Credit Card shows balance, no pmt $, yet all budget lines are green

Can anyone help me understand why my credit card would show that I have a balance due (in this example $82.46) when every charge has been assigned a budgeted category and all my categories in my budget are in the green? I'm confused. 

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  • This screen shot is showing your CC account register. 

    Cleared = sum of transactions you have marked cleared (green C) because they have cleared your Amazon CC account in real life. 

    Uncleared = sum of transactions that you have entered into YNAB, but you have not marked cleared (grey C), because they're pending or haven't hit on your card in real life.

    Working balance = sum of the previous two numbers, indicating the true balance on the card. This number can typically be more up to date, because you don't have to wait for orders to ship before you know about them, etc. 

    To the right of the grey "$0.00" payment bubble in your screenshot, there is a Reconcile button. You'll want to use that to ensure your YNAB account register and balance completely match your real account. You'll be comparing the "Cleared Balance" in YNAB to the cleared balance (no pending) in Amazon CC. 

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  • This can happen if you neglected to reserve funds to pay off the starting balance.

    It can also happen if there is yellow overspending at any point in the past.

    Some people move funds out of the CC Payment category without fully understanding the ramifications of that choice.

    Lastly, a reconciliation adjustment resulting in an outflow is another possible cause. You'd have to budget directly to the CC Payment category to reserve funds for that additional debt.

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    • Like dakinemaui , I think you probably need to budget for the starting balance (always reconcile before you budget!)

      To do that, go to your budget screen and type the amount you need in the budget column of your  Amazon CC Payment category. That will be $82.46, if you don't need to do a reconciliation adjustment.

      This will put your card in PIF status.

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    • dakinemaui What do you mean by "Some people move funds out of the CC Payment category without fully understanding the ramifications of that choice." ? From their budget, they move money out of the amount that's set aside for the payment? I've never done this before. 

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    • Move Light Sound Life This credit card is reconciled and when I started a fresh budget in April everything was at a zero balance. 

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  • IcedCoffeeLife said:
    This credit card is reconciled

     Good! I didn't know that "reconcile --> budget" was the best workflow when I started, so I try to always mention it. Avoid the headache!

    Did you have any credit overspending in April or May?

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    • Move Light Sound Life in April there was overspending. In May we paid the entire thing off to a zero balance. Nothing was overspent at the end of May and the balance correctly showed $0 and the reconciliation amounts were correct. They are still correct today but I'm so confused as to why I have a balance with my budget completely in the green. 

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    • IcedCoffeeLife The budget does not seem to be completely in the green. You said there was overspending in April, resulting in a debt increase without a corresponding increase in cash reserved to pay it. You would need to budget directly to the CC Payment category to reserve additional funds to restore paid-in-full status.

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    • dakinemaui when we zeroed it out last month we updated the YNAB to reflect the full payment. Everything was correctly coming back to a zero balance until this last pay period (i.e. the past 2 weeks).

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    • IcedCoffeeLife Does the account register say there is overspending?

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    • IcedCoffeeLife Look at the running balance in the account -- did it ever go positive? This happens surprisingly often from a return after paying off the entire account balance.

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  • IcedCoffeeLife said:
    why I have a balance with my budget completely in the green. 

     I suppose my question is rather, "Why don't you have $82.46 sitting in your payment category, ready to pay your balance?"

    Did you budget anything extra in May when you paid the balance down to zero?

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    • Move Light Sound Life This is exactly my question. It doesn't make any sense to me. 

      And no, per my response above to dakinemaui, everything since we paid it off has been correctly zeroing out until we just got paid and I was trying to reconcile everything, which is where my confusion comes in. 

      I've been using YNAB for 5 years or so.  So I feel like I'm pretty well-versed. But this one is confusing me for sure. 

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    • IcedCoffeeLife Sometimes it happens that when you make a CC payment to zero, you may send more than is budgeted for, sending the CC budget category negative (even if the balance on the actual card is 0). If you have further budgeted spending after that, it can bring the category back into the green. 

      If you recorded all that activity after the fact, at once, you wouldn't see the changes in status in the budget to clue you in to the fact that overspending had happened.  It only shows you the end result of all the transaction data on the budget. 

      So, if you overspent $82.46 in April, to truly pay the card down to $0 in May and attain PIF status, you would also need to have budgeted $82.46 in May (and ensure your spending categories are green, which you have). 

      To fix it going forward, all you have to do is budget $82.46 to the CC category now. 

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  • IcedCoffeeLife said:
    From their budget, they move money out of the amount that's set aside for the payment?

    Categories define a plan for future spending. If someone feels their cash is needed to pay for something else instead of paying down some of their CC debt, that's reason enough to move funds out of the CC Payment category.

    The problem is, some people in the past have mistakenly thought that category represents their debt, and lower is better. I don't understand why, but it's not unheard of.

    It can also happen accidentally, say with an errant press of the "Set Available to $0" quick-budget button. 

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    • dakinemaui yeah, i've never done that but i see how it could be confusing for some people, especially newbies.

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