Credit Card Account and Payment Category Not Matching

Hi all,

So I had about $436 in credit card debt this month, which my account in YNAB and Chase both reflected. I paid it off in full and the automatic transaction came in, but I noticed after approving it, my credit card budget category was $20 overspent. My credit card account in YNAB and Chase is both $0 cleared, but my budget category is $20 overspent. I thought YNAB was supposed to automatically budget money into my credit card category for me when I make purchases on my credit card? Why would I be $20 overspent if it's automatic? I can't figure it out, and I'm not sure how to proceed because I'm not convinced just taking $20 from next month's budget to fix it won't mess things up. 

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  • This is normally due to it not being right to begin with. But there are many ways they can get off:

    • 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, immediate reimbursements) - 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
    • erroneous budget entry - accidents or misunderstandings occasionally happen.
    • overspending a category with purchases on 2 different credit cards followed by a return. YNAB doesn't always return the no longer overspent amount to the right card.
    Like 1
    • Superbone what do you suggest I do in this case? All my transactions are reconciled for that account, the balance is $0, there's no $20 transaction that would make it overspent, and there was no problem at all until I paid off the card.

       

      I only made 2 purchases on this card this month - none equal the overspent amount or add up to the overspent amount.

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      • SgtBatten
      • SgtBatten
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mainframe You simply budget $20 to the card to make the available amount match the card balance and move on.

      Like 3
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mainframe 

      Orchid Mainframe said:
      I only made 2 purchases on this card this month - none equal the overspent amount or add up to the overspent amount.

       What makes you think the issue happened this month? Maybe it was something in the previous month.

      Like 1
  • Typically people forget to reserve money (i.e., budget) to pay off the starting balance. Regardless of why, though, you need to budget another $20 to the CC Payment category. YNAB will only keep up with budgeted purchases from then on. (All the items on that bulleted list are something other than a budgeted purchase, meaning one against a category with Available funds.)

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  • Orchid Mainframe said:
    I only made 2 purchases on this card this month - none equal the overspent amount or add up to the overspent amount.

    It's typical that overspending does not equal a transaction. The only way it would is if the category was exactly empty before the outflow.

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  • Orchid Mainframe

    Mine was off with one of my cards.  Come to find out I picked the wrong start date and there were a few transactions before that so it was off by a bit.  Then I found out when it imported a transaction it only imported it once instead of twice for a transaction that had the same amount on the same day at the same place (it was really two separate transactions that were legit but it treated it as one).  The problem was the QFX file had the same FTID in it so it pulled it in once.

    To fix my issue I downloaded all my transactions and imported them.  I was able to import each month (and even did a full year import) and found out I had the wrong start day and that fixed one issue then I saw I was off by $63 something and found the missing transaction and added it in.  It took me a while but importing the QFX files helped solve my problem.

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  • I recently had this issue. I have been reconciled as a paid in full card for a few months. Then I was out by one transaction which tied to a cell phone bill. I couldn't figure out why despite being funded and doing the various checks mentioned above. It wasn't worth the time figuring out what was wrong so I simply budgeted the variance and moved on. Sometimes, it is not worth the long drawn out investigation, especially if it is a one time thing that is not likely to happen again.

    Like 2
  • I have been getting this issue over the past several months. It's usually a small amount on a CC. The spending had been budgeted and then suddenly I'm over budget in the CC spending category. I wonder if this is an issue resulting from a recent YNAB update?

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Horn It's very doubtful that it's a YNAB update issue. Being overbudget in the CC Payment category has nothing to do with budgeted spending. (Budgeted spending maintains the gap between what you have reserved to pay and the total debt.)

      The typical cause is that the user has neglected to reserve funds to pay off debt that was incurred before starting to use YNAB. The Payment category isn't always overspent because budgeted spending during the roughly 4 weeks after the statement is generated (but before the payment is due) raises the Available payment enough to cover the billed/statement amount. In other words, they're using money that is reserved for the next bill to pay the current bill.

      Bottom line if you regard this as a paid-in-full card: budget whatever is necessary to make the Payment category cover the entire debt. The Available amount will equal the account balance as a positive number. If you cannot arrange for this without leaving yourself short elsewhere in the budget, then YNAB is telling you that you cannot afford paid-in-full status right now and still meet those other obligations. You'll have to work to narrow the gap over time.

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      • Blue Horn
      • Blue_Horn.8
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I'm sorry I'm not following your reply. I can say that I started YNAB in March and only for the past 2 or 3 months have I started getting this issue. My CC gets paid in full every statement period and all of the spending on my CC is budgeted.  So if I spend $95 on groceries with my CC that $95 comes out of the Groceries budget and then gets transferred to the CC payment budget. I don't understand how suddenly I am short on my CC payment budget?

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Blue Horn 

      The two most likely causes are overspending and not budgeting for the starting balance. You ruled out the first of those.

      Look at the starting balance transaction in the CC account and compare to the budget entry in that first month. If they don't match, it's been off from the beginning. My other response described why you may not have noticed until recently.

      A distant third is an outgoing transfer or reconciliation adjustment.

      The remedy in all cases is to budget enough to the Payment category to enable you to pay the entire account balance -- not merely the statement balance -- in full. 

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  • I can't tell you how many times someone has said there was no overspending only to come back in a day or two saying the cause was overspending they had overlooked. The 3 most common causes of overlooking overspending are

    1. an imported transaction that happens early in the month but is dated for the previous month (so overspending is in the previous month)
    2. a transaction categorized to a hidden category

    3. when reviewing their categories they have them collapsed and are looking at the category group roll-up which can hide overspending when there are other categories with positive balances in the same category group..

    Like 3
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 8 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Sure would be nice to have a summary of current-month overspending (both types) in the header, preferably with click-to-take-me-there functionality. 😉 Requested that feature nearly 5 years ago as well.

      Like 1
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