Question: Paying credit card debt down using true expenses
Hi! I have some money in my true expenses categories that is earmarked for paying down debt related to those categories (medical and automotive).
How do I use those funds to pay my credit card bill without simply WAMing the money, which would show a negative correlation to my budgeting goal in those specific categories?
For example, with a regular purchase for a prescription, I would have a transaction in my medical category to go along with the expense.
Since these expenses happened in a previous month, they're credit card debt that I want to pay down. Do I apply my available funds to the month in which they happened (November, in this case), even though that month has passed?
Don't get caught up trying to satisfy goals. If you feel it's important to pay down debt, reallocate from any lower priority category. You can do this in any month you like.
The fact a Goal is leading you away from following the methodology (Rule 3, specifically) is a design problem. You can either ignore the warning or re-establish the goal in the following month's area (turning it off for the month of the WAMming).
with a regular purchase for a prescription, I would have a transaction in my medical category to go along with the expense
Ideally, the medical category would have had money Available at the time of the spending. This will result in money moving automatically to the CC Payment category.
I can't tell if your spending last month resulted in overspending. If it did not, then there is no need to WAM.
If it did, then WAM in any month you like, either into the Medical category (in the month of the overspending or earlier) or into the CC Payment category (in any month after the overspending).
It's December 2019 so I would just not worry about it. You'll have you maintenance records for the car and that usually includes the prices right?
I want to know that this money was spent on auto expenses, or on medical expenses, so that when I look at reports in the future, I have this information
Reports are based on transactions since they capture all spending. Currently, that spending of interest is wrapped up in the CC starting balance. It's recommended to just move forward from today, but you could conceivably split your opening balance transaction to explicitly categorize to Auto, Medical, and TBB (for the rest).
Thanks to all for your help - I understand why I should just WAM the debt. I think I'm looking to get some kind of psychological "credit" for the payments, but the reality is that it's just debt, and I need to repay it from somewhere. The categories where I've allocated the funds to cover it from don't matter.