Two Budgets in YNAB

Does anyone actually use 2 budget files.


I have 2 checking accounts and, historically, I do not ever use my debit card at any merchant. Now, in setting up YNAB I don't really want to be all cash so I plan to use 1 accounts debit card.


I created 1 budget file for my big bank....all my major Bill's are paid through bill pay (rent, electric, cell phone etc...)


I created a separate budget for my revolving monthly expenses...things I am actually going to physically go spend money on (gas, groceries etc...)


Now I have to log transactions to move money between the 2. I cant decide if this is smart or not. I know I can add both accounts to the 1 budget but then I have a million category groups and categories to scroll through when on a regular daily basis I only need to see the revolving categories. I know I'm probably making this way more difficult than it has to be so any perspective would be appreciated.

7replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Hi Cornflower Blue Flute !

    We usually suggest separate budgets for separate financial situations - for instance, a Personal budget and a Business budget or budgets in different currencies. If those two accounts are all a part of your everyday spending, one budget should be easier. You can organize your categories (there's an option to Pin categories to the top of your budget) for easier reference and access. 

    If navigating two budgets is easier for you, that's fine - usually it's more work to keep two budgets up to date to handle the same expenses, but it can be done! It comes down to what's most comfortable for you to manage. :)

  • Yeah, I think you're making this more difficult than necessary. Budgets are intended to be completely separate -- in general, multiple budgets tend to work best when they have completely different purposes. If these two budgets are simply to separate monthly fixed bills versus monthly revolving expenses, I suspect you'd need to do a lot of switching between budgets and it will get frustrating.

    Maybe the solution isn't to have "a million category groups and categories"? Start small, and simple ( ). Add complexity as you get comfortable with YNAB and you get a better feel for what areas you need to focus on.

    Note that you can click on the arrow to the right of a category group to collapse it and hide any categories within -- that may help cut down on visual complexity if there are some categories you don't need to see as often. You can also drag/drop categories and category groups into whatever order you like. Perhaps move the categories you need to see often up higher on the page so less scrolling is required?

    Like 2
  • Can I drag subcategories into different categories to rearrange them? I thought I could but I am not able to do so now.

  • Yes, you can drag subcategories into other category groups.  I have found that if the destination category group does not have anything in it, drag your subcategory just under the category group heading and it should work just fine.

  • Hello ~ I am using two budgets (one for personal and one for business) and have bank accounts for each with the same banking institution. Since creating the business budget however, my banking institution seems to only be able to connect with one budget at a time. Any troubleshooting ideas on this?

    • Jinell It sounds like this is more of a bank connection issue, so I sent you a quick email and we can look closer at what's going on.  For any other YNABers having trouble with a bank, please fill out this form and our Direct Import team will help you get things back up and running!

Like1 Follow
  • Status Answered
  • 4 mths agoLast active
  • 7Replies
  • 2224Views
  • 8 Following