How do I change tracking account to a budget account?

When I added my money market account I chose investment account as the type but I realized afterward I want to use it as a budget account. I've searched all the support documents but couldn't find this situation anywhere. Can you please help me sort this out? Thanks a lot. Janis

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  • You can't. What you can do is create a new on budget account. Then go to the tracking account, select all transactions then hit edit then move them to the on budget account and then close the tracking account.

    Like 3
  • jenmas is absolutely correct!

    Right now you can't change an account type - but you can create a new account and move over the history. Here's the step-by-step on how to do that:

    1. Create a new account to replace the current one by clicking on Add Account > Enter Name & Type > Skip. Do this first! You'll have to give it a slightly different name. Enter a $0 starting balance for now.

    2. Go to the original account, select all of the transactions, and move them to the new account using the Edit menu. *For credit card accounts, you may also want to copy over any notes or goals you had in the corresponding Credit Card payment category.

    3. Refresh your browser.

    4. Delete the original account.

    5. Now, you can edit the name of the new account and/or set up Direct Import if you'd like.

    That should do it for you!

    Like 3
      • canman
      • canman
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Question on this. Once the history is brought over from the tracking account to the newly created budget account, do the transferred transactions maintain their category as "Category not needed" or does it ask you to assign categories to those transactions (which seems like it would be a nightmare)? Thanks for your help!

      Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      canman Yes, everything has to be categorized if you want to keep the history. However, you can always just begin using a new on-budget account from today forward. 

      Like 1
    • canman Great question! WordTenor is right and that nightmare does have to be dealt with, if you want to keep the history. That means checking and possibly adjusting your category balances to make sure there's enough to cover those transfers. Sorry that wasn't clear!

      Like 1
    • Faness would this work to update loans as well? I have a car loan that I’m working on paying off- would it make more sense to do this, or just manually update the balance?  (Newbie here, so sorry if this question is answered elsewhere)  

      Like
    • Hi Purple Welder !

      No need to apologize! All questions are welcomed questions here! :)

      When you say to update your loan, do you mean moving it to an on budget account? How do you currently have that auto loan set up and how are you handling it in your budget?

      Like
    • Faness i have it set up as a tracking account (that was the default option) and i have a budget category for the payments. Should it be set up differently? 

      Like
    • Purple Welder That's perfectly fine! Having that account off-budget (Tracking account) just means you need a category to budget and categorize the payments towards. It sounds like you have things set up just fine! :)

      Like 1
  • Thank you both very much.  Happy New Year!

    Like 1
  • So glad i checked the forum before deleting and re-adding.  This worked SUPER! :-)

    Thanks! 

    Like 1
    • Alice Blue Sidewinder Glad to hear it (and welcome to the Forum)! :)

      Like
  • If I create a new budget account in order to change a tracking account to an on-budget account, and I move all of the past transactions, how does that affect past budgeting months? Sometimes I look back at past months within Budgets, so will my past budgets all change when I change my tracking account to an on budget account?

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    • Hi everyday_runner !

      Yes, moving that account on budget will affect your budget. Those transactions will now need categories and once categorized they'll retroactively affect your category balances.

      Like
  • Has this been fixed for the Online version? In the Online version you can't choose what type of account to create. When you create and link an account it just goes into Budget or Tracking. How can I move the account above or below the line?

    Like
    • Hi Green Network !

      When adding a linked account, after connecting, there will be a question asking what type of account you're adding. If you click on the drop down menu, there are five options under Budget (Checking, Savings, Cash, Credit Card and Line of Credit) and two under Tracking (Asset and Liability). The option you choose here determines whether the account shows as a Budget or Tracking account. Once you've created the account, the only way to move it is by following the steps listed above to change the account type. :)

      Like 1
  • I have this same issue right now, but like a dummy, I searched the forum after I made a budget account to replace a tracking account. I did it backwards from the way it was recommended - I closed and deleted the tracking account before moving each transaction to the new budget account, and now I have a giant uncategorized amount in the new budget account.  Does anyone know a quick way to fix this? 

    This should teach me to always search the forum first!! 

    Like
    • Hi pepperpat !

      Sorry for the trouble! I wish you had found the forum under better circumstances! 

      By any chance, are the transactions from that Tracking account related? You can select multiple transactions and categorize them all at once, to make it a faster process. Each transaction will need a category to get rid of the Uncategorized notification or you could re-create the account and move the transactions back, then handle them from there. :)

      Like 1
      • pepperpat
      • pepperpat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness Hi Faness, thanks for your reply! I ended up fixing my issue although I forgot how I did it. 😂 I've saved this forum entry in case I need to do something similar in the future. 

      Like 1
    • pepperpat It's never bad to prepare for the future, but I hope you won't need this thread again! ;)

      Like
  • Hello Everyone- I found that snapping a picture of the transactions in my old account before I did anything would have been helpful to me. But the other issue I ran into is rebudgeting dollars that were previously budgeted in the old account and having to move those dollars to a new account because YNAB knew about them. This was the biggest issue for me, so I put everything back. I will simply $0 out the account and stop using it. I'm pretty comfortable with the balances and don't wont to throw anything off. 

    Like 1
  • Wow.   Glad I googled this.  YNAB automatically added all my stuff into the wrong categories.  CD's showing up as monthly income, etc.   What a cluster... of a user interface.  My account is all screwed up now.  Glad I googled this, at least...  :(

    Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Mike 442 What do you mean? YNAB doesn't automatically categorize stuff.

      Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Mike 442 Mike 442 all starting balances are categorized as ‘to be budgeted’. That doesn’t mean that YNAB thinks they are income....

      Like 2
    • Hi Mike 442 !

      Are you adding those investment accounts for the first time or are you switching them from Budget accounts to Tracking accounts (or vice versa)? Once we know what you're trying to do, we might be able to better assist. :)

      Like
      • delete23
      • delete23
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness  When I created my YNAB account I dutifully linked all my bank accounts to it.  I have dozens of CD's at multiple banks.   It automatically added them all as some kind of "monthly income", instead of as investments.  Had I known I should have changed them to something else, but the unclear UI didn't explain this to me.  Now it says I have over $55,000 in monthly income and it looks like my only option is to delete all of the accounts and re-add them.  :(

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Mike 442 That's not how YNAB works. It's not monthly income. It's a one time startup thing. Most CDs should be in the budget. What are the funds' purpose? Categorize them to that. Everything in your budget isn't for immediate spending.

      Like 4
  • Gotta be kidding me that they can't just allow you to easily change this.  Seems like their user interface is "my way or the highway".  >:-(

    Like 1
  • Mike 442 said:
    Now it says I have over $55,000 in monthly income and it looks like my only option is to delete all of the accounts and re-add them. 

     Do your dozens of CDs add up to a total of $55K? If so, then YNAB is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. You have to allocate those funds to one or more categories. Those categories can be Emergency Fund, House Down Payment, whatever you want it to be. The starting balance of any on budget account will always be categorized as Inflow: To Be Budgeted because by adding the account to your budget, you are adding the contents of that account to your budget. This is a one time thing. Moving forward, if the link holds, YNAB should only import the incremental increases in total interest.

    Like 1
      • delete23
      • delete23
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Thanks for the reply!  Respectfully I think I'll need to try out a few different sites to find something that more closely fits my needs.  Thanks for trying to help though!  :)

      Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Mike 442 I wish YNAB maintained a list: "Things YNAB does differently that will drive you crazy at first, and then suddenly it clicks and you love them." YNAB makes you budget your savings. YNAB wants you to enter your transactions manually. YNAB wants you to use categories instead of bank accounts to determine each dollar's purpose.

      The behavior you're describing (budget your savings) is totally confusing at first. It feels weird. It feels wrong. But it's one of YNAB's strengths. I would be willing to bet actual cash money that if you stick with YNAB throughout the 3- or 4-month free trial, you will look back at your posts and say, "Okay, I see why I was annoyed by that at first—and now I see how that feature makes me spend and save with more care and intention, and helps me make better decisions about my money."

      I'm not being an apologist: there are other YNAB features that clearly need to be fixed or rethought. But this isn't one of them.

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mike 442 Fits your needs or works like your narrow expectations? I'm guessing the latter. Because YNAB is the best budgeting software out there. But maybe you weren't looking for budgeting software? Hard to tell from your posts. They seem reactionary more than anything else.

      Like 1
      • delete23
      • delete23
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Well, I did read in several forums how fanatical the supporters of YNAB are.  Glad you didn't prove them wrong!  Will be deleting my account with extreme disdain.  Bye!

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Mike 442 Glad you’ve got it all figured out. Best of luck!

      Like 2
  • Another frustrating UI hole in the pile of others. Why not add a way to change the type of account instead of multiple steps of recreating it from scratch? :-(

    Like
    • alexandroid I'm sorry you're feeling frustrated. Currently, it isn't possible to change the type for an existing account. Let me know if you need hand with the process! If you have a moment, you can let our product team know you'd like to see that option by submitting a Feature Request.

      Like
      • Rob S
      • ROb_S
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole - In the meantime, perhaps amention of this in documenttation and a short FAQ entry on recommended process would be helpful.  It did take a fair amount of time looking in help and then searching to find and understand this limitation.

      Like
    • Hi Rob S !

      Sorry for the delayed response here! I just wanted to let you know we're going to ask the team to take a look at this to see how we can improve our documentation for similar scenarios! :)

      Like
  • I was just watching Nick True's YouTube video about High Income & HCOL recommending that if we have a multiple Checking/Savings that we might want to take one and convert to an Asset account as a holding location for money we do not budget monthly.  I want to take a High Interest Savings Account and convert it to a Tracking Asset account.  I will be using this account to hold deposits from my retirement investing until it is time to move it into Checking for monthly budgeting along with fixed income like SSA & a pension.   Can I follow the steps outlined by Faness (YNAB Support) to do the reassignment to asset class?   Is there a YouTube video that runs through these steps as Troubleshooting to make sure I do everything to clear it.  I am only into my 3rd month of running YNAB for real and I want to make sure I get the kinks ironed out to ensure I have a good data for history in the future. 

    Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Silver Disk Why wouldn't you budget your money monthly? You can use a category in YNAB to hold the cash you don't need. It's basically like an Emergency Fund  or Income Replacement Fund category. Doesn't need to be held in a separate off budget account.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I don’t understand why Nick True gives advice counter to the YNAB system.

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone yeah, I don't know either.

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    • nolesrule I am including it in my budget monthly and then assign it to my emergency fund.  Nick is recommending how to simplify and reserve money you do not need for your month to month.  As I am retired I do not live from pay check to pay check.   I have a fixed income that is ensured for life and I have investment reserves which are classed as assets.  I was getting ready for RMD distributions when Congress changed the rules under the CARES act.  I still need to take money out and depending on this Bear market I will take withdrawals maybe every 6 months into my active accounts.  But I don't want to spend too fast.  I need to make this money last.  It might be better to park the money in the High Interest Savings and only pull into Checking the amount I want to actively budget each month.  By moving this extra Cash account into Asset it cleans up the account listings.   Right now I have 6 cash accounts along with Wallet and 11 Credit cards.  I think just like decluttering my house during quarantine some decluttering of accounts would be a good thing.  I really like Nick True's video series and found them very helpful in finally getting me up to actively budgeting on YNAB.  I was a 2 time fail before turning to his vlog.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Disk my point was you can do all of this more simply within the budget itself. 

      Like
  • That is the way I have it set up now.  It is pretty cluttered with that many accounts.  Nick has a good Decision tree with his check lists that help someone decide how the account set up would be best for them.  https://nick.ck.page/ynab

    Like
    • Silver Disk 

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Disk You don't need a bunch of accounts when using YNAB properly. In YNAB, categories do the job of purposes for your funds. Funds you're not actively budgeting can go into a Distribution category(s) or whatever you want to call it(them).

      Like
  • I know I don't have to.  However, I am a big picture person.  I WANT to use it this way.  After all one of the benefits of YNAB once you get the approach you can make it work the way you think.    The ideas Nick provided in this video appealed to me, not asking anyone else to agree.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tmWf0eYKGQ&t=618s  I just wanted to know how to easily convert this one account to a tracking account. 

    Like
    • Silver Disk If you're worried about following Faness 's steps, create a fake account to practice with. You can even put the fake account in a fake budget so you don't have to worry about messing up your budget.

      When you go through the steps, I think you'll find it is not that hard. Just make the desired account, go back to the current account register, select all transactions, and move them over. There's not extra clearing, as far as I know.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Silver Disk That's not big picture. That's micromanaging. This is big picture:

      The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts | You Need A Budget

      Like 2
    • Hi Silver Disk !

      There are a few issues with moving transactions from an on budget account to a Tracking account. Tracking accounts don't use categories, so moving those transactions to a tracking account will retroactively affect your budget. You can use the Undo button as long as you don't refresh the page or log out after giving it a try. 

      If you don't like how that changes your budget, instead of moving the transactions, you can transfer the balance to a new tracking account and close the on budget account. To do that, give these steps a try:

      1. Create a new Tracking account with a $0 balance.

      2. Select to close the on budget account.

      3. To close the account, it has to have a $0 balance, so YNAB will ask where you want the balance transferred to - select the new Tracking account. You'll also need to select a category to take the funds from, if the funds aren't all in one category, like an "investment" category, but sprinkled throughout your day to day categories, that's a sign the account should be left on budget.

      This will keep the history intact for the on-budget account and allow the new tracking account to start from today and move forward. 

      Like
    • Faness I have not used the budget account as anything other than an emergency fund.  Funds were transferred to checking before assigning it.   Therefore switching it should not have any impact.

      Like
      • Rachka
      • Devoted YNABER
      • Cyan_Door.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

                   OMG, thank you, thank you so much, this is exactly what I need!!! You're amazing!

      I want to change my budget account into a tracking account as the purposs of funds I hold in that acc                ount has changed. I'm in the UK and here we have a special savings account that only allows you to withdraw funds either as a deposit for a property or after the age of 60. I was planning to save up for a house in that account, however I have changed my mind now, I want to keep the account going and save for a house in a different one. Going to close the account now and open a tracking account right away! O            h I'm so excited!

      Like
  • Superbone said:
     I don’t understand why Nick True gives advice counter to the YNAB system.

     From all I've seen of Nick's videos, he still implements a budget-by-account paradigm within his YNAB. This forces him to over-complicate his methodology, and it means he can't quite grasp how to better organize his finances because he remains confined by the limitations of his hybrid system.  I like Nick. He's enthusiastic and well-meaning, but this is a limitation he's passing along to new YNABers and it isn't serving his viewers well.

    Like 4
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      HappyDance This exactly this. He is enthusiastic and well meaning, but it has always struck me that he’s never really had the A Ha! moments with YNAB that lead to really optimizing the method.
      I find him grating, but that’s me, and is separate from my dislike of his explanations. 
       

      Like 3
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor To some, he seems to be the Jesus of YNAB but I feel like he's leading his flock astray. 😜

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Superbone It's the beard.

      Like 2
  • We sent some of our goons to Nick's trailer to convince him to stop budgeting by account. We have the most polite, hard-working goons in the business, but Nick is so affable that he bought them all coffee at the Capital One Cafe and they ended up opening an average of 2.3 new savings accounts per goon. You can't say we didn't try.

    Like 7
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