Any tips for 'not counting' things in YNAB?

Hi, there. Trying to switch from a time consuming spreadsheet to YNAB.

We have lots of money habits that get recorded in YNAB that we normally wouldn't 'count' or even think about on our spreadsheet. How can I make YNAB 'ignore' them? (I truly have a math disability and these glitches are extra confusing!)


1. I transfer money to my partner 2x/month and she pays many of the bills from her account. The transfer shows up, and I get confused about how to categorize. We've linked these accounts.

2. I use my CC to pay some bills (to get points) and pay it off in full each month. It becomes a 'debt' category and it messes with the budget. I've linked the account.

3. I'm ending the year with high medical bills that are paid by employer subsidy of my deductible. The ever-changing monthly bill, and large amount of money deposited into my (linked to YNAB) account from the subsidy makes it so my account won't balance and make sense. I'd love to simplify.

Thank you for any advice!

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  • 1. Transfers don't use categories since both accounts are on budget. Edit the Payee to turn it into a transfer. Subsequent imports should treat it as a transfer.

    2. Like any category, the CC Payment category is the amount you have set aside to pay the CC bill. Unlike others, though, it automatically increases when you make budgeted purchases on the card. A card with paid-in-full status should have it's category covering the entire debt / account balance.

  • Two thoughts from a newer YNAB user, so jump in dakinemaui if I'm missing something

    1. One option could be to not link the accounts automatically.  I'm in Australia so can't link without a third party platform, which didn't exist when I used a few years back.   With scheduled transactions, its not onerous and also you very aware of what's happening.  You do need to check your account and reconcile often.  However, if there is lots of linked stuff which you have to delete it might be easier (it also sounds like linked accounts need to be checked and reconciled anyway)

    2. I'd strongly recommend using the CC functionality in YNAB even though you're paying off in full.   It take a bit to understand (try watching the YNAB training on YNAB or attend the live session) but once you do you'll see that it is actually how they work in real life.  YNAB will help you track exactly what you're paying for on your CC and what payment is due.  Excluding it will make it harder to know your actual spending by category.

  • Me said:
    2. I use my CC to pay some bills (to get points) and pay it off in full each month. It becomes a 'debt' category and it messes with the budget. I've linked the account.

     I do the same. Make sure you understand how credit cards work in YNAB because it is the most awesome thing especially when you pay off in full. It shouldn’t be messing with the budget. What happens is you use your credit card to buy groceries (which you have budgeted enough for). When you enter the grocery purchase YNAB reduces the available for groceries (because you spent that money) and INCREASES the credit card payment because the cash for the groceries hasn’t left your account. In fact you created a debt (albeit a super short term one) that you have the money to pay. When you pay the credit card the money leaves your bank account. If you are using the web app, there is a pay credit card option at the top. Use that and everything will go as required. If you are using the mobile app, enter the cc payment in your bank account with Transfer:credit card name as the payee. 
    My words make it sound way more complicated than it is so again check out the how credit cards work in YNAB videos. It is an extremely elegant solution and perfect for those of us who pay the card in full. 

    Edited to add link

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