Quick Start Step 2: Add Your Accounts
All those categories and targets in your budget need money, and that money is in your accounts, so let's add them now!
Start with the main account that holds your money—usually a checking account.
- Click the Add Account button in the left sidebar or in the Budget Header at the top.
- Choose whether to add a Linked or Unlinked account. If you choose to link your account in YNAB with your real-world account (you can do this anytime!), search for your financial institution and follow the prompts.
- Then, select your account type, give it a nickname, and enter your current account balance. (If you linked the account, your balance may import automatically).
Credit Card Account
If you use a credit card for a lot of spending, it’s a good idea to add that account, too. Use the same steps, but check these key points about credit cards in your budget:
If the card has a balance, create a target to pay it off!
To give you a head start, you have the option to set up a target or pay off the balance in full! If you choose to pay off your balance over time, you can set a target date or a monthly amount. Either way, YNAB will keep you on track—the Credit Card Payment category will be yellow if you need to set more dollars aside for your payment.
A category for your credit card payments will be created for you (you can learn more about how to manage your credit cards here).
Why? So you’ll never again wonder what you can afford to pay (yes, that's how awesome you and your new budget are going to be together). When you use your credit card to spend money you assigned, that money will automatically move to your payment category.
Unlike money that moves to your payment category from purchases, to pay off the starting balance, you’ll assign money directly to the category (and assigning money is Quick Start Step 3!).