Split Transactions

How do I enter a transaction that affects more than one Budget Category?

A Split Transaction is a single transaction that affects multiple categories. You may want to use a Split Transaction if:

  • You've been to a "big box" store and purchased a number of items  at once that affect several different categories.
  • You are getting cash back at a store and want to separate the cash back from the actual purchase.
  • You would like to split income so that part of the income affects this month, and part of it is allocated to next month.

Step 1: Add a new transaction

In the account where the spending occurred, click on the Add a new transaction button. Enter the date of the transaction and in the Payee column enter the name of the person, place or company who received the money.

Step 2: Activate the Split Transaction feature.

In the Budget Category drop-down menu select the category Split Transaction from the choices. As soon as you choose Split Transaction, you'll notice that the transaction expands to allow you to enter split amounts.


In the Outflow field, enter the total amount of the transaction.

In the category drop-down menu below the main transaction simply choose a category from the menu as usual for each part of the transaction. Then tab over and enter the amount you spent on that category.

Notice that YNAB keeps track of how much is remaining to be assigned, based upon your total transaction amount and how much you've already assigned to splits.


Step 3: See how the Split Transaction affects the Budget.

YNAB has recorded the outflows for you in the Budget in the appropriate categories. Always keep an eye on how much you budgeted in a category, how much you spent in a category, and on the Category Balance.


If you select “Done” before allocating the full amount of the transaction, YNAB will open a dialogue box to ask you how you would like to handle the unassigned amount. You have three options:

  • Manually adjust the transaction: Use this if you you would like to continue adjusting the transaction yourself, or if you only accidentally hit “Done.”
  • Auto-distribute amongst splits: This will distribute the remaining amount between all items - especially useful for sales tax

  • Adjust original transaction: This will adjust the total amount you originally entered to match the total of the separate sub-transactions you have entered.