setting a goal for a tracking account??

is that possible? for instance my savings is a tracking account and i'd like to set a goal to save a certain amount for a certain time... i don't see that option...

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    • Ben
    • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
    • furiousfalcon
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Goals only apply to budget categories, so no, unfortunately it's not possible to set a budget-based goal for money that isn't part of the budget.

    One option would be to edit the name of your tracking account to include your goal amount, in case it's helpful to have that number easily visible. The other would be to make that account on budget (by creating a new account, moving the transactions, and deleting the old account), and setting up a budget category and goal for that savings.

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    • nolesrule
    • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
    • nolesrule
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view
    Ben said:
    The other would be to make that account on budget (by creating a new account, moving the transactions, and deleting the old account), and setting up a budget category and goal for that savings.

     Green Orca This isn't really the other option. This is how your savings account should be in YNAB. There's no need to tie a savings account to any specific goal, but rather the purpose of a savings account is simply to hold money that you don't need in your checking account (at preferably a higher APY).

    Let YNAB help you manage what you're saving for, rather than the balance of the account being the determining factor. That's the purpose of the software.

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      • Green Orca
      • Green_Orca.4
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule but in this case the balance is the determining factor. i want to reach that goal of 6 months of emergency money, and i already have separate categories set aside in my budgeted area for vacation etc

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

      Green Orca Nah, the balance of the account isn't the determining factor. The amount of money set aside for the purpose of your Emergency Fund is the determining factor.  You are choosing to tie that amount to the balance of a particular account, but the location is not important, as this can be done simply with a category in your budget.

      The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts: It’s Complicated

      When all your accounts are on budget and all your dollars are given jobs in the budget according to your priorities, it doesn't matter what account the money is in as far as the jobs are concerned, and all you have to do is make sure that the checking account has enough money in it to cover upcoming expenses.

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      • Green Orca
      • Green_Orca.4
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule agree to disagree! but thanks for the input! we all do it a little differently and i think have to do what works best for us individually. and i'm still working on figuring that out. all the different insights are helpful though!

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  • Hi Green Orca !

     

    Like Ben said, Goals only apply to budget categories, so I encourage you to bring your Savings account(s) into your budget! 

    Savings accounts are purposefully included as a part of your budget, because we want you to give those dollars a job too! It's a different way of thinking about savings, but it's really powerful.

    What you’ll want to do is assign the dollars in your savings account to savings categories. What are you saving for? Emergencies? Vacation? New furniture? Make specific categories for those things in your budget and assign the dollars there.

    We aren’t encouraging you to spend your savings, rather, we want you to make a plan for those dollars! And of course, you'll be able to attach Goals to those categories, and that will focus your savings even more!

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      • Green Orca
      • Green_Orca.4
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Jannelle so i have categories for vacation, savings, medical emergencies, tattoos etc under my budgeted account. i budget the money out of my paychecks for specific things i know i want to save for like those, and then transfer that over to my savings account when done. 

      now that's in addition to the 10% that goes into my savings account naturally from my paychecks without me having to do anything. that savings account is money that i don't even see. i've got that account over there that's just sitting there gaining interest and getting 10% of my paycheck. then i  have additional specific things i'm saving for like my vacation etc fund on budget. once i've budgeted out of my paycheck for them, i move them into my savings.

      i guess i was just wishing for an easier way to see how all that money would pan out and add up if i kept doing it for say 6 months, or set a goal to see how much i would need to be putting into those categories in order to reach a certain amount. it's just hard to figure that out i guess when i have it in two different accounts and am trying to merge them. in that sense moving the savings account up to a budgeted area would be easier, but again i don't want to even see that money that's already in there! i don't know if that makes any sense. basically i have 2 savings - one off budget that just sits there, and then certain categories on budget that is savings as well that gets moved over. i don't know...maybe i'm just making it too hard on myself! lol. but it's worked for me so far....

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    • Hi Green Orca !

      When you transfer funds to your off-budget savings account, are you entering that in YNAB? If so, that transfer should require a category. Since Goals are attached to categories, you can set up a goal for tracking that amount, but I'm not sure it's really what you're looking for here.

      For instance, let's say you have an "Off-Budget Savings" category that you use for those transfers. You can create a Monthly Funding Goal so that you're sure to budget a certain amount to transfer each month - this requires a little bit of math on your part. If you want to save $600 in 6 months, then you'd enter a Monthly Funding Goal of $100 (You can leave a note in the category to stop the goal at the end of that time period, or even include the Month in the category title so you know when you're done).

      I hope that helps but let me know if you have questions! :)

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  • okay that all makes sense; thank you all for your replies. 

    i suppose i'm only hesitant to move my savings up to a budgeted account because honestly i don't even want to see that money! lol. for the last couple years i forget that money even exists, and thus even when i'm super broke i don't even think about touching it because honestly i just pretend it's not there. i know that 10% of every paycheck goes in and that's it. my goal is to get to that 6 month emergency fund, so at least until it reaches that i absolutely refuse to acknowledge it. because otherwise it'll creep in and i think well i could use this to pay off that credit card... but i don't want to! lol...

    thanks guys!

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Green Orca 

      I'm pretty sure I wrote something like what you wrote as your reason to keep your savings off-budget (and possibly even word for word) when I began using YNAB4 four years ago.  We sound very much alike in our approaches and our fears.  Based entirely on my own experience, I suspect that your fear was legitimate at one point but is no longer a necessary construct, and it is keeping you organizing in unwieldy ways.  You probably have the discipline (now) to leave those funds untouched, and you probably no longer need to camouflage the account's existence either since you are willing to add it as a tracking account. Your budget, your rules, of course.  But I thought I should let you know that others like you have made the leap to putting everything on-budget and have not become wild-spending and bratty party animals. Opinionated savers, yes, but bratty spenders, no. 🙂

      Like 3
  • Green Orca  how about setting up another Budget alongside your main one?  You could call it "Savings" or something.  The account where you keep your savings could be an on-budget account and you would have one category called Emergency Fund or multiple categories for Emergency Fund, Vacation etc.

    You could set goals, track your progress etc, but it would be separate and out of sight from your everyday budgeting unless you deliberately opened that Budget to have a look at it.

    If the only money going in is the 10% automatic deposit, then you could record the 90% you see as income into your main Budget and 10% as income into your Savings Budget.

    If you manually moved some money from checking to the savings account, you would enter that:

    In your main Budget, as outflow from the checking account in your main Budget (using the category Emergency Fund, Vacation or whatever) 

    In the Savings Budget, as inflow to be budgeted, and budget it to the category Emergency Fund, Vacation or whatever.

    Hope I've understood!  Just edited this because I think I misunderstood at first.

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

    What are you going to do with the interest in the savings account once you've met your goal? Move it out of the account? Change your goal? What will you do with the automated transfer? These are the kinds of things you don't have to think about when the account is part of the budget, because the interest is just another income event and you can budget it to any category you want, and moving money between accounts doesn't affect your budget.

    Like 1
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule 

      hahaha <snort> 😂   Your question made me flash back to when I started using YNAB4, and I would log into my numerous accounts and transfer minute amounts of interest to other accounts just so I could line up the accounts with categories.  If anyone at the bank was analyzing transfers, I'm sure they were shaking their heads at my behaviour.

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