Credit Cards in YNAB

I pay 2 credit cards off in full every month. One is business- the other personal. Especially with my personal card, individual transactions are imported and applied to different categories. The only reason I want credit cards in YNAB at all is so that I can import my expenses and apply my spending to the appropriate categories. Is there a way to put the credit cards into YNAB with no dollar amounts? I tried putting them in watching a video but it's all so confusing.

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  • When you add them in as a new account and select credit, you should be able to make the starting balance $0. If you want to connect for importing and your balance today is not $0, then you will have to budget for the current balance to make sure that it equals out to nil. There is no way to open account with absolutely no dollar amounts associated at all. 

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  • Hey  Silver Cartridge , I'm in the same scenario with my credit cards. I pay them in full each month. At first, it did take me a while to understand why I had a separate category for my credit cards, because I was just paying my balance and those numbers in that category never made sense to me. 

    But then when I dug around and watched videos (multiple times!) one day, it just clicked! That Credit Card Payment category was setting aside my budgeted cash and making it ready for when I'm ready to pay off my month's balance!

    So if you budget $50 for groceries, and you use your credit card to spend $35 at the grocery store. That $35 moves out of your grocery category and into your Credit Card Payment category - it's budget cash set aside for your next credit card payment. Your grocery category will now be $15 and your Credit Card Payment category will now be $35. 

    Here's a video that might help. Not sure if you've seen this one yet.

    Now, if I'm totally missing your point, then let me know! But there is not a way to add a credit card account that has no balance or dollar amounts. Or to put it a different way, there's not a way to have a credit card connected to your bank (which imports transactions), but not have it included in your budget as a category. 

    Let me know if you have any more questions!

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    • Dan at YNAB Hi Dan- the video helped a lot to show me where I'm messing up- problem is I like my system! I have everything budgeted using my "to be budgeted" funds first - including categories that are paid for using my credit card- as opposed to adding an amount when it hits the credit card (as in the video water ex). For ex- I pay my cable bill with my credit card auto debit each month but I have a separate cable bill category just so I know I have everything covered- no surprises. I haven't been doing anything with my credit cards and the available column turns red. To try and figure things out, I looked at Nov where my credit card showed a negative $150 balance. When I added my cable bill expense ($160)into the budget column for that credit card the negative credit card amount changed to positive $10. So I'm thinking, if I add to the credit card budgeted column every time I import my credit card expenses- will that fix the disconnect? Am I right?

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      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Cartridge (f04002585532) You might have missed the point of that video? Or the video didn't do a very good job of explaining?

      You shouldn't need to regularly budget additional money to the credit card category. Assuming you're fully budgeting for your purchases, YNAb should handle moving the money between your original purchase category to the credit card payment category, and no additional action is necessary.

      You would want to budget additional funds to the credit card category primarily in two situations:

      * When you have a starting balance on the card that you need to pay off, from past spending that wasn't budgeted for in YNAB

      * Or if you have overspending in a past month that you need to budget for

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    • Ben I just watched another video and understand what you are saying. The problem is that my "budgeted spending" is not automatically moving up to the credit card payment category. Did I set something up wrong?

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      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Cartridge (f04002585532) Two things:

      You have a credit card category for that particular credit card within the budget, right? (If not, the account probably wasn't set up with a credit card type?)

      Second possibility: You've budgeted in full for these purchases, right? YNAB can only move money that you've budgeted -- for example, say you budget $20, so that there is $20 available in the category, then you spend $50 using a credit card from that category. This situation should result in $20 being moved to the credit card category, increasing the amount set aside for payment by $20, and the other $30 is overspending that will ultimately become debt on the card if you don't fix it.

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  • Ben's right (Thanks,  Ben ), I'm wondering if one of those two scenarios might be true for you  Silver Cartridge ?

    The only way money will be set aside for your credit card payment is if you budget for it. So if your budget category has a negative orange available amount, that's an indication you have credit card overspending, and you'll want to budget more cash there so that you don't go into further debt. Or as you noticed with that Cable Bill category, when you budgeted $160 to the category, you noticed your Credit Card Payment category available amount changed. 

    All this to say, I'm thinking you're not actually going further in debt, but might need some help in understanding the Credit Card Payment category and how it relates to your budget. But I'd love to hear from you first so we can work through it together! 

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