Credit Card Payment Available Less Than It Should Be

I'm having a hard time figuring out why my payment available is less than my working balance.  

I just paid my statement balance of $4498.79 in full (currently processing and thus uncleared), leaving $335.94 in more recent transactions (also still pending and thus uncleared) for a working balance of the same, $335.94.  See image.

I paid the statement in full the prior month too, so there have been no interest or any expenses not budgeted for throughout the last statement.  No overspending on any budget category last month or this month thus far. But still there is a discrepancy difference of $110.99.  I've looked back since the beginning of my budget and beginning balance on my credit card, which I reset at the start of the year and could not find any transaction that equaled this amount, or any uncategorized transactions that could have added up to this amount.   

The way I understand it, the payment available amount should equal my working balance IF my last statement was paid in full and all transactions since then have been properly budgeted for, which IS the case for me.  

What am I missing or failing to understand that would explain this $110.99 discrepancy.  I don't think I should have to budget that 110.99 difference manually to round out the account balance, when all my transactions are properly budgeted with no overspending in any of their categories.

12replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I have the same question. Interested to hear the response!

    Like
  • For your reference, here are the reasons I've found that the credit card account & payment category balances diverge (paid in full cards):

    • starting balance on a paid-in-full card - category is lower
    • overspending - category is lower
    • uncategorized transactions - category is lower
    • outgoing transfers to other on-budget accounts (e.g., gift card account, mixed funding splits) - category is lower
    • purchase/cash-back rewards (should be categorized to TBB) - category is higher
    • categorizing item returns as TBB (should use the original spending category instead) - category is higher
    • reconciliation adjustment - category is lower for an outflow adjustment, higher for an inflow adjustment
    • taking the account balance positive - category should be $0 in this case

    To correct the problem, budget whatever is needed to make them agree. Some of them can also be fixed other ways (e.g., overspending).

    Like
      • Lauren L.
      • Registered Dietitian
      • lclarson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Thanks for the tips, most of them make sense, but none of them seem to solve my problem (at least that I am able to identify). 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Lauren L. It could be a combination of some of the above. You really didn't provide enough information on your transactions to be able to help. Sometimes order of transactions makes a difference to, like if you had a return after making a credit card payment.

      At this point, just budget the difference to your payment category (and adjust your budget) to correct it. That's the only way you're going to fix it.

       

      To the OP.  Will W Saying you don't think you should have to do that won't change the fact that you have to do that.

      Then just keep a better eye on things.

      (Edited because I mixed up the OP and a follow-on poster)

      Like
    • Lauren L. If the credit card under-payment happened recently, look in February for over-budget categories. If charges posted in March with a transaction date of February, it's possible that a category went negative but YNAB zeroed it out when the month changed. The result would be under-allocation to the credit card payment category but not a negative value in the category that incurred the expense.

      That might not be evident if you're looking only at the current month. Shift your budget view back to February. If any category is negative you can either unallocate that amount in March, then allocate in February. More easily, allocate money directly to the credit card category that's under-funded. That probably requires reducing an allocation elsewhere.

      Are you using the Toolkit for YNAB browser extension? (I assume desktop browser, not the phone app.) If so, it includes a 'pay in full' quick budget option. Check each credit card category individually to view the "Rectify Difference" button. Click the button balance the account. As above, you may need to move other allocations around to get TBB to 0.

      Like 1
    • spammagnet I did a search for this question and came across your answer. This is exactly what happened to me. I had some overspending from the last day of the month. Thanks for your help!

      Like
  • Thanks all for the help! I think it must be a combo of a variety of things. I'm new to YNAB (~30 days in) and  my credit card months do not match up with a calendar month. Wondering if there was still a starting balance that didn't get budgeted for even though I made a full payment in February. I've also been doing a mix of adding transactions myself on the day I make them and allowing them to post themselves (a few days late). And, I looked through all my transactions for January and February and caught one category of overspending, but not enough to make up for the underpayment difference. I think I'm done trying to figure it out, instead I just budgeted the difference. I'll keep my eye on it closer now, let my transactions post for themselves, and look out for overspending. 

    Like
  • Ok...I checked through all my January transactions again for this card, and did find an interest charge for the previous month's rolling balance that was applied to January's statement just after I had paid what was then the full balance on the card.  That interest charge amounted to $27.02.  I was able to go back and "cover" that spending with money that was still left in another category that hadn't been used yet. That brought the difference to $83.95.   I then went through my January budget once more and looked at two categories I knew were overspent,  $75 and $8.95, which totaled up to that amount.  Allegedly, these categories were overspent on credit according to my YNAB budget, but the transactions themselves that put those categories into "overspent" status were actually with my checking account, not the credit card, hence all my confusion because in reviewing all my credit card transaction all the way back to the starting balance on my budget, every transaction on the credit card (save the interest charge) had been accounted for, categorized, and budgeted for.  The $75 transaction was a check for a wellness & medical expense.  The $8.95 was also a checking transaction with a debit/checking account card.  Why YNAB would state that I overspent those categories by those amounts in credit, when those overspent categories were actually due to checking transactions, I don't know.  I had thought these amounts should have just gone red instead of yellow like other categories do when they are overspent with transactions that are exclusively from checking/cash accounts.  And I had assumed those transactions would just deduct from my TBB amount the following month in February instead of carrying over into my Credit Card Payment Available amount.  Again, the credit card balance as shown in YNAB is right on and not the problem.

     

    So I guess the question is this now:

     

    If I spend X amount of budgeted dollars for a particular category with credit, then overspend that category with a checking transaction, is it intended YNAB behavior for that to affect my amount available for credit card payment rather than my TBB amount with the next wave of income?  

     

    I guess in some round about back door way, it makes some sense, as that money still has to be accounted for in some way since it's money that really isn't available for payment if all your other checking/cash funds have been allocated elsewhere in other categories.  I just don't remember seeing this situation covered and explained well in the Credit Card support page explaining all the functionality of credit card spending and management with YNAB.  

     

    At any rate, rather than equalizing the difference by adding the same amount to my payment budget for the card, I went back in January and covered those checking transactions with money from another savings category, and that balanced the remaining difference between my payment available and current balance on that credit card now.  

    Thanks to all who responded! And I hope what all I found with my checking transactions will help the others who've replied expressing the same concerns/confusion.  I'm still not all sure if it's all working by design, but at least I now found the transactions that fit the math, and have been able to account for them and resolve the difference now.  Now my YNAB budget is sailing smooth again. 😎   🙌

    Like 2
      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Will W Yes, that is the intended behavior. People have Opinions(TM) about this, so I won't get into the weeds too far, but the idea is that the budget tries to ensure that you can rely on your categories to tell you if you have the cash available. The problem with cash overspending is that if it is not corrected, the available amounts in the other categories are wrong--you will overdraw your account if you spend all that money. Credit card overspending doesn't create the same problem for overdraft--it has other consequences,  but those consequences don't result in your being short on cash. 

      So if you have cash budgeted to a category and do a mix of credit and cash (checking) spending, the budget constantly reallocates the budgeted cash to any cash spending. Budget $50, spend $30 credit first and $30 cash second, it will first cover the $30 cash, then will cover $20 of the credit. 

      Tl;Dr, don't leave anything overspent. 

      Like 3
  • I have this problem pop up when ever I use Rewards Points to pay a portion of my credit card bill. To fix this, I show on the budget that the rewards points are redeemed to my checking account as an inflow, and then transfer over to the credit card. 

    Like
      • WordTenor
      • I'm the oldest and the wittiest.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      @Slate Blue Sound  It's never a good idea to make transactions in YNAB that weren't made in real life. If you aren't redeeming your points and receiving them in checking, don't make a checking transaction. 

      When you redeem points toward your statement, it lowers the amount due without lowering what you've reserved to pay it. So you manually change the amount you've reserved to pay it by moving money from the card payment category. You can also categorize the redeemed points to the category you want to use them in and this problem will be obviated.

      Like 2
      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Sound If you want to handle rewards points in the way YNAB expects:

      -- You'd add the transaction to your credit card, categorized as "Inflow: To Be Budgeted". 

      -- Since that money immediately reduced your credit card balance, you won't see your TBB increase initially

      -- However, since your balance has been reduced, now you need less money for a future payment, so you can negative budget that rewards amount from the credit card category. So if you have  +$50 refund, you can budget "-$50" to the credit card payments category. That amount will then increase your TBB.

      -- This keeps your credit card payments category accurate (since you need less money set aside for payment since your card balance went down), and increases your TBB so you can use that money for budgeting elsewhere.

      Like 1
Like1 Follow
  • Status Answered
  • 1 Likes
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 12Replies
  • 2004Views
  • 10 Following