Adding Income and Other Inflows

Any income you receive will be entered into the same account in YNAB that it was deposited to in real life. So if your income is deposited into your checking account at the bank, it will be entered into your checking account in YNAB. These steps are the same whether the income is a paycheck, savings account interest you've accrued, or a birthday check.

If you're just getting started and haven't had a chance to add an account yet, you'll want to do that first!

In This Article

It's important to enter your income only when you receive it. You'll be more successful if you work only with the money you already have on hand. Want to plan ahead? No problem—set up a scheduled transaction for income you know is coming and consider giving a Budget Template a try, too!

Adding An Income Transaction

How to Add New Income to Your Budget

  1. Select the appropriate account from the left sidebar.
  2. Click the Add Transaction button.
  3. Use the payee to describe the source of the money. This could be a specific person or business, or something more general like 'Paycheck,' 'Interest,' or 'Gift Money.'
  4. In the category field, select Inflow: Ready to Assign.
  5. In the inflow field, enter the amount of income.
  6. Click the Save button, or you can click Save and add another if you're on a roll and want to keep entering transactions.

Your money is now waiting in Ready to Assign for you to give those dollars jobs

Looking for Income Categories?

Income is typically categorized as  Inflow: Ready to Assign. The amount in Ready to Assign is the dollars in your accounts that don't have jobs in your budget yet. Income is categorized to Inflow: Ready to Assign so that you can give those dollars jobs with Rule 1

If you would like to track income sources, use different Payees while categorizing the inflows as Inflow: Ready to Assign (they'll even be listed separately on your Income v Expense Report!)

the income v expense report provides a list of unique payees

Reimbursements, Refunds, and Other Inflows

More often than not, inflow transactions will flow through  Inflow: Ready to Assign, but there are some exceptions. Some examples could be an inflow transaction from a refund you've received, or a reimbursement from a friend. With any of these transactions, you might be wondering—which category should I select? To quickly determine the answer, ask yourself the following: “Is this inflow offsetting an expense that’s already in YNAB?”

If no, then consider this new income and categorize it to Inflow: Ready to Assign. 

If yes, then categorize it back to the original spending category. This will also help keep your reports happy since your spending will be offset by the amount of the return. If the refund was on a credit card, check out our article titled "Credit Card Refunds" so you know what to expect.

If unsure, you can read our article titled, "Reimbursements" for additional information or reach out to our Support Specialists for more help!

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