I never use Payee - am I missing out on anything??

Been using YNAB for almost two years now and I have never used the Payee functionality. Whenever I make a transfer - say from my "To Be Budgeted" associated with my Checking account to my Savings account - I create a category to keep the transfer aligned with my transactions. This works just great for transfers between my own accounts.


In 2021 my partner will be using YNAB for the first time. 🎉 And now I'm wondering if using Payee for transactions between us would be better than creating categories. More visual representation of how our money is moving is better for my partner!

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  • Huh? There are no Payees on category transfers which is what TBB is. Also, TBB isn't associated with just your checking account. It is the sum of all budget accounts. Payees are used in account transactions. For example, the payee for my paychecks is my company name.

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  • Can you elaborate on your question? A number of things you mentioned don't align with recommended practices or terminology, and I hesitate to guess at your meaning.

    Also, is your partner going to be using the same budget as you do (i.e., a joint budget) or a separate budget with separate accounts/finances?

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  • It sounds like you might be using a system that aligns your account values with your category values. Is this the case? Because your YNAB budget doesn't care where your money is stored, depending on what you're doing now, simply using the Payee field for transfers between on-budget accounts might be less effort if you'd like your category values to remain the same as money is moving from one account to another. In the Payee field, your options for Payments and Transfers are listed at the top. If you simply select the account where the money is going, you won't need to enter a category.

    As you look toward the future and think about how to keep an eye on where money is moving in your budget, note that we're working on releasing Money Moves that will help with just that.

    Otherwise, you might check out this thread about how folks use the payee field if you're looking for different approaches: "What do you use Payee for?"

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