I want YNAB to allow nested categories.
Am I correct in concluding that these are not allowed? Has anyone figured out a way to do this?
1. True Expenses / Intermittent or Irregular expenses
1.a. Dining Out
1.a.1. Lunch at Work
1.a.2. Dinners out with Wife
1.a.3. Family dinner at restaurant
I know that YNAB aims to keep things simple. But that doesn't always suit me.
I end up with multiple related categories, but I don't think I could group them with a middle tier as you have. For example, I have my regular clothing budget, and I also have some money set aside in case I need to buy a suit or similar professional clothes instead of the more casual clothes I can wear currently. That money has a category grouped with my other professional expenses, not the rest of my clothing.
I would like to be able to see my categories grouped one way on the budget screen (probably roughly time-based: immediate, monthly, annual bills, future savings, etc) and one way on most of the reports (probably the traditional groupings of housing, auto, food, entertainment, etc). That's probably even more complicated to build into the app though!
If you are having trouble with all of these spending areas and you do need to break them out rather than as a single category, then do as adriana01 said and just have a category group for Dining, a category group for Clothing, etc. There's no reason that Dining or Clothing need to have their own parent.
Alternatively, you can filter your reports on specific categories if you need aggregate totals of multiple categories. They do not even need to be in the same category group.
It's not exactly what you want, but instead of having the category group be True Expenses and the subcategory Dining Out, you could make Dining Out be its own category group, and then add the different scenarios as categories. At least that way you could see the total spent on eating out, plus see the breakdown for the different ways in which you spend money on dining.
I just wanted to point out that Dining Out isn't really a True Expense. True Expenses are the ones that happen with a frequency less than once per month where you should be saving up for them monthly.
I tend to call the categories that can happen at any time throughout the month but not on a regular schedule "Everyday Expenses". Personally, I consider clothing an everyday expense, but YMMV.
If you are hanging out here, it's best to understand the terminology.
Warren's balanced money formula of
I've not heard of that, but Larry Burkett had a similar view. YNAB book speaks against this view, just FYI. I think those are good checks and balances, but I don't budget by them. I mean, like I can look over my spending for six months, and check to see if it's in a range, like 30% of income.
I would also love this feature. The lack of hierarchy may be somewhat of an aesthetic issue for some, but I find having a way to visually differentiate and demonstrate correlation helps my brain organize and process information. It would be a very practical feature to help me organize temp categories for saving that I then roll into a larger category for tracking.
YNAB needs to allow multiple views for categories and grouping
THIS! has been on my mind a lot lately.
You've said something in the past that drives at this point too - something about software not being 2-dimensional.
I'm holding off trying to formulate a wonderful Feature Request for something that addresses this, while I figure out if my needs are true or just a product of my early-stages of YNAB'ing.
I use the flags for this. Green is subcategory a blue is subcategory b etc. Then you can filter the transactions by category and flag colour. This keeps the category list manageable. I find less is better when it comes to categories. I think in the chrome toolkit (which I don’t use) you can give the flags names so you don’t have to remember the colour meaning.
I want this so bad! I have a "Replacements" main category with almost everything I can think of that needs to be replaced. When I get a thing I expect and need to last (phone, rug, wig, TI-89 graphing calculator), I create a category for it with the replacement value as a goal for how long I think it will reasonably last.
I love the clarity this brings, both with my actual expenses and the actual cost of bringing a new thing into my life. However, it gets very cluttered on the budget. If I could just sub-budget/sub-goal things under the main category, and have the main category budget goal update to reflect sub-categories, it would be life-changingly awesome!