Ha! @Blake… You’ve discovered my secret…
Sometimes the balance in my checking account will drop to a point below my comfort level, and so to make sure I don’t bounce checks or have debits refused, I will temporarily “borrow” money from my savings account and move it to my checking account to prop up the checking balance temporarily.
When the balance stabilizes, I will then repay the loan from by savings account by moving the borrowed funds back to savings.
I have two categories that manage these transactions: Savings Cash Flow In (+) (Type=Income) and Savings Cash Flow Out (-) (Type =Expense). For appropriate fiscal discipline I make sure that at the end of the year, the sum of activity in these two categories equals zero. (I create the budget for cash flow in after the fact. I then immediately add a budget item in the future to repay the loan, Cash Flow out.
Some may say that those two categories could easily be flagged as “Transfer,” and that would be effective, too.
I don’t flag these with the Type “Transfer,” because I need the discipline to see these funds as a temporary supplement to my annual spending plan. I need to be reminded that the plan was made to float with money that is tagged for other purposes (so…I have to put it back!)
That’s how I handle actual transfers from among the “pockets” not associated with any transactions.
But when I actually work to save money each month, I use a different category called, “Savings” with the Type, “Expense.” I do this because to me saying, “Yes” to savings means saying, “No” to spending: I need to see savings as an expense in my plan that limits my buying behavior elsewhere. That’s why when preparing our budget, I start with our top, lifetime priorities. Charity and Savings are first and second, and with those accounted for, we plan for and live on what’s left.
Thanks for your kind dialogue. It has refined my thinking on this.