Budget Your Savings as Tracking accounts

I watched Nick true video on  using Savings as tracking asset. I am using option 3 where i don;t have a Savings account visible in YNAB but track specific tracking categories to budget long term savings.. these are off budget.  The Tracking category tells me my savings balnace from my bank.  now, say I want to add in  401k or mortgage.  The tracking category will most likely change and will not be able to see my Savings Account balance in YNAB.  Is this the way to do this?  or is there a different way to set up accounts so I can see balances for Asset accounts.


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    • WordTenor
    • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
    • WordTenor
    • 2 mths ago
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    Most longtime YNABers feel this (keeping your savings as a tracking account) is a phenomenally terrible idea which cuts off at the knees one of the most powerful features of YNAB, which is the account/category independence. 

    Here's a better explanation of what you should do with savings: 

    The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts - YNAB

    Investments should be tracking accounts or (my preference) not in YNAB at all. 

    Like 6
  • No, that's not the recommended way AT ALL. It's significantly harder to manage and you lose insight into what your money can actually do (assuming it's not a "single" purpose account). Even a single-purpose account like an Emergency Fund is harder to use (when needed) and harder to grow (when not needed).

    Recommended practice is to have savings accounts as on-budget accounts. Create categories corresponding to the various things for which you're saving (Christmas, annual auto insurance, Income Replacement, etc.). Then read this and stop trying to sync categories to accounts. Purpose (categories) and location (accounts) are INDEPENDENT concepts.

    Most of Nick True's material is good. He missed the boat on this one entirely, calling it the "lazy" way. It's the actually the "best" way.

    Like 7
  • oh wow, i took me a while to figure out how to setup savings as a tracking asset.  😕.  Let me read up on your advice and probably undo what I did.  thank you guys for opening my eyes.

    Like 1
  • I can't add anything to this other than to say that Tracking accounts should ONLY be used for tracking assets and liabilities such as 401k or mortgage or house value because they are not accounts containing money that should be part of your budget.

    Like 3
  • This was a pain trying to put back together, but back on track now.  Thanks everyone

    Like 2
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