Still so confused about credit cards

So, if my credit cards and bank accounts are LINKED....I should NOT enter any transactions?  I think I read somewhere that if I do, YNAB will recognize it is a duplicate and remove it...or do I have to remove myself?  I am very unclear (even after reading many blogs and answers here) on how to PAY my credit card (I maintain a 0 balance).  Because any money I would budget to PAY my credit card...is already budgeted for the things I Pay for WITH my credit card.  Help!

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  • So, it is recommended that you enter transactions as they are incurred. That way you have the most up to date information on what you have spent already without waiting for an import from the linked account. When the accounts are synced, it will match any transactions that are imported from the bank with the transactions you have entered. When they are matched, you will see a couple of links beside it. You can also manually match them if the automatic match does not pick them up. 

    Simple version - when you make a purchase on a credit card and categorize it to the appropriate category, the amount of the purchase will move from that category to the available under the credit card. The available is the amount you can pay on your card. You do not need to budget anything to the credit card if you always pay it in full (PIF). You can check if the paid in full status is correct by comparing the available for the credit card on the right (green bubble) with the account balance on the left. If they match, you are paid in full. If they do not, you may be riding the credit card float and not realize it. 

    There are lots of people here who have experience and can give you advice on additional options to manage a PIF credit card. 

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  • Thank you Navy Blue.  But, are you saying that YNAB WILL recognize a duplicate entry, if I enter and then the linked credit card also makes an entry.  Is there some action required on my part to removed the duplicated entry or does YNAB do that on its own?  

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Orange Snow The 2 entries will match together.  No need to delete anything.

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      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Orange Snow It will ask you to approve the match after it matches them.  I recommend entering your transactions as you spend and using the syncing feature to make double check your work, then it makes reconciling easier.

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      • PS
      • Maroon_Trombone.16
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orange Snow One thing to point out regarding matching transactions is that the amounts have to be identical and the dates within a certain number of days - I think 10 - in order for YNAB to link them.

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  • Navy Blue Pegasus said:
    You do not need to budget anything to the credit card if you always pay it in full (PIF).

     One caveat: you need to budget to the credit card payment category when you start a budget. This is to cover the starting balance. YNAB will not make the assumption whether you want to pay the starting balance in full or not. So when you start your budget, if you decide you want to pay your credit card balance in full, you need to budget money to the category to cover the debt already on the card

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  • are you using the mobile version or the web version of YNAB?

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  • Hi Orange Snow !

    There's great advice in this thread, I just wanted to leave a link to a few learning materials for further reference. 

    We have a Budget for Credit Cards video course that goes over credit cards from head to toe, but if you're only looking for information on Credit Card Payments, check out this Help Doc! :)

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  • Navy Blue Pegasus said:
    You do not need to budget anything to the credit card if you always pay it in full (PIF).

    A correction to this: you don't have to budget to the CC Payment category *for budgeted purchases*.

    For anything else, you do: starting balance, purchase reward credits, outgoing transfers, reconciliation adjustments, or to catch up for overspending (non-budgeted purchases) in a prior month.

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  • Thanks all!  Great tips.  It’s making more sense now!

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