Another overspending question

Hey everyone,

Sorry for another overspending question. I just can't figure out my mistake here. I have a few credit cards I pay off monthly. All accounts are reconciled and posted charges match what's actually in the account. However, the payment for one is $15 less (overspent by $15), while the payment for another is $15 more (when looking on the right side in the budget). So there's clearly a mistake there somewhere, but I can't find it. I haven't added any additional payments in the budget. All my accounts are linked for importing, too. Any ideas?


So, just a summary (with theoretical numbers).

Card 1. Reconciled amount $100. Payment $85.

Card 2. Reconciled amount $100. Payment $115.

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  • JSmitty Thanks for outlining this so clearly! It sounds like you're running into a known issue with credit card handling in YNAB. The perfect storm has to happen, so here's what to check for:

    • There has to be activity on two different credit cards in the same category.
    • There has to be a return on one card that is more than the purchases on that same card, in that category, in that month.
    • It has to be true that the spending category would be overspent if the refund hadn't helped fund the category.

    If all of this is true, then money gets stuck in the wrong Credit Card Payment category. The good news is that the solution is simple: move the money into the right Credit Card Payment category until the available amounts match your balances owed once more.

    Other things to note here: the yellow overspending alert in your register won't go away until the month rolls over, and if you add more cash to the spending category it might reverse the behavior, so keep an eye on that Credit Card Payment category!

    Does it sound like this might be what's happening in your budget? Let me know if not! If you'd like, you can enable Support Access and let us know that you've done so - we'll be happy to take a closer look!

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      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 2 mths ago
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      Rachel I think that may be the most clear explanation I have read for this particular phenomenon.

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  • Rachel,

    This is exactly what happened, and thank you for explaining this so clearly. I will outline how this fixed my issue a little for anyone in the future that might be looking for an answer, and please feel free to correct me if this is wrong. 


    This was all done in my "Date Night" category. I bought tickets to a concert a few months ago, but the concert was recently cancelled. Let's say the tickets cost $100. Ticketmaster refunded that purchase this month, so I gained an extra $100 in my date night category.


    My wife and I went to dinner recently and used money from that same category, let's say $50, to pay for dinner. I also used a different card for this. As it currently stands, I have more than $50 in my date night category. However, without the refund from the tickets, I would have overspent the category by $15 (see first post). 


    You can further verify this by looking a little deeper at the category. In my date night category, when I subtract the amount currently available in the category (far right side) from the amount refunded from the ticket purchase, it is exactly $15. So, if the ticket hadn't been refunded on Credit Card A, I would have overspent my date night budget when I went to dinner using Credit Card B.


    To fix this, I will just subtract $15 from my Credit Card A payment to cover the underpayment available for Credit Card B for this month only.


    Thanks again!

    Like 3
    • JSmitty That's perfect - you've got it! Just want to reiterate that if you use that category more this month, you'll want to keep an eye on it. 👀

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