Temporarily storing money in credit cards
Imagine I have $2000 right now that I plan on spending in 6 months for a trip. I put that money into my credit card debt so that I can avoid paying interest for those months. Problem is, once I put the money into a credit card payment, from my understanding of YNAB, the money is essentially spent and gone forever.
What do I do in 6 months when I actually spend that money without YNAB saying I'm overspending?
My tricksy thought is to create a shadow "savings" credit card account in YNAB that isn't attached to anything. I make the real life payment of $2000 to the credit card but don't include the transaction in the YNAB credit card. Instead I have a $2000 transfer to the shadow account. Then when I need to spend the money, I use the money in shadow savings.
The main problem I see is that the YNAB balance for that credit card will always be off by the amount that's in the shadow account, but I can deal with that.
Slightly complicated, I know. Is there a better way?
Well, your money can't have two jobs. it can't both pay down debt and also be used to pay for the vacation. So when you make those future purchases it would indeed be overspending. You won't have the cash reserved in the future for your planned spending.
In the end all credit card debt is is just past overspending anyway, so it's just undoing what you did but in the meantime you incurring less interest. Which is perfectly acceptable.
Whatever you do, don't create fake accounts to try to hide reality. You need to just accept it as the truth.
What in Heaven's name??? It is so simple, you put your $2k in your vacation category and spend it in 6 months. Who saves with a credit card?? You don't actually mean sending a CC a $2k overpayment I hope! If you're carrying debt on the card, take your $2k and make a payment towards it, and save up for your vacation, or just incur more debt.
Like nolesrule said, just reflect reality, no tricksies.
If you want the money to decrease your debt now, then put it towards the CC. But then when you need to pay for your vacations, you are essentially saying: I'll take back the money I paid towards my debt to pay for my vacations. In other words, I'll increase my debt back up so I can now use that money to pay for my vacations.
To increase your debt, you either overspend in the vacation budget (but then you have little spending guidance). Or you move money out of the CC payment category (making it overspent and hence saying you want to increase your debt on the CC) and budget that money towards your vacations for spending guidance.