Official "reimbursements" category support.

This is my idea for an official reimbursments category support. Let me know what you think!

 

the idea is to have a "master category" that acts differently than the rest of the categories in the budget, similar to the credit card payment categories. It would allow ONLY the categories that live within this master "reimbursments" category to act as "loan" categories, and would be tracked separately. The difference is that there wouldn't just be a "budgeted, activity, and available" columns, it would also have an "owed" column. 

There would be a part of the "reimbursements" category that would access funds from another category such as "emergency fund" - it would essentially piggy back on it, "borrowing" from the available amount in the emergency to temporarily cover for reimbursable expenses, and putting back into the piggy backed account when paid back. The difference is that the "owed" amount carries forward the negative balance month to month for tracking purposes (automatically covered by the piggy back account) This would fall into alignment with the YNAB philosophy, and wouldn't be the same as the contentious "red arrow" approach. 

 The advantage of this is that YNAB would have a system that would be tracking owed amounts that carry over month to month, helping people keep track of amounts they still need to claim, and giving them an overview of the history of the "reimbursments master category". No more need for juggling off-budget accounts and transfers just to have a summary of what people still owe me. 

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  • I'll take it.

    It seems way more complicated than just giving us the red arrow back, but YNAB seems to prefer complexity these days (I'm looking at you TBB & credit-card mechanics...) so they might actually go for it.

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  • bret  i totally agree, it's a little confounded and confusing, and DEFINITELY would require a thorough "how-to" video explaining it's mechanics and features. But I believe YNAB isn't going to ever bring back the red arrow because of the chance that new users wouldn't use the YNAB methodology as intended. I think bringing back the red arrow would be an easy fix, and something that power users could use without "cheating" per se, but since they're so strict on the methodology, i came up with this idea so that it could fit within their "rules" while also giving us better tracking. 

    Like 1
      • bret
      • bret
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Aric 

      Sure, I understand the red arrow isn't coming back. I'm just exasperated that in the new YNAB, a lot of useful functionality was degraded...

      ...because of the chance that new users wouldn't use the YNAB methodology as intended

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  • But hey! Three years ago Jesse stated publicly that a reimbursement handling solution was coming soon! So I’m sure any second now we’re going to get a brilliant fix. 

    Like 2
    • nolesrule
    • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
    • nolesrule
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    This is similar to the suggestion made years ago by dakinemaui .

    Basically, you have a category group where the individual categories can go red and it carries over month to month, but the group total must stay zero or positive. You'd fill one category with at least enough money so in order to offset the sum of the negatives within the category group.

    If the group goes negative, treat the group total the same as regular overspending.

    No need for an Owed column. The negative available tells that story.

    Like 1
  • I don’t understand this feature. Would I use it to track cash loans I make to people?  Or is it for tracking reimbursable work expenses?

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      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Turquoise Cheetah Yes.

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      • Aric
      • Aric
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Turquoise Cheetah you'd use it for both! 

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  • Im new to YNAB and don’t understand the issue with reimbursement but it definitely seems to inspire passion.

    Could you do the same thing by manually moving some money temporarily from one of your savings categories to the reimbursable category? This would seem to reflect reality since you are using some dollars from your buffer to cover the reimbursement until you get paid.

    I guess the disadvantage to doing this manually would be that you need to track where you borrowed money from and know to put it back.

    Like 1
      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Lobster That's exactly the issue. When reimbursements cross months it's difficult to remember all the adjustments you had to make. I'm experimenting with recording how I covered it in the memo of the transfer transaction to my Reimbursables tracking account, so when I get reimbursed the money will go back to that category. And when I justify overspending by reducing next month or pulling from a category that needs to be refilled, I enter my plans for those categories right away (by adjusting goals or adding a note).

      It's kludgy due to all the manual tracking involved. I'm glad I don't have to deal with large reimbursable expenses from work often!

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  • So probably wouldn’t be too bad if you have a single category to steal from but I can see how it would be  a nightmare if you have many.

    Isn’t this largely mitigated if the reimbursable expenses are on a credit card? At least if you get reimbursed by the time the payment is due?

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      • Aric
      • Aric
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Lobster my issue is that I need to keep track who owes me, or where it's been spent so I can send in a claim form when needed after a few reimbursable expenses stack up. Once the month rolls over right now it's really hard to keep track of that

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  • Hi Aric !

    I just posted this on another suggestion you made, but wanted to post a link to the Feature Request form here as well. :)

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