How to handle cash/PayPal money

Hello all,

I'm in my second YNAB month and still trying to wrap my head around some things - would appreciate your input on my predicament below (I have done some searches on the forum but the existing threads left me with even more questions!).

I often arrange team events and pay for everyone in advance and they each give me money back afterwards. Some will pay me into my current account (the only one I have set up in YNAB), others will give me cash and others yet will pay me via PayPal.

Now, my PayPal is set up to keep the money there and when I next use it, it just uses the exisiting balance first. But this effectively means that I have spent money from my current account that will effectively never come back into it so I can never clear the balance.

As an example, I spend £20 from my current account, then get £5 paid back via PayPal, £5 paid back via transfer to my account and £5 in cash. How do I register all this in my budget?

If I set up PayPal as a separate account, what's the best way to reconcile all the transactions (I don't like linking accounts, I prefer to be super hands on with stuff so I haven't tried to see what linking PayPal does)?

Same goes for cash - presumably the solution is to create a cash account as well?

The ins and outs of this have been giving me a headache so would appreciate your input on how you handle similar situations or what you would advise me to do.

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  • Just as fresh as you, or perhaps a bit fresher.  If it would be me I would either just set up a tracking account, and only track when money goes in and out relating to my budget. This is how I've set up my long time savings account. Or if I feel the need to budget it and manage it, set it up as an account (unlinked)  on it's own. Cash (if I used it) would have an unlinked account, name it cash or wallet or something like that.

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    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online:
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    I'm 2 month and maybe 3 days new. I think you're going to end up with separate account for paypal (like checking account) and a cash account. The reimbursement issue is in a few active threads, you're right about that. Also, while learning, I've turned questions like this into support in the tool and received great help. 

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  • Hi Bnabound !

    Your guess was right! The best way to handle that is to add your PayPal account and a cash account. That way you can track when you have money coming into your PayPal account and what you end up spending those funds on. The cash account will allow you to do the same thing, but you can track funds leaving and entering your wallet. :)

    Here's a quick link on handling cash and another for handling Reimbursements. :)

    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 2 yrs ago
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    • Reported - view

    Just be careful with a linked Paypal account and paying for something with a credit card through your account. YNAB treats transfers of funds from a credit card to Paypal as a cash advance, which requires an extra hoop to jump through that's easy to miss. So in that specific case, it's better to skip Paypal as a pass-through account and just categorize the credit card charge directly.

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    • Bnabound
    • Who lives, who dies, who tells your story
    • bnabound
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Thanks you all for your replies!

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