I thought I had the concept


I loaded an Amex w/a $0 balance (not synced w/ynab); I charged $300  and thought that I accounted for the spending on the card in my budget (using rides and Christmas categories); I made a $300 payment on the card yesterday; ynab auto synced the transaction from my bank picking up a record of Uber (this is confusing since I do not have an uber category, but I had previously loaded an Uber transaction under the rides category); I changed it to Amex, and now my budget indicates $300to be budgeted and a credit on Amex of $300.  

I used the app to record the rides and the Christmas spending yesterday--I really don't understand what I sat there and did on the app yesterday since I thought I split the uber spending in the rides category from the Christmas category spending prior to transferring the payment from my bank to Amex.  I cannot find a record of those entries, and now I think I only added and subtracted to the balances in my categories versus  recording real transactions.  At this point, how should I correct it to get the amex back down to $0 and the rides and Christmas categories properly updated w/the spending? My ynab balance accurately matches the bank balance.  

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  • Update--Here is what I did so far:

    I added the spending transactions within Amex and properly deducted the Christmas and Rides categories to bring the positive amex balance to $0--okay good right?

    Problem: I am still left w/$300 to be budgeted; do I just budget the $300 and call it day?  If my balances are synced, are there any risks in budgeting the $300? I am looking for the tutorial on reconciling (or marking things as cleared) as I ask this question.  Thank you for any input!

    • Violet Router Synced is not the same as reconciled.  If your balances (all of them, including the Amex) are reconciled correctly, meaning they reflect the current reality as shown by your institutions, plus any pending activity, then, yes, you can budget the money.  However, it doesn't sound like your transactions in YNAB are matching your bank/cards.  Verify that first.

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  • Thank you so much!! All clear; I was confident in the bank reconciliation; I just checked that the amex reconciled w/the outflow total matching the inflow total, and that balanced to $0.  I am reconciled. I am not sure how I errored to lose 300 that was already budgeted to go back to be budgeted, but I am not yet one month in to app from taking a long hiatus from ynab4.  Relearning :-(

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    • Violet Router It could be that when you were trying to input transactions on mobile the first time, you accidentally took out budgeted money instead, as you said.  If the total was $300, then there would be $300 TBB, and you can put it where it goes (or where you need it now, if you reshuffled). Also, depending on the timing of transactions/payments on the Amex CC and when/how they were funded in the budget, you could have that $300 in TBB from taking the Amex positive with the payment.  In that case, check to make sure that the CC category available is not negative (now that you've fixed the transactions and budgeted in appropriate categories). 

      It's hard to know exactly what happened as you were figuring the app out since there's no activity log.  However, if everything is correctly represented and all of your budget numbers (mainly in available, especially with regard to overspending) are correct, then you should be able to move forward with confidence.  And really, that's all you need: reality represented in the past and a viable spending plan for the immediate future.  Hope that helps!

      Also, I don't have experience with CC handling in ynab4, but I hear it's different in nYNAB. :)  Some people like it (I do!), some don't.  There are several threads on this forum about using different approaches for CC accounts.  Once you get going with nYNAB, you may look into those ideas.  Search: credit card as checking account. 

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