Question about advice within help article "budgeting with a partner"


I am interested in the following:

"Scenario #3: Some of your accounts are shared accounts, and some accounts are separate accounts.

Option A: Individual accounts feed individual budgets, shared accounts feed into a shared budget."

In the explanation, it says "This method requires you to have three separate budgets in YNAB, the shared budget and two separate budgets."


Does this mean that I actually create a new budget within YNAB with a balance for the joint account there? Or do I simply use categories to create a second "budget" for the shared account?     

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  • Separate budgets.

    Because a YNAB budget is a distribution of the sum of money in all accounts that are part of the budget, it can be very easy for money to end up in the "wrong" account or the "wrong" category. This isn't an issue when everything is shared because there are no "wrong" accounts or categories when everything is shared, but when things need to be kept separated, then it can become an issue.

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    • nolesrule Okay, but how do I budget my transfers from my individual budget to the shared one?


      Say i wanted to transfer £600 per month to the shared budget. Would it be best to just put this as an outflow in a category in my individual budget called "joint account" and then go to the joint account budget and class that £600 as an inflow, and budget it accordingly?


      Would it be advisable to have a budget group in my individual account called "shared account" wherein I can still budget for rent, water and so on separately so I can see where the money is going to be allocated to before it's sent to the joint budget? 

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    • Coral Unicorn yes, that's what you would do. I just create a transfer transaction that is an outflow from my one budget, and then create a transaction in the other budget as an inflow. I run a small business, and sometimes I have to loan myself funds (some day I'll pay them back), so I have a "Pmt to Biz" transaction that I use, and I use the funds out of a specific category.
      The same is true if my BF pays for something on one of his credit cards that I budgeted for on my budget. I just create a payment to him for it, and then receive the funds on his budget.

      If you reconcile regularly then it's not difficult to keep up with (I run 3 budgets, one for me, one for my small business, and one for my BF)


      I like your idea of creating a category group "shared account" and having individual categories under it to keep track of your portion of bills, that is a nice way to keep it organized.

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