Savings with different currencies
I’ve been using YNAB for over two years now, and it has helped me a lot with my finances, but there’s an issue I don’t know how to fix. I am an immigrant in the country where I live and have most of my accounts, which are in Euro currency. However, I also have some savings accounts on my hometown, which uses a completely different currency. Right now, I use two different budgets, one to manage the accounts on Euros and the second one for my hometown accounts. Does anyone of you have any useful tips for this, any other way that does not requiere me to change budgets every time? Maybe YNAB could add some multi-currency capabilities to one single budget...
April - YNAB Team Is there something I'm missing in thinking that multi-currency is barred by the nature of having a zero-based budget? I suppose there could be some sort of way to essentially make two budgets function on one screen, but you can't have the account-independence, category-reliance aspect of YNAB and successfully do multi-currency because the account values aren't directly interchangeable.
As I said in the other thread about this, I'm surprised to see people from YNAB saying they'll pass this on without even mentioning that problem. I could ask for YNAB to be enhanced so that it also cleaned my house, and you could promise you'd ask the dev team about adding that feature, but it doesn't address the fundamental problem that YNAB is software. It can't clean my house no matter how much the developers think about adding that feature. So telling me, "we'll consider it" is disingenuous in that instance, and to the best of my knowledge, it is here, too.Reply
This is something that's majorly bugged me, too. I totally understand why YNAB is unlikely to add proper full-on support for multiple currencies in a single budget (it gets VERY complicated very quickly!).
That said, I'd honestly be happy with the simple ability to enter a transaction in whatever currency I want, and have it auto-converted before saving to my main currency at a sensible current exchange rate. That's fuzzy, sure, and will cause everything to subtly drift in the long term (or even medium-short term :P), but I'm more than happy to deal with reconciling that myself.
(cc April at YNAB )Reply
Hi I followed this discussion with interest although will need longer to get my head around the finer points of it. I was pondering this issue myself this morning because I live in UK (and use UK pounds £) but go abroad fairly regularly for short periods and spend in euros. I was thinking I could just create a 'euros cash' account which I actually enter in pounds, and a single 'expenses abroad' category, then track my individual expense transactions manually in euros,and convert the total expenses for the period abroad back into pounds on my return (and the new total amount in my 'euros' cash account too). But then I would still have the hassle of converting each individual transaction into pounds on my return,otherwise ynab will misconstrue the £/euros individual discrepancies as overspend or underspend and be unable to reconcile the account. Has anybody tried something similar to this and found any workaround? I guess ideally ynab would build in some kind of feature that silently carries out currency conversions at the level of individual transactions when a user instructs it that an account is in a different currency. It would lead to some drift long term because of currency conversion differences but that wouldn't personally bother me too much, at least not for my purposes (it might be more problematic for others) thanks!Reply
I think YNAB could focus on assuming people have a main currency, but use other currencies for smaller operations. I do use other accounts almost every month, so they should be part of my budget. My plan is to convert the amount to my local current, and then reconcile from time to time. What do you think?Reply
Thanks all for your comments. Gold Sander I resolved my issue in the end by having two separate budgets - one for euros, the other for pounds - and while I was abroad I entered all my transactions in euros in the euros account just like I would do in my regular pounds budget. Then when I came back to the UK I found out the pounds equivalent for what I had left from my euros after my expenditures abroad, and entered that figure *in pounds* within my regular pounds account in a newly created account called 'euro cash'. I then assigned the pounds equivalent of what I had *spent* in euros to a category within my regular pounds account called 'expenditure abroad'. This works quite well for me because I only go abroad every other month or so for a short period. This wouldn't work very well at all for anybody making transactions in multiple currencies on a daily (or at least much more frequent) basis. But I think it works quite well for long weekends away etc., even if there will be a certain amount of drift and minor loss of accuracy due to currency exchange fluctuations.Reply
Budgetbakers.com accomplishes multiple currencies. What they do is require each budget to have a "base" currency. For example, my base currency is USD. Most of my accounts in the app are in USD. I do have a cash account in Bahraini Dinar though. That account stays in BD and I can use it as is. However, for the overall budget they automatically convert the BD to USD so that I have an overall balance that's reflected in the base currency. That doesn't seem like it would be too difficult for YNAB to do. I've used YNAB for a long time and I love it. I just wish I had a multiple currency solution that could work out of in ONE budget vs. having to switch back and forth between two.Reply
The point is though, that the very nature of having multiple currencies already means that your personal total net-worth varies second by second, day by day.
If YNAB was to implement this feature that it uses a base currency, and then automatically converts the foreign currency accounts into that base currency, all that would happen is that the total to be budgeted would jump a couple dollars/dinars/euros.
But as long as there is no new transaction YNAB could simply still show $0.00 to be budgeted.
This can be combined with automatically comparing historical exchange rate for yesterday for example, with today.
The difference could also be simply added to the category balances and not the "to be budgeted" section.
That way I'm sure it can be achieved to keep the zero-based budgeting system.
PS: I would love to have this, currently I am trying to figure out how I can use YNAB in a meaningful way with my personal USD/EUR bank accounts and spending, as well as my business USD/EUR accounts.
And multiple budgets seems counter-productive, at least at the moment while I'm trying to get the hang of it.Reply
It would be really great if there was at least the option to have a secondary currency tracking account. As some of the people above, I also manage my money in two currencies. The secondary currency sees fewer transactions in my case, so in theory, I could have two budgets but I find that counterintuitive since the amount from currency 2 also factors into my net worth. I understand that multiple currencies for on budget accounts would be difficult to implement and also not useful for how YNAB is meant to work. But for tracking? As a compromise? I don't understand why that option couldn't be offered there, possibly with a second column for the exchanged amount like one user further up suggested so that it won't mess up the net worth.Reply
I live and work in Kuwait where I earn Kuwait Dinar. But I’m British and maintain my UK pounds sterling credit cards, savings, current account, investments etc.
I DO use two separate budgets for the two currencies. But I DON’T want the app converting back and forward.
Why? The exchange rate fluctuations plus the actual exchange rate the bank gives on transfers. And it costs to make an international transfer.
In the time I’ve lived here the underlying exchange rate has gone between 2.4-2.7. So my stable Kuwait salary goes up and down a lot in equivalent pounds sterling. And when I transfer it’s different again because I have to accept whatever rate the banks are offering. And pay the charges.
It makes much more sense to treat money out of the Kuwait budget as a spend, and the less predictable money into the UK account as a variable income. To say ‘I have 1000kd therefore I have 2400GBP simply isn’t true UNTIL I TRANSFER IT. So it’s claiming money I don’t really have. Which breaks one of the rules.Reply
I'd also like currency support from YNAB. In my case, I have two account: $USD and my local $ in my bank. What I normally do is to convert all to my local $. So, I see I'll have to do a "reconciliation balance" very often.. it'd be nice if this can be done automatically by YNAB. I do keep $USD and only use them when I have to pay something locally. I'm a freelancer and I use my local $ (only convert $USD when needed)Reply
More than a year using YNAB and multi-currency is the feature I need the most. I am actually managing different currencies in separate budgets, but I lose the magic of seeing altogether. I usually earn money in my home currency but invest in USD. I have to create dummy transactions that distort the whole picture. Reports are not useful at all, especially when tracking my net worth. Any chance you guys consider adding the multiple currency feature? The world is one global village and people outside the US would like to take full advantage of your product. Thanks in advance!Reply
- "Global" would be a new view that sits alongside the users other budgets
- Cannot be edited by user - read only
- Is a feed organized in list format or graphical that lists each budget and the amounts in the budget and tracker accounts
- Presents user with a dropdown to select currency
- Takes the amounts in each of the above and does a conversion on same day (based on whatever exchange source) and feeds back in user selected currency.
- Future enhancements could be a date of conversion (last month, last year, x day)
Result: we see our balances in one place in our desired currency.
I think YNAB is focused on their local US market and lacks the international vision to attend to issues like this.
it has been years since people started complaining about this. I think we can crowd fund a project and create a better version of YNAB that does cater to our requirements.
it is possible the US market is enough for YNAB and other markets are not interesting enough business wise.
i own an IT company and can certainly help managing the project and the development needed.
would be interested in having partners and listening to what you think.Reply
It's mentioned above in the thread, but I wanted to leave another link to our Feature Request form. At this time, each budget in your YNAB account can only handle one currency. We continue to receive requests for multi-currency support, but we haven't found the best way to implement it. If you submit your ideas through the Feature Request form, they go straight to our development team for further consideration! :)Reply