Can I track a loan?

Hi all, I'm a newbie here! I have loaned money to a family member, and I would like to keep track of his repayments and loan balance. Is this something YNAB can do? Thanks!

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  • Yes. It's a tracking account. It kinda manual. You create a new tracking account and enter the balance. When a payment is made, you enter it twice, as far as I can tell. You enter it into the tracking account to reduce the loan amount, and you enter it in your budget accounts (like checking), then budget it out (leave as TBB in your transaction and hope over to the budget page to fill up categories with the funds).

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  • Welcome! The most helpful thing for me was the YNAB book. If you don't have a copy of the book at your library, I created a list of content on YNAB that matches the book, mostly. The list is at https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j

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  • Mama O'Munchkins  I do this all the time for my kids. I have one tracking account set up for each of my kids. I have 4. I set them up as asset accounts. when I loan them money or buy something I expect to get paid back for I do a transfer from my on budget account with a category to the tracking account. The amount in the tracking account is a positive number and it is what they owe me.

    When they pay me back it is a transfer from the tracking account to my on budget account categorized to the loan category. The balance in the tracking account what is left owing.

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  • Here's what I do:

    1. Create a tracking account of the asset type

    2. When the money is loaned, the loan is a transfer from one of the on budget accounts to the Loan tracking account, with a category on the budget side that makes sense for that transaction. (This is one transaction when you create it, but it records in both accounts). Since the Payee is the transfer to account info, I put the person & reason in the memo field.

    3. The Loan tracking account has a positive balance because this is money that I am owed

    4. When repayments are made, the transaction is a transfer from the Loan account to the proper on budget account. The on budget side will need a category. If I am repaid in the same month, I will use the same category as originally to reduce the amount it shows I spent in that category. Beyond that same month, I'm not really sure it matters whether it is put in TBB or a category, except that if it is put in a category it will reduce the amount of spending, or possibly show positive activity for the month.

    Other people have found other ways to do this, but I found this works best for me as I find it easier to track.

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    • I do exactly as adriana01 described. Think of that tracking account as your family member's pocket with your money in it. Hopefully at some point, it all comes back to one of your budget accounts.

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
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      dakinemaui said:
      Hopefully at some point, it all comes back to one of your budget accounts

      Sigh.  Emphasis on hopefully...... Family members in need of loans are not always a good risk. In my own case I'm still hoping. It defies logic, but I'm optimistic.

      Here's the nice thing about using the tracking account method for reimbursable expenses or loans to family members:  The loaned funds left the budget when they were loaned. If they come back, you reintroduce the funds to the budget. But if the loan is forgiven or never repaid, it won't affect the budget if I reconcile the tracking account to zero.  For this reason alone, I prefer the tracking account method over one of carrying the loan (or claimable expenses)  in my budget. It just feels cleaner.

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      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
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      HappyDance You might want to read the book I posted in my latest reads thread.

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    • adriana01 I like the concept of an Asset account to track money that I'm owed, but any suggestions on how would I make this work if the Loan is something that I pay for the person? ie: something I put on my CC that they are going to pay me back for?

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Inspector 

      I use my tracking account to do this all the time.  When I run an errand for my mom, I don't enter the store as the vendor; I enter a transfer to my Errands for Mom tracking account, categorized to reimbursable expenses category.

      I often do want to include the vendor's name somewhere so that I can match it up with my cc statement or for reference (Mom, you already paid me for that), so I just enter the vendor or items purchased or both in the memo field. The bonus on doing it this way is that I don't fill up my payee names with vendors I don't normally use.

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  • Great advice guys, thank you! I'll have a go at a tracking account setup! 😁

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