Tracking category transfers

I know this has been posted before, but I just wanted to lend my support to the idea.  I'm looking for a way to see and export category transfer history.   Here's why:

Either my wife or I will make a mistake in moving funds, and then do some other moves and transactions before realizing the mistake.  At that point, it is not practical to use the 'undo' button.  I know, roll with the punches, just move the money back where you need it and you're all set.   Multiple times though, I've had to go to my annual spending plan in Google Sheets and re-compute what the category balances should be based on position in the year and remaining expenses.  If I could just see a quick list with transfers in/out, I'd know what happened instantly.

Right now, the category balances are mysterious.  I literally have no way of know why category balances are what they are.  It's not practical to document each and every move outside of the system - double the work.  This is my biggest source of frustration with YNAB, which I otherwise love!  Please make this information available in the program and via download.  Thanks

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  • Hi Purple Clarinet !

    Just so I'm clear, you mean when you use the move money option to take funds from one category and move them to another, correct? Would you mind submitting a Feature Request for a log of that information? That form goes directly to our development team so you can let them know what you'd like to see in the future! :)

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  • I want to second this idea.

    I have a rhythm of "rolling with the punches" on Sundays, so throughout the week I record spending as it happens, and on Sunday I reconcile to the bank and figure out if any of my categories are overspent. If they are, I move money. OK, fine, I've rolled with the punch.

    But the follow-up to that is, "wait, did I have to roll with a punch in my 'dining out' budget last month, too?"

    One thing that would make me a better budgeter would be to see and analyze this history of moving money around. I could then make more realistic upfront budgeting decisions as well as plan ahead to try to improve in categories I routinely struggle with.

    This is something that would help me to feel like I'm in control and not just pushing paper.

    Reply Like 2
    • Matt Thank you for taking the time to add in here! Would you mind submitting that through our Feature Request form? It's the best way to let our development team know where you stand and why you find that helpful. :)

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      • RaptorX
      • RaptorX
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Is using a Tracking account a good work around for this issue in the mean time while your devs work on this idea?

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    • HI RaptorX !

      A Tracking account is only meant to track the balance of an account that you don't want to include in your day-to-day budget (like a retirement account). Instead, I'd make a note in the category Notes field. "Moved $20 from Dining Out" or "January - overspent $20, covered with Fun Money", the note can be as long or as short as you want to help keep tabs on where you moved those funds. 

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      • RaptorX
      • RaptorX
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness notes are cumbersome and some times you might forget 1) in which category you put the note on or 2) to even put the note at all!

       

      That's not a good workaround.

      Tracking account is also a no because you can't put categories on the transactions so is not much use anyways.

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    • RaptorX I'd suggest the Memo field of the transaction, but it would be about the same as the notes option. If you have any other ideas, you can let our development team know by submitting a Feature Request. It doesn't have to be specific, just let them know what you'd like to be able to do and they can give it more consideration in the future. :)

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      • RaptorX
      • RaptorX
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness yes, i sent some ideas. :)

      Reply Like 1
  • I am trying to find a good way to track this as well. I've tried notes in the categories before, but it didn't work for me. This month I moved money out of one "fun goal" to fund a new opportunity that I wanted to do this month. I didn't want to lose my progress fory original category, so I set up a target balance by date goal of where I expected it to be in 3 months, instead of a monthly budgeted goal, so that I will be able to fund that category to where I want over a short span of time.

    For the categories where I'm always having to add money, I find that checking the "average spent" amount in the quick budget options and making sure I am getting close to that helps.

    Reply Like 1
  • As a counterpoint to those requesting this feature:

    constantly make small adjustments to my budget throughout the month. An audit trail of all of those changes would be very long and not particularly useful to me. If such a thing existed, I would want it to be very unobtrusive, perhaps hidden away in the "Reports" area (where I'd probably never look at it.)

    I don't need or want any more clutter on my budget screen, and worry that a visible audit trail would be a subtle way of deterring me from making budget changes and would make me feel guilty when I do.)

    Reply Like 5
      • RaptorX
      • RaptorX
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bret I agree.

      But i don't think it should be a huge log of all categories smashed together. 

      Rather, as i imagine it, each category has its own history button. You click on it and see all movement from other categories to it. Nothing too fancy.

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    • bret I agree. It's one of those things I did want when I started but now I feel it would be unncessary clutter.  Every single change in my budgeted categories* would be a report so big as to be useless and my notes when I have to move funds away from the important long-term stuff are sufficient.

      Some of that comfort comes from having fully embraced the mindset that what truly matters is what plans you have for what money you have on hand. Budget changes are refining your plans to reflect reality.  All the budget changes show is that your original best estimate was wrong. There is something to be said for reflecting on why you keep needing to make changes to a particular category - Was your original budget figure unrealistic? Is this an area that needs some behaviour change? etc. - Funding goals or putting the standard budget amount in the category title or note is enough for that though.

      If you budget solo or budget together and follow the YNAB ideal of budget meetings etc then the above all works great. Where the  history could still prove useful is for joint budgets where people aren't equally engaged in the process but one suddenly wants to know why the funds for an important project aren't available when they think they should be. That's where I would make a simple note in the important category e.g. £300 moved from building repairs to cover car maintenance overspend. Car maintenance overspend probably wouldn't be a contentious move in most relationships - getting your hair done, buying more clothes, going to the pub, etc. could be. 
       

      * I have a lot of category groups where I budget the total amount for that category group but don't really care where it gets spent in each of the individual categories so money gets moved a lot. I also create lots of temporary categories while I'm saving up for something but then once achieved record it in the normal category and delete that line.

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      • RaptorX
      • RaptorX
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger in my case i use YNAB for light business accounting.

       

      I have a category for sales income and move money to other categories (costs of goods, equity and others).

       

      Some times i need to verify if i sent the money correctly to the other categories but as there is no record i just have to leave it at that and hope i did it ok.

       

      Not a big issue but it's not optimal.

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    • RaptorX YNAB is not optimal for business accounting generally.

      I use it for my own small business budget but in that case it I use it as planned and categorise all income as TBB. That way I don't use the move money tool to cover cost of goods, dividends, etc.

      My business would only have 2 sources of income - sales income or the very rare reimbursement from me when the business has paid for a personal expense (I think twice in 4 years) - so TBB is fine. 

      I upload and categorise my bank accounts into my accounts software for accounting purposes. YNAB is used for budgeting only and also so that I don't declare too big a dividend. The difference between a legal dividend and a prudent dividend is too great for my liking.

      That said, if I sacked my accountant tomorrow, the info in YNAB would be sufficient. I would just have to drill down slightly into the income to ensure that was correctly reported. A lot less work than you are doing at the moment.

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