How would you categorize cash withdrawals?

I tend to buy quite a bit with cash, but it's never in the same category, in a given week, I could be buying some clothes / farmers market food / quick fast food / etc. I generally like to take out a decent amount each time I go to the atm. I get charged $3 per transaction, so I'll take out a couple hundred at avoid needing to do multiple withdrawals.

So, now I have a "outflow" of $203 (my 200 cash plus $3 fee), but it's just sitting in my wallet, and this is probably heresy, but it doesn't have a job yet 馃槻. I know it will roughly be for apple orchards / farmers markets were they are mostly cash only (so grocery), but also might just use some for a snack on the go (fast food), and often for quick items/trips say under $20 I'll just pay with the cash I have on hand.

How do I categories this? Right now I put it under the category I'm likely to spend the most on, but until it's spent I don't know the break down. I don't want to go in and break up the transaction after the fact, that would be laborious, but I couldn't stand to leave it unreconciled until everything clears either.

Does anyone else deal with this, or have advise?

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  • Accounts represent locations of money in YNAB. Create a Wallet account (cash account type) and transfers don't need categories because you have not spent anything yet.

    When you buy apples, record a transaction in the Wallet account categorized to Groceries. Simple, right!

    Like 3
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
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      Some people don't bother to record all the little transactions they use cash for. Instead, they can occasionally capture that spending as a lump sum by reconciling, making an adjustment transaction, and changing the category of that adjustment to whatever is appropriate.

      Like 1
      • T. Leach
      • Programmer
      • seamlesssoftware
      • 2 mths ago
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      dakinemaui Hey, thanks! I can live with that.

      Like 1
      • Nat
      • natbee
      • 3 wk ago
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      dakinemaui  This blows my mind. Brilliant. Thanks!

      Like 1
    • You can also do the ATM fee and the transfer to cash as a split transaction. I forgot to categorize the fee for this screenshot but you would do that too.

      Like 1
  • FWIW---Re: Cash Withdrawals---My wife and I are 77 years old and live on SS and pensions.  We use CCs the first week to 10 days of each month for groceries, household items, etc.  All of our regular bills are automated and paid by the 16th of each month.  We obtain cash from the ATM usually once per month, averaging about $400.  We pay off our CCs on the 19th or 20th of each month and then use cash for the remainder of the month to replenish milk, cream, etc.  We also use cash for dining out in the latter part of the month. For any cash usage, I keep it simple.  Any coinage left from the transaction, we put in a Coin Jar and I record the transaction to the next dollar -- $13.01 becomes $14.00.  We always have Even Money in our cash account--this simplifies our cash usage.   About every six months, we cash in the coins, usually in the range of $110.00 to $125.00.  My wife gets the money for her Cash Stash.   There is no need to make adjustment transactions.  We have been doing it this way since becoming YNABers with YNAB4 in 2014 and it has worked out magnificently for us.

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