Getting set up initially
I am trying to dive in and get things set up. I have some (and will likely have some more) questions. Here goes.
(1) Credit Card A that I am paying off, unlikely to make future purchases – set up as tracking account or credit card account?
(2) Start “as of 8/1” or as of “today” ?
I was hoping to set things up to track starting Aug. 1, but have been delayed. I know I read somewhere to “start where you are now,” e.g., Aug. 9 (today), but if possible I’d like to categorize everything as if I had started Aug. 1. Is it ok to enter stuff, starting balances as of 8/1, and then enter the few days of transactions 8/1 – 8/9, or better to just do everything as of 8/9 (today) ?
(3a) I’m confused how to set things up initially, for a credit card that I pay off each month.
Credit Card B statement closes on the 18th (so last closed 7/18), payment due 8/15. So on 8/15 I’ll pay off the balance which reflects purchases made from 6/19 – 7/18. I won’t categorize those individual transactions (they’re pre ynab). But how do I categorize the payment?
(3b) And if I start categorizing CC transactions (either entering them from 8/1 onward or 8/9 (today) onward) then I understand that starts utilizing the credit card payment category. But the CC payment category won’t include the transaction amounts from the transactions I made, e.g., from 7/19 to 8/1 (or 8/9 if I start as of today). So the payment due 9/15 will not be completely covered by the CC payment category? How do I fix this?
(4) When I set up my checking account, the entire balance is "to be budgeted". I'd like to keep a cushion in the account, e.g., $1000. Do I just assign that to a category and have it sit in that category indefinitely ? (Overdraft Cushion or something?)
1) I wouldn’t even set up that credit card up as an account. Just budget for the payment each month and send it.
2) start today. It’s hard to backdate transactions
3) set up the account. Got to the credit card payments line in your budget and budget the amount of your starting balance so that money is set aside to pay the card.
4) if you want a cushion then set up that category and budget it there. But if you’re spending according to your categories you won’t have to worry about overdrafts game.
Thank you. Regarding #1, I would like to see account balances in reports, etc and use ynab kind of like a tracking tool (I know it's primarily for budgeting). I think I'll set it up as a tracking account. I think I saw that a categorized transfer could handle tracking the payment.
Thanks for your other answers. I think I just need to start using it and read up more on the CC payment category and credit card use.
#4... Do you also have a savings account on budget? It's so, then a cushion category doesn't guarantee you won't overdraft your checking, because the budget crosses accounts. (Accounts are just locations) If your checking account is getting low (running balance and scheduled transactions can help assess this at a glance), then just move a little from your savings account (or don't transfer as much out of checking).