How do I resolve this (budgeted cat + auto transfer)
When I first started YNAB, I had some accounts kept off-the-record (I don't use them, they are just holding tanks for escrow). I made a budgeted category so that I made sure to put the money aside - each week $250 is taken out of my main checking and sent to the savings account.
I've since added in this savings account and set up recurring transactions to transfer the $250 each week. As you can see in the pic, I still have the amount budgeted as a line-item so that I set the money aside.
How do I:
1) Fix this so that it properly reflects in my total account amount? I'm obviously off, now, since it's double-counting (maybe - with so many moving parts in this account it's hard to tell).
2) Simultaneously record a transfer while *also making sure* to budget for the money to be taken out, each week?
If this account was only for your Escrow then when you added the account on budget, you should have assigned all the money to your Escrow category. And every week you will continue to add $250 to the budget category and the balance will build and build. Whether you continue to do the transfers from checking to savings is entirely optional. I'm not saying don't put money in your savings account, I'm actually saying maybe put more. If your average outgoings each month are $5000, I would say any money over $5,750 (or maybe $6000 if you like round numbers) should be in a savings account. If you have a big credit card bill to pay, you'll have at least 21 days notice to move funds back to your savings account.Reply
I don't carry credit card debt and I have several other accounts where this theory can apply to - I just posted one example.
I understand assigning all the money to the one category to start (more on that next paragraph)...but if I both budget and do the transfers doesn't that double count? Maybe not. It's really hard for me to see this with a birds-eye view. In essence that is what I am doing now but it seems off. In fact, the account has like 9K in it, but my "available" is 10K.
So since I didn't do it that way to start, how can I fix this? It might just be best to delete this particular savings account and start over/re-add it back in as if it was new. But need to figure out my question above, first.Reply
Lauren E said:
I don't carry credit card debt
I pay my statement balance in full on the due date and if I wanted to I could pay the account balance in full at any moment in time because my credit card payment category always equals my credit card account balance (but with an opposite sign). But when I replaced my HVAC last year for $8K, I had to move some money around in my accounts because I don't normally keep that much in my checking account. A high credit card bill does not necessarily equal credit card debt.Reply
Hi, Lauren E
I have done historical revision in my budget. This is how I would proceed with fixing those transfers so that they are shown as going to the savings account that is now on budget.
First: create a new on-budget savings account.
Second: do a search for all your previous transfers to the off-budget account. I recommend you do this in the register of the on-budget account (chequing?) and filter by doing a search for the category name. Once you have those transactions grouped on your screen, open each one and change the payee to read Transfer: [name of your on-budget savings account]. This will strip out the category and make it a transfer instead of a transaction.
When you are done doing the revisions, the off-budget savings account register should be empty. If it is, at this point it is safe to delete that account.
Make sure to reconcile your on-budget savings account when you're done.
After you do this, when you click on your budget screen, you will see that all those transferred funds for escrow are sitting in the budget category waiting to be put to work, presumably to pay escrow eventually. This is correct. Until you actually pay the escrow, the transaction or spending has not taken place. Transfers to different on-budget accounts have zero effect on the budget screen.
Trying to both budget by account and use YNAB is convoluted and advanced busy work. I'm not surprised that you find it confusing. You would benefit from reading this YNAB article. Please bookmark it and revisit it a few times. It will help.Reply
Lauren E said:
WordTenor One minor nuance - I 100% understand that I use YNAB as my one source of truth. But these funds ARE indeed moving to another account (higher interest earned). And it happens automatically from checking to savings in "real life" and as scheduled in YNAB. How would that change the explanation, if at all, then? Thank you!
It doesn't change anything. The transfers happen in the background. My only suggestion is that if you get paid on say the 10th and 25th of the month and $500 of each paycheck goes to taxes and insurances, stop doing weekly transfers of $250 and just do transfers of $500 on the 11th and 26th (so your check has time to clear) and that will leave the money in the savings account for longer earning more interest.Reply
Lauren E said:
LOL, I don't know - all I do know is I'm off exactly $1000 which equals $250x4. I guess I just need to leave it at that, because I can't figure out the disconnect.
I hate the threading in this forum; I have no idea what you are replying to and also I was trying to fix a quote issue in one of my replies and ended up with a whole new reply. Anyway. You are off by $1000. Assuming that your accounts (actual accounts) are all up to date and accurate and that you have reconciled (I mean actually using the reconcile button, not just looking at the numbers), then the issue is in your budget categories. Literally the only thing you can do is manipulate your various categories until the Taxes/Insurance category equals what you want it to equal.
Also, now that you have both accounts on budget, you bank is going to import the transfers and transactions and you are going to have to edit the payee info to fix this. I do 100% manual entry so I have no idea how to do this and someone else will have to tell you how to fix this.Reply
Lauren E said:
Only when I added in the account to YNAB and set up scheduled transfers COMBINED with budgeting to a budget line did this start to go wonky in my eyes.
(I'm on full month 3. Many months from now, I hope to look back at this question and think I was being ridiculous)
As noted in a different comment, I think some of your transfers may have imported as transactions. Move $1000 out of the category and into other categories as you see fit.Reply
Forget the deposits for a minute. Do you want $9k saved or $10k saved? Make a decision and move on. There really isn't a discrepancy that needs to be fixed here, since no money is missing.
This ^^^^. I'd like it more than once if I could.Reply
Thank you everyone! I'm going to leave this open and will report back if the fix I just established works longer-term.
Here is what I did:
I've cancelled the scheduled transactions within YNAB and deleted out the past "budgeted activity" to this account which occurred since I added it into YNAB. I believe this was causing confusion. This immediately rectified my accounts and all looks OK right now. I'll continue to assign $ to the appropriate budgets and I'll update the thread in a week or 2 once I know if that solved it.Reply