Moving money to off-YNAB savings account

I want to move money to a savings account but I do not want to transfer it to an off-budget account within YNAB. I just want to remove it and forget it.

How can I make this money exit YNAB without YNAB seeing it as an expense?

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    • MsTJ
    • YNAB has given me back my future
    • Believer_in_YNAb
    • 9 mths ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view
    Powder Blue Cartridge said:
    How can I make this money exit YNAB without YNAB seeing it as an expense?

     The only way to take money out of YNAB is to spend it.  Believe what you want is to "spend" the money to your savings account.  

    Powder Blue Cartridge said:
    I just want to remove it and forget it

     That goes against YNAB's teaching.  YNAB recommends giving your money the job of saving, for whatever you want it to do, not the generic kind of saving it looks like you want.  Just to give you an example, I will use my own choices, which will be different than yours.  I save for the December holiday, a replacement vehicle, emergency vet bills, my next vacation, the new shiny thing at the store that I want, my annual expenses.  

    The thinking is that an undefined pile of "savings" isn't as big as it seems.  It won't cover all the things that can come up in life.  $5K might sound like a lot but if several things come up at once, it won't be enough.  

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  • Recommended practices exist for a reason. You will not be as effective if you ignore this one. 

    Retirement and investments go off budget in a Tracking account (or not even in YNAB). Everything else should be on budget.

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  • How is the money categorized right now? You can cancel the budgeted amount for that which will move it to To Be Budgeted. And then "spend" it against TBB.

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  • Hi Powder Blue Cartridge ! Can you let us know a little more about those savings dollars? What are you saving for?

    Savings accounts are purposefully included as a part of your budget, because we want you to give those dollars a job too! It's a different way of thinking about savings, but really powerful.

    Here are a few resources:
    – Take a look at this 7-minute Whiteboard Wednesday about savings.
    – Jump into the YNAB Forum to see how others are handling their savings.
    – Attend a free workshop about savings called Reach your Savings Goals!

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  • You "ignore" money by budgeting it to a category and then don't look at the category. It'll stay in the category till you move it elsewhere. What's the money for anyway?

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule true if the money is in an on budget account. But Powder Blue Cartridge wants to move the actual money to another account that is not on budget. 

      Powder Blue Cartridge my other advice that doesn’t answer the question you asked but solves the issue is to make all your accounts on budget. I initially kept my “savings” accounts off budget and then decided to put all my accounts on budget. This requires that savings categories be set up to “hold” this money in your budget but I found it very useful. For example I moved all my RESP accounts (ESAs for US users) on budget and created a university savings category that I allocated the money. If you want you can even hide the category if you don’t want to be confused that you have that money available. The most important thing is to actually budget that money to savings. I made the mistake with some of my other accounts of not budgeting the savings and accidentally used the money in my budget. A lot of people came to YNAB using bank accounts to keep track of savings eg one account for Christmas another account for car replacement but technically with YNAB you could have a single bank account.

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM We're kinda trying to tell the OP not to do that, as it's not apparent the purpose of the money is for something that should be outside the budget.

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  • Thank you for the replies, everyone.

    The purpose of this money is as long-term savings for a down payment on a piece of real estate. 2-3 years span.

    I don't like looking at savings. I like to put money away somewhere where I can pretend it doesn't exist.

    But I suppose moving it to an off budget account is the only way. It'll make the net worth rise accordingly, anyway. And that's never a bad feeling. :)

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Powder Blue Cartridge You don't have to put it in an off-budget account. Just treat the transfer like any other money that leaves the budget -- categorize the transfer/outflow to a "Down Payment" category. Regardless of whether you use an off-budget account or not, you cannot get around this showing up as an "expense", as it very clearly is money leaving a budget account. (The very definition of an expense.)

      Again, though, the YNAB approach is to simply budget to the Down Payment category and leave it in the category. You should be looking at category balances for spending decisions, anyway. So the fact you have a big fat savings account balance comprised of the funds from a slew of categories doesn't matter in the slightest. The only time you need to look at that account balance is during reconciliation, and even then, it's just a number. That number is not conceptually tied to any category.

      I mean, you don't have a problem not spending the Rent/Mortgage money when you're at the Grocery store, do you? (At least you won't if you look at category balances.) This is the exact same situation. Personally, I like a consistent approach, but it's obviously your call. Good luck in whatever you decide!

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