Budget and bank account value out of sync...
Somewhere along the line I messed something up and my available budget greatly exceeded the available funds. I added some money to the account I track in YNAB, but if I record the transaction it will update the budget as well. How can I get them back "in sync"? I want to update the value of the account without updating the available budget as well, is there any way to do this?
First, are all your on budget and tracking accounts reconciled between YNAB and the reality at your banks?
If yes, then when you transfer money from an on-budget account to a tracking account, you are taking money out of the budget so it needs to be categorised and it will count as an expense for this category. A common example are investment accounts. Most people keep their investment accounts as tracking accounts. So one needs an "investment" category to record transfers from on budget accounts to investment accounts.
If you give more details on why it's bad that the budget changes when the transfer is done, we might be able to give more specific help. Also, I'm not sure what you mean with:
That's not possible, YNAB ensures the money in your budget is always equal to the money in your accounts. https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/203-unpacking-ready-to-assign
Hey Daniel! The cash in your budget is inextricably linked to the cash in your accounts, although you might need to move money on the budget side. Here's what I'd suggest:
- Reconcile each of your budget accounts, so that the cleared balance matches the bank, and uncleared balance is limited to transactions that will clear in the near future.
- Do a Budget Audit - this merely helps you to see how the cash matches - it won't change anything in your budget.
- Double check the budget side of things: cover cash overspending, cover credit overspending if you plan to pay off of those purchases without paying interest, check your Credit Card Payment category - if you pay in full, it should be a positive match of the amount you owe on the card.
Once you follow those steps, how do things look?
That's what I mean by "in sync". And I think it has something to do with the way I use YNAB in general:
- once a month I get my paycheck
- I record the amount as "inflow" in YNAB. This also updates the available amount in "To Be Assigned"
- I assign money to my categories until there's nothing more to be assigned. Note that sometimes I do have "green" categories when I get my paycheck so I don't touch those.
- during the month I record every transaction as soon as I make it and assign it accordingly, either to one or more categories.
Recording every transaction is a pain (especially since my bank has this "round-up" feature that automatically puts a little money in your savings account with every transaction) so with every transaction, I need to register that as well.
You use the file-based import to match your recorded transactions in YNAB with the actual ones from the bank, did I get that right? You still need to record every transaction in YNAB as it happens.
Turn this off. Your YNAB life will become 50% simpler, and you don't need it. With YNAB, you don't need to "hide" money from yourself in a savings account because you don't make spending decisions based on your checking account balance, you make them based on your category balances. So YOU get decide which of your dollars are for spending and which are for saving, and YOU decide how much money you need in your checking account to make your life run smoothly and how much is safe to put in a savings account to earn a few more pennies in interest.