Assigning Your Savings
With Rule 1 in the YNAB Method, you'll Give Every Dollar a Job. This means all the dollars in your budget need jobs—it doesn’t matter if that job is immediate, a few months from now, or years down the road. That's why savings accounts are Budget Accounts—you'll give each of your savings dollars a job, too.
What are you saving for?
Imagine you've got a savings account with $2,690 in it. Maybe you've never even thought about how that money might be used. It's just savings , right? But you're a budgeter now, so this is the time!
After some reflection, you decide that money is really for your new bike, for vacation, and for some part-time classes you're taking. Perfect.
- Add your savings account.
- In your budget, make sure you have categories for the jobs those savings dollars are waiting to do. In this case, your bike, your vacation, and school.
- Assign all the money in your savings account to those categories you just set up.
That's it! Your money is protected and waiting for just the right moment. You don't have to worry about spending your savings before you're ready—you have dedicated categories for your savings, so the money you've assigned to them won't accidentally be spent on groceries. You'll be ready for that new bike when it's ready for you!
Want to boost your savings even more?
Add a Target to your savings categories. Targets help you focus your savings even more by helping you reach desired amounts or due dates.
Once you've saved up what you need to in order to reach your goal, that savings category can act as a spending category, and you can record the purchase(s) right into that category. If it was a one-time purchase, you can hide the category, or you can delete and set a new target to start saving up for the next one!
Transferring money to a savings account?
You'll notice making a transfer from a checking account to a savings account (one budget account to another) doesn't require a category or change anything in your budget. That's because those dollars already have jobs.
If you'd like to increase a savings category by the amount of the transfer, move money from Ready to Assign or another category—giving those dollars a new job!