Keep Your Accounts Simple

If you're questioning whether or not to include a certain account in YNAB, remember to keep it simple and realistic.

A simple budget is a more effective budget. Since the accounts in YNAB are the foundation of your budget, a simple account setup helps you build a budget that lasts. 

We know from experience that fewer moving parts is better. When you set up your accounts, ask yourself if they fit one of these three criteria:

  1. An account that stores money that you spend from on a regular basis (like a checking account)
  2. A debt account that you spend from on a regular basis (like a credit card)
  3. An account that stores money that needs to be a given a job now (like a savings account)

If you don't have a match, don't add the account. But if that leaves you feeling like you've lost visibility, consider using a tracking account instead.

Budget Reality

When your accounts reflect reality, your budget is truthful and can be used to effectively guide your spending. Adding accounts that don't meet the criteria set above breaks that reality.

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