How to deal with transfers to a savings account?

As I am creating my budget, I have just opened a savings account. Some of my categories for saving long term is "emergency fund" or "Vacation" that will be saved in the savings account. When I actually transfer that money in real life from my checking to savings account, how do I record that transaction? I hope this question makes sense. Thanks in advance!

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  • You enter it as a transfer between accounts, no category needed

    Like 1
  • Why are these categories the only ones on which you want to earn more interest? Read this post and don't bother trying to synchronize that account with the total of those categories. It's unnecessary effort and makes things more complicated in the long run.

    As satcook indicates, record movements as transfers without a category. Best practice is to manually record this so any subsequent Import will match them rather than erroneously create normal transactions.

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    • HappyDance
    • YNABing consistently since 2014
    • HappyDance
    • 7 mths ago
    • 3
    • Reported - view

    Another enthusiastic recommendation to read the post linked above.  I bookmarked that blog article and read it more than a few times.

    Instead of seeing longer-term funds as $$ for savings accounts, I see all my funds as available to earn as much interest as possible, and I figure out how much of my money is needed in my chequing account for this month's upcoming expenses.  Some of those scheduled expenses may be for items I've been saving up for over a very long period of time in addition to my average monthly spending amount.  Letting go of the budget by account method is difficult because it's so ingrained.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 7 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Even the "short term" savings goals total a substantial amount since they don't all come due simultaneously.

      Like 1
  • Just to add to the above - It's difficult to 'let go' of the concept of "I'm saving this bit for my Vacation, this bit for my new car, this bit for a deposit on the new house..." and just trust in the budget telling you that you have the money somewhere.

    When I do a transfer I add to the memo the name(s) of the budget categories I'm moving the budgeted money from my checking account into the savings account.

    That way, if I'm really stumpted as to "which account is my vacation fund in?" I can look through the memos in my register.

    Having said that, I'm yet to look at the memos - I have started to simply trust the money is there, somewhere as the budget tells me.

    I reconcile very frequently (daily most of the time) to ensure the balances in YNAB match with the bank balance and this also provides some measure of reassurance.

      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
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      Turquoise Major It might be useful to look at the act of budgeting as the saving a bit for this, a bit for that.

      Where a category "lives" is quite a fluid notion and can usually be changed instantly just by changing your mind. If a category has $100, and some account has at least $100, and you want that category to be "in" that account, then it is in that account. This concept comes in quite handy when you need to buy whatever thing you were saving for -- that $100 from that category can instantly be in your checking account if you do desire (again, assuming checking has at least $100).

      Like 2
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