Credit Card "Available"
I searched for answers to my question, but didn't find any. My credit card is linked to YNAB, and it automatically takes spent money from the line item in which that money was budgeted. For example, I buy $50 in fuel. YNAB removes $50 in fuel from my monthly budget. Great. Now I don't have to track what we spend money on with the credit card. I realize that YNAB then moves that $50 to the credit card to be paid off.
Where I get confused is: I never set a budgeted amount per month to pay off the credit card. The reason is because I will assign any purchase from the credit card to its appropriate line item (gas, in the example above). That way, I know that I am sticking to my "Gas Budget." It would be redundant to budget the card to pay off what's already been budgeted. How does YNAB account for credit card purchases I make that already come from a line item in my budget? I still balance the card once a month, and when I do, the credit card payment comes in as inflow ("Returns", I believe). Somehow, this has led to a large "Available" amount on my credit card. Recently, I made a large purchase on the card, paid it immediately, and a few days later wondered where a missing few thousand dollars went. Upon investigation, I realized that they were sitting in the "Available" spot in my credit card. I had to clear them all and mark them as "To Be Budgeted" in order to get back on track.
Perhaps I am using the credit card feature incorrectly. Or perhaps, it's the nature of a credit card making purchases through specific line items that, on occasion, I have to track the "Returns" and put that money back into the "To Be Budgeted" pile.
I am very confused...
I found Nick True's YNAB Credit Card Guide to be really helpful in understanding how YNAB handles credit card transactions. You can find it on You Tube. He leads you through everything. You should check it out - it will help clear up some of the questions you have. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ix0Jibc0Lw