Tracking a goal within Checking?
I'm new to YNAB and trying to get everything set up. I'm having trouble figuring out how to organize a "saving" goal each month that I keep in my checking account because I will draw from it throughout the year. Ex: I want to save $500 a month for Soccer travel, so I set up a category in my budget for it and a monthly goal associated with it. However, I don't ever actually move money out of my checking account for it until I need to throughout the year to write checks for different soccer related activities. I assign dollars from my budget it to it, but how do I do the monthly transaction that shows I saved this amount in my budget (and it still physically sits in my checking account) ? Is this possible or do I need to look into opening a real savings acct for it?
There’s no transaction. When you budget the money to the category, it is saved.
If that’s hard to imagine, think about getting $2000/mo, and having only three categories. You set aside perfectly evenly: $1000 for housing and bills , $500 for food and dining, $500 for soccer. As long as you spend less than $1000 for housing and bills, and less than $500 on food and dining, there will be at least $500 left for soccer. If in the first month, you don’t spend any of the soccer money, the next month, you’ll start with $2500 in the account—the new income, plus the $500 set aside for soccer last month. You’ll again spend $1500 on your other two categories, and now you’ll have $1000 left in checking: two months’ worth of soccer money. And so on and so on.
You've set up the category and the goal (Savings Builder, Monthly), so you are done. There is no transaction needed. You save money in YNAB by budgeting it to a category and not spending it. When you write the checks, you'll take money out of the category.
You can keep the money in any account you want.