Account Types on Mobile

When adding your accounts in YNAB, it's important that they be set up as the correct account type, because their type will indicate how they behave in your budget. 

During account set up, you'll see two types of accounts: Budget Accounts and Tracking Accounts.  

Budget Accounts

The dollars in Budget Accounts are included in your budget (which you can tell from our super-clever naming scheme). These accounts should also include credit accounts from which you spend, so they're included in your budget as well. 

There are five Budget Account options to choose from:

Tough decision? Here's a little secret: Checking, Savings, and Cash all work exactly the same. They are accounts that typically have a positive balance because they're where you store money. 

Similarly, there's no difference between Credit Card and Line of Credit. These accounts typically have a negative, or $0.00 balance because funds spent from these accounts become debt.

PayPal accounts are a great example: if you have a PayPal account where you receive, store, and spend funds, choose Checking or Cash. However, if you have a PayPal Credit account, you would choose either Credit Card or Line of Credit. And while we're at it, if you simply use PayPal as a faster way to checkout and send/receive money in your other accounts, you don't even need to add it at all!

Savings

Savings accounts are purposefully included as a part of your budget, because we want you to give those dollars a job, too! It's different - but really powerful!

What you need to do is assign the dollars in your savings account to savings categories. What are you saving for? Emergencies? 🚑  Vacation?🌴 Make specific categories for those things in your budget and assign the dollars there.

The nice thing about that is you'll be able to attach Goals to those categories, and that will focus your savings even more.

Cash

Cash transactions differ from your other spending, because they don't create a record the way debit or credit transactions do. You can’t simply import a batch of transactions and know that you are up to date. Also, your cash isn’t sitting in a traditional account–it’s in your pocket or wallet or purse.

Here's where you can read more about how to handle cash spending!

Credit Cards

Credit cards are so special they require their own section. Yep. They're that special. Check out this section of our Knowledge Base for all the special..ness! 😆

Tracking Accounts

The dollars in tracking accounts are not included in your budget. Adding these accounts to your budget allows you to track their balance (we told you we were clever at naming things!) Since the balances in these accounts don't impact your budget, you don't need to add any of them. But you can if you want to—there are two options:

  • Asset: investment accounts
  • Liability: mortgages and other loans

Bonus Tips

Perhaps you've already heard of the YNAB Reconciliation Dance. It's a pretty big deal here. Think Gangnam Style for budgeting.💃🏻

Basically, because you use your budget to make spending decisions, your records in YNAB need to match your bank’s records — not just once a month, but every single day, as you make spending decisions based on that data. We call this Reconciling, and you'll need to do this on the web app. (Reconciling isn't yet available using the mobile app.)

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