Account and Category "Available" balance don't match.

I have found a number of similar questions, but none really matched what I was looking for, so I opted to open a new question. This was the closest to my issue though (already marked as answered): https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/q5g02x/bank-account-balances-does-not-match-available-amounts-in-budget

I am an overseas user so I manually input all transactions for checking and savings. To reflect this properly, I have created an additional (manual) savings account and top-level category to match. When I get paid I budget money to that category (and the subcategories) and then transfer money via a transaction.

I have one main category (with a few subcategories) of savings which I transfer to every month. I recently noticed that my account balance does not match my category "Available" balance. As I mentioned I manually input all transactions, and still the account balance and the actual balance match, however, this amount is still over what the available balance is. I'm assuming this means I have this amount allocated somewhere else in my budget, but I cannot seem to track it down. All other accounts match.

Included links to screenshots of what I'm seeing to hopefully make my explanation more clear.

 

Category Available total: https://i.imgur.com/3vdk7jG.png

Budget total: https://i.imgur.com/gOq3B5a.png

Category transactions: https://i.imgur.com/KA0crMt.png

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks

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  • I'm not entirely following what you are doing but based on your screenshots, there are other on budget accounts in your budget.  There is nothing in ynab that will keep any particular category in synch with any particular account.  To ynab it just does not matter.  

    Like 1
      • FawltyTowers
      • US Expat user
      • fawltytowers
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman First off, thanks for your reply! Yeah, I thought the way I described it might be confusing and was hoping that the screenshots might help.

      I know that my account balances and categories are independent. I guess my main question is, I've somehow "misplaced" that extra $182 (12,204-12,022). While it shows in my savings account, this is not reflected in the category. Through viewing my transactions via filtering, I can't seem to track down where that money might be in another category and I'm not sure how to find it.

      All of the other budget categories match up as well. The "Emergency Savings" has a category of its own and the N26 checking is all other transactions than transfers to the two savings accounts. Even the N26 account reconciles properly. This is why I'm confused about where that $182 is squirreled away at.

      At the end of the day most everything is matching up, but the perfectionist in me wants the accounts to match up. I'm hoping someone has had a similar problem and knows something I may not have thought of.

      Thanks!

      Like
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      FawltyTowers Do you use only use transactions to add money to the categories and not the budgeted column?   First thing I would do is confirm the over budget balances.  

      Go to the last month available in the budget.   Select all categories. I'm the right side will be a total available.  It doesn't look like you have any credit cards in your budget so this amount should match the amount to the right of Budget on the left hand side.  This is the total of your on budget accounts.   This assumes tbb is zero.

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Do you have activity showing in any of that category in prior months?

      Like
      • FawltyTowers
      • US Expat user
      • fawltytowers
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman I budget the money each month first and then initiate a transfer - this way it effectively removes it from my checking account total (I know this goes against core YNAB principles of having too many accounts). When I go forward a month to check Total vs Budget everything matches up - I think this is what you're asking me to confirm.

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      I'm starting to understand the process you are following.  It appears, the difference will be in a prior month.  I would go back one month at time and see where the amounts first diverged.  The running balance should help.  

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      • FawltyTowers
      • US Expat user
      • fawltytowers
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman The only activity I have for that category (and the sub-categories) can be seen in the 3rd screenshot I posted. These were the only times I had to withdraw money (mainly to transfer back to the US to pay for student loans as I can't pay directly from Euros).

      FYI I very much appreciate you trying to help me through this!

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      FawltyTowers that shows the activity in the account and category.  Try looking for activity in the category in the "all accounts" view.

      Like
  • I’d have to see all your accounts balances and all of your budget to know for sure, but to fix your problem (which isn’t actually an issue at all) you just need to initiate a transfer of $182 from checking to savings....

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      • FawltyTowers
      • US Expat user
      • fawltytowers
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook You're exactly right, it's not a problem at all - only insomuch as I'm just annoyed by it! =]

      I am taking Herman 's advice and going back through month by month to see where I may have mis-allocated, as well as looking through the all accounts view. Thanks for the response!

      Like
  • Your category balances should be based on your priorities. Just transfer the difference to make the account balances match if you insist that they should.

    OTOH, you say you understand that location and purpose (account and category) are independent. So I'd ask what benefit are you getting from doing the additional work to treat them as dependent? You're almost certainly losing out on interest as well.

    Like 1
      • FawltyTowers
      • US Expat user
      • fawltytowers
      • 10 days ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui This is a good question. I think it's because for me, when the numbers match up it is a quick way for me to visually see that everything has reconciled (especially since I have to enter all transactions manually).

      As for the interest, you're talking about having the money in a savings account that has no return? Also a good point. Unfortunately through my bank here in Germany I'm not eligible for their "high interest" savings because I'm not a citizen, so now I need transfer funds to the US to make sure I can take advantage.

      Thanks for your input!

      Like
  • FawltyTowers said:
    when the numbers match up it is a quick way for me to visually see that everything has reconciled (especially since I have to enter all transactions manually)

    The fact the account balances agree between YNAB and the real world ensures everything has reconciled. That's an account-only process so you know you have everything entered correctly. In fact, you could enter every transaction without any category whatsoever and be assured that you haven't missed any transactions based on the reconciliation process.

    The only thing putting a category in the transaction does is to update the future spending plan (a.k.a., the "budget"). In this manner, you get feedback whether you are meeting your priorities, represented by categories, and how much you have remaining for any given priority (in light of the fact you already spent some money toward it).

    To put it simply, what I hear you saying is, "I want to synchronize because when the numbers are the same, I know it's synchronized." While that's true, it doesn't have any bearing on why you want it synchronized in the first place. 🙂 Hope this helps!

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