Track HSA Account Income/Expenses Off-Budget

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We are trying to switch from YNAB to GoodBudget. I have an HSA Account that my company directly contributes to. The account is with a different bank from our Checking and Savings. When health needs come up we spend from that account. Because the funds are deposited directly by my company each month we do not need to budget for it from my monthly income. We would like to track the amount in the account as it accumulates and the expense transaction whenever they occur.
But we do not want these to be part of our monthly budget.

In YNAB we used an Off-Budget Account that recorded income and expenses. Basically we could make a transaction that only required an account and not an envelope.
How can we do that in GoodBudget?
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Bill

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Posted 1 month ago

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Alex Park, Official Rep

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Hi Bill,

It sounds like you'd like to add your HSA to your Goodbudget household and would like the money in that new HSA Account to not be accessed by your Unallocated or your normal budgeting and Envelopes. To do this, you will need to also create not only the HSA Account, but a new HSA Envelope and Fill it with the full balance of your HSA Account. Furthermore, if you make any changes to the balance of your HSA Account in the future, you will need to make an equivalent change to the HSA Envelope so that the same balance is always reflected in the two and not accessed by your normal budgeting.

To give you an example, let's say you want to add your HSA Account with balance $1000. Adding that Account would add $1000 to your Unallocated, so next you would create an HSA Envelope, and move that $1000 from Unallocated to the new HSA Envelope through either an Envelope Fill or an Envelope Transfer. This would let you track your HSA Account without having that $1000 find its way into your regular budget Envelopes. If you later make a deposit of $500 to your HSA Account, you will need to also Fill your HSA Envelope by that additional $500.

The reason this is all necessary is because Goodbudget doesn't make a distinction between your different types of Accounts — they're all pooled into one source of money for funding your Envelopes. It is not possible to designate a specific Envelope or sets of Envelopes as only connected to a specific Account, and it's not possible to create an truly off-budget Account.

Hope that all helps and makes sense.

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Bill

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Thank you for your prompt and clear reply.
This is a workable solution, but I was hoping for an option that would not pool all Accounts together.
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Telt1910

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It is all a state of mind ... Once you start getting more acquainted with GB, you will realize you do not need to track which account holds the funds for which envelope (with exception of your HSA account). Most likely, in the end it all comes out of/goes into your bank account, one way or another (deposit, direct payment, payment on your credit card, transfer to/from savings, etc.) 
A personal example: I have several credit cards with cash back rewards. I put the rewards in a Cash Rewards account and a Christmas Gifts envelope as I earn them.  One of the cards automatically transfers the rewards into my savings account each month.  The others I don't cash in until about now, due to the special deals for the holiday season (discounted gift cards).  But I don't spend the rewards dollar for dollar from each account.  Say I have $150 at AMEX, $250 on my Visa card.  I have $400 I can use for Xmas gifts.  I use my AMEX primarily for Groceries and Gas, but for everything else I get a better deal using my Visa.  Since I am not gifting Gas or Groceries, I will use my VISA for the whole $400, or maybe give someone cash, instead.  I just have to make sure I cash in the rewards in both accounts, which would be an account transfer from my Rewards account to my credit card account.  The Xmas gift envelope is not involved when I do so.  

A suggestion, instead of doing an Envelope Fill for money deposited in your HSA, do the deposit as an Add Transaction, putting in the amount deposited as a negative, select your HSA account and your HSA envelope. Cuts down the entries from 2 to 1, and you bypass touching the Unallocated envelope. 
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Telt1910

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As a former YNAB user, I never liked their mismatching of the timing of income and expenses.  You can enter your expenses from here till eternity, but don't you dare put your income in until it is in your hands.  
And since YNAB is designed and maintained by an accountant, I had even more issue with it, because a major principle of accounting is the matching of transactions to their (monthly) periods.

You can enter your monthly expenses ahead by doing future fills, but just make sure you enter all your future income for those months as well. 
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Telt1910

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Another way to create your HSA account, is as a "Negative" Debt account.  Keeps it off envelope. Anytime you use your HSA for a medical bill, enter it as a "Debt Payment".  Deposits are entered as negative fees.
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Bill

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I tried you last suggestion here and when I create a Negative Debt Account it still asks me to create an envelope. If I choose "Pay in Full Every Month" it creates a Credit Card Account. Is this what you were speaking of?