Credit card nightmares

After using YNAB for years and years, I am trying (once more with feeling) to make the switch to the new version and thus far failing again because of this whole credit card debacle.

First of all, after importing my accounts I now seem to have multiple categories for each credit card - I had an existing "Debt Payments" category group, but now those same accounts ALSO appear in this Credit Card group.

So fine, I will try to figure out this credit card group and then re-categorize the old payments to move them there. But...what kind of funky math is being used to shove numbers around with credit cards, where are those numbers coming from, and HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP?

I imported my (perfectly balanced) YNAB4 accounts to the new version, and suddenly my budget has over $18k in "available" column for credit cards. I can't make heads or tails of WHERE those numbers came from - they don't match purchases made on the credit cards, the existing credit card balances, the previous month balances, or ANYTHING ELSE I can find.

And what's more, even if it DID match, calling that amount "available" is just WRONG. It's not "available" - it's spent. And there's no way for me to get rid of that "available" amount because if I try to delete it, it gets shoved somewhere ELSE that is WRONG. 

Here's what I have done for years that worked fine and wasn't broken: I spent money on credit cards, allocated to the appropriate categories. When the bill came, I paid the credit card and that payment showed as a transfer from a cash account to the credit card account, ensuring that the credit card balance was zero (or not! It didn't even matter!) but not mucking around with my ACTUAL BUDGET after I'd already accounted for the money once. Now it looks like the same dollars are being budgeted multiple times, which is just WRONG WRONG WRONG. (Especially when it's done "automatically" and in a completely non-transparent (and did I mention WRONG) way!)

This is literally the point at which I have deleted my online accounts in utter frustration every single time before, because apparently none of my advanced degrees or accounting experience makes me able to parse WHAT THE HECK YNAB IS DOING with credit cards anymore.

Yes, I have watched the videos and read the documentation. Yes, what I have seen there makes theoretical sense - although I disagree VIOLENTLY with the philosophy behind it in its entirety. But what I have seen in those videos and what is ACTUALLY HAPPENING appear to be two different things, or at least not covered or explained in the videos at all.

So where is the switch to DISABLE this ill-conceived credit card nonsense and manage the accounts properly, the way I've done it for years, that has worked just fine? Because if I can't get rid of them (and the resulting utter mess that is now my budget, with numbers that will never add up properly again) I will have to say goodbye to YNAB once and for all.

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  • Melissa said:
    And what's more, even if it DID match, calling that amount "available" is just WRONG. It's not "available" - it's spent. And there's no way for me to get rid of that "available" amount because if I try to delete it, it gets shoved somewhere ELSE that is WRONG. 

     By "available" they mean set aside in your bank accounts to pay the credit card bill when it comes due. For this category only, available doesn't mean what you think it should mean. So if you are a paid in full user who only makes budgeted purchases with credit cards, the amount in the available column should be the same as the credit card account balance (except with an opposite sign). If you make a purchase in January but return it in February it will mess it up and what you expect should happen will not actually happen and it will be annoying and require you to manually adjust the amount in the available column in order to get it to match your account balance. Same thing if you have an on budget gift card category and then buy some gift cards with a credit card and treat it as a transfer between two on budget accounts.

    Also, if you have ever used the red arrow in YNAB 4, your import is going to be messed up because that functionality simply does not exist in nYNAB. The only thing you can do is open up your YNAB 4 budget and so through category by category and do whatever manipulation is required in the left hand column of nYNAB so that the total available matches the total available you have in YNAB 4 for all the categories (except credit card payment category of course).

    Do I think any of this is great? No. But that's what we are stuck with because despite constant updates and improvements being touted, most of what happens is merely bug fixes. Many people who are paid in full credit card users are so disenchanted with the credit card functionality in nYNAB that they set up their credit cards as checking accounts so that they will behave the same way they do in YNAB 4.

    Reply Like 2
      • HezthePez
      • Hezthepez
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Do you know how to change a credit card to a checking account with out losing everything?

      Reply Like
  • But NONE of that makes logical sense, since pretty much BY DEFINITION if I charge something it will be in one month and the payment will be in the next month, because that is HOW CREDIT CARDS WORK.

    Available should mean available. Period. You can't "re-define" what a word means and decide it suddenly means something else when the whole point of YNAB from day one has been that you ONLY SPEND AVAILABLE MONEY, which means available == money you can spend. 

    I guess the assumption I should make is that whoever designed this new credit card functionality has never used credit cards and doesn't actually understand how they work or how real people use them. Because this...whatever on earth this is...just does. not. work.

    Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa The funkiness I was specifically talking about refers to returns happening in a different month than the purchase, not payments happening in the month after the purchase happens.

      Again, not saying I agree, but what happens with a normal purchase of $25 dollars for groceries is that you enter it in your account register and YNAB moves the $25 from the grocery category to the credit card payment available category. This is useless hand holding for people who are paid in full. However, for people who are carrying debt on their credit cards, this supposedly tells them how much they can safely pay the credit card company on the due date without impacting any of their other categories (in YNAB 4 you had to calculate your credit card payment as the difference between the account balance and the amount in your pre-YNAB debt category; this just does that math for you).

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Melissa  available does mean available.  Migration issues aside, which it sounds like you have a few, the amount that is available on the credit card payment category is available for just that: to make a credit card payment.  Just like the money that is available for groceries is available for buying groceries, and if you spend more money and then is available for buying groceries the groceries category will be overspeny, the available in the credit card payments category is available to make a credit card payment. If you spend more than is in the credit card payment category, you will be overspent.

       The only difference between the credit card payment category in any other category is that some money moves to the credit card payment category automatically when you spend her mother budget categories.  But the available amount means exactly the same thing— this is how much you can spend on this thing. 

      Reply Like 3
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas I get that...sort of. But most people who carry credit card debt don't think of it like that. They either pay the balance in full, or they pay what they have decided they can pay. The hand-holding seems counter-productive to me because it doesn't force people to think about how much they're paying in terms of debt payoff; it encourages only paying for the new charges and seems to automatically add debt without causing any critical thinking.

      (And as far as I can tell, it's also not doing any math I can recognize as actual math, at least on accounts that were imported from YNAB4, making the entire thing useless for imported accounts unless I want go back through years and years of transactions and budget and figure out something to do differently...which I emphatically do not want to do.)

      Reply Like
      • Jessb
      • Aquamarine_Mask.1
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Melissa i can see how this would be a super frustrating change from YNAB4. And the returns thing mentioned above has been a pain. But i actually find this helpful, as someone who needs to pay down credit card debt- before  i had a habit of throwing as much money as possible to pay down the card. Which is great in theory, but often left me short at the end of the month because i had overbudgeted for paying down debt and it turns out I’m not a great estimator, hence why YNAB works for me. Now, anything i purchase moves the $$ from category to credit, and you can add money to the category to help with debt reduction (and, like any money in a category, rebudget it if it turns out you need the cash), and then the number “available” is how much real money i can safely use to pay down the card. So basically, I budget for, say, food and dry cleaning. Once i pay with the card, the money used automatically switches from available in food (because it is no longer available to purchase food, it’s been used) to credit card, because now that money, still in my checking account, is available and budgeted to pay the credit card. If i have an extra $200 to pay down debt, i budget that directly into the credit card, where it becomes available. Before the bill is due, i pay all the money in the available account, and then tag payee as a transfer to credit card.  The only tricky issue i had was creating a category for interest charges and budgeting to cover those.  No more general debt reduction category- the money is budgeted to specific loan or credit card. Once i got the hang of it (about a month), i liked the update. 

      Reply Like 2
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jessb I guess I can see how that would make sense, but the problem I have really is that I'm starting out with astronomical yet nonsensical numbers. According to YNAB I have $8k+ available to pay one credit card, when it's the third of the month and I have nothing else budgeted (yet) and not NEARLY that amount in cash accounts. So where exactly does YNAB think that money is coming from??? I have NO EARTHLY IDEA and no discernible way of figuring it out. And no desire to spend entire work days on TRYING to figure it out, when it was imported from a system that wasn't broken in the first place.

      Reply Like
    • WordTenor
    • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
    • WordTenor
    • 2 wk ago
    • 3
    • Reported - view

     The best solution for a successful migration from YNAB 4 is just to do a modified fresh start: remove all money in all categories and re-budget.  Make sure that no categories are hidden, or at least that any hidden categories have no money in them, and then select all categories and choose “reset available amounts to zero.”  This will send all the money in your budget back to the header, at which point in time you can budget it out again, beginning with making the credit card payment category equal and opposite to the amount that’s charged to your credit card.

    Reply Like 3
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor The best solution for a successful migration from YNAB 4 is just to do a modified fresh start: remove all money in all categories and re-budget.  Make sure that no categories are hidden, or at least that any hidden categories have no money in them, and then select all categories and choose “reset available amounts to zero.”  This will send all the money in your budget back to the header, at which point in time you can budget it out again, beginning with making the credit card payment category equal and opposite to the amount that’s charged to your credit card.

      The problem is that I don't WANT to do a fresh start - I want to be able to run comparative reports against previous years and maintain at least 2018 numbers until tax time. Without having to use two different budgets and records in two different places.

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Melissa I unserstand the desire to keep your records. I like keeping mine, too. Please read those instructions again; they explain how to correct migration errors without wiping clean your history. If this month is fine, you don’t have to go back and correct the previous months’ budgets; your transaction history will remain  

      Reply Like 1
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Maybe I'm not understanding your instructions then, since you said to remove all money in all categories. My budgeted amounts were already at zero, and there were zero actual amounts spent during this month. But there is still credit card amounts ($18k+ worth) of "available" that does not exist anywhere else. There is nowhere to move that money other than "budgeted", and both budgeted and available are flat wrong.

      What am I missing?

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Melissa You need to use the “Reset” to put all the available back in TBB. So a bunch of categories won’t have $0 budgeted; they’ll have negative numbers budgeted.

      And your accounts need to be reconciled; I often accidentally forget to mention that!

      Reply Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Also make sure you have no money budgeted in February. 

      Reply Like 1
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor But if I reset and the budget is now (for example) -$8273.43 it's just moving the wrong number from one place to another, but the number itself is still WRONG. So how do I make the budget CORRECT? Because I am not going to budget over $8k to one account, I'm going to budget whatever I spend this month to pay the card in full. (Am I missing something that should be obvious??)

      All of my accounts are reconciled to the last statement, although that's obviously mostly last month or 11/30 in some cases since month-end statements haven't been created yet for every account.

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I do not - so at least I'm doing something right! 🙂

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Melissa In the current month, you need to adjust your budget so that the Credit Card payment available equals your credit card balance as a positive number. And you need to budget all your categories so their available amount matches what you have available in YNAB4.

      The budgeted amounts do not need to match anything in particular because you are doing a migration cleanup. Only the available amounts need to match.

      Reply Like 2
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa $8273.43 when all your available amounts are zero, should equal the total amount in your positive-balance accounts (checking and savings.) Then, the first thing you budget should be the amount currently charged on the card. So if the card is currently at -$2345.67, the first thing you budget is $2345.67 to the card category. 

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor But those numbers do NOT match what I have. I have a balance on that card of about $4300, current cash in checking and savings of about $1200. I'll be getting an expense reimbursement for the $4300 which I will use to pay the card in full. NOTHING matches $8273.43. I literally CAN NOT find numbers that add up to that anywhere within the card transactions or the budget or...well, ANYWHERE. It's just a 100% made up number, as far as I can tell.

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule  In the current month, you need to adjust your budget so that the Credit Card payment available equals your credit card balance as a positive number. And you need to budget all your categories so their available amount matches what you have available in YNAB4. 

      The budgeted amounts do not need to match anything in particular because you are doing a migration cleanup. Only the available amounts need to match.

      So if I'm following you, I would just put a random number in the budgeted amount of $8273.43 PLUS the $4300 I actually intend to pay (which is the current balance)? So I'd budget over $12k for this month? Even though that number is utterly nonsensical? 

      That feels...uncomfortable at best and woefully disastrous at worst. 

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      The TBB after you do the reset should be the sum of all your positive account balances on the left. It is virtually impossible for these numbers not to match, although one or two bugs have been discovered over the years. 

      Is the “available” of every single category $0? 

      Reply Like 2
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor The available for every category OTHER than credit cards is zero. If I zero them out, it just moves those numbers to the Budget column. But I still cannot figure out WHERE those numbers came from, because they literally match NOTHING. Not the current balance on the cards, not the cleared balance on the cards, not the cash balances in my cash account...nothing.

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa You have to zero the credit card category, too. 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa If you are a Pay in Full credit card user, then that means the entire balance on your card is covered by money from budgeted purchases. So yes, if your card has an $12k-ish balance, then you need to have $12k-ish set aside to cover your payments for all your past credit card purchases.

      or perhaps you werer iding the credit card float in YNAB4 and aren't truly a PIF CC user. What was your Pre-YNAB debt category balance for the card in YNAB4?

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule Right now Melissa has at least $3100 of float. 

      Reply Like 1
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor Yes, I have float because the bill isn't due yet, and I know I'll have the cash before it's due. 

      When you say I have to zero the credit card category, you mean just let it shift to budgeted even though the number that will be there is wrong? I find that super confusing.

      I've played with a fresh start budget and entered random things, and I can see how it works starting from zero. I just can't see where it's getting the numbers from that are there now, and it's thoroughly frustrating me.

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa OK, if you're on the credit card float, then you're not actually a paid-in-full cc user, so your available payment amount is likely not ever going to match the cc account balance (with the opposite sign).

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Melissa  The number that will end up there will be right.  When you move all your money to to be budgeted,  you will  correct any carried float in your budget.  That’s what the phantom money that you’re feeling isn’t there is. It’s funds you were caring on your card, some acknowledged, some maybe not acknowledged.  When you fix that category, everything else should come back in line   

      Reply Like 2
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I guess I'm not following. The current card balance is $4300. I will get a direct deposit of $4300 in the next week or so. At that point I will enter that as income and budget it all to that credit card. At that point the balance SHOULD BE zero. I tested that understanding as if I'd received that deposit by entering those transactions, and that's not what happens. I still have almost $4k that jumps back and forth between "available" and "budgeted" in that credit card category and no way that I can see to get rid of it. (And going back to previous months, the income, charges, and payments are all accurately entered and reconciled.) So there's some numbers that YNAB pulled from SOMEWHERE and aligned to that card for SOME reason that I cannot for the life of me figure out, and will not go away.

      It's just...completely broken, as far as I can tell. And I just want it to work the way it has worked for years, because...well, it WORKED. It made logical sense, it made accounting sense, and it didn't throw extra unaccounted dollars where I didn't ASSIGN THEM TO GO. And to me, that's always been the point of YNAB - I ASSIGN MY DOLLARS WHERE I WANT THEM TO GO. 

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat OK, if you're on the credit card float, then you're not actually a paid-in-full cc user, so your available payment amount is likely not ever going to match the cc account balance (with the opposite sign).

      I suppose I could create an arbitrary "expenses that my company will reimburse me for" category and assign everything there, but the nature of reimbursable expenses is that I incur the expense, charge them on the card, get reimbursed within ten days, and pay the bill in full as soon as it arrives. Whether or not I'm "actually" a PIF user by some arbitrary YNAB definition is 100% semantics since I am clearly exactly that by every normal definition of the word. Whether or not that all happens with in the same calendar month is immaterial. Which is WHY YNAB should NOT randomly and apparently arbitrarily decide WHEN AND WHERE TO PUT MY DOLLARS. 

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Melissa Reimbursement handling is not one of YNAB's strengths. The system would prefer that you cover it with money you have now, because you can only budget and spend money you have or else you will be overspent. Then later when you receive the reimbursement it's just new income.

      When you think of YNAB as an allocation budget using the envelope budget analogy, it is physically impossible to take money out of an envelope such that the envelope has a negative balance. It is just impossible. The money has to come from somewhere, and YNAB's system forces you to adjust for that.

      Reply Like 2
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Melissa Paid in full means that you can pay the full balance at any moment in time without any impact on your budget. Income and reimbursement is never truly a given. Look at all the feds with their super secure jobs who aresuddenly not getting paid any time soon because of the shutdown. 

      Reply Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      jenmas And Mrs. nolesrule having 3 of her last 4 paychecks screwed up after 16 years at the same company with not a single payroll issue.

      Reply Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa Have you zeroed the credit card available category, and have you then compared the resultant TBB to your accoint balances? 

      I hear and understand your frustration. What I am suggesting really will help, but every step must be followed. 

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule and @jenmas  While I hear you, the reality is that I am not actually ever "on the hook" for these funds. If I don't pay the bill, ultimately the company would do so anyway as part of their agreement. For reasons that are arcane and not really important, it's a matter of me doing up-front accounting and cash management for my employer, but the funds and responsibility are always theirs. Regardless, that's not the issue. The issue is that YNAB refuses to create the account with any...well, accounting...that makes sense. 

      I have zeroed the credit card available category. Repeatedly. The same nonsensical number then goes into the "budgeted" column. That number equals NOTHING that has been allocated to that credit card. The $4300 that is on that credit card is IN that number (since if I zero out those actual transactions I can see that number change) but there are OTHER things somehow ALSO in that specific number. I have NO IDEA what those things are, or where that number comes from, because it equals ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I can identify. Anywhere. Period.

      Whether it's a bug or a "feature" I have no idea because there is NO TRANSPARENCY around that number. I can see how it "should" work because I created a "fresh start" and have played with it to understand it, but the imported accounts simply do NOT work that way, at least in how they've imported existing transactions. YNAB has decided to create that number out of whole cloth and not give me any control, accounting, or even display of where it created that number from. I can't click on it to see a list of transactions it includes, I can't check its math. I can't turn it off and tell it to stop doing that because I consider it wrong and actively harmful to how sensible credit accounting should be done.

      It's wrong, and I'm just supposed to accept it, and I will not because IT IS WRONG. Which leads me to trust NOTHING that YNAB is telling me. And there, I think, is my fundamental problem.

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa It seems to me like it's possible that your ongoing use of reimbursable expenses in YNAB4 probably involved the red arrow sometimes, right? Isn't it possible that the way that YNAB migration from YNAB4 handles these introduces "funny money" into your budget? That would result in a lot of money in TBB that you then have to allocate to the credit card payment categories to clear up.

      nolesrule jenmas do you think that is a possibility? My gut is telling me that reimbursables, red arrow and float = A Bad Time with migration to YNAB.

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      bevocat absolutely. Migration from YNAB 4 to nYNAB is fitting a square peg into a round hole. I was only on the float for 2 weeks when I started YNAB 4 but I did use the red arrow all the time for work reimbursements. When I migrated over, there was all kinds of not rightness going on in my budget. So I unbudgeted everything in the month of migration and rebudgeted so that all my categories matched what was in YNAB 4 for that month this would have included letting a reimbursable category be negative if I had not yet received my reimbursement. Anything left over in TBB was budgeted to the credit card payments categories so that the numbers in the available column were equal to (but opposite sign) from the account balances on the left of the screen. This led to some funkiness in the budgeted column, but who cares as long as TBB is 0 and the Available columns are correct? For the OP the credit card payment available category will not match the account balance as long as she is on the float.

      Reply Like 2
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat It seems to me like it's possible that your ongoing use of reimbursable expenses in YNAB4 probably involved the red arrow sometimes, right? Isn't it possible that the way that YNAB migration from YNAB4 handles these introduces "funny money" into your budget? That would result in a lot of money in TBB that you then have to allocate to the credit card payment categories to clear up.

      That's very possible, because yes - any time I had expenses in one month that would be reimbursed and paid in the following, I likely red-arrowed them. But I'd have to go back through every month I've ever used YNAB and every category in which I have reimbursable expenses to do...something (and I have no idea what that something would be) different to change that. (Or even to add it all up and figure out if those numbers equal the numbers I'm seeing.) (Which I have no intention of doing, because time == money and ain't nobody got that much of it!)

      So while I don't like that answer, thank you for finding a potential answer that at least would make sense! Even if I don't like it!

      Reply Like
    • WordTenor
    • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
    • WordTenor
    • 2 wk ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

     Also worth mentioning that if you had the cards on budget as budget accounts and you had a debt payments category for the card in version 4, you did not have the card set up correctly in version 4, which is a contibuting factor to the situation you are encountering now.  

     Happy to help you sort it out, but it sounds like there are problems in several places, some of which are not due to the software.

    Reply Like 2
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor  Also worth mentioning that if you had the cards on budget as budget accounts and you had a debt payments category for the card in version 4, you did not have the card set up correctly in version 4, which is a contibuting factor to the situation you are encountering now.  

      In looking back I did not have any credit cards in that category, only student loan payments and the deferred interest account for my new fridge. I was hoping I had done something dumb but easily identified!

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Melissa Okay, that helps! If you were fully using the stock handling in YNAB 4, the instructions I provided above will help you get your cards budgeted correctly on the new software. 

      Reply Like 2
  • Hi Melissa !

    I see the others are steering you towards getting those accounts in line - you are in great hands here! :)

    If you want someone in support to take a closer look at your budget, let us know! If you’re up for it, go ahead and enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead.

    Reply Like
  • jenmas said:
    This led to some funkiness in the budgeted column, but who cares as long as TBB is 0 and the Available columns are correct? For the OP the credit card payment available category will not match the account balance as long as she is on the float.

     Unfortunately, I guess I care! More than I thought I did. (I've always been that person who would chase down $.03 just to make sure my accounts balanced perfectly, all the way back to when I'd reconcile using pencil on the back of the bank statements that came in the mail!)

    I think (not having gotten to that point yet) I won't mind if it doesn't match as long as I can clearly understand exactly WHY it doesn't match and agree that the number of not-matching matches what I expect it to be. I'm thinking here of expenses I incur now that will show up on my bill mid-month and then get paid off before the end of the month, while new expenses land in this month that I will pay when the bill arrives next month. 

    Then again, I might lose my mind again at the beginning of February when that happens. 

    Going back through this thread, it sounds like the best bet for me will be to re-create the credit card accounts as cash accounts so that I don't have to worry about it. Since I've been mucking around with it so much trying to figure it out, I've been doing my "real" tracking in YNAB4 and will probably just wipe out what I've done online and migrate again.

    Thank you to everyone who has helped, though - it's helpful to see the many (too many, in my opinion) ways in which this is possible to mess up and that I'm not the first one to struggle with it. 

    Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Melissa But if your YNAB 4 budget is intact, why stress about the past in nYNAB? It literally cannot be fixed because the two systems are not compatible.

      Reply Like 1
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Would it be reasonable/helpful to use the migration for the purposes of importing categories and accounts, then do a fresh start? I honestly don't know, because I have never done one.

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat that's actually what YNAB recommends. I think because they realized their import process was a hot mess that doesn't deal at all with pre-YNAB debt or the use of red arrows. I still rely on YNAB 4 which works just fine and I'll keep on using it until it dies.

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas I'm only stressed about it because what I really WANT is to migrate to the new and not worry about the fact that the next time I update my computer's OS I will no longer be able to use YNAB4. I want to be able to maintain the same general workflow I have now, which requires that I have all of the historical transactions so that I can compare year-over-year activity.

      I get the benefit of a fresh start in theory, it's just not how my head works and not what I want to do. Worst case, I'll do it, but if I can't run useful historical reports in YNAB then I would need to include some other system to migrate my offline data to so that I can access it in the future, and then I'd have two systems, which would be less than efficient, which makes me strongly consider just migrating to something else.

      Frankly, what I WANT is for them to update YNAB4 to work with the newer 64-bit OS because I am very (VEEEERY) uncomfortable with the whole cloud-reliant setup of the new YNAB and...well, everything (picture vague and-waving) else above. But they've made it clear that they have no intention of doing that. 

      So option one is deciding whether I can get comfortable with nYNAB (so far it's not looking good, being totally honest) and option two is evaluating the (many) other options available.

      Reply Like
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Melissa But there's really no downside to trying a fresh start, just to see if you can enter your current account balances everywhere.  Then see if your TBB allows you to budget your categories with the same amount of money in the "Balance" column in YNAB4 and still have enough to budget to the credit card payment "Budgeted" column to make the "Available" column to show enough money to make the payment to the credit card company for the "last statement balance" payment to the credit card.

      Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Melissa that’s why we’ve been telling you to do the modified fresh start where all you do is mess with the budgeted column in January to do whatever it takes to make the available column match what it says in your YNAB4 January available column. Also that you must understand that because you are on the float, the available amount in the credit card payment categories will always show that you don’t have enough money to pay your full balance because that is the actual truth. All of your past transactions will be in nYNAB and it does not matter if the migration did weird things to the available amount in your grocery category in June of 2017 because in January 2019, it all matches. 

      Reply Like 3
      • bevocat
      • Crazy Cat Lady
      • bevocat
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      jenmas Melissa I mean, those are really the only two sane choices here. Sacrifice the history so that you can have accurate account balances and categories with budgeted columns that make sense to you, or sacrifice budgeted columns that make sense (for this month ONLY) to retain the history of your transactions. I know which one I'd choose, having been the one that tried to bring in lots of old data (not from YNAB4) and spending weeks trying to sort it all out, then ultimately making a few adjustments to true up and move on with my life.

      Reply Like
      • Melissa
      • liss
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat @jenmas I don't disagree. I just need to figure out what I can live with and what I really need moving forward. Both of which are likely to be at least a bit different than what I actually want.

      Reply Like
  • AMEN AMEN........

    Does anyone know how to change the credit card account to just a checking account and still have it linked. I have been with ynab for years--but this will be where we have to part ways if I can't disable the way CC now works. I pay my cc completely off early--so this completely messes me up. I am NOOOOTTT interested in doing all those additional steps. Sorry ynab. Just tell me how to change the type of account.

    Reply Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      HezthePez Paying your credit cards early should have zero impact on credit card handling. If you are set up correctly from the beginning, it should still work just fine any time you pay. Nevertheless here is how to change your credit cards to checking accounts. I have no idea if the linking still works because I have been doing 100% manual entry since 2014.

      1. Unlink your credit card.

      2. Change the name of the account to anything that you want

      3. Create a new checking account with the credit card name.

      4. Go back to the old credit card account and select all transactions.

      5. Select move transactions.

      6. Move the transactions to the new checking account.

      7. At this point I would try to link the accounts.

      This should not be done if you are not an actual paid in full credit card user. That means that at any moment in time you can pay off 100% of your credit card balance without impacting any of your other categories. I only pay my credit card on the due date and I only pay the statement balance. However, if I wanted to, I could pay off all of my credit card balances in full right now.

      Reply Like
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