Has anyonefigured out good approach to FSA and Dependent Care accounts in YNAB? It’s income but can’t be moved around so they are tricky.

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  • The money in an FSA, DCFSA or HSA is income, or at least it was when it originally went into the account. So from that point of view it's fine to record it as income and budget it wherever you want in your budget.

    If you aren't budgeting for the spending that gets reimbursed from these accounts, you would just budget the money into these spending categories to cover the overspending. However reimbursements in a different month are difficult to manage so it's best to budget for the original spending and then use the reimbursement "income" wherever you want in  the budget.


    Also, one needs to remember that for YNAB purposes, income is just new money coming into the budget. It doesn't mean it's income in the same sense as a paycheck or bank account interest. And you xan always use the Payee to differentiate the sources.

      • Dan
      • Dan_YNAB
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule  I do the same. I treat the money as income and have a FSA-qualified medical expenses category where I budget those dollars. All FSA-qualified medical spending is categorized there. I do have a few medical expenses that don't qualify, so I have another medical category that's generic. 

  • I try to keep things really simple. I budget for the expense using my regular income (because the FSA is a withholding from my paycheck I don't have a tracking account for it or anything), and then when I receive the reimbursement I treat it as income that goes into TBB and gets a job. 

      • sgarelick
      • sgarelick
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      starlady09 I also try to keep things simple and budget for the expense using my regular income. When I get the FSA Reimbursement, I treat it as extra found money and budget the money directly to my emergency fund or some other savings category I have set up; kind of creates a forced savings plan (-;

  • I have a Medical Stuff Master Category with 8 categories in it. I only budget to Out of Pocket Max <This Year>, Out of Pocket Max <Next Year>, Dentist, and Eye Doctor/Contacts. I pay everything up front on my own credit card for points and then file for FSA reimbursement. If I get a prescription for example, I move money out of OOPM<This Year> to Prescriptions. When I get the FSA reimbursement, I treat it as income because it is the first time this money is touching my budget and allocate it to OOPM<Next Year>. Knock on wood, my dental and Eye Doctor/Contacts expenditures have been pretty rock steady for over 5 years. So when I first started YNAB I budgeted a year's worth to each of those categories and when I get the FSA reimbursement for those expenses they start out as income but then are assigned to Dental or Eye Doctor as necessary. 

    At the end of the Plan Year, anything left in OOPM<This Year> gets moved to OOPM<Next Year> and that way I always start the Plan Year with a year's OOPM ready to go from day 1.

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  • Bringing this topic back to life.

    So if dependent care costs 1000, and then FSA reimburses 500, and then work reimburses 500 too, do I budget for 1000, and treat the two reimbursements as income in YNAB? Since I physically have to write a check for 1000 to the childcare center, I need to make sure I have that money available by date x.


    I am trying to make sure I am not doing something wrong.

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