Best CC Payment Dates for YNAB
I don't think there's a technically "right" answer to this question, but I'm curious to get peoples' thoughts.
I've been successfully using YNAB for several months now. It's really helped me start using my credit cards again so I can rack up cash back points without worrying about overspending.
I want to tweak my usage so that I get the best visibility into my budget. Right now my payments for all my credit cards are set around the 15th of the month (at the time that made sense because my rent is due the 1st of the month).
Now that I'm not worried about not having enough money, I'm wondering if I should move my payment dates to either the very beginning or very end of the month so that I'm seeing how much is going to each card during that month, rather than seeing half of the current month and half of the last month. Should I plan my payment a few days before/after the month boundary so pending transactions can clear?
What do you think? 1st? 3rd? 15th? Last day?
The payment date for the credit card is irrelevant.
If you buy groceries on the 23rd Jan then the transaction date in YNAB is 23rd Jan and YNAB automatically moves the money from the groceries category to the credit card payment category so that it's there to pay the credit card bill whenever it's due. The groceries spending is recorded in your budget in the correct month, the payment date of the card is irrelevant.
Pay the statement balance (and no more than the statement balance) on or slightly before your payment due date. The date itself does not matter. If you pay only the statement balance then you don't have to worry about pending transactions around the payment date, because you are only making payments against charges that happened no more recently than 3 weeks ago.
The credit cards have a grace period on new purchases. Use it to your advantage so that money sits in your accounts longer earning interest.
This absolutely is the only technically and practically correct answer.