Does YNAB have plans for multiple currencies support within one budget?

I know this question has already been raised here a few times, but do you guys(the YNAB team) have any plans about supporting multiple currencies? I think it's an essential functionality for a budgeting app.

There're 3rd-party tools that can convert currencies for your transactions, why you cannot do the same? A few years passed since people started asking you, and still no progress in this direction? 

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  • Hi Gray Griffin !

    In short, having multiple currencies in a budget is ideally something we would love to better support in the future. If there's a certain way you'd like to see this option function, I hope you'll take the time to submit a Feature Request.

    One thing that may take some time developing is how to ensure the exchange rates are accurate or apply correctly in the overall numbers. As you know, this could get to be pretty intricate given all the currency options that could be in a single budget at one time.

    In the meantime, another YNABer created the Multi-currency for YNAB API extension. We don't officially support the community created API extensions, so if you have any questions you'll need to reach out to the tool developer, but you may want to give it a try to see if it suits your needs! :)

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    • Faness The add-in you mention seems to only do half of what is needed (transaction entry/conversion). Frankly, that's the easy part.

      Additionally, one must keep track of the ever-changing value of your cash on hand. The only add-in that I've seen that tackles the complete problem is discussed here:

      https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/h44n4m/another-approach-to-foreign-currency-accounts

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    • dakinemaui Thank you for posting that option! It looks like the original poster has asked for testers but hasn't been added to our official community API options. I've commented on that thread in case the creator decides to go that route. :)

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  • hi there,    new to YNAB and just setting things up and noticed that you can only do single currency.     As an expat overseas, I have 3 or 4 currencies in my life so would absolutely love to see this feature available. 

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  • Same here, multi-currency option is necessary.

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  • Hi, I am still on trial phase but already felt the lack of multi-currency a negative aspect. I used Home Budget and despite its difficult manual interface, it could manage multi-currency very well and for me that was a plus.

    Would be great to have this option.

    For now I am pretending the Euro account to be in Pounds... but its misleading anyway. 

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    • Hi Navy Blue Wrench Tan Door and Navy Blue Mare !

      Sorry for the delayed response here! Currently, an in-app feature for multi-currency handling isn't on our short term roadmap, but you can submit a Feature Request to let our Product Team know you'd like to see it!

      We currently suggest using separate budgets for each currency you use, but the add-ons that Work with YNAB offer other alternatives! :)

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  • Thanks Faness for your attention.

    I wonder how does the multi budget works? Assuming they are created under the same login, can values be transfered between budgets? I mean, when we need to move values from one currency account (budget) to another?

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    • Navy Blue Mare Record as an outflow in one budget and an inflow in the other account. 

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    • Navy Blue Mare 

      You'd have one budget for your main currency, let's say U.S. Dollars, and one budget for your secondary currency, let's say Canadian Dollars accounts. In both budgets, you will have a category called 'Currency Transfer'. 

      When it's time to send money from one budget to another, follow these steps:

      1. Assign the money leaving the U.S. Dollars budget to the 'Currency Transfer' category.
      2. Record an outflow transaction showing the funds leaving the budget, using 'Currency Transfer' as the category.
      3. In the Canadian Dollars budget, record an inflow transaction, factoring in the exchange rate and any fees, and categorize these funds to 'Inflow: To be Budgeted'.
      4. Budget to zero!

      We like this method because all the currency fluctuations and charges are simplified. You record what you send, and you record what you receive.

      You can see this in action, along with some other tips, from my colleague Nicole on our blog: The Digital Nomad’s Guide to Budgeting in Different Currencies. :)

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    • Faness I've found this to be the best method overall, but it still falls short because it becomes difficult budgeting for things in your non-local currency and keeping track of that.

      For example my local currency is CAD, but as a US Ex-Pat I have a lot of bills and debt in the US that I have to pay every month.  Budgeting for these and keeping track of the spending is super difficult.  There is far less transparency when everything goes through this one category and you don't even know how much you need to budget for where it is going.

      Best I have been able to do is budget in the US budget using US dollars as normal for YNAB, but then I have to try and account for all of that in the Canada budget so I do a rough conversion to budget for the lump sum on the Canada side.  But until I actually move the money over, and pay those bills, that amount is going to keep fluxuating.  Plus even if it didn't, I would have to do all that math myself.

      While I know exchange rates can be difficult, and get even more complicated when you realize that my bank is probably going to change me a completely different rate when I transfer it over, it would be nice if at least YNAB could do some of the math for me.

      For example, maybe away to indicate that my USA budget is in some way linked to the Canada budget, and that the total of its budget should be reflected in a given category on the "master" Canada budget with a fixed exchange rate that I can easily update.

      So as an example let's say I have USA Budget and Canada Budget.  Canada Budget is my master or local budget and USA Budget is linked to that as a foreign or linked budget.

      In the USA Budget I have a few budget categories, for a simple example let's say Mortgage, Investments, and a Credit Card that is carrying a balance but being paid down.  This budget is configured to take the SUM of the budgeted amounts in these budget categories, adjust it by a easily changed exchange rate (this could be tied to some updating rate or just set to a fixed rate per user settings, but should be easily updated manually if chosen to do so) and then this amount would show up in a target budget category, for example Currency Exchange, in the master Canada Budget automatically.  It should update in the Canada budget anytime the category values change or the exchange rate is changed.

      This would allow YNAB to operate much the same way it does now, and you would still use multiple budgets to do different currencies, but would provide the connective tissue to make managing it easier.

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  • Actually multicurrency is quite simple (unlike the new credit card approach 😉). One doesnt need to budget in several currencies. Only the register need to support several currencies. And that is simple too.

    My budget is in RUB, my credit card is in RUB as well. When i buy someting from ebay i pay in USD, CAD, AUD or whatever. Before the transaction is fully processed my bank shows it foreign currency and gives me an apporximate Fx. After the transaction is cleared the bank gives me final amount in RUB and puts the initial foreign amount in comments.

    Same can work in YNAB. Nobody's following their budgets down to one cent. An amount in currency + Fx from ANY source is enough to give an idea and allow not to overspend... too much 🙂.

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      • WordTenor
      • Not throwing away my shot.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
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      g000phy Most of us are following our budgets down to the cent. 

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  • g000phy said:
    Only the register need to support several currencies

    Not quite. Working with the equivalent value in a single budget is the second common approach, and you've discussed the issue with transaction entry (converting to the equivalent value). The remaining issue is due to the fact that someone has an account that is actually in a different currency than the budget currency.

    The equivalent value of that money changes as the exchange rate changes, impacting the budget (spending plan). I don't know about you, but even a 10% shift (not uncommon) in TOTAL BUDGET FUNDS would mandate a change in my spending plans.

    They would need to periodically reconcile that YNAB account, making a reconciliation adjustment. Having a category to absorb this "effective" spending/income would be a smart thing.

    Thus the tradeoffs:

    Separate budgets (dedicated currencies) -- result in duplicate categories and have difficulty with holistic planning. 

    Single budget (equivalent currency) -- have to babysit the foreign account balances and the impact to future spending plans.

    Pick your poison.

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  • Thanks everyone for spending time giving your feedback.

    I am still in the 30 days free test hence have space to play with the App. The multi currency is quite important to me so I have filled in a functionality suggestion in the Website, just so the development team and YNAB business strategists can get the feeling of their customer base needs.

     

    I will try the multi budget for a while since my transactions are fairly simple and the expenses are either in one or another. It can become more tricky as using a tech back like Revolut which is quite current agnostic - but for this I solved the issue with a single category where I pay Revolut when required (not sure if there is a better idea).

    So, hopping that YNAB will one day support multi currencies (I have it with Home Budget) I will continue to play with it for now.

    Thanks everyone.

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  • Hey guys, there is a new solution to this pain, a currency converter for YNAB that I made. Please see this thread, where I describe it in detail: https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/p8hybcj/app-currency-converter-for-ynab Cheers! :)

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  • Hi all. I’m shopping around for a new budgeting app. Pocket smith, which is a competitor to YNAB has native support for multi currency and might tip me over to going with them instead.

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