There are two ways to handle reimbursements:
- Budgeting for the initial expense, then treating the reimbursement as income.
- Temporarily overspending, then using the reimbursement to cover it.
Budgeting for the Expense Up Front
Budgeting for all your spending, even if it will eventually be reimbursed, is the simplest and safest way to handle reimbursements. If that reimbursement is late (or, yikes!) never comes, you’ll still be covered. Bottom line? Money left your budget.
- Budget for the expense.
- When you receive that reimbursement, categorize the deposit as Inflow: To be Budgeted.
- Budget that money where you need it!
This method is only recommended when the reimbursable expense occurred on a credit card. Because money hasn't been immediately removed from your bank, you can let that overspending sit for a short time while you wait for your friend (or sister or boss) to reimburse you.
- Record the expense as usual.
- If you receive the reimbursement in the same month as the expense and you haven't made a credit card payment since recording the expense, categorize the deposit with the same category as the original expense. This will offset that expense.
If you receive the reimbursement in a future month or after you've paid off your card, the credit overspending will have been absorbed as debt in your credit card balance. Categorize the deposit as
Inflow: To be Budgeted and budget it to your Credit Card Payments category.
Organizing and Tracking Your Reimbursements
Looking for a way to organize and track your reimbursements so you know when to expect them – and if they have arrived? A reimbursement is nothing more than a scheduled income transaction, so you can use the Scheduled Transactions feature to help you stay on top of them.
When you record an expense that you expect to be reimbursed:
- Click Add a transaction and enter the future date when you expect to receive the reimbursement. If you aren't sure of the date, select a date some time after the latest you might expect it.
- Enter Inflow: To be Budgeted as your category (you can always change this per the directions above!)
- Use the memo field to record notes or details about your reimbursement.
If you will receive reimbursements for multiple expenses in one payment, record each as a part of a split transaction for that same future date.
Search helps too!
You may find that you want to flag reimbursable transactions a certain color, or just write "reimbursable" in the memo field. You can then easily search for these transactions!