Help with a "Savings" category assignment and Actual Savings Accout

This has probably been asked in a similar format, but after reading a couple of posts, I still can't figure out how to reconcile this.

Here is the scenario with some easy numbers:

1) Starting Sept 2020, Linked both a checking account $1000 and a savings account $300 ($1300 to be budgeted).

2) Scattered $1000 into various categories.

3) Category "Emergency Savings"  $300. So now nothing left to be budgeted 🎉

4) There is monthly transaction that takes place automatically from CHECKING to SAVINGS for $50 each month.  This transaction says "category not needed".

5) By the time March 2021 rolled around, I realized that I had no way to inflate my "Emergency Savings" category.  It was still sitting at $300 in my budget, when in reality, my savings account was now UP by $250 because of the Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb auto-moves from CHECK to SAV. 😟

So the question is:  Where are those $250 in my budget?  When that auto-move takes place, I get it that it's all money that is part of my total monies, but shouldn't I be able to "assign" those $50 per month to my Emergency Savings category?    

Or have I perhaps given those $250 other "jobs" throughout my budget?   That's it, isn't it? 

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  • Your $250 has been budgeted by you.  We can't tell you which category or categories it is in.  

    Each month you needed to budget $50 to your emergency savings category.  That is how the money is categorized.  The transfer is like moving money from your front pocket to your back pocket.  It just changes locations, not jobs.

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  • https://www.youneedabudget.com/the-relationship-between-your-budget-your-accounts-its-complicated/

    Create a new fake budget and actually follow along with the steps in this article. It will help make it sink. 

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  • Money is "saved" when you assign it to a category and don't spend it. Doesn't matter which account the money "lives" in. If you want to add $50/month to a category, then you have to take the action of actually allocating $50/month on the budget page regardless of what happens in your account registers.

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  • yes, you have given that $250 other jobs. because YNAB doesn't care that the emergency fund is in the checking or savings, moving the money from one account to the other does nothing for the budget. You have to tell YNAB, through the budget column, that you are assigning $50 to the emergency fund. And definitely work towards getting out the category=account mindset. It doesn't work with the YNAB philosophy. WordTenor has shared the link already for it. It is hard sometimes but can be done.

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  • Thank you all for the responses.    I was able to wrap my head around it (even as I posted it, it was dawning in me where I missed a step).   I re-assigned $250 from other categories that could “afford” it.   I will set a goal for that emergency category to add the $50 monthly to it.  Voila. 

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