Auto-assign when bank transfer occurs

I want to assign categories to a transfer so that I can assign money in my budget. Two examples:

1. I have an auto transfer setup at my bank to pay mortgage. I've setup YNAB to link with my Mortgage account, so this appears as a transfer, not a payment in YNAB. I can't set a category because of the transfer, so I can't track this in the budget side.

2. I have a recurring transfer setup from my checking to savings at my bank. I'd like to split that transfer in YNAB to know that it covers property taxes, auto/home insurance and some emergency fund.

So my questions are:

- Can I just have my budget always auto-assign these budget categories by default without me pushing a button? I've setup the transfer with the intention that these are always going to be paid, can the budget just know that this category will always be funded?

Or

- Once that transfer occurs, can I have the associated budget categories be auto-assigned?

I get the idea (i think) of assigning all the money to something, but best I can gather, that assignment is always gated by a human pushing at least 1 button.

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  • Make your mortgage account a tracking account in YNAB. It will do what you want. 

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  • As for #2, yes, you will need to push at least one button.

    If you're truly interested in workflow as well as financial efficiency, read these links:

    https://www.youneedabudget.com/the-relationship-between-your-budget-your-accounts-its-complicated

    https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/y4hllkz/using-scheduled-transactions-for-cash-flow-projection-in-ynab

    https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/m1hqyb3/trying-out-the-ynab-buffer

    If you get Buffered, targets/auto-assign or Budgeted Last Month will be your next step, but someone else can give info on that.

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  • Ok cool, followup question:

    For credit cards, I autopay off the statement balance on their respective due-dates. If say I buy

    $25 - Groceries
    $50 - Electric
    $25 - Gas

    I have $100 in available to assign. I assign each of the categories their amount. Won't the credit card say I need to assign $100 to it so it'll get paid? I tend to always have some kind of balance on these cards but I don't really need to care about it because I'm just paying them down completely each month, eg, I'm not trying to pay off some debt monthly. If I'm using credit cards this way, should they just be under tracking too?

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 4 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Nomad No, CC should not be under tracking.  the way they work with YNAB is if the expense is budgeted (money has been assigned to the category) then the money will automatically be moved from the category to the CCs payment available category.  So as long as there's no overspending, the money you have in your categories will be moved there, and ready to make the payment.

      There's nothing you have to do.  Only thing you need to worry about is making sure that the payment available for CC in the budget is equal (and opposite signed of) what is shown on the CC account balance.  That means at any given time you COULD pay off the card in full.  However, no need to do that, just pay the statement balance when it comes due.

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    • All of this CC guidance is right on - you'll definitely want to keep that credit card account on-budget. Here are some resources that might help you along, too 😊

      Ben just released this video deep-dive on how CC's work in YNAB.
      This HelpDoc on managing a Paid in Full Credit card may come in handy, too. 

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  • Is there a way to tell YNAB what my autopay date is for CCs? All I can see is "end of month" and if I make a purchase after that date it still thinks I need to budget it in that month (even if it's going to actually be paid in next month's budget)

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 4 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Nomad You can set up a scheduled transaction for your auto pay, and update it when you know the new statement balance.  If you're not carrying debt on that card, you don't need to set up a target for it.  that's basically for people who are carrying debt and continuing to use the card at the same time.  They can set a target for when they want to have it all paid off, or to pay a specific amount monthly until the extra remaining debt is gone.  That is extra above and beyond what is moved over from your categories with the  normal transactions during the month.

      if you're  PIF status (which it sounds like you are PIF = Paid In Full) then you don't need a target.  Just make the payment when the bill comes due, and you're good.

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  • Magenta Nomad said:
    it still thinks I need to budget it in that month

     As Bruce said and above, you don't need to budget for your purchases directly to the CC payment category. But you still need to budget for your purchases in their own categories. So if you buy milk after the autopay date, you still need to have the money budgeted for that purchase in your grocery category. That money will be moved to YNAB to the CC payment category. The money will stay in that category with the job to payback the balance on the CC until you decide to send it to the CC. In your case, probably on the next autopay day in the next month. But you could send it before if for example you wanted to pay for a car from your CC and needed to free some space for that big purchase.

    You could also decide you don't want to be paying off your CC in full every month, in which case, the money in the CC payment available will be there for you to redistribute to another job if you needed to.

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