savings account / emergency fund

Okay, I am a baby to this YNAB.  I just added my accounts and have money in a savings account that I want to hold in reserve for emergencies.  How do I add a category to hold this money aside?  I do not want it included in my budget as money that is "available". 

16replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • And how in the world do I change this weird profile name?  "Pink Cleric"?

    Reply Like 1
      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Pink Cleric The username is auto-generated, just for anonymity sake in case you don't want to share your real name. Click your username up in the top right corner, then Edit Profile: https://support.youneedabudget.com/settings/profile

      Reply Like
      • Pikayo
      • Pikayo
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Lynne  lol, that certainly was a weird username!  I see you managed to change it.  😂

      Reply Like
  • Those dollars are there for a reason. What is their "job"? Car repairs? Dental surgery? Medical bills? Job loss income replacement? Make a category for that job and budget money to it.

    The purpose of doing this is to illustrate to you that one amorphous blob of "emergency fund" cannot simultaneously do the job of being available to replace the dishwasher if it goes belly-up, pay an unexpected ER bill, and fix the clutch on your car. Each dollar can only do one job.

    Reply Like 3
    • bevocat while generally ideal i find for just starting out you probably can't find all id that nor know which you will need so a general emergency fund works great for that purpose then as you get to the place to have a separate budget item for say car repairs what constitutes an emergency will change, for example replacing g a lost income.  But there is nothing wrong with having just a general emergency fund,  even once you start finding more specific items.

      Reply Like
  • I have a category called emergency fund, since it’s for emergencies of any kind, and not of just one kind. Then if I need to use it I can, but it’s not available in my To Be Budgeted. 

    Reply Like
  • I did what you are trying to do. I have a savings account with X amount of dollars in it as my emergency fund. I have a budget category called Emergency Fund. I budgeted the amount that I have in my savings account. When I add to the Emergency Fund category, I transfer from my checking account to my savings account. If I get an interest payment in my savings account I put that in my Emergency Fund Category.

    Reply Like
  • Hi Lynne !

    We think of savings a little differently at YNAB, so I wanted to leave a link to a few resources:

    – Here's an article showing you how it all works.

    – Take a look at this 7-minute Whiteboard Wednesday about savings.

    – Attend a free workshop about savings called Reach your Savings Goals!

    Reply Like
  • I differ from the opinion that savings could all be for named things without a big blob called "Emergency Fund".  I have both types of savings.

    For me, the named things are those that that I expect to have to pay for at some point but don't know when or how much, like dental treatment or home maintenance.  Also for planned things that come up occasionally or periodically, like annual software subscriptions.

    The Emergency Fund is for things that hopefully will never happen, like losing my job and having a few months before I get another one.  Or the roof (which should be fine) turning out not to be fine after all and suddenly needing to be replaced.  Or legal fees if I find myself in an unexpected situation where I need legal advice.  I don't have a big fund for each thing.  I couldn't afford that.  And although they're possible, they're unlikely.  But I do have one big pot to cover things like that.

    The Emergency Fund is a category in my budget like the others, and I have available funds in it.  I simply don't spend from it.  I have a goal set for the total amount, so the little goal icon next to the amount should always be showing that it's fully funded.  I've also moved it to the bottom of the list of budget categories so it's separated out a little.

    Reply Like 3
  • I don’t find the name Emergency Fund to be very useful, and the difference of opinion in this thread illustrates why. I’ve renamed mine Buffer Zone.

    Plus I have categories for all the little ‘emergencies ‘ I used to have. “Stuff I forgot to. budget for” ought to cover any that come up which I hadn’t thought of. For example, a little while ago haircuts had to be paid from “Stuff I ..ftbf” but now I have a Haircuts category.

    Reply Like 1
  • I have an Emergency Fund for 2 main reasons. One is for the unexpected things that can go wrong. The other reason is if I were to lose my job. I'm lucky in that I could probably get some work in my field if I were to lose my job, but I would still need some money to get by. I'm still building that up to 3 months. I keep it in an Amex Savings account, that pays a little over 2%. I also have next month's budget fully budgeted, I'm building that to 2 months in advance. This is in checking. Lastly, I have a Stuff category, which typically less than $50-$100 in it. This is for the haircut type stuff. That's just the way I do it. From what I've found, pretty much every personal finance guide recommends a 3 to 6 month emergency fund.

    Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      John Herman Yeah, but you don't have to call it "emergency fund". You could have it in "job loss fund", "unexpected home repairs", "unexpected auto repairs" (as opposed to the expected kind that you're budgeting for), etc. I stole this idea from somebody else, but mine is called "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

      Reply Like 2
    • bevocat If I don't call it Emergency Fund then Dave Ramsey will hunt me down!

      Reply Like 2
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I think most of the people who recommend 6-9 months income or expenses for an emergency fund don't expect people to have any other savings funds. The expectation always seems to be that it will cover everything from unexpected auto or home maintenance to income loss. 

      My goal is to get my specific rainy day savings categories (auto, home, medical, electronics) to add up to 3-6 months or total of deductibles & out of pocket max, and to have an income loss fund of 3 months. Then I'm in a better place than just a generic emergency fund because I know what my money is supposed to be doing & whether I need it to immediately accessable or can invest some of it for higher returns.

      Reply Like 1
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      adriana01 Yes, I think this is how I’m coming at it. I wonder, if we all added up the money which is currently budgeted in true expense categories... would maybe add up to six months salary. Or not, just a thought.

      Since I’m dealing with those emergencies already I suppose ‘buffer’ makes more sense to me. Although I’m very happy to agree it’s a matter of semantics *and* opinion 🙂

      Reply Like 2
      • Lynne
      • Designer
      • Pink_Cleric.1
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      lindsay_g 

      Reply Like
Like2 Follow
  • 2 Likes
  • 5 mths agoLast active
  • 16Replies
  • 525Views
  • 11 Following