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
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! :)
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.
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.
As a counterpoint to those requesting this feature:
I 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.)
I think this is a much needed feature! I also think it would lend itself to having it's own "report". Pick a category, and it'll show you the time-graph of the balances over time, showing you an overview of your emergency fund covering expenses for non-emergency items! (ahem, just me?)
It would give me a lot of clarity over what each of my categories has been doing over the last few months. And the "spending" graph doesn't do this properly. I'm not able to isolate individual categories, and even then it's not giving you the "in-out" of the category, it's only giving you the spending (ie, transaction, not category to category transfer) information .