Foreign currencies; still not ideal
Another trip, this time to West Africa. As before when I traveled, I set up a new budget to handle Nigerian naira. It worked to keep track of my cash and spending, but there were two major drawbacks:
1) Switching budgets is time-consuming, either on the desktop or the phone. At the very least, all available budgets should be available on the left sidebar via a flip-down arrow. (So I could see them all listed when I choose, or hide the list when I choose, and quickly swap between them.)
2) It shouldn't really be necessary to create a separate budget for every currency. I vastly prefer the handling of the other app I use, Moneywiz, where each account has its own currency, at least regarding cash. This better mirrors the real-life situation, as all of this cash comes out of the same budget. If I exchange money, it's more realistic to mark it as a transfer. The system would simply have to allow the user to input the current exchange rate.
It's completely different software. With YNAB, the main function I use it for is the budget. Moneywiz does budgeting as well, but I have not used that feature; it is more for tracking my accounts. So I can't answer the question about category balances. It's true that would be a tricky thing to deal with in YNAB.
However, the MW approach is that each account has a "native" currency. For instance, my US-based credit card is, by default, in US dollars. If I buy a bottle of water in Amsterdam, I can enter that specific transaction in euros while on the go, and the app uses the current currency exchange rate to estimate the equivalent in US$. When I see the actual charge on my credit card, I can tweak it (fix the US$ amount and the exchange rate is adjusted automatically.) Ultimately, all the charges on that credit card are in US currency for my purposes, since I pay the bill in that currency.
On the other hand, in MW I set up separate cash accounts for each currency, and there is no conversion to US dollars for those accounts. Here is where things might get tricky in terms of handling this in YNAB and using categories. I don't have an answer off the top of my head. But switching budgets seems like a clunky way to handle it, and it means that my cash expenses are in a separate budget from credit card expenses.
In case anyone is still following this post, I've created a tool that automates my approach to solving this problem. I've found it works nicely for foreign currency cash. I'm very happy with it for my own budget, so I'm sharing in the hopes that others will find it useful as well!
Here's another post with more info:
And here's a link to the tool itself. Note that this is a not-so-user-friendly preview version, but it is fully functional and quite well tested (I've been using it on my own budget for nearly a month):
I would love this as well. Its absolutely ridiculous that of the three currencies I often deal with, I have to keep spreadsheets to manage and convert the other two. Lets think about that closely....I PAY $84 DOLLARS A YEAR FOR A BUDGETING APP THAT FORCES ME TO MANAGE A SEPARATE SPREADSHEETS OR BUDGETS FOR EXPENSES IF THEY ARE NOT IN MY MAIN CURRENCY...are you kidding me!?
Unfortunately, people have been asking for multi-currency support for years. Like ALL other feature requests though, nothing ever gets done. Literally everything requested falls in to the category of "there are no near term plans for this right now".
Hey guys, there is a new solution to this pain, a currency converter for YNAB that I made. Please see this thread, where I describe it in detail: https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/p8hybcj/app-currency-converter-for-ynab Cheers! :)