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Moving Money Between Categories

How do I move money between categories?


If you’re following Rule Three, there will be times when you need to adjust your budget and move money between categories. You may need to deal with overspending or you may just change your mind about how much is assigned to a certain category.  These adjustments are easy to manage in YNAB.

Example:  You overspent in your Fuel category by $23.41.  You have a surplus in Entertainment and you want to move those funds from Entertainment to Fuel.


Lower the Entertainment category by $23.41.  You can use the calculator if the math is not obvious.

To access 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. Alternatively, you can use any of the arithmetic keys on your keyboard (+ - * /) to activate the calculator once you are in the budget cell.

Now there will be $23.41 available to budget again.

Assign those dollars to the fuel category and you’re all set.


How do I remove the category balance when there is no number in the budget column?

If you are using Rule Two, money will build up in different categories. You may find you want to reassign some of those dollars but don’t see a number in the budget column that you can lower.  This is common with an emergency fund category or a buffer category.

Example:  You have $1000 sitting in an emergency fund category, but you need $200 of that to cover an expensive car repair.


Just like a positive number adds to a category balance, a negative number removes money from a category balance.  Enter -$200 in the emergency fund category.


Now the balance in the emergency fund is $800 and there is $200 available to budget again.  Add that to the car repair category and you’re all set.