How to make a transaction towards a tracking account (student loans)

Hi everyone,

What is the best way to record a payment that I'm making towards my student loans, which are in a tracking account? I realize I may have been doing this wrong for some time.

What I used to do: I created a payee category for my loan servicing company and paid them through my checking account. It took the money out of my Student Loans budget and I would rinse and repeat every month.

What I think I maybe should be doing: Should I log the payment as a transfer to my student loan tracking account? I never thought to do this because I haven't kept close tabs on that account. 

 

What makes more sense? What is the difference really?

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  • Pick one and stick with that.

    I personally do a transfer to tracking account for my car loan. I also do a split for the transfer to the tracking account and the interest separately, so that the loan balance stays correct. So, say $25 is for interest on the loan and $675 is paying down the principal. I'll have a split transaction totaling $700, and the payee for 675 is the transfer to the tracking loan account (with a category of car loan) and the category for the 25 is interest (which is a funded line-item in my budget).

    My mortgage, I was lazy when I set it up, so that one's just a transfer for the whole amount to the mortgage tracking account (categorized as mortgage) and then I do a reconciliation every so often to true up the balance due to the interest accrued.

    Either way works.

    Like 2
  • In theory you could do it as a transfer to your tracking account except there is interest involved so a $500 payment from you does not result in a $500 principal reduction on your loan. The way I do similar (mortgage) is to have a normal payee-based transaction out of my checking account and then I periodically do a reconciliation adjustment in the tracking account to account for principal reduction.

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      jenmas that is still another perfectly valid way.

      Like 2
  • Just for clarity, here's a screenshot. This is an archived budget. I literally just did a Fresh Start a couple days ago so now I'm trying to hack some of my old methods.

    I've only been paying interest because I'm in school right now and technically don't have to make payments (which I'm  choosing not to do until I have to, I'm saving up instead for after I graduate, which is another thread in itself.)

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Colleen Cirocco I think you're doing it jenmas 's way. That's fine.

      Like 2
    • bevocat jenmas  Cool! I'll stay the course then. Thanks everyone!

      Like 1
  • I am using Chrome as browser. The transfer amount from budget account to tracking account shows the reduction in overall available balance in budget and adds to tracking total correctly. However, when I look on the budget the money is still in the budget category-it does not leave the budget category. I have been working on this all day & am very frustrated. what am I doing wrong?

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Screwdiver Check that you are using the correct category.

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    • nolesrule Budget category "Leftover". Has available balance of $500.  Transfer "Leftover" to Tracking. In the check register, transfer to Tracking Account. In category, select Leftover from dropbox. Enter Outflow $500. Go back to budget. Balance on right side of screen under Budget shows reduction by $500. Balance on right side of screen under Tracking shows increase by $500. Available balance in Leftover budget category shows $500. What am I doing wrong?

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Screwdiver Check your transaction date?

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  • I cannot move forward with budgeting for month of July until I get this figured out. Am a long time YNAB user, since 2012. Just looked into Tracking accounts. It's a "good" concept but seems difficult. And there's not enough clear documentation in Help docs. 

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    • Hi Maroon Screwdiver ! I'm happy to look closer at what's happening with that category!

      If you’d like, you can enable Support Access for your account, which will allow us to check out your budget. Let me know if you decide to do so—and the name of the budget—and we’ll help you get to the bottom of this!
       

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Screwdiver I started with tracking accounts for my RESP account (education saving plan in Canada) plus a couple of others but I found that I was better off by using budget accounts. Note that we are in spending mode rather than building mode for education. I created a category group called University with categories under for each semester.  Then I allocated the RESP balance to the various terms so I could see where I am short. I did create a tracking account for my son's student loan as it gets funded. 

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  • yes please. are you available now?

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  • Found the problem. Nolesrule suggested checking the date. Sure enough the decrease on the budget showed up in July 2019 for data from June 2019 (was working on this on 7/1/2019). Will change the date so that the transaction occurs in June 2019 as intended. Thanks.

    Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Maroon Screwdiver I hate those sneaky bank charges and slow poke missed transactions that pop in after I've crafted the perfect (LOL) budget for the month.

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    • Maroon Screwdiver I'm glad to hear you tracked it down! 🎉 Let us know if you have any other questions!

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