Entering Income

How do I enter income?

When you receive money of any kind -- a paycheck, gift, bonus, tax refund, you name it -- you’ll need to enter that in your register as income.

When entering income in YNAB, first decide when you need the money to go to work in your budget. There are two ways to enter Income in YNAB: You can either allocate it to the current month or the next month. The income options in the Budget Category field are based on the date of the transaction. For example, if the transaction date is a May date, the choices under income in the Budget Category field will be Income for May (the current month) or Income for June (the next month).

Step 1: Go to the account where you will be adding or depositing the money.

Select the account you will be adding the money to.

You can also enter a transaction from the ALL ACCOUNTS view.  Make sure you select an account in the account column to the left of the date field.

Step 2: Click Add a new Transaction in the register.

Step 3: Enter the Date of the transaction and the Payee.

Click in the Date field to enter the date, and in the Payee field, enter the name of the person/place/company who paid you the money (or if you used this Payee before, select it from the drop-down menu).

If you have multiple income streams, you can see how much money came from each source in the Income and Expense Report.

Step 4: Categorize the transaction.

In the Budget Category field, select one of the Income choices from the drop-down menu.

In this example with a May transaction date, if you choose Income for May, the money will be Available to Budget during the month of May. However, if you choose Income for June, the month will be Available to Budget during the month of June.

Step 5: Enter the amount of the inflow.

In the Inflow field, enter the amount you received.

Step 6: See how the income affected the Budget.

Click on Budget in the sidebar  to move to the Budget..

If you chose Income for May (as in our example with a depost of $2200), you will see this inflow listed in the May Budget header under  Income for May. It is now Available to Budget.

If you chose Income for June, you will see this inflow listed in the June Budget Header as Income for June. It won't be Available to Budget until June.

Learn how to handle paycheck deductions.

What do I do with extra paychecks?

Simply enter them as income in the account they were deposited into, and budget the money wherever it is needed. 

If you need it in the month you receive it, enter it as Income for (the current month). If you don’t need it in the month you receive it, enter it as Income for (the next month).

Always ask yourself the question: “What does this money have to do before I am paid again?” That will help you determine how you should categorize the income. Perhaps you can take this as an opportunity to build up some of your rainy day Categories, or emergency fund. It’s totally up to you.

Is there a calculator?

You can find a calculator in the Inflow and Outflow fields in the account register, which is activated by clicking the small calculator icon or by using any of the arithmetic keys on your keyboard (+ - * /). You can also access a calculator from any cell in the Budgeted column on the Budget Screen. To activate the calculator, click in the cell in the Budgeted column where you would like to use the calculator and a drop-down arrow will appear. Click on it and select “Show Calculator” from the choices. The amount already in the cell will appear in the calculator. Once you have finished your calculations, click OK. The new number now appears in the budgeted cell.

Can I see income on the Budget?

Yes!  In the Budget header, click on Income for (specific month).  A pop up will appear:

This will tell you:

  • How much money was assigned to this month.
  • How much money was received in the prior month.
  • How much money was received in the current month.

You will see a list of all transactions categorized as income for this month and can click on any transaction to be taken back to it in the register.

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