New month - expected yellow to carry forward

I have a category called Stuff I Forgot to Budget For. In January, I spent $2500 on a credit card, and used this category to budget for it. Because of the credit card grace period, I won't be required to pay this money until March 15. I didn't have the cash to cover it when I made the purchase (it was a one time unusual purchase), and it is yellow in January.

It is February now, and I expected to still see a yellow -2500.00 in this category. But it is a grey 0.00.

Why is it not yellow? I thought the yellow would carry forward to the next month.

Should I have allocated money to it in January, even though it would make my To Be Budgeted red?

I was hoping it would stay yellow for a visual cue that there was a debt coming up. Is there somewhere on the screen (web version) that shows this unpaid $2500?

Thanks!

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  • Negative balances don't carry forward. The important thing is:

    Forest Green Rain said:
    I was hoping it would stay yellow for a visual cue that there was a debt coming up.

     There isn't a debt coming up, you've already incurred the debt! The debt is sitting in your Credit Card balance. If you set a payoff goal for your credit card balance, it will tell you how much you need to pay off in February and March to clear it in March.

    YNAB treats Credit Cards a little differently and the default way to use them is to only spend on Credit Cards that you can pay off in the same month. Since you didn't have enough in the category to do that, it just added onto your credit card balance and grew your total debt amount.

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    • Thank you Sarah !

      Should I make a Pay Off Balance by Date goal of $2500 for March 2020 for this credit card? Is that the best way to do this?

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      • Sarah
      • sarah
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Rain If you're plan is to pay 2500 to the credit card by March then I would! It will colour the credit card payment bubble based on the amount you've allocated to it, giving you your visual cue :)

      Like 1
    • Sarah Thanks again! I've done that and I see the cue. Looks good!

      Follow up question, should I have allocated money in January that I didn't have to pay for it? Go red? This category is still yellow in January - is that a problem or not?

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      • Sarah
      • sarah
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Rain Allocating money you don't have is just stealing from your future self (and lying because well...you don't actually have that money). The yellow in January reflects reality, that you overspent that category on credit.

      You can of course go back and budget the money into January (it will steal it from February's to be budgeted) and then YNAB will automatically move it to your Credit card payment (since you do need to pay for it). You'll kind of end up in the same situation (with a due credit card payment in January of the amount of money you budgeted into the category. this carries forward to February, since it's now the 1st, and you're in the same situation, with a credit card payment due from February's TBB). If that all makes sense!

      Like 1
    • Sarah OK good. I think I will leave it yellow in January (to reflect reality as you say). My goal to pay it off in time is in place, and the visual cue is obvious enough that I will make sure it gets done.

      Thank you very much for your help!

      Like 1
      • Sarah
      • sarah
      • 10 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Rain No problem! YNAB can be complicated but once you get into the groove of it, it really does all make sense! Good luck 😀

      Like 1
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