Multiple Savings Accounts

Hello,

I have one main checking account and I have 12 savings accounts that I funnel money into for different purposes. When I transfer amounts from my checking account to one of those savings, it does not go into any category and therefore when I go to spend money from those accounts, I transfer back to checking but it does not show as "to be budgeted". I assume this is because I have already given that money a job? 

 

How can I manage this more smoothly? Have money coming in and our of these savings accounts that can included in other spending categories?

 

Thanks!

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  • Your categories tell you what the money is for. Your accounts tell you where the money is.

    The simple solution is just to pare down to having one savings account, and just having it hold any money you don't need in your checking account (this is determined by your near-term upcoming transactions) rather than trying to match category balances and account balances.

    These articles might help you out some....

    Why Doesn't My Category Balance Match My Account Balance? - YNAB Help

    The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts | You Need A Budget

    Like 4
  • Stuandrie said:
    When I transfer amounts from my checking account to one of those savings, it does not go into any category and therefore when I go to spend money from those accounts, I transfer back to checking but it does not show as "to be budgeted". I assume this is because I have already given that money a job? 

    Correct. All budget accounts make up your TBB. If you've correctly followed Rule 1 and your TBB is 0, then all funds (in all budget accounts) have been budgeted. Transferring between budgeted accounts only moves the funds around within your budget. You no longer need multiple savings account for different purposes when using YNAB correctly. Let your categories determine your money's purposes. The only purpose for a savings account is to get a better return on the funds that are parked there.

    Like 1
  • I appreciate this thank you. Unfortunately, its not that simple. I do require these multiple accounts and there are numerous automatic micro-transactions that occur daily as I round up purchases and place them in these accounts. . So I need to find a way that allows me to transfer money to them from my checking, in these micro transactions  and transfer back for spending. 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Stuandrie If you really do require it (and I'm not convinced you do), then you're just going to give yourself a lot of extra work. However, there's nothing for you to find. Just transfer it and spend it. When you spend it is when it will require a category.

      Like
    • Stuandrie The "keep the change" programs are also great without YNAB but a pain with it. YNAB would have you be deliberate with your savings plans. If you want more than $X for some purpose, then just plan that from the start.

      I suggest you drop the round-up transactions and make life easy for yourself.

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
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      • Reported - view

      Stuandrie 

      Stuandrie said:
      I do require these multiple accounts and there are numerous automatic micro-transactions that occur daily as I round up purchases and place them in these accounts.

       As a user of YNAB, you're probably better off disabling the microtransactions, and that eliminates the need for the extra accounts.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Yep. Save deliberately. Not via gimmicks.

      Like 2
  • Stuandrie said:
    I have 12 savings accounts that I funnel money into for different purposes

    This practice is great when all you have are accounts, but it is comparatively clumsy when you can use categories in YNAB to define the various purposes. Compare the two approaches when you want to change the plan to use some of the New Bike savings for Christmas presents:

    • Move from New Bike category to Christmas category. Done!
    • Move from New Bike category to Christmas category. Log into your bank and transfer that same amount between accounts. Record the transfer in YNAB (or import, making sure it's a real transfer). Reconcile the transfer transactions... in both accounts.
    Like 2
  • That is what I am trying to do. But when I transfer the money from checking to savings it does not give me an amount to budget into those categories. 

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    • Stuandrie Those dollars already have a job. Changing the location (account) does not change the job (category). You're going to have to adjust the category yourself (giving that amount a new job) if you insist that the category and account balances match.

      It's far less effort to drop that requirement and use categories to define purpose.

      Like 3
  • So for example I have a savings account call Car Insurance. I have automatic transfers going there from checking on a regular basis. 

    So right now, that money just goes uncategorized. So when I go to spend my insurance I have no category to draw from. 

     

    Are you suggesting that I create a category "Car Insurance" and manually enter these not as transfers but as income?

    Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      @Stuandrie  The budget page does not care if you move the money from your on budget checking account to your on budget savings account. It's like if your Eating Out category has $20 in it and you have a $20 bill in your right front pocket and you move it to your left back pocket, the eating out category is in no way impacted by which pocket has $20. Plus if you really wanted to you could go to a restaurant and charge $20 to your credit card and record the transaction in your credit card register assigned to the Eating Out category and you still have a $20 bill in your pocket.

      When you added the Car Insurance Account to YNAB, the existing balance was added to your To Be Budgeted and you allocated those dollars somewhere in your budget. You should have allocated it to your Car Insurance Category. When you receive money into your Checking Account and categorize it as Income To Be Budgeted you allocate those dollars wherever - could be car insurance, could be vacations, doesn't really matter. If you want more money in your Car Insurance Category, you have to allocate it on your budget page manually either by taking it from To Be Budgeted or another category. What you do about transferring money between accounts is a completely separate action.

      Like 4
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      jenmas By the way, I have multiple checking accounts and multiple savings account. But they are not "for" anything specific; they are just pools of money. None of my category balances add up to the balance of any of individual accounts.

      Like 1
  • Thank you. It seems like manually entering these numbers is the only way. I suppose keeping them unlinked is the best answer?

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    • Stuandrie Linking can reduce the effort slightly since you don't have to manually record those transactions. That's the least of your issues, though.

      Like 2
  • I have a savings account called car insurance. I then need to create a category call car insurance with the balance in there in green. When O add money to that category, I need to transfer it to that account? And all the micro transactions that come from my checking... As they are not income, I cant see how to budget them. 

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  • Stuandrie said:
    all the micro transactions that come from my checking... As they are not income, I cant see how to budget them.

    They are just movements, recorded as a transfer (in the Payee field) with no category. (It's not spending, so therefore doesn't need a category.) If being in a new location changes their job in your mind, then you will need to adjust at least two categories for every transfer (reflecting the new job of those dollars).

    That's why we're suggesting you don't use the account to define purpose. It's redundant with categories and therefore more work than necessary.

    Like 2
  • Well this is it... if those micro transactions as sent to my savings account for car insurance, I have no way to allocate them in the category.

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      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
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      That money is already part of your budget. Moving it around your accounts has no effect on the budget. So if it’s not budgeted for car insurance, then it doesn’t matter if it is in the account you think of as representing money for car insurance, you don’t have money set aside for car insurance. 
       

      Did you read the articles posted above? They really will help a little. 

      Like 1
    • Stuandrie If you stop the micro transactions, you solve this problem.

      Like 1
  • Thanks. The article is helpful. The auto transfers are a key for me being able to save money. I suppose I just have to decide.

     

    Thanks. 

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      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
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      The auto transfers are not the key to your saving money. Being intentional with your money is key to your saving money. 

      What made you want to look for YNAB and bother to sign up for a trial? Something isn’t going as well as you think it could. So you wanted to try something different. Give the something different a real try before you decide that it won’t work as well as the thing that isn’t working. You’ll likely find, as all of us did, that this is a far simpler and more powerful way to get ahead with your money. 

      Like 8
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 4
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      Stuandrie and a slight amendment to the above: separating your money by purpose is indeed the key to saving money. Without YNAB you need to do that by having accounts that show you the amount that is set aside for each purpose. But after a certain point you end up with way too many accounts, and you have lots of moving money back-and-forth. YNAB lets you see your moneys purpose without all of the mess of dealing with lots of different accounts. So with your 12 savings accounts, you’re actually already partway there: you’re used to looking at a balance and limiting yourself to spending that much on that kind of thing. The jump you need to make is that now those numbers are your categories and YNAB and not your account balances. 

      Like 4
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
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      Stuandrie Furthermore, these "round-up" services and invitations to create multiple purposed accounts is in their best interest, not yours.  They hold onto YOUR money earning interest while you're scrambling to figure out where it's all going and what it's for.  YNAB will change that whole crazy paradigm for you if you start to learn how to think differently.  I think everyone here will promise you, the key to saving YOUR money is by actually KEEPING it and not giving it to someone else by "rounding up."

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      • Katejo
      • katejo
      • 2 wk ago
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      Stuandrie  When new money comes into your account, allocate it to a particular ynab  category (or job) such as car maintenance and don't spend from that category until you are ready to spend on the car (or whatever other job you have chosen). The allocation of money to the category is just the same as moving your actual money to a different bank savings account. I have 2 main bank accounts and it is true that the 2nd one tends to finance payments from particular categories but it isn't rigid. 

      Like 3
  • Stuandrie said:
    The auto transfers are a key for me being able to save money.

    With YNAB, budgeting money into a category is how you save. If you have $600 bill you need to pay 6 months from now (and nothing saved toward it yet), a good way to handle that is to put $100 in the category in each month leading up to it.

    Like 1
  • Sorry, I'm a little late, but I just wanted to point out blatantly what others have alluded to here.  If you have your entire TBB down to $0.00, AND you have $500 (just a random number I picked) set aside in your "Car Insurance" Account AND you don't even have a "Car Insurance" Category, then your budget right now is lying to you, because you THINK (by looking in your Account) that you have $500, but when it comes time to actually make that Car Insurance payment, what Category are you going to take it from?  Hopefully you have a large "Emergency Fund" (Or other general purpose Category) that you can pull it out of.  Otherwise you're going to have to scramble to find money in your budget that can be used for this expense.

    So, the alternative is taking a look at your budget, adding a Category for Car Insurance, and transferring money into that category (In this case $500, but really, whatever you have saved in your Account).  Do this now, before you panic yourself by not knowing where the money will come from when you actually make the payment.

    Now, once you have the category (And you can set a goal for that so it will always remind you each month how much you need to put in there, in order for you to have enough by the due date)  your account is redundant, because you already know, by looking at the "Available" column in your budget, how much you have saved.

    Repeat the above for the other 11 accounts you have, making sure the matching categories are properly funded.  Once the purpose of your money is in the category instead of the account, your 11 accounts are now redundant, and can be combined into one large bucket of savings...  Or you can keep them, if it makes you feel better, but whether you keep the accounts or not, you HAVE TO have money set aside in the budget Categories, in order to pay those bills that you think you've saved up for.

    Like 7
  • I’ve been confused by this as well. I have multiple checking and savings accounts that I put money in from our main checking account as a way to keep it physically separated. For car insurance I transfer say $100 each month from our main checking which is linked in YNAB to an outside unlinked savings. It gets paid like a bill from the “car insurance savings fund” category in YNAB. Then when the 6 month premium is due I transfer that $600 from the outside savings back into my main checking. And pay it from there. But if I categorize to “car insurance savings fund” isn’t like I’m saving more than I am? 
     

    i would love to find a way to simplify this but still find it necessary to keep the money separate. Another savings account that isn’t linked is used because it’s online and has a much higher balance and interest rate. I keep seeing people say you don’t have to do anything for transfers between accounts but you do if only one account is linked because it’s money in or out of the main linked account and will require a category designation. It’s working so far but it’s extra work. 🤪

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      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 6 days ago
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    • Navy Blue Display The way you "simplify" this is by having one on budget savings account in order to take advantage of the higher interest rate.

      The way you "keep the money separate" is by having it in it's own category in your budget.

      Like 2
    • Navy Blue Display Also, put your HYSA on the budget.  Doesn't matter whether it's linked or not. 

      Steps:

      1. Make a new, on-budget account, savings type.

      If you want the past to line up,

      1. Go to Manage Payees (arrow next to your budget's name, top left of screen)
      2. Select the payee that had been used for your outflow to the HYSA and change it to Transfer: To/From your newly-created YNAB register of the HYSA.
      3. Ensure your budget categories reflect your money/plan.  There might need to be some movement, depending on various things.

      If you didn't change the past transfers out,

      1. Budget the money from that HYSA to appropriate categories.
      2. Smile.  Your life just got a whole lot easier.
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    • Move Light Sound Life thank you I will look into doing this! 

      Like 1
    • Periwinkle Flute Yes, ideally I would do that keeping it in all one account. There are several pros and cons for us but I’m slowly trying to streamline it so it works like what you’re saying. Move Light Sound Life I just realized I did not know the difference between payee and a transfer. And now it makes sense. Ah! Thank you! 

      Like 1
  • Navy Blue Display said:
    I keep seeing people say you don’t have to do anything for transfers between accounts but you do if only one account is linked because it’s money in or out of the main linked account

    "Linked" just means you auto-import transactions. Transfers between two budget accounts do not use a category, because categories are for money leaving the budget (i.e., spending).

    This is in contrast to a Tracking account, which is not a budget account. Transfers to/from these from/to a budget account do require a category because the money is crossing the budget boundary. Tracking accounts can be linked as well.

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