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.

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  • Today I received https://www.petekeen.net/automatic-finances which might be a competitor to YNAB. Your lack of a backup feature makes me want to leave you. Your constant fill out this form over there on this thread also makes me want to leave you. Please listen. This feature is not that hard. Just do it.

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      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Sea Green Flute That looks like a plan for managing all your money in investment accounts, not a budgeting program? I'm not sure what about it you think is competing with YNAB.

      If you really wanted to set up your accounts like he did, you could do that and budget the money with YNAB, although managing the gains & losses would get tedious even if direct import worked instantaneously. It's certainly an interesting idea, if you have enough capital to spare in case the market tanks.

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    • Hi Sea Green Flute !

      We're listening! :)

      The option to save a copy of a budget has been discussed between our developers, but we haven't worked out the details just yet. Filling out the Feature Request form lets our developers know just how important seeing that feature is. 

      Like
  • Just wanted to say I'd love this too. Just went to duplicate my budget and was surprised I couldn't! Makes me not want to play around with my budget too much and definitely don't want to lose my 4 years of transaction history. Have filled out the form etc etc.

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    • Turquoise Ink 

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  • Fresh Start *does* make a copy, it just calls it an 'archive' which you can use just like a normal budget. If you do another Fresh Start from the 'archive' immediately, you will have two copies. Rename them and delete the two Fresh Start budgets and you have got it done.

    You have to rename in the browser version as this feature is unavailable in the mobile app.

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      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala maybe I'm not following, I thought fresh start also wiped out all your transactions.

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    • Ben Khaki Storm Yes you are correct. But the archive is complete working copy of the budget ( a clone if you like). Do a Fresh Start on that and you now have two working copies. Rename then (in the browser app) and delete the two fresh starts. It's a hack, but it works.

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      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala It's a hack that doesn't work.  You end up with one budget that has all the history, and another budget that has the categories and accounts but no history.  The second time you do a fresh start, the archive of archive is the original budget, and the new archive looks just like a fresh start.

      Nice idea, but it didn't work.

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      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Patzer That's what I was thinking would happen, but I didn't try it. 

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    • Patzer you're right. Must be too sleep deprived.

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  • +1 to be able to clone the budget. I sent a request but I doubt that the team will take any action soon! The thread age is already 1 YEAR yet no news! This reminds me of the federal immigration people for some reason! I am really frustrated.

    Like 2
    • Hi Salmon Zebra (29154556e200) !

      Sorry for the frustration! We aren't able to provide a roadmap for future features, but that doesn't mean we aren't considering new options! The option to clone a budget is on our radar, but we can't guarantee when this feature will be available. We'll update our What’s Up Next page with new features we're working on, so you can keep a look out there! :)

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  • YNAB has no interest in doing this and no courage to just say no.

    Like 2
    • Hi Sea Green Flute !

      We try never to say never! ;)

      The option to clone a budget has been put on our radar, but we aren't able to provide a roadmap for future features. Current features that we're working on can be found on our What’s Up Next page. You can check there to see what you can expect from YNAB next. :)

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    • Faness Does that mean the only thing being worked on is "Running Balance"

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    • Ivory Falafel  And all the new mobile features are only supported on iOS, not Android.

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    • Hi Ivory Falafel !

      The Running Balance feature isn't the only new feature being worked on, but it's closest to completion! We add new features to the What's Up Next page when they're right around the corner from release.

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    • Hi Slate Blue Koala !

      Mobile features are usually pushed through on iOS first, with Android following after. With the release of iOS 13, updates were needed for the mobile app to work correctly on the new operating system. You should have access to the other mobile features mentioned on that page. :)

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    • Faness Will Dark Mode be coming to Android?

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    • Slate Blue Koala The iOS 13 Dark Mode feature was tailored specifically for the new operating system. A Dark Mode for android hasn't been confirmed yet, but we try to maintain feature parity between the apps when we can. You can let our Product Team know this feature is important to you by submitting a Feature Request.

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  • I am new to YNAB. I have created three budgets, one for historic spending to see how I was trending before I started YNAB to know what I should budget going forward, one is my "real" budget, and one is my "austerity" budget. I don't know how else to try different scenarios, e.g. living the high life, living like a monk, etc etc. Does creating multiple budgets using the same data for the same time period mess anything up, especially in terms of reporting? Thanks, 

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      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      I Love Horses not that I know of. I created some budgets just for fun. They all seem to stand on their own, no interaction between. In one budget, I found that YNAB has a problem handling something like $1,000,000,000,000,000 amounts. So, I'll keep that in mind if I ever make a deposit like that, lol. 

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    • Khaki Storm Thanks. I'll definitely try to stay away from billion dollar deposits! :)

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  • Any update on this?

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    • Hi Gustavo Czobel !

      I wish I had better news, but no official update available on this feature. It's still on our road-map, but quite a ways down the road.

      Like
  • If I understand this thread correctly, once you do the Fresh Start, you can rename the new budget to "sandbox" and rename the "archived" budget back to its real name and play with the sandbox budget. They will both continue to be synced to any accounts they original budget synced to. If that is accurate, then I think this is already a way to have a "simulation" or "play" budget. I need this to be able to figure out if we will have enough money to live the way we want to live if my husband decides to retire.

    If I am right, then I think YNAB should put out a video showing how to use this approach to create a "what if" place to play with the budget without messing up the real one.

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    • mkdaniels Yes but there will be no transactions.

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      • mkdaniels
      • mkdaniels
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala The transactions that took place previous to the Fresh start will only be in the "real budget" but if I wanted to I could allow both budgets to sync going forward. Am I right about that?

       

      I don't think I would want to do that anyway, because the only purpose I have is figuring out what my budget template would look like if my husband stopped getting a paycheck and started collecting social security. I want to know where we would have to cut back and if we would still be able to add to savings, etc. That doesn't require transactions, I don't think. What do you think?

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    • mkdaniels Yes it you could sync both going forward, but without past transactions I'm not sure the comparison will be that useful as there's not really any data to compare just a set of empty budget categories. 

      I guess you could retrospectively re-sync transactions to get past data back from say a month or two ago.

      I use the app not web version, so maybe that would be easier as you probably have reports to use.

      Also I'm in Australia so we can only sync manually:-(

      How many days into the future has your budget getting to at present?

      Dude, theses are SCARY times. I hope you and yours are keeping safe. Take care.

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  • *To anyone else watching this thread, please let us know if can help mkdaniels out here*

    Yes you could sync both going forward, but without past transactions I'm not sure the comparison will be that useful as there's not really any data to compare just a set of empty budget categories. 

    I guess you could retrospectively re-sync transactions to get past data back from say a month or two ago.

    I use the app not web version, so maybe that would be easier as you probably have reports to use?

    Also I'm in Australia so we can only sync manually:-(

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala This is old but you don't need the past transactions. You simply need the starting balances. Then you can put your current funds in categories. Probably want to fake the date of the starting balances to one month before so the current month's budget is blank but for available. From there enter fake income to the amount you expect to receive each month and create your template monthly budget. See if it works.

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    • Ceeses I think you are missing the point. The fact is *many* people want to have this feature.

      I/we do want/need the past transactions to make meaningful budgeting consideration based on past spending.

      Remember the maxim "He who is unaware of the past is doomed to repeat the same mistakes".

      I don't want to have to re-enter all the repeating bills, payments, transfers etc.

      Even if we could just bring across transactions for say the past year it would be a start.

       

      I use the mobile app only, so please don't tell me to use reports, or import transactions.

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    • Ceeses And also, where do I get the starting balances from a month ago? YNAB doesn't show a running total in the app.

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Koala I know there are cases where the history of transactions would be useful but you were responding to mkdaniels and in her case, it won't be useful as they have to reevaluate all their expenses to work out a budget for a new income. 

      You get the starting balance from the bank, not YNAB. Always start from the truth and this is at the bank.

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    • Ceeses Sorry, you're right I lost track of where we were in the thread:-)

      But I still think she would be better off with a full clone. Especially as this is a 'what happens if something happens in the future' scenario.

      BTW You suggested entering "fake" starting balances;-)

      Sadly my bank doesn't issue monthly statements for transaction accounts or show a running balance online. I just have Current Cleared and Available balances for my transaction accounts. I do get monthly statements for our credit cards, but these are issued at different dates, not at months end. And our Loan statements are six monthly. So calculating a starting balance ain't that easy.

      Don't get me wrong YNAB is great for personal budgeting, but playing with different scenarios isn't well supported. 

      BTW Being able to merge or split budgets would also be useful.

      Like 1
  • I completed a feature request. Really I don't understand why this hasn't been done yet. Unless there is something incredibly weird going on in the backend architecture of ynab this should be relatively trivial to implement.

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  • Hell even allowing us to import the exported CSV file from the previous budget after we create a new budget would be totally fine!

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  • Feature request submitted from me as well. I also suggested that the "Up Next" roadmap include more than just "Released" and "In Progress". Show us what's "Under Consideration" or "Planned" or whatever status you want to assign things not yet started but will be at some point. Without seeing that all we can do is complain on the forums and keep submitting feature requests for something that for all we know is already going to be done when they can get to it.

    Like 1
    • sully213 And maybe a 'we will never be doing this so stop asking' category;-)

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