Credit Card flagged as Overspent, but all transactions are budgeted for - I'm confused!

Hello folks,

Long time YNAB4 user who finally took the plunge to switch to YNAB as a 2019 resolution.

I was able to migrate all my data successfully, but did not choose to do a Fresh Start after the migration. The migration seemed to go smoothly and I could reconcile most of my balances including the To-Be-Budgeted number.

However, earlier this week I was suddenly prompted in the YNAB app that I had overspending on one of my credit cards. Here are the details that I saw at first:

However, when I tapped on "Activity for Jan" option, I got a set of details that has left me very confused:

As you can see it says the 99.87$ of spending on the card has been budgeted for. Further, a quick calculation shows that the 150.42 of "overspending" can be calculated by taking the +250.29 on 1/8 (minus) the -62.36 on 1/5 and -37.51 on 1/1. This doesn't make sense to me but it's almost certain I've made a mistake somewhere.

Could someone please help me figure out what I'm getting wrong?

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  • Hi

    You paid $250.29 on Jan 8, of which $99.87 was spending recorded in new YNAB and is therefore budgeted for.

    Of the remainder, are the categories you spent from on your cc $150.42 up? If this is the case you will need to transfer the sums from you your spend category/categories to the credit card category.

    the good news is that as you move forward in new YNAB you won’t have to worry about this again if your credit spending is covered by the categories you spend from.

    Reply Like 1
    • Beige Case (1939d61da8b9) can you please give me some more detail on what you mean by “are the categories you spent on your cc $150.42 up”? I couldn’t understand what I should be looking for. 

      Reply Like
    • Average Geek 
      eg. In December you had:

      $100 in groceries

      $50.42 in gas


      Before you migrated to nYNAB you spent that £150.42 using the credit card. I never used YNAB 4 so I don't know how it handled Credit spending, but that spend should have led to those categories being reduced to $0 each. 

      What I'm suggesting has happened in nYNAB is that the Credit Card category is $150.42 down on your payment because the funds weren't allocated to the credit card category at migration. That $150.42 must be somewhere, and the best place to start is to look at the Credit spends in YNAB4, how that left the categories you spent from, and ensure that (in my example) you don't have $100 in groceries and $50.42  gas more than you should have. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Beige Case (1939d61da8b9) Hm. This is going to be very hard to track down I think 😫. A lot of my budget categories have buffers built up so it’s hard to say if a category has more than it should have. Plus I tend to use the to be budgeted balance to cover any over spending from one month to the next. 

      Reply Like
    • Average Geek So, you need to reduce your budget accounts to match what you spent on your credit card.

      Reply Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Beige Case (1939d61da8b9) when you started using the nynab you needed to budget the amount of your starting balance on your credit cards to the credit card Kay end categiry so that money was set aside to pay off the credit card. 

      Reply Like 1
  • Hi Average Geek !

    I think satcook is right, if all of your expenses we're budgeted for, I think the Starting Balance is the culprit! If you had an outstanding balance on a credit card when you set it up in YNAB, and you paid that in full but didn't budget for it in the Credit Card Payments category, it'll show your Credit Card Payment category as overspent. Budgeting for that balance in your Credit Card Payment category lets the budget know you plan to take some of the money you have and use it to pay off that existing balance. Here’s a video explaining how this works. 


    I hope that helps! 

    Reply Like
    • Hi Jannelle . The starting balance on the card was $25.35 so that doesn't seem to match up. In fact looking back at earlier months I notice this card has had varying amounts show up as a negative balance, so there's definitely something going wrong 😥

      Reply Like
    • Average Geek I'm having the exact same issue. I can't imagine they want me to budget for the purchases AND for the credit card balance. That means every dollar spend on the credit card costs twice in the budget.

      Reply Like
    • Cornflower Blue Piano You have to budget to the credit card payment category for the starting balance on the credit card. If you can budget the whole balance then that is the only time you will need to budget to that category. If you are carrying any debt on the card then you will also have to budget to the credit card category to pay that down.

      However, you do not have to budget to the credit card payment category for any budgeted spending from your categories. When you record the spending against that category YNAB automatically moves the money up to the credit card payment category so that it is there ready for you to pay the bill.

      Reply Like
    • Hi Average Geek !

      If you're still having trouble, we can take a closer look at things! If you’re up for it, go ahead and enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead.

      Reply Like
    • monkeyhanger I have categorized all of my transactions towards my budget and budgeted money for those items but I still have this credit payment.

      Reply Like
    • Cornflower Blue Piano If you’re up for it, I'd be more than happy to take a look at your account, too!  Just enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead.

      Reply Like
    • Cornflower Blue Piano Did you budget for the starting balance on the card? Have you had any refunds to the card, rewards, etc?

      nolesrule has a useful list of reasons your credit card payment category can go red. If I find it before he sees this, I'll post it.

      Reply Like
    • Hi Faness - I have enabled Support Access on my account. Could you please contact me via email?

      For other folks on the thread,  I promise to come back and update here on progress and if we do find an answer!

      Reply Like 2
    • Average Geek Email sent! :)

      Reply Like
  • Hello all,

    I haven't forgotten about my promise to post here with updates, but the truth is it's taken this long for me to finally get a handle on what was happening with my credit card category balances. Many thanks to YNAB Support folks especially Kat H, who took the time to record detailed videos going through my accounts and helping me figure things out.

    I'm going to provide a bullet point summary of what I've understood (taken almost verbatim from an email I sent to Kat H) but it's worth pointing a lot of this complexity in my case comes up from migrating a very long account history (nearly 6 years!) into nYNAB.


    • The Basics:
      • If there is overspending on a category using a credit card, the category will turn Yellow. You can choose to add to the category balance in the month to offset the overspending or let it roll over.
      • If you roll over, that amount will transfer to the Credit Card spending category as this represents a debt to the Card company that should be paid (either in part or full)
      • Hence, trying to increase the spending category balance in the next month won't make any difference. You have to add funds to the Credit Card spending category directly.
    • In my case:
      • At some point in the past, I had credit overspending on one or more categories across multiple cards.
      • While I always pay my credit card statements in full, depending on the timing of the transaction I might have ridden the credit card float for that over-spending from one month's statement to the next.
      • When I finally switched to new YNAB, those overspending started showing up again - either as Amber or Red flag in the credit card categories, because I had not budgeted for the over-spending before and was still essentially riding a float for these amounts.
      • Those Amber & Red flags might go away in one month if I moved enough money from a budget category to the credit card based on spending, but it would likely come back in another month
    • The solution then:
      • Add funds to the credit card category so that the Card Working Balance and the Credit Card Category Available Balance match.
      • If subsequent credit card transactions are from spending categories that have sufficient balance, then going forward there should be no problem.
      • However, if there is credit card spending that causes a category over-spend, either cover the overspending in the category in that month itself or add funds to the credit card category in the next month.

    I hope that helps folks who are similarly confused when migrating to nYNAB or are seeing Red flags in the budget even if they pay for their credit cards in full.

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

      Average Geek  I just read the initial post, and my first inclination was that when you did the post-migration cleanup, you mixed the CC payment available balance by budgeting it to zero, rather than budgeting it to match the CC account balance.... which is the first bullet point of your solution.

      Reply Like
    • nolesrule I don’t think I set the CC payment available balance to zero when I migrated? The problem  was the over spending in previous months that I had not explicitly budgeted for in CC payments. Unless that’s what you were referring to?

      Reply Like
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