funds to TBB to be allocated out.
I think ultimately I would personally choose option 2, but the other ways might work better for your goals.
If it is going through an on budget account, you have to account for it in the budget. So you’d deposit it into your account with the rest of your paycheck, budget the amount for the summer account in a “summer account” category, then use that category when you remove the money to the tracking account.
...which should prompt you to kind of go “huh. If I have to put it into a category, why move it to an account?” And you would be right. The “no training wheels” version is to just budget the money to the summer pay category when you get it. And then don’t move it. When you need it, it will be there, waiting to do its job.
Orange Welder, if you have a recurring transaction for your paycheck, could you build the transfer into the splits?
I have done a similar thing for my husband's Flex Spending Account deposit each paycheck. The main inflow number is the net deposited to our checking account (does not include the FSA amount), his gross pay is categorized as Inflow:TBB (this includes the checking deposit and the FSA deposit), his FSA deposit is an outflow with a payee of "Transfer: FSA Tracking" and a category of "FSA Funding". The "FSA Tracking" account is a YNAB tracking account.
If you use downloaded transactions instead of manual entry like me, I don't know how to set that up, but the concept would be the same, I think.
I can post a screenshot of the transaction if my description doesn't make sense.
I know you mentioned trying the "Summer Pay" category, but have you tried the category without including a Tracking account? I'm wondering if it would help if you didn't see that account in your budget at all. When you transfer the funds, you'd just categorize them as Summer Pay and view them as "Spent" instead of transferred. Then, come summer, the inflow hits your Checking account and you categorize it as Inflow: To Be Budgeted like any other paycheck.
There isn't a way to exclude that income once it hits your budget. We suggest Savings be included in your budget, but if that absolutely doesn't work for you, removing it completely would prevent the juggling of those transfers. :)
When you transfer the funds, you'd just categorize them as Summer Pay and view them as "Spent" instead of transferred. Then, come summer, the inflow hits your Checking account and you categorize it as Inflow: To Be Budgeted like any other paycheck.
This will double-count the money as income in reports.