I'm looking for tips on entering income that is withheld from my paycheck, in this case for a YMCA (gym) membership. My work has an agreement where they withhold the membership from my pay, and the YMCA bills my work directly. I want to track that because it is actual income that I'm choosing to spend. But my paycheck deposit (that I want to reconcile with my bank statement) doesn't have that amount in it. How does anyone else handle that?
You have 2 options
1) Don't bother with it at all, since it never touches your budget.
2) You can do split transactions. this is how I keep it clear in my splits:
Let's say your take-home is $1000.
Top line: Inflow $1000
1) Category Inflow: TBB $1000
2) Category Inflow: TBB $20
3) Category Outflow: Memberships $20
Then on the Budget screen my TBB will be $1020 and I will also be $20 overspent in the memberships category. So before budgeting anything else I cover the Membership category overspending, leaving me with $1000 TBB.
I actually do this with 401k contributions, HSA contributions and my wife's in-office gym membership, with separate Inflow: TBB line items for each expense so I don't mess up the math, since you are creating "phantom" income to cover a "phantom" expense.. I keep an eye on it for personal information purposes, however it's really not necessary and can be confusing if you don't do it right.
I do #1. My work deducts taxes, medical and life insurance and I know I pay those but I just enter what i get because 1) that is withheld and i cannot use it for anything else if i go over budget. I cannot access those funds. 2) it's just messy to record things that I don't actually get the money for and then reconciling might be an issue.
I have a loan from my work that I'm paying off so in my case I have a tracking liability account with the loan total and then have two entries, one for the paycheck in the amount before the loan was removed and then the loan amount. Both of these are scheduled on the exact same day so that way once the loan is paid off, I'll just delete that scheduled transaction and keep the regular paycheck as is.
While I get that it may be easier to just look at what you're getting in the bank, I prefer to know where all my money is going in all accounts so that I can make the best financial decisions. You may want to consider something similar.
There is one argument for tracking it, which is that in some cases these are discretionary amounts. If you don't track it, you forget that this is money that you have chosen to spend or save in a particular way, and you do have the option to change that. Early in your YNAB experience though, it is clearly better to ignore it.