Living Within Your Means YNAB Style

What does it mean to "live within your means" when using YNAB? It was easy to define when I used a monthly budget tracker. I was good as long as my income met or exceeded my expenses. I love YNAB, but I struggle with understanding if we are living within our means. We may spend more than we make in a month but it is expected because a bill we have been saving up for all year came due (property taxes are California-esque here in Roanoke).  So we are covering our bills each month but I still wonder if our spending will eventually burn through any reserves we've built up sooner rather than later.

So far I have I have come up with three criteria to assess the health of our budget.

1) Are we staying within our budget (or close enough) on a few primary expense categories? We love our food, so I have groceries and dining out pinned at the top of my mobile app. These also make decent proxies for the budget as a whole because I usually refresh them each month. We do alright with these categories, although there are months I need to move money into them. So I think this shows our budget is (mostly) healthy.

2) Are we paying off our credit cards each month? I chase points/miles/cash back, so we put as much of our spending as we can on rewards credit cards. Pre-YNAB, I proudly paid the statement balance each month. Now I have seen the light that I was carrying debt, so we pay our cards in full at the start of every month. I count this as a sign of a healthy budget.

3) What accounts are we using to pay our bills? I know in YNAB it doesn't matter where the money resides. However, we pay our bills from three checking accounts (I clearly like a challenge in managing our money. My wife is so screwed when I die.) Occasionally I dip into our high yield savings account for a big ticket purchase that, naturally, is accounted for in YNAB. So I feel we are healthy here too, although the dips into the HYSA nag at me.

So, what do you good people think? Do I have a healthy budget or am I deluding myself? Is there something else I should be looking at to make that call? Does YNAB make a fitness tracker for my budget?

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    • Psmith
    • I always strive, when I can, to spread sweetness and light.
    • psmith
    • 2 wk ago
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    I would say your budget is healthy if you have all of your needs and enough of your wants fully budgeted or on track.

    Instead of thinking in terms of burning through reserves, you should probably give those dollars jobs - retirement income, car replacement, various insurance deductibles, etc. Then you can see to what degree your needs and wants are covered, and that should tell you whether you are living within your means.

    Like 2
    • Psmith Thanks for your reply. All of our dollars do have jobs. I've padded some categories so we have the money when we want it. I want to avoid us getting spend happy and suddenly we discover the padding is gone.

      Like
  • Use the Net Worth report. Restrict to your on budget account and investment accounts you contribute to and are easily accessible. For example, retirement accounts might not be included depending on the rules in your country and your personal views. If it's growing over time, then you are spending less than you make.

    On other way to see it: do you have a smooth budget where you budget the same each month for all (or almost all categories)? If you can do that every month with a constant income and each category get funded and your long-term saving categories (more than 1 year) aren't going down at the end of each month because of reallocation of funds, then you are good. Even better, if you stop having to reallocate, then you are good.

    Use the expense vs income report. If the average is positive, you are living within your means. You may want to remove categories you are using for transfers to investment accounts that you consider simple saving. Retirement accounts are usually not that fluid in access, so the contributions might be better viewed as expenses. While a standard investment account can be used at will and contributions might be better excluded of the expenses.

    Like 3
    • Ceeses Thanks, I like the Net Worth and expense vs report approaches. I don't think I'll ever not need to reallocate. Life is just too chaotic.

      Like 1
  • Slate Gray Wrench said:
    2) Are we paying off our credit cards each month? I chase points/miles/cash back, so we put as much of our spending as we can on rewards credit cards. Pre-YNAB, I proudly paid the statement balance each month. Now I have seen the light that I was carrying debt, so we pay our cards in full at the start of every month. I count this as a sign of a healthy budget.

    I am a paid in full credit card user in YNAB. That means that at all times the amount in the Available for Payment category (right column in the budget) exactly matches the working balance of the credit card account (in the list of accounts on the left) except the Available for Payment is positive and the working balance is negative. However, I never pay more than the statement balance on or before the due date (autopay for full statement balance). Per YNAB terminology I am not on the credit card float because at any moment I could pay the credit card down to zero without impacting any category other than the Credit Card Payment category. However I will not do that because that means paying for things that the credit card company has not yet sent me an invoice for and I don't pay for anything unless I receive a proper invoice.

    Like 9
    • jenmas Thanks for your reply. For whatever reason, my Available for Payments don't always match the working balances. I once had a credit card with only charge, which I recorded, and the two still didn't match. I'm still trying to figure out that disconnect.

      Interesting perspective on paying off your credit cards. It isn't important to me to wait for the credit card invoice, but I enjoy learning different approaches.

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      • pk_17865
      • pk_17865
      • 2 wk ago
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      jenmas That's exactly what I was going to say. And especially if you have an interest-bearing checking account (though paltry these days, but still). Why not take full advantage of the time given to pay. 

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
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      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Wrench Do not pay a current balance on a card. You pay the statement balance.  Charges can change, credits and returns can pop up. I used to pay upon statement closing, but now I do it on or near the due date. It’s helped me from paying more than necessary if a credit comes in before the next statement closes.

      Always figure out why your CC category balance doesn’t properly correspond with the account balance. If you’re paid in full, there is always a reason. 

      Like 3
  • Living within your means also has a future component - ie does your spending take into account the future? Are you meeting all your financial goals with your budget the way it is? In addition to paying your monthly bills, this includes saving up for future expenses such as HVAC or roof replacement, vacations, college tuition, next car. Are you setting aside funds for financial blows - medical out of pocket maximums, job loss, dealing with a flooded basement and/or having all these things hit in quick succession? How about retirement goals - putting money in 401(k)/403(b), IRA/Roth IRA, HSA, taxable investing?

    Like 7
    • jenmas Cool, now I'm excited to play around with this. Thanks!

      Like
  • Slate Gray Wrench said:
    What does it mean to "live within your means" when using YNAB?

     This is wat I found the most difficult thing to grasp, when I started. What helped me was goals; I put goals on everything, estimated what we spend on all the categories, made goals for the average amount per month as well as big purchases in the future. 

    Then go to next month (before you budget any money in that month), look for ‘underfunded’. If the amount is less then you earn you’re living within your means!

    I was so glad when someone gold me this and the amount was less then our income. Better then waiting for months to see if our net worth is going anywhere (the suggestion of looking at net worth is great, but I wanted to know for sure NOW, not wait...). Hope it is of help to you too.

    Like 2
    • Powder Blue Pony Thanks! I've used goals somewhat, but clearly I need to work with them more. I must admit I don't completely understand what you're saying, but I think it will become clearer as I play with it.

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    • Slate Gray Wrench sorry if I was unclear. In the web based version: I go to may (haven't budgeted anything in may yet) and in the column om the right it has these quick budget options. In the mobile app you get there through the lightning icon. The amount for underfunded is what I need for next month, and for any other month while my goals stay the same (minus the ones I reach in the meantime). Our income is more then this number, so I think we live within our means.

      (and of course I meant told instead of gold....)

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Pony You weren't unclear, the confusion was all mine. This explanation helps though. Thanks!

      Like 1
      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 13 days ago
      • 1
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      Powder Blue Pony I second this.  I have goals on everything but my wish farm and I had to work a little to make everything balance out (lower the goals on some of my wants to make sure my needs are all covered), but now that my income covers my goals, I feel great.

      Like 1
  • Ugh I just typed a whole response and accidentally hit cancel instead of reply.  Love that. This is why I shouldn’t do this stuff on mobile.  But I was saying, I struggle with this too and if you look at my recent browser history you can see searches for “definition of living within your means.”  If you want any kind of decent report you gotta use the web app.  I get little use from Net Worth because mine can plummet for 5 months straight, and rarely goes up more than a couple months in a row. I have a history of burning through cash. What is more helpful is the Income vs. Expense report.  I check to see if in a given amount of time my ending average or total is positive/green. I compare it to previous periods, and sometimes try to calculate a percent. In 2017 my year end result was a positive $27 and man, that was disheartening.  But that number has gone up in subsequent years.  This type of report should approximate your spreadsheet.

    I have to withdraw a good chunk from HYSA pretty much every month.  It would be wonderful if that wasn’t the case, but my 2 major credit cards are both due on the 3rd of the month and the checking acct forecast always shows red at that point, so I have to make sure a transfer is scheduled by the 1st.  I do save back to it in months of larger income, though. 

    It’s a good discussion for us to have. When I’m feeling more alert I’d like to start a discussion of “lifestyle creep” to get some feedback from the experts. 

    Like 3
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Annieland Yeah, my CC isn't due until middle of month, but I have the same thing, often have to transfer from savings to maintain monthly minimum balance of the cushion I like to keep in there.  Some months I don't need to do anything, and some months I move money into savings, but the last couple months, I've pulled it out.  It of course somewhat depends on if any out of the ordinary large expenses happened that month, but I like it when there is extra that can go into savings.  Seems like that should be more regular than it is, since I am constantly putting money into TEs, so you'd think savings would grow, but not always.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
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    • Annieland Thank you for sharing your experience. Twice! 

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
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      nolesrule Yeah, at this point it probably wouldn’t hurt to do that!  I have a couple of withdrawals a month for tuition and charity, but still fewer than 6. 

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 2 wk ago
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      nolesrule I saw you suggest this a month or so back, and commented that it sounded like a good idea.  Of course I did nothing...  Although my brain was working on it in the back ground.  This time, I saw the suggestion, and said, "You know what? Not only does that sound easier, but I'm gonna actually do it!"  So I set up my next auto payment to come out of my HYSA.  We'll see how it works.  I added $2500 into HYSA for next month, (instead of needing to transfer $ OUT) because the CC payment won't come out of checking.  And next month, it looks like I'll just break even (just barely stay above my cushion) because I've got a property tax bill coming up.

      Anyway, thanks for the suggestion (again) and I actually acted on it this time!

      Like 5
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
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      nolesrule If high yield savings account rates ever get back up to 2%+ I might think about keeping my CC payment funds there and paying out of savings. It’s kind of a similar concept to those offset mortgages.

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      • PhysicsGal
      • Nerdy female homo sapien
      • physicsgal
      • 13 days ago
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      nolesrule Wow, it's insane how every time I visit the YNAB forums, even now when I hardly ever come on here, I learn something new and useful!  Thanks for sharing this idea about having my credit card payments come out of savings.  I just implemented this idea (on all but one CC which wouldn't let me pay out of a savings account) and it's great to know I can just keep my money in my HYSA

      Like 2
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 7 days ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule It's funny. Because of all the talks between Americans about cash flow, limits on transfers out of savings, transfer times and payments to credit cards, I had concluded it was impossible for Americans to pay their CC directly from savings. But it appears I had made some wrong assumptions.
      Paying the CC from our saving account is definitely obvious in Australia. We initiate the payment from the bank where we hold our checking and saving account and simply have a drop-down menu to choose the account the transfer comes from. And I don't think I had a savings account for the 2 years I lived in the USA.

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      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 7 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses There's a 6 outflow limit from savings accounts per month. Most months I make 2 from the main savings account. Maybe 3 if I transfer money to another account.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 days ago
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      Bruce said:
      nolesrule I saw you suggest this a month or so back, and commented that it sounded like a good idea.  Of course I did nothing...  Although my brain was working on it in the back ground.  This time, I saw the suggestion, and said, "You know what? Not only does that sound easier, but I'm gonna actually do it!"  So I set up my next auto payment to come out of my HYSA.  We'll see how it works.  I added $2500 into HYSA for next month, (instead of needing to transfer $ OUT) because the CC payment won't come out of checking.  And next month, it looks like I'll just break even (just barely stay above my cushion) because I've got a property tax bill coming up.
      Anyway, thanks for the suggestion (again) and I actually acted on it this time!

      Ha! My brain was also working on it in the background. I didn't even need another reminder. As a YNAB nerd, it was kind of fun to mix it up after many years of doing it the same way.  It also led to a more efficient way of depositing my paychecks than what I had been doing.

      First, I changed my most used CC monthly payment to come out of my HYSA instead of my checking account. Next, for years, I've had a recurring automatic transfer out of my checking to my HYSA every time I got paid. This would always take two or three business days. But I finally got smart and went to the ADP website that administers my paychecks and broke my paychecks into two separate deposits. One amount in my HYSA and the rest into my checking account. This was surprisingly easy to do. I should have done this years ago!

      This will result in a higher daily balance in my HYSA and less will be required in my checking account.

      Like 3
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 2 days ago
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      Superbone I only do the main credit card out of savings due to the limits on savings account transactions per month. The other cards usually have small enough balances that cash flow is not going to be an issue. I keep my payment transactions up to date which helps.

      I keep the minimum future projected balance at $2500-ish (sweeping after each paycheck hits the account) these days which is usually enough to cover the "unexpected" checking account needs. I have a few variable amount transactions that I do at the beginning of the month that I don't know the amount till the end of the month, and one variable amount that happens mid-month that's calculated at the same time as the others. And with the kids in scouts sometimes I have to cut checks for things like summer camp.

      So far this year, the lowest my checking account has gotten has been $1400.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 days ago
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      nolesrule I prefer to automate my transactions and avoid tasks such as regular manual sweeping. I hadn't done the YNAB change yet so one complication I ran into was having to break my paychecks into two separate income events, one in checking and one in savings since splitting across accounts isn't a thing. I had to manually subtract the portion that was going into savings from the future checking transactions. However, I'm pretty sure I won't have to do this manual math every time as I believe ADP, my paycheck servicer, will show me the amounts going into each account.

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    • nolesrule The six withdrawals federal limit was removed last year, although your bank may still have this rule in place. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_D_(FRB))

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      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • yesterday
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      Aubergine Quokka the change is not permanent so I would prefer not to get into the habit of relying on it. 

      Like 2
  • It sounds like all your numbers are going in the right direction, so it is probably up to you beyond that what you decide is living within your means. Really, it's about what gives you peace of mind.

    If having 2 months, or 6 months, or a year of basic expenses in savings is helpful, then that's what living within your means is for you.
    If it only means making sure the cc can get paid to 0 each month, and you've got 1 month in reserve, then that's what it means to you.

    Once you're in the green and staying there, that's really what living within your means is for the basic definition. After that, you get to decide what gives you the most peace.

    Like 4
    • farfromtheusual Thanks! I expect that our numbers are good. We have very stable income, a 3-month emergency fund, all of our needs and most of our wants met, and we have no debt other than our mortgage. It is that little uncertainty that is keeping me from feeling at peace. Maybe some of these techniques will resolve that. Maybe I'm just a worrier and they won't. Either way, I look forward to the process and learning what I can.

      Like 2
    • farfromtheusual Ha, interesting. I suppose you are right. While what it meant to me before was not going back in net worth in the long run. But how long, and to what level. All pretty vague, really, to be honest. You're right that there's room for interpretation as long as you don't get into debt. Though even there: as long as you can pay the monthly payments... You would at least say to live within your means with a reasonable mortgage, wouldn't you?

      Ah well, for me it feels as within our means if I can contribute to all my goals as needed on our average monthly income. Unrealistic goals will have to wait, but the ones we are going to spend on are being met.

      Like 1
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
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      farfromtheusual Or as I always say, “Hey the lights are still on, ain’t they?  Don’t hassle me.”

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Wrench I’d venture to say that the people like all of us who worry if we’re doing the right thing are probably the people most likely to be doing the right thing. It’s a self-selection bias. The people who are screwing it all up probably aren’t stopping to evaluate and find their financial truth. That’s probably our reality, worry as we do. 

      Like 4
    • Annieland Haha, ignorance is bliss, right?

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      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Wrench 

      Slate Gray Wrench said:
       Haha, ignorance is bliss, right?

       And I'm delirious!

      Like 1
    • Annieland truth!!

      Slate Gray Wrench Worrying isn't a bad thing, but it's also worth thinking about what would help you feel comfortable. If you don't know where you're going you'll never get there. So taking some time to examine what would bring your mind peace around the issue is worth it. If we never give our brain a "there" to achieve, or a place to go, then it will forever try to convince us that we've never arrived, and the bench marks will always keep changing. (Not that I'll ever feel like I've arrived, but it's important to examine what "arriving" will be, so we know it when we get there!)

      Like 5
    • farfromtheusual I'm struggling to come up with goals for my daily spending. I'm where I want to be with an emergency fund, my retirement, and saving for the kids. My concern is keeping our daily/monthly spending from impacting those. I definitely want to work on the spending category goals, but I'm at a loss for an overarching goal beyond living within our means. Hmm... 

      Like 1
    • Slate Gray Wrench how long have you been working with YNAB? Do you have enough time in to start looking at average spending? The reports are really helpful with working out what is 'normal' across many months. Once I started to dive into that it dramatically changed how I was budgeting and I did not have to WAM so much anymore, and that felt a lot better!

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual I just recently passed my 1-year anniversary with YNAB, so I should have enough data to glean something from the reports. Not that there was anything normal about this past year. In addition to the pandemic, we moved out of our house (twice!) while lead abatement work was done, we sold our former house in CO, and my wife gave birth to our third child (yay!). I think I am WAMing less than the first few months, but I don't know that for certain. I'm super excited YNAB added history to money moves so I can see when I did have to roll with the punches.

      Like 1
  • This is a good question/topic, Slate Gray Wrench . Thanks for posting it.

    I think that many of us have asked this question of ourselves and initially been hyper-concerned with the daily and monthly expenses, which caused us to try to reign in obvious extraneous spending in the the easy low-hanging fruit type categories like groceries, eating out, entertainment, subscriptions, hobbies, clothing. . .  All that attrition and adjustment can take a while to address.

    Later on there can be a whole other level of self-assessment on how to define living within your means. It begins to include: how much car is reasonable for me given my income and other goals (e.g. retirement investing)?; how much can I spend on vacations and how often can I take them?, how much is reasonable in the higher end purchases like electronics and furnishings, et cetera.

    After nearly 7 years of YNABing, I've got a pretty good notion of what my limits are were.  That is to say that I thought I had figured it all out to the last percentage and penny, and then I was sidelined (aka walloped) by an unexpected series of health-related issues, starting with an emergency hospital visit last October and an ongoing $1700-a-month prescription (hopefully temporary) that has caused me to revisit some of my notions about my own priorities.

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    • HappyDance Oh my goodness! I hope your prescription IS temporary!

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 2 wk ago
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      farfromtheusual 

      OMG! me too. 

      Luckily, I had the max prescription supplemental plan through my employer, 80% coverage, but my shock at the initial co-pay of 20% of the cost for 30 days was beyond epic. I can't recall ever being so struck dumb ever before.

      I've since appealed directly to the pharma manufacturer and requested/received  a 20% rebate from them.  They provided me with a direct billing card to give to my pharmacist, so I don't even need to pay my co-pay. I'm guessing they would rather get 80% from me than nothing, which would likely happen if I had to go to a cheaper, albeit less effective alternative because I can't really afford even the co-pay for an extended period of time.  So I had to pay the co-pay in the first month, and it's been zero-cost for the last six months, but that fragile system could change at the drop of a hat or if my employment status changes. 

      Like 3
    • HappyDance Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope you recover quickly, physically and financially.

      Like 1
    • HappyDance WOW! That's some awesome coverage! SO glad you have access to that!

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  • Roanoke, IL? I have some friends there. 

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    • Sky Blue Tugboat Nope, Roanoke, VA. We love it here, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Lots for families to do and plenty of options for outside activities.

      Like
  • Slate Gray Wrench said:  2) "Are we paying off our credit cards each month? I chase points/miles/cash back, so we put as much of our spending as we can on rewards credit cards. Pre-YNAB, I proudly paid the statement balance each month. Now I have seen the light that I was carrying debt, so we pay our cards in full at the start of every month. I count this as a sign of a healthy budget." 

    My wife and I were married 53 1/2 years ago and we used the envelope system, literally.  We had no credit cards so we saved up for things we wanted to buy.  We didn't get a CC until four years into our marriage.  YNAB is like the envelope system.  We have always budged.  I have tried different systems, but found them wanting, so I set up my own to fit our live style.  I was doing it on paper until we were able to digitize it, but still used my own format.  So, I was happy when I finally found YNAB4, struggled to switch over to nYNAB, but am very happy with it since February, 2016.

    It's interesting that you state you pay your cards in full at the start of every month.  We pay all our CCs in full on the 20th of each month and there is a reason for this.  Some years ago, I was curious as to how credit bureaus used CCs, in particular, to ascertain one's credit rating.  I checked online and found different answers to my question, so I decided to see how it affected our ratings.  The ratings were all over the place, depending upon when the banks sent their reports to the bureaus, but that can range anywhere from 30 to 45 days.  So, I called all our CC companies and arranged to have all our closing dates set up for the 27th of each month.  Our due dates range from the 21st to the 24th, with most on the 24th, but the closing dates are all the 27th.   As to you making your payments the first of the month, that creates some consistency.   As noted above, we have been paying off our CCs on the 20th of each month, seven days prior to the closing date and it has created a consistency that has been beneficial, in that our credit scores have remained in the 810 to 845 range.  We never use more than 2% of our available credit at the present time.  Well, we do, but it never shows up as such, even on those months when insurances, etc., are due and more money than usual is expended that month.  One thing I did notice, though, which irritates me.  For months, we were using only 1% of our available credit and then, last November, due to vacations and gifts, we hit 3%  when reported to the agencies and the bureaus dropped our credit scores and the reasoning was that we were using more credit than they deemed necessary -- and our limits are high.  We have never used more than 10% of available credit and that has been years ago.  We do not carry debt and that, also, is another reason our scores are so low (ha, ha), according to their reasoning.  They tell us every month that we should be carrying a mortgage or a car payment, etc., to help increase our score.

    I might add:  After the 20th of the month, all expenditures are paid in cash.  We do not use the cards until after the closing date.  By this time of the month, all regular expenditures have been paid since everything is on automatic withdrawal.  As are deposits.

    I'm not saying this way of paying CCs would work for everybody.  I know that it has worked quite well for us over the years and I like the consistency of it and it has improved our ratings.

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    • JohnnyDiamond Credit scores in the US are such a racket!

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      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 2 wk ago
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      JohnnyDiamond I think the idea of timing the closing and due dates to correspond with the bureau reporting is pretty cool, but in actuality it's probably going to matter very little in the scheme of things.  You have a majorly long credit history, you have a super low utilization, and you obviously pay on time.  Those factors are the most important in the ever changing score models.  Plus, like others said, anything over 800 really means nothing anymore.  I'm around 800 and once you're in the top tier, sometimes even just 720-780 you get the best rates on anything.  It's fun to try to "work" the system, but I don't think it matters these days, and I've tracked my scores for almost 20 years.

      Like 3
    • Annieland Yep, my credit score has fluctuated a lot over the years but pretty much always between 720 and 800. It doesn't mean much especially on a day-to-day basis and I'm tracking it mostly out of curiosity and motivation as I pay off a credit card balance. When I got my last car loan (pre-YNAB, so who knows, maybe it will be my LAST car loan), my score was at the lowest point in years but I still got a "super prime" interest rate. That said, I do like the idea of asking my credit card company to move my due date around so that my statement balance comes out at the end of the month, when I like to pay off the whole thing for report nerd purposes.

      Like 2
      • Annieland
      • I was told there would be no math.
      • Annieland
      • 13 days ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      mandiferous I used to pay all my CC's on the statement closing date, or within a day or two after.  Then I got tired of everyone here saying to pay on the due date, why pay before you need to and have them hold your money?  I argued the point that it's still a month-to-month schedule, it's only that first month where I'm "holding" onto my money a little longer.  But they said my math was wrong and I didn't get it.  That's totally possible, so fine, now I pay everything on the due date.  And my red bars are always blindingly high.  I'm not so sure if I'm in a better spot or not, but I'm not making any more changes for a while :).

      Like 5
    • Annieland Hah! Still quite a YNAB newbie myself (started at the end of 2020) so I have plennnty of time to keep changing my habits until I reach my final Budget Curmudgeon Form.

      Like 5
  • Like jenmas , I put everything I can on my cards and pay the statement balances when they are due (no more, no less). Thanks to YNAB, I’m not spending any more than I would if I were using cash and also thanks to YNAB, every purchase is backed by cash. I quit worrying about gaming the credit card system quite a while ago. Just by paying the statement balances when they are due has enabled me to maintain a credit score of 800+ which is more than you need. I don’t care about fluctuations in the 800+ range.

    Like 7
      • JoeDid
      • Remember: It is To Laugh
      • Purple_rain
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Superbone This is what I've settled on, too. The statement balance on every card is paid on the due date (arranged through the card provider) and of course every charge is budgeted by me in advance of any purchase/charge. I never worry about making payments on time, and my rating has skyrocketed to the low 800s. It's about as "set it and forget it" as it can get, but I do monitor all the activity anyway... even if just for "something to do" in YNAB.

      Like 3
  • Superbone , JoeDid , Annieland ,  Always appreciate your encouraging and helpful comments.

    Like 2
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