Stopping Credit Cards Budgeting Movement

Is there a way to stop the Credit Card Category from coming up or doing its automatic moving of money? I am PIF and use the credit cards only for points and pay it off every two weeks going on about 3 years now. I have changed my CC accounts to Checking accounts in YNAB in order to get around it, but was curious if there is anyway to do this in the application itself.

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  • Hey  Church0724 , Great question! First let me answer the question: there's not a way to "turn off" how credit cards work in YNAB. You could collapse the Credit Card Payment category group to "hide" it though. 

    I, too, am a PIF credit card user and longtime YNAB-er. And I've always found the Credit Card Payment category pretty helpful as a double-check to make sure I'm always budgeting for my credit spending. Yes, the budget has credit overspending notifications, but the Credit Card Payment category has always been a great way to double check that, as I know my budget's in order if my Credit Card Payment category available balance matches my credit card account balance.

    If you find that your way of working around the credit card account type works for you, then by all means. But I would hate for you to lose out on some of the unique features of the Credit Card Payment category and credit card account type.

    One of those things is credit overspending & how the month rolls over. So if you have any credit overspending (which you most likely won't, but if...) then a checking account will consider that cash overspending and reduce cash from your To be Budgeted next month. But in reality, it's not cash overspending, it's credit overspending. And those two are different. Cash overspending is money that's already left your account, while credit overspending is an increased debt. With the different account types, we help you distinguish between the two. 

    Hope that gives slightly more perspective!

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  • Yeah, I guess I understand. It just sounds like the philosophy of YNAB has changed, and is no longer about budgeting, but more of something like Mint, where you money just kind of watch what happens to your money and hope. With budgeting, I don't have overspending on credit cards, because I budget.

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  • I initially had concerns about the credit card repayment category as well.  However, a previous budgeting product that I used worked the same way, and after using the web based YNAB for nearly 2 years now, I have no concerns with this arrangement.  As for the idea that this makes YNAB like Mint and minimizes budgeting, I can't agree with either of those statements.  I am also a PIF credit card user, and YNAB is simply moving the money to the credit card payment category in anticipation of me making the payment that I was already planning to make.  YNAB (any version) is nothing like Mint, and I'm still budgeting just like I have always done.  Anyone who feels that the additional payment category is unnecessary or gets in their way can simply do as you have done and create a checking account to represent their credit card.

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  • I struggle with the way nYNAB handles credit cards also and have changed all of my credit card accounts to checking accounts so that it will behave more like YNAB4.  The credit card handling just seems overly complicated for someone who treats their credit cards like debit cards anyway.  

    Reply Like 1
  • I too would like to have an option to disable this auto-tracking feature.  This is another instance of the new YNAB trying to be helpful but instead of phasing it in and giving users the option to remain how they had it before, force it on us and expect us to adjust.

    Very frustrating to have to suddenly adjust to something you didn't ask for or want.

    Please consider the option to opt-in to new features released rather than this model "we changed this on you, deal with it".

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      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      jaeco89 Unfortunately, the credit card functionality is pretty key to how the online version of YNAB works. Like others have said, if you absolutely can't deal with the credit card functionality, you can set that account up as a checking account instead (assuming you regularly pay in full and never carry any debt).

      In general, though, I encourage users to stick it out and work with the new system. YNAB has a lot of resources to help with that process -- the in-app help (bottom right corner of the web app), documentation, blog posts and Whiteboard Wednesday videos, and several short online classes ( https://www.youneedabudget.com/classes/ ). There's definitely a learning curve, but I've found that the new system helps give me more peace of mind and helps me catch accidental overspending.

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  • I dig the way YNAB handles credit cards. That might be in part because I don't think quite so hard about it -- I don't know. But it seems to work great for me to know that the money that I had budgeted for a new toilet gets shifted to paying the credit card tab, whenever I choose to pay it. The way it works really seems like it conforms to rule 1.

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  • Here's the only thing that bothers me about it. I get paid on the 1st and the 15th of each month. I wanted to create two categories called "1st Paycheck" and "15th Paycheck", and then put each bill under the paycheck it gets paid with. Can't do this with my credit cards. The fact that they HAVE to be kept under their own "Credit Car Payments" category seems unnecessarily restrictive. 🤔

    Reply Like 1
  • Can you please tell me how to change a credit card account to a checking account in the my ynab? 

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    • HezthePez 

      It’s not yet possible to change the account type for an existing account, but you can create a new account and move over the transaction history. Below are the steps to do just that. 

      1. Create a new account to replace the current one by clicking Add Account > Unlinked.  Choose the account type you’d like, give it a nickname (it will need to be slightly different than the original account), and enter 0 for the balance.

      2. Go to the original account, select all of the transactions, and move them to the new account using the Edit menu. Here’s a quick look at how to do that:

      The next step will be to delete the original account. If it's a credit card account, first check the Notes area for the credit card payment category in case there’s anything there you want to save.

      3. Okay, it’s time to delete the original account. Click the Edit icon next to the account name in the left sidebar, and you’ll see the Delete Account button. Be sure to save any text in the Account Notes field if needed.

      4. Now, you can edit the name of the new account and/or link the account if you'd like. For credit card accounts, you may want to create a goal on the new payment category in your budget.

      Let me know if you have any questions along the way!

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