Negative "To Be Budgeted" balance after transaction that was already budgeted for cleared

I have been using YNAB for a couple years but did a fresh start a couple weeks ago.

I reconciled all my accounts yesterday and everything looked good.

At that time, my TBB was at $0. Everything looked great! 

Since then there has been one transaction-- I bought gas on a credit card.

My category for Fuel had more budgeted than I spent, and after this transaction still has funds available. 

Once the transaction cleared, my TBB went in the negative for the exact amount as my fuel purchase. 

If this category had enough in the budget and was categorised correctly, how is my TBB negative because of this transaction? There was $50 available in this budget and after clearing a transaction of $14.22, there was $35.88 left available, so it looks like it pulled from the right budget. But if my TBB is now negative, how did this transaction all of a sudden make my amount budgeted greater than my Funds for that month, even though this was already budgeted for? 


I have a feeling this might be something silly, or big concept that I don't understand. Thanks in advance for any insight!

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  • Here's another piece of the puzzle. When I view this particular credit card, it says that there is nothing to pay, and that I have $14.12 available. This doesn't make sense to me because I reconciled and the account balances matched perfectly. The only other thing I can think of is that this transaction took a little long to clear, and had been in pending status at the time of account reconciliation. 

  • What is the current balance on that credit card?

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  • Hi Gold Thunder ! Thanks for those additional details. I'd love to dig in and see what's going on!

    If you’d like, you can enable Support Access for your account, which will allow us to take a look at your budget. Let me know if you decide to do so—and the name of the budget—and we’ll take a look!

    • Hi Nicole at , thank you for reaching out to me! I would so appreciate if someone could take a look for me and let me know if I did something silly. The name of the budget I am using know is The Climb. I have enabled support access on my account. Let me know if there's anything else you need!

    • Nicole at YNAB I actually think I figured this out! I had just made a payment on this credit card, and I decided how much the payment would be based on what YNAB told me I spent on it. But because the transaction didn't clear for a little while, it showed up as a positive balance on my credit card statement once payment went  through (which was before the payment cleared). Does that sound right? 

    • Hi Gold Thunder ! Thanks for enabling access to your account so I can take a look at your budget.

      Yes, it looks like that payment on the 14th created a positive balance on your credit card. I made you a quick video (and sent it via email) to walk through what was going on. Here is a little more about why that happened!

      When your credit card has a positive balance, YNAB treats it like any other cash account—the positive balance is added to your To be Budgeted amount. Here are some important things to note about cards with positive balances:

      1. You may see that the amount Available in your Credit Card Payment category is negative. That’s because you sent more money to the card than you had Available. Use some of the ‘extra’ To be Budgeted money to cover that overspending before you do anything else. 
      2. When you make a purchase on a card with a positive balance, no money will move to the Credit Card Payment category, since you don’t have anything to pay back. 

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