Moving Money

Moving money. It's an important part of successful budgeting. Traditional budgets leave little room for change, but rigid budgets break. This is why we love Rule Three of the YNAB method: Roll With The Punches. Moving money allows your budget to change as your needs and priorities change.

In This Article

An Overview of Moving Money

(You'll notice some visual changes in the app since this video was recorded, but the method remains the same!)

Three Ways to Move Money

1. Moving Money Out of a Category

Clicking a category's Available column shows a drop down menu to select a category to move the funds to

Find the category you want to move the money from. This category will need to have a positive Available amount.
Click the Available number in that category.
Enter the amount you’d like to move.
Select that category from the drop-down (or just start typing its name) that you'd like to move that money to.

2. Moving Money to Cover Overspending

Click the red or yellow Available number in an overspent category. You can use the Overspending Banner at the top of the page to view your overspent categories.
Choose the category you'd like to move money from.
Select that category from the drop-down (or just start typing its name).

3. Moving Money From Ready to Assign

You can use very similar steps to do the same thing directly from  Ready to Assign, an easy way to give those dollars jobs instead of typing them directly into the budget categories. 

Clicking Auto then selecting the Manually option shows a drop down list of categories to move money to

Click the  Assign button at the top of your budget, and tab to Manually using the tabs at the top of the drop down menu.
Choose the amount you'd like to move.
Select the category you'd like to move the funds to (or just start typing its name).

That’s it—you’ve rolled with the punches! You can also move money on-the-go using your mobile device.

Tracking Money Moves

Sometimes you may find it helpful to see where some of those Rule 3 punches were thrown. Did your Dining Out category get knocked out when your best friend showed up unexpectedly? Maybe your Home Maintenance category took a jab due to a leaky window and a particularly stormy spring. Or it could just be a case of, “Where the heck did all my Fun Money go?” 

YNAB tracks how and when money moves between your categories and  Ready to Assign so you can see how your priorities may have shifted and use that information to make future budgeting decisions. 

At the top of your Budget, you’ll see a Recent Moves button which will show you a record of of any money moves you've made in the past 34 days.

Recent Moves history icon is at the top of the budget category list, clicking it shows a drop down of recent money moves

Click on any category to jump right to it in your budget. Select a category or hover over its Assigned column to locate the history icon—this little clock will allow you to view the category move details for the budget month.

Hovering on a category name shows a history icon directly to the right of the assigned amount

History of Money Moves at the category level is retained for the following time periods:

  • The past three months
  • The current month
  • Any future months 

You’ll even see more details for bulk actions like Auto-Assign and exactly how much was assigned into each category.

In the Recent Moves drop down, bulk movements can be expanded to see the category details

If you’ve moved money in a different month than the current one, you’ll see a calendar icon next to the amount. This is particularly helpful when you’ve aged your money and are assigning funds into next month already (goodbye paycheck-to-paycheck!) or you’re fixing up some overspending when the month has already rolled over.

Is your regular budgeting routine clogging up your Recent Moves? You can filter those Budgeted moves so you can focus on what punches you’ve thrown lately or if you’d prefer, you can see just your budget moves:

In the top right corner of the Recent Moves drop down there are three filter options for All, Moved, or Assigned movements

Money Moves Icons

Here is what each of those icons mean:

a grey arrow pointing to the right

Arrow: Moved money between categories (Rolling With The Punches)

a grey icon that looks like a stack of money

Money Stack: Assigned to a category

a grey lightning bolt

Lightning Bolt: Auto-Assigned to one or more categories

a small grey trash canTrash Can: Money moved as a result of category deletion

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