Transfer between tracking accounts in report?

Hi everyone! 

New to YNAB and absolutely loving it! Had to do a few full resets but now going strong since the start of December and I really understand it.

I am stuck on one thing that I cannot understand, and I hope someone can help me by explaining the logic if possible.

Sorry for the long explanation. I try to make it as easy as possible:


In December I budgeted 1000 to my savings account category in the budget. I then transferred 1000 from my checking account to the savings account to start a mini emergency fund. The savings account is a tracking account and is off-budget.

I also have a second tracking account called Mintos. This is where I invest a little money in peer to peer lending.  I want to transfer, for example, 100 out of the savings account to the Mintos account. I can easily do this with online banking in 1 click, BUT if I enter this in YNAB, then the reporting tool does not show this transaction.

Before in December, it shows in the report that 1000 went to my savings account. I love the reports and to see where the money went.

Do I really have to transfer 100 from the savings account back to the checking account to send it to the Mintos account just for it to show up on the reporting tool correctly?

What am I doing wrong? :) Thank you in advanced.

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  • Reports are for spending -- by definition money leaving the budget. So no, transfers between two tracking accounts won't show up.

    It is recommended you put your savings account on budget and make plans for that money as well. Emergency fund, Christmas, house down payment, vacation,  new bike, etc.

    Some people think having an emergency fund off budget makes safe, but that's an illusion. Consider, you overspend, but your budgeted funds are all needed in their current categories. Where does the money come from? That's right, the EF account is the only place left. I mean, that's the EF's job -- to handle unexpected expenses.

    Like 3
  • Very interesting! Thank you so much for your quick reply. 

    I assigned all the money in my checking account for everything needed this month but I never thought about any overspending. You are right! 

    it would be much easier if the EF account was part of the budget!

    I wonder how complicated it will be to change the tracking account to an on-budget account :-(

    Like 1
    • Navy Blue Admiral Not terribly, if you know what you're doing. 

      1. Make a new, on-budget account for your savings (doesn't have to be linked), starting balance = 0.

      2. Go to your existing tracking account and select all transactions.

      3. Click "Edit -> Move to Account" and pick the new one you just made. 

      4. Close/delete the tracking account. 

      5. Look at your transactions and notice how all the transfers have no category.

      6. Look at your budget and notice that the savings categories (that you had previously "spent" from have available balances). 

      7. Smile. Your life is easier.

      8. Protect your savings by only pulling money from categories of lower priority. 

      Like 4
  • Thank you, Move Light Sound Life !

    So sorry for the long message below but I need to get this off my chest if possible:


    Ok, this must be a real mind change thing for a lot of people because at the moment I have 3 savings accounts:

    1: this one automatically takes 622 on the 1st day of the month from my checking account and puts it in this savings account.

    2: this one automatically takes 478 on the 1st day of the month from my checking account and puts it in this savings account

    3: This third account is where I put in excess money from my checking account at the end of the month if my budget shows me I have leftover money.


    Should I turn all savings accounts into budget accounts and put all the money to work? Currently, they are all tracking accounts.

    If I put the money from these accounts to work... I don't want it to go to things like groceries, rent etc. I want it to go to long term things like a house deposit, car, investments, pension. Do you know what I mean?

    I set it up this way on purpose so that I do not budget the money and do not spend the money in these accounts...... Is this the wrong way of thinking? Can someone please confirm this to me?


    Is the right way to make all these savings account on-budget and then create a new category GROUP called Savings... and put things like CAR, HOUSE, PENSION as sub-categories where I can allocate this money???


    Is that the best way? It is starting to make sense, but it is a BIG mind change :) wow, I love this way of thinking. Can someone please tell me if I am right or wrong?

    Like 2
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 6 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Admiral yes, that is right. I'm on mobile right now so can't find the link to an article that helps explain how it works but I'm sure somebody will share it with you... 

      But the truth is that you keep track of the plan for your money in the category of your budget and the only way to do that is to have the money in your budget. 

      So you move the money to the budget and budget it to the appropriate categories (like you said above.) Once you have the categories filled, you no longer need to have multiple accounts. Because the purpose of the money is already defined by what's in the category. 

      Like 3
    • Navy Blue Admiral -- As Bruce mentioned, we totally recommend budgeting all of your money--including savings. Here's an article that goes into more detail on why. 🙂

      Like 1
  • WOW I am LOVING this!! It basically means that it doesn't matter where my money is located at all. I could have 1 or 100 accounts with money it doesn't matter. It matters what the money should do in the budget... In the tracking account the money does nothing! 


    Wow love this. Thank you everybody! 


    I will use today to transfer my 3 tracking accounts to budget accounts and create a series of saving categories :-)

    Like 6
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Admiral It has just clicked for you, my friend. Isn't that a great feeling?!

      Like 1
    • Superbone Yes it feels really great! 😁

      Like 1
  • I have everything setup correctly now but here is one last question if that's ok?


    In the budget, I have now allocated a large portion of the savings money to a new category called "house deposit". The report tool does not show any money towards savings now because it has only been budgeted and no transactions have taken place.

    Should I now go into the savings accounts within YNAB and add new transactions towards the savings goals such as "house deposit" so it shows up in the report and matches with the allocated budgeted amount?

      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Navy Blue Admiral no, transactions are used to record spending, but you haven't done that. The budgeting itself is what satisfies goals.

      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      You don’t have any activity because you haven’t spent the money. You will show activity when you buy your house. 

  • I'm impressed that you figured out the concept already with no help. Usually it takes people a while and many repetitions of reading this:,assigning%20each%20to%20a%20category).


    Navy Blue Admiral said:
    The report tool does not show any money towards savings now because it has only been budgeted and no transactions have taken place.

     Correct, this is how it works. Reports only show spending, so when you make that down payment, you'll see a doozy of a transaction. 

    The budget itself is where you look to see savings progress (budgeted column) and status (available column). 

    Does that make sense?

    I have asked for a "budgeted" report, but in typing out the details it would require in an envelope system, I really think it would confuse new users. Maybe I should write the toolkit devs...

    If your eyes are set on graphs, you could probably export to excel and generate one there.

    Like 1
    • Also, unless you are actually keeping your pension funds in your savings account, they might be better suited to a tracking account.

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life Yes i kept my pension fund and other investment fund in different tracking accounts only since they should not be part of the budget

      Like 2
  • Thank you everybody once again! Amazing community here 🙂


    What I wanted to do on the 1st of each month is review the previous month using the reporting tools.

    So I wanted to see for example 1500 went to savings, 250 to investments, 500 to groceries, 1000 to rent etc.


    So this is not possible unless I actually spend the money. 


    So if I create lets say 5 wish funds under the "savings" category  and keep funding them every month I wont see that in any report unless I spend the money 😖

    • Navy Blue Admiral You're right - it's a paradigm shift. 

      I like to review the budget itself and see how much I've got in all the categories each month. It's an easy flip back to the previous month if you want to look there. 

      The budget is the plan for your money - you've got $X, which equals $Y+$Z+$A etc, and $Y is sitting in the down payment (having been contributed to in its normal amount - a contribution goal can help here - and you can put your target balance in the category name to see close you're getting), $Z is sitting in the car insurance category, waiting for that annual premium, $A is in the electric category, accumulating to be ready for the high bills coming up. 

      It's all your money, and you've got a plan for it, visible on the budget page.

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life Big thank you for your time and explanations! I am very happy and I know how to continue now. 

      Like 1
  • Navy Blue Admiral said:
    this must be a real mind change thing for a lot of people

    Yes, when all you have are categories, you are forced to use accounts to define purpose and location. With YNAB, you use categories to define purpose and location is completely independent.

    You can use scheduled transactions and the running account balance to gauge how much needs to be in checking over the next few weeks. Any excess can be moved to a right rate account *WITHOUT impacting the plan for that amount of money*.

    It's subtle, but accounts hold dollars, not specific categories. It's unnecessary to synchronize an account and category balance, and indeed it's more work to force that agreement. More here about the independence of purpose and location (category and account):,are%20related%20to%20your%20budget.

    Like 1
  • Navy Blue Admiral said:
    if I create lets say 5 wish funds under the "savings" category  and keep funding them every month I wont see that in any report

    Not quite. The budget itself is one of the best reports around! I'm not sure what purpose a different report would serve. You're either on-track to hitting your goals or you're not. If not, the goal next month tells you the new contributions required to hit your goal. Isn't that what you'd use a report for anyway?

    The Underfunded button gives you the total of required contributions. That needs to be within your income constraint, of course.

    Like 3
    • dakinemaui Omg... of course! you are totally right. I can do the same thing with goals to keep the wish funds on track and I can always see my progress. Thank you!

      Like 1
  • dakinemaui said:
    I'm not sure what purpose a different report would serve.

     Pretty graphs. ☺️ Spatial, colorful representation of numbers and their relationships. 😋

    But I think most people would get disheartened by realizing most of their money is sitting in boring categories, and even perhaps more easily pull from those really important, long term categories because they would be default in the face, looking like they have lots of money. 

    I think it would likely weaken the effect of YNAB psychologically.

    Like 2
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