Payroll Deductions

You've been budgeting for your bills, True Expenses, and groceries and you're hooked! You're now a Budget Nerd who wants all. the. data. So you might be asking: "where do payroll deductions fit into YNAB?" 

What Your Budget is All About

To start, we want to emphasize that budgeting is all about behavior. Your Budget in YNAB lets you set, track, and modify your priorities, spending habits, and future goals. It shows you that you can change your behavior (e.g., overspending on groceries) and having data to help guide you is essential to achieving and sticking with those changes.  

Payroll deductions, on the other hand, don't impact your day-to-day decision making. Because of that, there's little value in tracking them, so there isn't a mechanism in YNAB to include them in your income transactions. With that said, if you really want to track them, there is a way. 

Using Tracking Accounts

While most payroll deductions won't give you much insight to align your spending behavior with your priorities, there are some that you may want to keep track of over time. One example would be contributions to a 401k. 

Let's say you regularly contribute to a  401k - you could add an Asset account and set up some Scheduled Transactions as repeating inflows in that account to track your contributions. 

  1. Add an Asset Tracking Account and name it 401k.
  2. Set up Scheduled Transactions for each payday in the amount of your regular contributions.
  3. Reconcile the account to update your account balance as it changes due to market fluctuation, or as frequently as you'd like.

If you have any more questions about this or other types of deductions (e.g., HSA Accounts) you can reach out to our Support Team!

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