Inflow on categories/debt from friends

Hi there!

I'm kind of new, I've used YNAB from september 2019, but I decided 2019 should be a warm-up/get the routine before 2020.

And now I'm facing this problem that you guys might help me out with (pardon my english if I write something wrong/is unclear on the problem), it's not my mothertongue... :()

I have a category labeled "Birthdaygifts". I've counted every person I usually give gifts to annually, and decided what kind of amount the gift should cost to each person. So far, so good.

But then there are those gifts to persons I decide to give together with another friend to a 3rd friend. Let's call the persons in this example Alvin (me), Brian (my friend) and Charlie (the recipient). And the gift we want to give costs $80, and we both have to pay $40.

Brian and I decide to let me buy the gift for $80, and then Brian should pay me back $40 later.

I would like my budget/report for spending/income expense to show that I just used $40 on the gift this year - and not $80. If the money from Brian is put into "To be budgeted", and then budgeted into gifts from there, I have a income from Brian (that's wrong by sure), and it still shows I've spent $80 on gifts (to Charlie) this month. Should I have put that money in the field for inflow in the category "Birthdaygifts"? Or should I create an own category named "money friends owe me" to keep track of the money my friends have to pay me back (and split the gift-transaction into this two categories)?

(You could say I need a little bit of explaining of how the inflow-field works if you use a category and not "to be budgeted").

Any thoughts?

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  • I've created another category like "Misc. Spendings" where I do sth like this with the money me and my spend for ourselves on our Joint Credit Cards.


    If my wife or I buy sth for ourselves I book it through this category so that it does not affect any budget.


    You can do a split transaction; $40 with your gift category, $40 with the "Misc. Spendings" category and then the TBB income can be used towards this "Misc. Spendings" category. 

  • The best way to do this is to have a "personal reimbursable" category.

    Split line 1: - What hit your account ($80, no category)
    line 2: Your contribution ($40, birthday/gift category)
    line 3: Friend's portion ($40, PR category, friend's name in memo!)

    When the friend pays you back, categorize directly to the PR category.

    If this all happens in the same month, easy peasey.  If this is spread across months on a CC, there are a few approaches you can take.  If you just want to float that purchase on the credit card, just make sure to always move the reimbursement $ from the category to the CC to pay back that float. 

    What do you not understand about inflowing to a category? 

    Like 2
  • Hi Polar Cow !

    New income (such as wages) should be categorized as Inflow: To Be Budgeted. Reimbursements for spending that took place in your budget, can be categorized back to the same category where the spending took place. You could categorize the full $80 to the "Birthdaygifts" category, and then categorize the $40 payment from your friend there, as well. However, to better track the money that is owed to you, I'd suggest a Split Transaction like  Move Light Sound Life outlined.

    Like 1
  • Hi Move Light Sound Life and Faness !

    Your explanations really made sense!

    The TBB is for income, and not for the money that is owed. Then the reports also makes more sense, 'cause I use the reports from 2019 to focus on 2020 (the ghost from the christmas past as someone mentioned). If I predict to much income, then the debt-train arrives at the platform... :P

    My money has to "work" aka be budgeted in the "owed money"-category until I get repaid from my friend, but if I have the money, I can do this easily. If not, the category is red in a blink... And that's logical.

    I track the money owed with the help of the memo-field, and maybe use a flag to mark it as unpaid.

    Thanks for the help - it really sorted my head!

    Like 1
    • Polar Cow Glad it worked well for you! Just a tip - you should never have a red, cash-based overspend category, because then you really can't trust your budget. However, if you reallocate from your CC payment category (even if you paid for the reimbursable thing in cash), you can float that purchase until you're reimbursed. Just make sure you always pay the statement balance to avoid interest.

      Like 2
  • Maybe you can help me...

    My friend Lisa bought cheese for me $20. I ordered food for her on my MSCD for $69. She then transferred $49 to my chequing account. Where do I show the $20?

    I set up the food order on my MSCD as split, since there were 5 of us. One of the transactions was my dining out category, the rest Reimbursements/Friends. When they paid me, the money went directly to R/Friends. But stumped on the $20...

    • Purple Foal Enter a split transaction in your checking account with a top line amount (net) of $0.

      Make the first split line a $20 outflow categorized as Dining Out or Groceries or whatever you would have used if you bought this yourself.

      Make the second split a $20 INFLOW categorized to Reimbursements/Friends with a memo with your friend's name for reference.

    • dakinemaui That worked!! Thank you! Makes sense now. :)

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