Cloning an existing budget

Is there anyway to clone an existing budget into a new one? There are times when I would like to simulate scenarios or play around with things. It would be nice to be able to do so without the worry of screwing up primary budget.

41replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I came here with the same question. I guess it's that time of year. 🙂

    Reply Like 1
  • If we had the ability to restore a previously saved backup then you could do that but of course we do not have that yet.  Hopefully they will provide it soon.

    This feature has been requested several times.

    Reply Like
  • Hi there,

    I'll pass this along to our development team for further consideration! For now, you can either make those changes in the web app and Undo them (which is dangerous considering just how much you change), or create a Fresh Start budget - the Fresh Start won't have your transaction history, but it'll have your account balances and categories so you can test a few things with that. :)

    Reply Like 2
  • Any news on that? 

    I have the exact same need and have been waiting for this since the update from Ynab4, when it was possible. It is really hard to believe that such an important – and apparently simple – feature is not supported.

    Reply Like
    • Hey Slate Blue Robot ! 

       

      No actionable news on this front for you guys, but we officially have plans for a "make a copy" option! It's now road-mapped (not super high, but it's there)!

      Reply Like 1
    • Jannelle You say it is 'road mapped' but 'not super high'. 

      Knowing what priority YNAB has assigned to requests would be a great idea.

      Why not publish a Top Ten or give an idea of when a request (or alternate approach) might be implemented?

      Or be honest and say this has been rejected.

      Why not let users vote on the priority?

      Currently there is no transparency.

      Archiving transactions prior to a date would be great.

      Reply Like
      • Ben K.
      • links to ynab book topics covered online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 6 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jannelle is the road map visable?

      Reply Like
  • Janelle It's great that copying a budget is on the roadmap.  In the meantime, couldn't you use Fresh Start to essentially make a copy of the budget?  Rename the fresh start budget something like "sandbox budget" and then rename the "archived" budget back to its original name?   I haven't done this myself, but someone posted the exact steps in another thread - I want to say it was HappyDance but I'm not 100% certain & I can't remember the exact thread either.)

    Reply Like
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      GBR 

      Yeah. That's something I've certainly mentioned to people as a way to create a test budget with all the same categories and accounts as their current budget.  Of course, because a fresh start strips out all account balances and transactions, this may not be the solution to the original request for a cloned budget. 

      Reply Like
  • Let me chime in and say that this feature would save me a lot of time. I hope it’s coming soon.

    Reply Like
  • Agreed, I would really like to have this feature.  

    Reply Like
  • Any news on that feature? Would make life so much easier. Basically -i need the "Fresh Start" without archiving the old one.  Otherwise a feature to export and import budget categories from one budget into another one, would help a lot as well

    Reply Like
  • Slate Gray Memory Turquoise Lobster Justin Dorough

    I don't have a timeline or update to report on this, but I wanted to pop in and mention that if you haven't already filled out this feature request form on this topic, doing so would be really helpful!

    Our team looks at these requests to determine what should come next in YNAB.

    Reply Like
  • Submitted a feature request.  The form has limited space, so I ended it with "see forum thread for discussion."  The following discussion is intended to supplement my submission of a feature request:

    Over time, my financial arrangements change.  I open new accounts, close old accounts, add new categories, stop using some old categories, and so on.  This is not a speedy process.  The usual changes are minor.  But they add up over time.

    In prior versions of YNAB, I could pick a date after I was done using some old accounts and old categories, then manually delete everything before that date and re-create the account balances and categories as of that date.  Then I could safely delete the accounts and categories that are no longer used.  This allowed me to have a smaller budget, with less clutter, and still keep a reasonable amount of history. 

    This process is somewhat complex, and there is always a chance that I will make an error and need to start over.  So I used a copy of my good budget, and was willing to throw the copy away if I made a mistake and start over from the good copy.  In order to safely do this infrequent budget trimming, I really need to have a good copy to go back to.  If I don't have that copy, it's too dangerous to make broad changes like this.

    Ultimately, I could delete the old, larger budget after I am sure that the new, smaller budget is working properly.  This would more efficiently use YNAB's system storage space.  I am also hopeful that it would prevent my budget from growing so large as to have response time issues.

    Reply Like 1
  • I'll add a +1 for the "copy budget" functionality for simulation of scenarios. I'll also submit a feature request.

    Reply Like 2
    • Turquoise Grizzly (I know, replying to myself, but there's no edit post button...

      I would like to concur with the above posts about being able to more easily "archive" out stuff beyond a certain date, I really only want/need a couple of years of detailed history. Cleaning up the ever increasing list of "payees" etc..

      Reply Like
  • Submitted request form for this too   

    Reply Like 1
  • I'd also love to be able to do this!  :)

    Reply Like 1
  • +1 for the ability to clone a budget. Having trouble working out the best way to handle business expenses on my personal credit card and it would be really helpful to be able to play with a number of different scenarios without messing up my budget.

    Reply Like 2
      • Jason
      • jsims
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Khaki Wildebeest My wife and I frequently need to deal with business expenses and what works best for us is using a special category. We have a Reimbursable > Business Expense category and all business expenses go there. We’ll also use the memo field for the expense report ID. That way filtering expenses by this ID should equal the amount of the expense report. Then when you get reimbursed by the company you just send it all to the business expense category. Hope this helps!

      Reply Like 1
    • Jason I've done the same thing with regards to the categories and I've just found how to filter expenses in the reporting area, which has helped enormously. I think the area I'm having trouble with is getting my budgeted, activity and available lined up. 

      Reply Like
  • +1

    Reply Like
  • +1 for the ability to copy/clone a budget. Multiple times I've wanted to do this and been unable to. Would be a great feature to have.

    Reply Like 1
    • Hi Dave !

      Thanks for letting us know! If you haven't already, would you mind submitting a Feature Request?

      It goes straight to our development team! They collect the information—every last bit of it—in a database. Just about every day, they go through all of it and code it, asking questions like Where is this person in their budgeting journey? What problem are they wanting to solve? Then, in regular research cycles they analyze all this collected feedback to plan for what’s next  in YNAB. 

      Reply Like
      • Dave
      • Powder_Blue_Storm.2
      • 13 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole at YNAB Done. Thanks for the comment and for the suggestions. Hope the developers think it's important enough to consider.

      Reply Like 1
  • Have also submitted a feature request for this! Would be really nice to have but isn't vital. Will just save a bit of faff.

    Reply Like 1
  • Just did to; YNAB is strong on learning, and does a fantastic job at it. But we could learn so much more if we would have the ability to do experimentation with our real budgets.   

    Reply Like 2
  • Hear hear!   One day I might leave YNAB without this feature.   Not having it is very bad.

    Reply Like
  • Time to add this feature!  Need to clone the budget.  The whole thing.  Please add it!

    Reply Like 1
  • Hi all! 

    I just wanted to leave another link to our Feature Request form to make sure your ideas are reaching our development team! :)

    Reply Like
    • Faness we understand that you are in a hard spot, following company rules that require you to have people fill out the feature request form.    Something that many people have done.  It's too bad that Jesse and the rest of YNAB are not listening.

      Reply Like 1
    • Hi Sea Green Flute !

      We really appreciate folks filling out the form to make their voice heard! We are listening. The form goes straight to the hands of the people who make those decisions. 😀

      Reply Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 9 hrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Nicole at YNAB 

      Nicole at YNAB said:
      The form goes straight to the hands of the people who make those decisions. 😀

       That's terrible news.  If accurate, it means that the people who make those decisions have chosen to ignore longstanding bugs and critical missing features that should have existed with the new product rollout.

      Reply Like 3
      • Ben K.
      • links to ynab book topics covered online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 4 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Patzer yep, only been here almost 3 months, but we need a transparent process. I have an idea at the end of this thread https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/y7wz8p

      Reply Like
  • Very well said, @Patzer  -- Thank you! 

    Reply Like
  • My wife and I currently have separate budgets. I'd like to pick one and move to a merged budget. But I'd also like to he able to continue with the existing ones (despite the extra effort) until we are confident it is working.

    Thoughts any one?

    Reply Like
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 6 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala You should really make a separate question about this, not join in on this one.

      YNAB now supports Google login, where you may use both a primary and a secondary Google login for the same account. I would imagine that this makes sharing a budget easier, as you get potentially three separate logins to the same account.

      The one not holding the new shared budget should probably not use or enable Google login for their own account, as this might complicate matters(?). Either way, they would need to switch between logging in with the YNAB account for their own (private) budget and using Google login for the shared budget. The one holding the shared budget could just use 'open budget' to update their private budget.

      Reply Like
    • Moohouse Fair enough. But we actually do share is same Account. I want to merge the two Budgets. But as insurance if it doesn't work I want to keep the old ones. Thoughts?

      Reply Like
      • Moohouse
      • Software developer
      • Moohouse
      • 5 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala Well, there's no way to combine your two existing budgets, so starting a new budget is the only way, at least for now. If you 'make a fresh start' from one of the budgets then you will keep the categories, goals, accounts and such from that budget, and then add in the needed account(s?), categories, goals and such from the other budget.

      The budget used as a base for 'make a fresh start' is still available so it may be kept up to date alongside the new shared budget.

      Reply Like
    • Slate Blue Koala 'penny' drops.

      Reply Like
Like8 Follow
  • Status Answered
  • 8 Likes
  • 4 hrs agoLast active
  • 41Replies
  • 3414Views
  • 30 Following