Credit Card, HELOC, and timing
I wonder whether there's a better way to handle this...
We made a large purchase which we intended to cover by drawing from our HELOC. We used American Express (it just works out better for everybody when you're pulling the trigger by phone) and it happened to fall in the first few days of the new billing cycle, so the bill was due almost 8 weeks after the purchase was made. So we planned to draw from the loan right before paying the Amex bill -- it would have cost over $200 in extra interest to do it at the time of the purchase.
So that's obviously right, but the Renovations category was overspent by $30,000 for almost a full month, and then the American Express category was overspent by $30,000 for another month, and I found the psychological impact was much worse than I expected. It felt like an anvil hanging over me. I didn't even want to open the budget.
Am I right that it just has to be like that? I'm sure I could make the yellow go away, but I can't think of anything that wouldn't just be lying to the budget. (I could make a fake account representing money we intend to borrow...) Borrowing the money up front, paying $200 interest to make the bubbles the right color, seems even more wrong.
The gap between the AMEX Payment category and account balance was $30k. The AMEX Payment category should not have been overspent unless you actually sent them the full payoff, and you were waiting to do that after the transfer.
When I make a conscious choice to finance something, I don't need to be nagged about it. I would have reallocated from the AMEX Payment category to cover the Renovations overspending. Just make offsetting budget entries (-$30k in AMEX, and +$30k in Renovations). This makes that renovation a budgeted purchase, which flows those funds right back to the AMEX category -- the Available payment winds up exactly where it started, but without the nag.