Group buying transactions?

Newbie YNABer here - appreciate your patience if this has been asked and answered before.

I'm wondering how to log the following scenario - I purchase eggs directly from a farmer on behalf of a number of families in my neighbourhood. Eggs are delivered every other week and I pay for the whole order from my chequing account on delivery day. The other members of the group pay me ahead of time for 8 sessions at a time. In other words, I get a chunk of money every 16 weeks from roughly 10 people, and I pay out some of that money (plus my own share) every two weeks.  

Any recommended approaches to keep this simple?


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  • Let's see... I'm typing as I think it through, so I reserve the right to come back with a better idea. 🙂

    1. Make an Egg category (or if you do something similar with produce/meat, call it something like Local Food).

    2. When neighbors pay you, inflow directly to the category. Their name would be the payee, and put #eggs in the memo. I would probably schedule the transactions to save work - more on that later.

    3. Because you're also contributing, you would need to budget your portion of the eggs directly to that category. 

    4. When you pay for the eggs, the payee would be the farmer, memo #eggs. This is easily scheduled for every two weeks. I would do a bit of a trick here for cash-flow visuals, more on that later. 

    5. To see the status of everything, just go to the transaction register and search #eggs.

    Pretty simple. You could use a goal on the category for your portion, but I'll break that out, too.

    • Regarding scheduled transactions from neighbors:

      I'm almost certain there's not a 16-week recurring option for future transactions, so to save work, I'd...

      1. Make a transaction for a pretend neighbor with appropriate amount, pretend payee, #eggs memo. Use tomorrow's date so you can learn the workflow for when they hit.

      2. Double-click on the date of the transaction to edit it, then click "Make Repeating" and choose "Every 4 Months." That's close enough to 16 weeks to benefit you. 

      3. You'll see that there's a duplicate transaction in the scheduler (greyed out bit at the top of the register). Click in to edit that transaction again, change the date to whenever the real payment will be, and notice that it's set to repeat every 4 weeks. 

      Let's simulate the workflow you'll use when the payments hit:

      1. Select the future transaction (make sure it's the only thing selected), click Edit, click Enter Now. When you do this for real, I'm almost certain you can select all 10 neighbors at the same time.

      2. Notice that the future transaction has now advanced to a date that is 4 months in the future from the future date you previously picked. That's good - when you're doing this for real, that'll be close to the next payment date. 

      You'll do #1 when it's about time for payments to come in, and then you can clear each payment when it actually hits your account. That way, you'll know who's paid so far. Or, you can use the approval dot as a call to action - your choice. I like to get rid of my dots. 

      3. Ok, now that you know how to use scheduled transactions with Enter Now, go make a future transaction (correct future date) that repeats every 4 months for each neighbor. Don't forget the memo!

      4. Delete your pretend neighbor.

      Note: If you try to change the date of an existing transaction and also make it repeating in the same process, things go a bit haywire. Click save in between because I swear there's a bug that goes crazy when you try to make repeating AND change the date without saving in between. I don't like YNAB's bug form, so if someone else wants to contact them about it, be my guest. 

    • Regarding scheduled transactions for the egg delivery, I'd make two separate transactions, two weeks apart, recurring every 4 weeks. 

      That way, you can turn on your running balance and easily see cash-flow for the month. 

      You'll have a couple months a year where there will be 3 payments to the farmer, and if you're particular, you could schedule those in advance now, too. If you did that, you'd just have to make sure to reject the 4-week repeating transaction when it hits, or manually change its date before it hits. I probably wouldn't mess with any of that and just let it be for those 5 week months. 

    • Sorry, I don't have time to talk about goals for your portion. Maybe someone can give more details.

      Easiest would be to normalize your monthly contribution and budget on the 1st of each month. This would be enough that you don't have to contribute more (thus, changing your nominal monthly budget) in the 3-delivery months. This workflow works best if you are temporally buffered (look up Income for Next Month).

      However, if you get paid every 2 weeks yourself and you're simply budgeting with each paycheck, just put the amount of your contribution in the Egg category's title. 

      There's not a goal that automates budgeting every two weeks, but it's easy enough to type the amounts in the budget cells if you can reference what they're supposed to be each paycheck. 

      Hope that all helps!

  • Thanks for the detailed responses - I'll admit to being overwhelmed but will take my time to digest.

    Like 1
  • One question comes up immediately - since I'm creating this budget mid-stream, I've already received the inflow from my neighbours (before my YNAB start date, so that money is sitting in my checking account as part of my starting balance). A recent payment for eggs means the Available column is showing as red/negative. Until I reach the next inflow (12 weeks or so), it will always show as negative because the only transactions will be outflow. Should my budget figure each month include the other group members payments, until the next round of payments? Sorry this is so confusing.

      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Pink Panther when you started your budget you needed to budget the money you had already received for eggs to the egg category 

      Like 2
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 3 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Pink Panther You only budget that money once at the start. It will stay in the category across the month boundary until it is spent or you intentionally move it to somewhere else.

      Like 1
  • Got it - thanks.

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