Tracking Investment Accounts

Because their dollars aren't included in your categories, it's not absolutely necessary to add your investment accounts to your budget. But, if you're looking for a bit more clarity while keeping track of your net worth, they can also be a valuable inclusion. You've got two choices to track and organize your investments in YNAB – the key is whether or not you add the account in YNAB.

Method 1: Just the Contributions

To grow your investments, all you really need to do is make sure you're budgeting for your contributions. You don't need to worry about tracking the account in YNAB, keeping tabs on market fluctuations, or anything like that. Just. Make. The. Contribution.

1
Create a category to budget for your investment contribution.
2
Don't set up your 401k, IRA, or other investment account in YNAB.
3
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the simplicity of having not set up your 401k, IRA, or other investment in YNAB.
4
Budget for your contribution each month, and record the outflow in your spending account register. That's it!

Method 2: Investment Account Included

Sometimes, you want to track it all. More power to you! This method isn't simpler, but that's why Tracking accounts exist, right? While it's a bit more effort, you'll get the satisfaction of watching your investment account balances change in your Net Worth Report 📈

1
Create a category to budget for your investment contribution.
2
Set up your 401k, IRA, or other investment account in YNAB (selecting  Asset as the account type), with the current value of the account as the starting balance.
3
Budget for your contribution each month.
4
When it's time to invest, add a transfer transaction from your main spending account to the investment account. Categorize it with the category from step 1. Create a repeating    Scheduled Transaction to save yourself time in the future!
5
Update the account balance like this as it changes, or as frequently as you’d like.
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