Credit Card going red

I made some purchases on my credit card. I got a refund later as I returned an item. I added this refund transaction to the category which I used for the original purchase. My credit card now shows as budgeted the correct amount that I now owe the CC company. So far so good. Now I wanted to move the refund money I received, from the category to "To be budgeted". The moment I do this, my CC budgeted goes red in negative . I don't understand why this happens,

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  • Did you make a payment to the CC this month AND before the return?

  • Yes I did. Even with that the current budgeted of CC is matching the CC outstanding until I move the refund to the " To be budgeted"

  • I just realized something else. I am getting the refund on CC2 and after moving the refund to TBB, CC1 which is nothing to do with the refund is turning RED. Both CC1 and CC2 has purchases in the same category and on CC1 I have made a payment in this month.

    • Aquamarine Foal YNAB will prioritize cash outflows within a category and short a CC Payment category to do so. If the Payment Available was low enough (e.g., $0 immediately following a payment), that reduction will take the Payment category negative.

      In your case, I suspect lowering the budget value in the spending category doesn't leave enough in the category to cover all spending, causing the CC Payment category to be shorted. (Which CC YNAB chooses to short when more than one is possible is a mystery to me.)

      The fact an inflow comes along later just hides this overspending. Transaction dates matter in this case.

      tldr; inflows are ignored for the purposes of overspending detection. Budget value reductions do impact overspending detection. Prioritization of cash spending when overspending is present may reduce a CC Payment category, possible enough to be negative.

  • Thanks for the detailed reply.

    It's however too complex for me to understand. Has nothing to do with your reply, but just the complexity YNAB has got into with their CC handling.

    • Aquamarine Foal I totally get that. The CC handling is easy for the simple case of a budgeted outflow, but other, real-world usages become difficult to understand very quickly. In this case, it sounds like a design flaw in YNAB.

      Perhaps the simplest thing is to move those funds out of the spending category in next month's area.

      (The fact you can do this effectively proves it's a bug. You might also file a bug report.)

    • Hi Aquamarine Foal ! Based on what you mentioned above, it sounds like you're running into a scenario that can cause money to move oddly between your Credit Card Payment categories.

      The examples are complex, but here's a simple version: You buy a shirt with your Visa (CC 1), then a pair of pants with your Amex (CC 2). Different cards, same budget category, and the pants weren’t budgeted for. Then, you return the shirt, but the money stays in your Visa's credit card payment category instead of moving to cover the pants you bought on the Amex.

      Only the Credit Card payment categories would have been affected. You can move money between your Credit Card Payment categories until each matches your expected payment amount, or the balance owed, if you pay in full.

      We're actively investigating ways to improve how this type of scenario is handled. Let me know if you have any questions!

      Like 1
    • Nicole Thanks. Your tip really helped. I adjusted the CC payment categories as you suggested and it looks fine again now. Hope the bug gets fixed at some point.

      Like 1
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