When you pay the check at a restaurant and people pay you back in cash

How do you handle the following situation in YNAB?

I go out to a restaurant with friends and for some reason, we can't split the check. I pay the entire bill with my credit card and my friends give me their part in cash. So I stick to my budget for the evening, but I have this huge ugly number staring at me from my credit card history... What do I do with it?


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  • Depends on what matters to you. For me, I categorize it as usual, perhaps with a "will be refunded $X in the memo field", make sure the refunded cash is deposited and applied back to that category so everything balances out, and that's it. I don't particularly see that transaction as a "huge ugly number". As long as my budget reflects reality (I went out, spent X, was refunded Y), that's all I care about.

    If you're worried that your restaurant's category will show higher spending than usual, perhaps make it a split transaction? One split could be for your personal meal and the rest could be categorized to some sort of "refunds" category that keeps that spending separate?

  • I do it as a split transaction with my share going to restaurants and the rest going to my reimbursable category. I also use a cash account so when my friends pay me, it is just a deposit to my cash account categorized as Reimbursement directly rather than going through TBB so that the Reimbursement category shows a net 0 on spending.

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  • Thanks! A refunds/reimbursement category is a really good idea.

  • Assuming you use a cash account of some sort (I call mine wallet), enter a split transaction. Doing it this way keeps your cc accurate (the entire amount charged), updates the cash balance in your wallet (where did this $25 come from?), and only deducts what you spent from your category (I still have $X I can spend on entertainment).


    Caution:  Doing it this way means you will  have to manually budget your friend's portion in your credit card payment area.  That shouldn't be a problem since you've received that portion of the payment.

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