Did I make a mistake in how I'm tracking money moved into Savings Account?

I move $50 a month into my savings account. I just chuck it in there and forget about it. I rarely use this savings account. (Perhaps when I get enough, I'll put it someplace where it can earn meaningful interest.) I don't include this savings account in my overall budget - it's just a small pile of money set aside for - well - for whenever. 

These transactions are listed with a payee "Savings Account." In my budget, I have a category "Savings Account," and right now it shows an available balance of about $1200. Shouldn't it be zero? Isn't this claiming I have $1200 in my main account (i.e., checking) allocated to savings? I want it OUT of checking and tucked away in the savings account.

Have I been entering these monthly transactions incorrectly? Any ideas what would work better?

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  • Is your savings account on budget??

      • Danny B.
      • Blue_Sander
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook I guess my answer is "no." As I said, I transfer money from one account to the other each month, and I don't track or budget with my savings account.

      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Danny B. You need to look at your account list.  Is your savings listed under budget or tracking?  It sounds like you may need to enable support access so support can explain what is going on to you.

    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 2 wk ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    Stage 1 YNAB usage.

    I suggest you bring your account into the budget, put money in categories. Assign $50/month to your emergency fund category. Whether you actually move the money or not is up to you.

    Like 4
  • What category have those transfers been using?  Go to your account register to see this.

    If the savings account has truly been off budget, then you ostensibly have $1200 in a savings category that's on-budget, plus the sum of what you've been transferring out of the budget. How nice to have more money than you thought.  Follow Nolesrule's advice to get the plan all in one place - the budget. 

    If, however, this mental exercise has made you realize that your savings account has actually been on budget the whole time, you'll need to rearrange the money in any categories (make some specific savings categories - Loss of Income, Medical, Tech Replacement, Maintenance, Vacation, New Car, Unexpected, whatever) to reflect your savings priorities. Hopefully, it's not too big of a squeeze!

  • Is the Payee “Savings Account” created by you or a “Transfer: Savings Account” found in the Tracking section of your Accounts? 

  • Hi, Danny! Awesome job automatically saving money! :)

    There are a few potential answers to your question, based on if the savings account you're chucking money into has been added in YNAB or not, as folks have mentioned in this thread. It sounds like you haven't added the Savings account in YNAB yet. If you have, it would show up in your account list, looking something like this:



    If you don't have this savings account included in your budget:

    You'll want to assign money to a category from which you'll make the savings deposit, then make each $50 savings transfer an outflow transaction from your checking account in your budget, like this:
    You'll see the $50 leave your budget in the category:

    The money leaves your budget like an expense each month. 


    If you do have this savings account included in your budget (which is recommend, by the way!):

    You'll make any real-life transfer between two budget accounts a transfer in YNAB. The transaction would look like this in your checking account:

    Now, just because money has changed its location doesn't mean that anything changes in your budget. You'll want to be sure to move money from Ready to Assign or from other categories to your Emergency Fund category to indicate that the job of that money is now savings. In YNAB, the act of assigning money to a category is saving it for a certain job—and you'll see the Available balance grow and roll over month by month in the category until you spend from it. :)


    This, of course, is a brief overview! I recommend you give this video on how to Level Up Your Savings in YNAB a watch. If you have more questions you can always reach out to our support team right from your budget.

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