Credit Cards (again)

Help me understand what's going on.  We have a balance on the credit card.  Almost paid off, but we continue to use it and will (probably starting next month) once again be paying it off every cycle.  I just finally made the leap from YNAB4  to the online.  I think it will help me get on track of living on last month's (or before) paychecks like we want to get to.  However, I can't wrap my head around this.

Here's the scenario.  I started in November with a "fresh start."  My CC debt starting balance was $10,354.15.  With the last paychecks this month, I paid $5100 towards the CC. I budgeted that amount (to take it from my "available to be budgeted) and actually sent the payment in (and recorded it as such.)

With me so far?

Meanwhile, we've been doing spending on the credit card (that isn't budgeted yet, but will be with the next paychecks).

I don't understand what YNAB is doing.

 So, why does it say I still have $17.35 for the payment?  I already paid the $5100.  I've since spent $5082.65 on the credit card (that I will be paying soon, but YNAB doesn't know that yet since the money isn't there yet), so why is it subtracting column B (my new spending) from column A (my budgeted and ALREADY SPENT THIS MONTH payment towards old debt) to give me what I should pay?  What am I missing?  At this point, I do not have the $17.35 to send to the payment, so why is it telling me I do?

Please help me understand what this is doing.  I've watched some videos, but I haven't seen anything about what those columns are doing when you are carrying a balance and trying to pay off the old debt.

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  • There must have been $17.35 of purchases that were against a category with available funds. YNAB helpfully gives those dollars the new job of paying your CC bill. (You still have those dollars, of course, but they no longer should be in, say, Groceries, because you now have Groceries.)

    Column B is the net of your payment and budgeted spending. Click on that Activity for more details. The Payment is considered negative because it needs to reduce the amount Available in the category.

    The CC Payment category defines how much of your cash you have reserved for your next payment. And yes, you do have the $17.35 to send them whenever you like.

    Like 2
  • No, the $17.35 is simply what I have budgeted to pay (5100) minus what I have spent on the card (which has NOT been budgeted for yet).  

    If I look at the activity for more details on what I spent, I can see the 5100 that is credited (because of a payment).  There is NOT another $17.35 in my checking account to pay more on the bill.  The money sitting there in my account at this time has other jobs.  Every penny.

    I'm so confused...

    I'm thinking it has something to do with my saying that 5100 is budgeted in that account?  I have to "give the dollars a job" somewhere, but it's messing things up.  In YNAB 4 it was "pre YNAB debt" that this would go to....

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  • cpshaye said:
    the $17.35 is simply what I have budgeted to pay (5100) minus what I have spent on the card (which has NOT been budgeted for yet).

    I'm afraid the part I bolded is simply incorrect. Positive activity in the CC Payment category comes solely from budgeted purchases -- by definition against a category that has available funds.

    Looking at it the other way, make a test transaction for whatever amount against a category with $0 available -- meaning, it's not budgeted for. You'll note the CC Payment category is unchanged. (Delete the test transaction afterward.)

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  • cpshaye said:
    There is NOT another $17.35 in my checking account to pay more on the bill.  The money sitting there in my account at this time has other jobs.  Every penny.

    The budget is comprised of all your cash on hand. So yes, every penny in your account has a job -- including 1735 pennies that have the job of paying your next CC bill.

    Those pennies used to have the job of, say, paying for Groceries. Then you took on debt in exchange for groceries (i.e., with a CC purchase). You still have those pennies, though, so YNAB helpfully (automatically) changes the job of those pennies to "Pay off that new debt". They are still in your account, however. 

    It is true there is not ANOTHER $17.35. It's the same $17.35 that was always there. The amount of cash you have never changed because you used new debt to get the groceries (in this example).

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  • OK, I'm going to look at it when I get a little more time and see what I can wrap my head around it.

    Thanks.

    Like 1
  • ... AND THIS IS WHY THERE ARE SO MANY YOUTUBE TRAINING VIDEOS ON YNAB BECAUSE THE YNAB ONLINE HAS MADE IT MORE COMPLICATED, COMPARED TO THE SIMPLER AND MORE FUNCTIONAL CLASSIC YNAB.

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    • Coral Trumpet Actually, the issue here is OP didn't realize that a purchase was budgeted. Classic and nYNAB are identical in this respect  - they both reserve funds to send to the CC company for budgeted purchases. nYNAB just shows you that it did, while Classic just assumes you know that already.

      There are certainly some complications nYNAB introduced, but this is not one of them.

      Like 3
  • OK, I hear what you're saying but I still don't think it's because I magically have another $17.35 to pay on my card (coming from budgeted items.)

    It still looks like this:

    I currently have NO categories budgeted (except the CC ) and none have a positive balance since this is I did a fresh start this month. 

     

    This is what it looks like if I take out the budgeted CC amount, which is what I would anticipate seeing.

     

    OK, just for giggles I took out my $5100 payment.  this is what it shows.

    WHERE DID THAT COME FROM????  I have NOTHING budgeted in any category....everything is a big fat zero....Now I'm more confused than ever.  How do I find it?

    Like
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      cpshaye Click on the Activity amount. It will show you the components of where the activity came from.

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    • cpshaye look in that CC register for a transaction other than your payment.

      Like
  • See the "budgeted Spending" ?  I don't get it.

    Like
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      cpshaye Is there not a bit extra below that grey line in your screenshot? This is what I get when I click on the activity bit of one of my cards and the 2 transactions below make up the budgeted spending.

      Like 1
      • cpshaye
      • Steel_Blue_Hammerhead.9
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger well, yes there was...about 50 transactions!  LOL

      Like
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      cpshaye They would have given you, and us, a clue as to where to start looking. 

      Like
  • I sent a message to the powers-that-be in YNAB, awaiting an answer.  If I do a search for 17.35 in all accounts it shows nothing.  I verified no budgeted numbers have been put in for any categories. I don't know where else to look at this time.

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    • cpshaye said:
      I verified no budgeted numbers have been put in for any categories

       A more reliable indicator is "Total Budgeted" in the header. You might also check the Hidden category group for activity.

      Did you have any returns to any categories? Other than budgeting and carryover, that's the only other way money enters a category.

      Like 1
      • cpshaye
      • Steel_Blue_Hammerhead.9
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui OK...I don't believe I have any hidden categories, but where do I go to look to make certain I didn't accidentally do that?

      Like
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      cpshaye Scroll to the bottom of your budget page and you should see a category group (blue) called Hidden Categories. I never hide categories so I had to try it to find out what happened.

      Like
      • cpshaye
      • Steel_Blue_Hammerhead.9
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger OK, nothing there.  No surprise since I didn't think I hid any but had to look!

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  • are you talking about here?

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    • cpshaye Yes, "Budgeted in Nov", so another confirmation that nothing is budgeted. You fresh-started in Nov, so it cannot be carryover from October. Therefore, you must have a return somewhere in November.

      Type "0" (zero) in the search box for All Accounts, then select "Inflow > 0" in the list that appears. If there is any category other than TBB listed, then that's the category in which the budgeted spending later occurred.

      Like 3
      • cpshaye
      • Steel_Blue_Hammerhead.9
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui OMG thank you!

      OK, so how do I fix this?  

      Situation: Mom paid me for something that I purchased (on the CC) for her with cash.  I had "charged" a category named "Mom" for the purchase.  In my Cash acct I put the category as "Mom" as an inflow for that $12 showing me she doesn't owe that to me any more.

      Repeat the situation for a different category for $5.35 (There's my $17.35!!!)

      So.....how should I have done this?  This is the first time I've had a "cash" account.

      Like 1
    • cpshaye You should categorize both inflow and outflow of a reimbursement to the same category so it nets to $0. However, after you fresh-started, I suspect Mom's outflows are now wrapped up in the starting balance, so the original category is actually TBB. If that is the case, then categorize that inflow in the cash account as TBB.

      Moving forward, you'll use the Mom category for both sides, just as your intuition told you. As a heads up, though, the manner in which reimbursements impact the budget is a topic unto itself. The easiest thing is to budget enough (say, $X) to the Mom category to keep it positive. If the Available is ever under $X, you are owed the difference. (I would even put the $X right in the category name.)

      Back to the original issue, though, hopefully you see that it is real money. And in general, money can be moved in the budget as you see fit -- including out of the CC Payment category. Of course, doing so means you'll have to make a smaller payment (and therefore leave a bigger balance on the CC), but that's your call.

      Like 1
      • cpshaye
      • Steel_Blue_Hammerhead.9
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui 

      So I did categorize both inflow and outflow in same category.  But that's how it was "hidden".  Mom's outflows were actually also in this month.

       

      HOWEVER, since you guys help me discover where that pesky $17.35 was, it makes sense that YNAB was saying I could send it to the CC.  It just happens to be the cash that I will eventually deposit into our account.

       

      Thanks to everyone so much!  Now I feel more confident in the numbers.  I didn't want to get too far into this "new" way (online) and totally botch up my finances!

      Like 1
    • cpshaye One fundamental principle: if your accounts agree with reality, every penny in the budget exists somewhere. Shift it around as you see fit, but it's ALL real. 🙂 Glad you're feeling more confident!

      Like 1
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