I'm new to YNAB and I want to update my starting balance on a credit card so that the starting balance reflects the beginning of the month.

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  • No, you really don't, I promise. :) Just start with today's. 

    Reply Like 3
  • Hi Cadet Blue Battery !

    I agree wholeheartedly with WordTenor . You don't need to enter previous transactions on that card, but you can if you really want to have them.

    After connecting an account, if you decide to import past transactions (since the first of the month, for example) you can change the date of the starting balance transaction. You will also need to adjust the amount of the starting balance.

    Let me know if you have any other questions, I'm happy to help!

    Reply Like 1
    • Faness I have a similar question. I am super confused about how credit cards work in YNAB.

       

      Here is my situation:

      I imported and categorized all of my credit card transactions from back in Oct 2018 to present day because I was trying to get a good picture of what my average expenses were over the course of a year. So now all of those transactions are in YNAB even though I didn't start budgeting until this month (Sept 2019). 

      Here are some details behind my question:

      1. I pay off my credit card bill every month
      2. It is now September
      3. My bill isn't due until Oct 10
      4. The expenses for the Oct 10 statement were in August/September

      If I pay off my balance every month, what should I be budgeting for my credit card bill in Sept? Should it be all of the expenses I put on the credit card for the last statement period? If so, how would I adjust this? Or should it be my actual balance, even though some of that money is due in Oct and some is due later? 

       

      Thanks,

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I Love Horses If you want to be able to pay your statement balance, you need to budget enough to your category so that the category available is equal to your CC account pending balance (with opposite sign).

      Reply Like 1
    • Ceeses I get that, I think, but what month should I be putting those expenses in for, or does it matter? I guess my question is more about time...my credit card balance is for purchases that were made in the past, so should my current categories include the past expenses plus the estimated new expenses for the rest of the month? This probably isn't clear and I probably won't understand it until I've used ynab for a few months but right now I feel pretty lost w/ regard to credit card budgeting.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I Love Horses I suggest you do a fresh start starting with today's balances and move forward.

      (You can still refer to the budget with the old transactions whenever you like. Frankly, I'm not sure of the value since your spending is likely to be different now that you have YNAB to help you make spending decisions.)

      Reply Like 1
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      I Love Horses  Although I agree with dakinemaui on the Fresh Start. To answer your question: you only put money in your CC payment category this month. No other categories or months. At least to cover your CC spending. If you have imported old transactions from checking or savings that's another story.

      Reply Like 2
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses Sorry I meant, you put money in your categories this month to cover this month spending of course. And only put a bunch in the CC category to cover past spending. Your CC category Available should equal your CC pending account balance (opposite sign).

      Reply Like 1
  • Apologies in advance because I'm still struggling to understand credit cards.

    I took your advice and did a fresh start. My question now is about my credit card balance. Let's say 60% of it is my current statement, due in Oct, and 40% isn't due until after that. So, I guess I'm not paying the entire balance every month, just what is due from the last statement so as to avoid interest. So in that case should I put my statement balance as my CC balance? Or should I put the whole amount? I tried selecting the option to "pay it off by a certain date" when I recreated the account, but then it just splits the balance in half, which is not what I'm doing. Can I budget just what I need for the current statement for the current month?

     

    Thanks for your patience.

    Reply Like
    • Hi I Love Horses !

      Your credit card balance should be the total amount you currently owe on that credit card. You want your account balances in YNAB to match the actual account balances listed with your bank. 

      As for budgeting for your payment, we suggest budgeting for the current balance if you plan to pay it in full. If you only plan to pay the statement balance, you can still budget for the full starting balance so that everything is accounted for when the month rolls over (that prevents you from having to budget more towards your credit card category later).

      Here’s a video explaining how budgeting for starting balances on your credit card works.

      If you aren’t able to budget for the full starting balance of your credit card and all of your current month's expenses, you might be riding the credit card float.

      Take a look at those links and let me know what you think! :)

      Reply Like 1
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      I Love Horses The whole amount. The only way to reserve money in your budget to pay for something is to budget for it. For things like shoes and groceries, you budget for it in your Clothing and Food categories. For an existing credit card balance (ie transactions before the date your YNAB budget begins), you have to budget for it in the Credit Card Payment category, regardless of when you actually send the money to the credit card company.

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      I Love Horses Your YNAB account balance should match your real account balance. Your credit card payment category is a different story. It's a budget category like everything else, the only difference being that it's a plan for your credit card payments. You need to reserve money for the amount of the current balance you plan to pay, regardless of when. After a Fresh Start, no money is reserved to pay your credit card balance. If you only reserve money to pay the statement balance, you don't have money reserved to pay the rest of the balance.

      New budgeted purchases on a credit card automatically have the money reserved for payment. Unbudgeted purchases, including those that were from before your budget began, do not have money reserved.

      Reply Like 2
    • I Love Horses "Paid in full" status has the Payment category cover the entire account balance (not just the statement balance). This means you can pay the account to $0 -- in full, right? -- any time you like.

      Whether you actually send them all of that money or only what they've asked for (statement balance) is your call. Most will only send the statement balance.

      Reply Like
    • I Love Horses  To add to what the others are saying, not only do you want to take into account your total balance (not just the statement balance), you also want to take into account any pending transactions that may not have cleared yet. So, if your statement balance is $1,000, your account balance is $2,000 (the $1,000 statement balance plus another $1,000 that won't be due until next statement), and you have another $200 in pending, uncleared transactions, you want to enter your beginning credit card balance into YNAB as $2,200

      That way, everything on the card is truly captured.

      Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Pilot No, you want to enter in the transactions for those pending charges.

      Reply Like 1
    • nolesrule OK...

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  • OK. I think I'm starting to get it. I tried to do too many things at once in the very beginning but now that I've started fresh I have a better idea of how it works. Thanks!

    Reply Like 1
    • I Love Horses Happy to hear it! If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask! :)

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  • 1 mth agoLast active
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