Really Confused - Savings Goals in Budget?

Hi, YNABers!

I just started using new YNAB (new convert from YNAB Classic) and I'm really confused about how to go about setting savings goals. For acronym context, I'm a Canadian.

In my own personal spreadsheet budget, I have a Group called "Savings" and under that a category each for my RRSP and TFSA. Both my RRSP and TFSA are with separate banking institutions than my regular day-to-day banking.

Do I budget in YNAB for my goals and then categorize the transfers when I transfer money into those accounts?

Sorry - if pictures or whatever would help, please let me know! I'm just a little lost as to how best to organize it to track and meet my goals.

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    • Ben
    • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
    • furiousfalcon
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Correct. 

    If your savings accounts are off budget, you'll want to use one of the goal types that looks at the amount you budget, not available amounts (since your Available amount will likely be zero at the end of the month). You transfers will be categorized to your savings categories.

    If your savings accounts are on budget, you can use any of the goal types. Your transfers won't have categories (since no money is entering/leaving the budget) but you'll want to make sure you budget to those savings categories appropriately throughout the month.

    Like 1
  • Hi That Mouse !

    Since you're coming from YNAB 4, I assume that you're already familiar with giving every dollar a job, including your savings (of course ultimately up to you 馃槈), so I won't dive in there. 

     

    With the Goals feature, you can focus in on your savings even more! When you want to save money for an upcoming expense or a savings goal you have, simply budget that money toward a category you've created for that expense. Here's a quick video to demonstrate the concept of transfers when you're dealing with savings dollars. 馃槉

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    • Jannelle (except that the OP is talking about retirement savings, which is recommended to keep off-budget in tracking accounts!) :)

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    • Jannelle I was very interested in watching that video, but that link 404's now. Do you have a more recent example?

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    • Hi Ben Merchant ! Sorry for the broken link there! Here's a little more on how transfers will look in your budget. If you moving savings dollars around in your accounts, you might want to move money money in your budget as well.

      Our article on The Relationship Between Your Budget & Your Accounts goes over that in more detail!

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    • TheTabby
    • Just a common cat trying to budget uncommonly well.
    • TheTabby
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    Three first question is whether you keep your RRSP and TFSA as budget or tracking accounts.

    Assuming they're tracking accounts, you're going to want monthly funding goals.  These just track whether you've put $X into the category in a given month.  Then each month you transfer the money to your RRSP/TFSA, and categorize the transfer as coming out of the appropriate category. 

    If you keep them on budget, it gets complicated because your interest/dividends/etc. start getting in the way of seeing what you're doing, because they have to be budgeted to keep the category matching the account.

    Like 1
  • Yes, I had similar confusion until I put all savings and investment accounts as "Off Budget" accounts. Then you can have a line in the regular budget for them and categorize the transactions rather than just transfer the money between accounts, which doesn't let you categorize and leads to all kinds or documenting gymnastics and weird budget numbers. 

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  • Agreed with Cornflower.  I keep my TFSA/RRSP accounts in Tracking and I make good use of the memo line to keep track of my goals ie. "Saved $1200/$5000 Goal".  Still wish they had a balance column.

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