My CC is messed up again

Let me preface this by saying: We pay off our CC a few times a month, never any interest. And no, I didn't have a credit the previous month (learned my lesson on paying ahead);

I did a fresh start in Jan. With a couple of hiccups (which y'all helped me with), I've been sailing through.  Then Aug happened, and for some strange reason I had to assign $2.16 directly into the CC category in order to fix something strange.  

Now I'm looking at Sep and although that NO categories for the entire year have been underfunded, and yet I see:

Aug

 

Sep

 

 

My current CC balance on the left column is    My understanding is that the left column (-1514.34) should match the right "available" column (1449.93)

I don't even know where to try to figure out what went wrong!  Any suggestions on where to start?

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  • Have you checked the budgeted spending versus actual spending to make sure they match??

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    • cpshaye definitely check out that linked thread above! To confirm if something like this happened, head to your credit card account register, make sure to enable the running balance feature and look for a positive balance there.

      At the end of the day, no matter the culprit, the solution is indeed to move money back into the Credit Card Payment category until the available amount matches the balance owed. 👍🏻

      That said, I'd still love to help you get to the bottom of this, officially. Know that you're welcome to enable Support Access for your account. If you decide to do that, let me know and I'll take a closer look—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead 😊

      Like 1
      • cpshaye
      • cpshaye
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Rachel I need help.  I have been super busy and hadn't had the time to figure this out. Now as Sept is closing it's even further off.

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    • cpshaye I've got you! Just sent you an email 😊

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  • When you pay your card to zero, especially if you pay it several times a month, you VASTLY increase the odds you’ll encounter one of the edge cases related to paying the card to a positive balance. Unfortunately, the population who lack the knowledge of YNAB to know what to do in that instance is the same population of people who are most likely to be nervously paying their card all the time. My guess is this is what has happened to you: you’ve repeatedly ended up with money in RTA and assigned it to the wrong place. 

    Pay your card once per month, paying at least the statement balance and no more than what the cleared balance on the card is. You can technically pay up to what’s in the category, which relates to the working balance, but let’s keep things 100% foolproof here just in case one of your pending transactions doesn’t work out. 

    Most long-timers have our statement balances auto-withdrawn on or just before their due dates. 

    Like 4
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor you picked up on the same clue in the OP that I did, and I was about to write the same thing.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Yep, we see this time and again with people who pay frequently/overpay their cards. Just pay the statement balance automatically and all your troubles will go away. Just make sure all your charges are backed by cash and then sit back and... relax.

      Like 1
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor What about people who are building credit and might have a low credit limit? Don't use more than your credit limit within a billing period? That is, use your card and stop once your reach the limit until your payment date?

      I'm just asking because it seems to me a lot (not all) of the people who pay their card frequently have a low limit. I'm not an expert on credit card (as I don't live in the US 😂), so I don't know if spending up to the limit several times a month is the best way to get offered a larger limit or not.

      Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses then keep the intermediate payment amounts to less than the current working cleared balance in YNAB.

      Like 3
    • Ceeses If you need it, you need it, so yeah, if you spend to the limit and have to pay it down in order to be able to add more purchases to it then that's something you have to do. I don't know if it will give you a credit increase or not, but at any rate, that's sort of a separate thing from whether or not you're maxing out the card.
      Personally in the US I do not use a debit card or bank card because I do not want to risk having my cash taken in the event that there is a compromised card. Sure, they'll get it back to you eventually... but at least with a credit card they're not actually taking *my* cash, they're taking the credit. So for me, sticking with credit cards is a "safety" factor as much as anything else. It does mean that I need to be real about my spending and stick to my budget (so much easier to "cheat" the budget with credit cards for sure!) so there has to be a certain level of self discipline there.

      I have lived with a card that was so close to maxing out I had to make a payment for every purchase I made... which sucks, but things happen and here we are.

      That being said - making payments for exact purchases is one of the easiest ways to keep that straight. Even if it is just one or two purchases, making the payments for exactly those purchases helps to reduce the risk of paying something different than what you intended. I also tend to make "debt" based payments separate from any purchase payments, which helps me to keep better track of the actual debt vs payments I am making for "on budget" items.

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      • cpshaye
      • cpshaye
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Thank you!  I have paid "several times" in a month for a simple reason - we were in the middle of a home refinance, and depending on when they "take a picture" of our debt/income ratio, I didn't want a huge cc balance to show up.  We pay EVERYTHING we can on that card for the points.  However, now that the refinance is done, I can back off.  

       

      Just now really looking into this problem with everyone's insights here.  I'll check back as soon as I have figured it out or if I need more suggestions!

      Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      cpshaye 

      cpshaye said:
      we were in the middle of a home refinance, and depending on when they "take a picture" of our debt/income ratio,

       This is less for you than for someone who comes in after and reads this post: this is unnecessary even in the middle of a refi. The debt that gets reported and used is not the live amount at the time the credit is pulled, it's the previous period. So for YNABers, who always have our credit card amounts set aside, we can just pay the card to zero or near zero before the statement cuts, and then apply for new credit. 

      An even better trick is to use your YNAB-created good credit habits to get a card with a huge credit limit, and then you don't even have to ever monitor that number. I wound up applying for a car loan in 2015 with zero notice I would need to do so (car was totaled while I was in the process of relocating, needed a new car within two weeks to be able to make the move) and my already-good credit from several years of YNAB let me do it even while I had a reasonable month's worth of expenses sitting on my cards. 

      Like 1
  • nolesrule said:
    then keep the intermediate payment amounts to less than the current working cleared balance in YNAB.

    In other words: enter the transactions you're paying off before you pay them off.

    Like 1
    • Marisa 🙂 And don't pay off pending transactions. Just in case.

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      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Marisa well, yes, but the payment date in YNAB can't be the same as the transaction date in YNAB for one of the transactions being paid off, because of the order in which YNAB applies transactions to the account.

      So put in the transactions, and then set the payment for the next day.

      Like 3
    • Move Light Sound Life well, sometimes you have to in order to keep the card functioning if you're running at the maxed out capacity 😑

      Like
    • nolesrule As long as the day doesn't end with a positive balance, there shouldn't be any problems that I can think of. 🤔Unless you start fiddling with the Credit Card Payment category and Ready to Assign mid day, I suppose - is that your concern?

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual I suppose someone with a $500 limit might have only pending transactions and need to make payments for those pending transactions so that more purchases may be made.  That's a pain.

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life Yeah, totally is. Sometimes life with credit cards is tough.

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      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Marisa A bigger concern is when the pending transaction has to be adjusted or returns take the card positive. YNAB just functions a lot more smoothly when there's a little bit of pending debt to paid off on the card. 

      Much more foolproof to pay only cleared, and the smoothest handling will always be paying the statement balance once a month.  

      Like 2
  • farfromtheusual said:
    Personally in the US I do not use a debit card or bank card because I do not want to risk having my cash taken in the event that there is a compromised card.

     Interesting. Thanks for the point of view.

    I functioned for years without a credit card because in the country I lived in, you can only get a credit card if you earn enough money and have enough savings. Or at least you used to. Now you can get store credit cards without any problem 😞 So I was/am wondering why people with low limit would so actively use their CC instead of using a debit card more. 

    Like 1
    • Ceeses yeah, other countries do things a bit differently, and probably smarter, honestly. In the US it doesn't take much to get a credit card, even with a small credit limit. But starting out somewhere is the only way to build credit. Of course if you drop below a certain amount of debt vs available credit, your credit score goes down, too, so there's that. 🙄

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