Funny Fifteen Cents

So, I'm going along, reconciling my accounts, when I notice that one of the bills I put on my credit card was 15 cents lower than normal. I had already paid the balance of this card when that transaction was pending. Therefore, once everything cleared, my credit card had a positive balance of 15 cents. I don't use this card much, so there was only one other transaction on it, for $25, in a fully funded category. 

The card balance said $24.85 was due. This makes sense.

YNAB said that there was $24.70 available for the payment, with $.15 in TBB. This does not make sense.

I ended up budgeting that $.15 directly to the credit card, as both categories of transactions were still fully funded. 

But why did this happen? It makes no sense.

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  • Also, this all happened in April. No month rolled over during this process.

    Like
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Credit cards act weird when they go positive, that's all I know. 

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    • nolesrule
    • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
    • nolesrule
    • 2 yrs ago
    • 4
    • Reported - view

    The real question is why are you paying so much on your credit card? They haven't invoiced you yet for those charges. Just pay the statement balance on or slightly before the due date and this will never be an issue because all charges will have been cleared and reconciled at least 3 weeks earlier than when the payment takes place.

    Like 4
    • nolesrule I suppose two reasons:

      1) We wanted to be paid in full, so I like to have the available number go down to zero in YNAB. I can understand how that's a little silly, maybe.

      2) I guess I don't quite understand when the interest will hit the account and want to be on the safe side. The rep told me that interest was charged on the 25th, and the monthly due date was the 7th. I used to pay the current balance every month on the 25th. My husband had gotten used to paying with every paycheck, so I ended up doing mine at the same time. Chalk it up to inexperience? 

      So, you're saying I should pay whatever the statement balance is near the beginning of the month (and it won't have interest?) And leave the rest of the current activity alone until next month? And that won't get interest either?

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life If you're paid in full, you only need to pay the statement balance when it's due. You will pay no interest. It might feel a little uncomfortable at first but if you're using YNAB correctly, you'll always have the funds in your accounts ready to pay the full balance at any time. Mine are all automated to pay the statement balance on the due date. I haven't paid interest on a credit card in at least 8 years if not more and I never will again!

      Like 3
    • Superbone That's handy. How do you schedule payments for the statement balance? 

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life It's an option on each credit card website's autopay section. Once I have this set up, I create a scheduled transaction in YNAB for the due date so I'll know when it will post. Then you just need to make sure you have enough funds in your payment account to cover it. The autopay is set up to use your bank's routing number and account number to directly take the funds. I've been doing this for many years now without issue. It makes it so easy when it's all automated and with YNAB you always keep your eye on it to make sure everything matches up.

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    • Superbone That makes sense to pay it that way. I was wondering how the bank would know, but it doesn't have to. Thanks for the insight!

      Like 1
  • Everything you described is the way YNAB is supposed to work, but it's confusing. You both overpaid your card and took the balance positive at the same time. The result of this is: the positive balance appears in TBB, but the Available amount in the credit card payment category is either negative (red) or too low to pay in full. The solution is simply to move the 15 cents from TBB to the card payment category.

    Why do I say you overpaid your card? Because you charged $25 and then paid $25, but when the $25 charge was reduced to $24.85, YNAB moved the 15 cents back to the category it came from. So now you've budgeted $24.85 for the credit card payment but sent $25. In YNAB-land, that's overspending and has to be manually corrected.

    Paying the statement balance as nolesrule suggests is a good idea, but it won't prevent this from happening again in the future if, e.g., you have a charge reversed.

    Like 2
    • Hi Move Light Sound Life !

      To add on to what mamster explained above, I wanted to leave a quick link to this explanation - Positive Balance on a credit card. :)

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    • mamster Thanks for the explanation!  The only thing that didn't happen as you said was that the $ 0.15 went to the TBB instead of to the category it came from.  I guess that's a choice YNAB has made, and it doesn't really make sense to me, but now I know.  I'll try not to let it happen again.

      Like 1
    • Faness Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I had read that article a month or so ago, but sometimes you just have to experience things for them to click. 

      Actually, I don't understand the logic behind why the refund/overage goes to the TBB instead of back to the category it came from.  It's not like a refund (which I need to manually make go back to the right category).  It's that there was a transaction error. 

      It's like if you accidentally typed in $46 for gas and you meant to type $16.  The gas category should decrease by $30 more than intended.  When you go back and change the numbers, the gas category should have the $30 back in it, not in TBB.

      But, no worries.  I'll just put that in my box of "Things YNAB Does Illogically That Hopefully Don't Interfere Too Much with What I Need to Do."  I don't really want to spend a lot of time thinking through this with y'all. 

      Like 1
    • Move Light Sound Life Do you mean the overage when you pay the card? If so, that's because a positive amount on a credit card is treated just like cash - it can be spent without creating more debt. If you have $20 Available to pay your credit card, but the balance is only $15, paying that full amount will give you a positive $5 balance - the credit card company now has $5 of your money. Since that money is yours, it can be budgeted towards any of your categories, so it's placed in To Be Budgeted.

      Like 1
      • lindsay_g
      • Beige_Banjo.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness ... makes sense to me! I had an positive balance on one of my credit cards when an airline company refunded money... I felt a killer urge to buy stuff, just to get that money back. It was maddening to have, in effect, loaned MasterCard money. Those bar stewards.... 🤬

      Like 1
    • Faness That logic works with the refunds, but not with the transaction adjustment. Maybe it's just because the transaction adjustment and the over paying happened at the same time. 

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    • lindsay_g Yeah, I guess I didn't expect this transaction adjustment to work like a refund.

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    • Move Light Sound Life Sorry to bother you - I know you said you didn't want to spend too much time on this, but I don't understand what you mean by the transaction adjustment. The amount of the transaction this time was always $24.85, correct? It wasn't $25 and then a refund of fifteen cents was given, so it isn't an adjustment to the price but an overpayment of the expense charged to the credit card.

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    • lindsay_g I had this happen in the past and being able to budget those funds towards another category is all that saved me from the "I want my money back now" feeling! 

      Like 1
    • Faness Hey, no worries. It's a new day. 

      I meant the original transaction that was adjusted.  Why didn't the 15 cents go back to that category? 

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    • Move Light Sound Life If the transaction was initially entered for $25 and then adjusted to $24.85, that 15 cents should have gone back to that category. The original transaction isn't causing the overage, the payment towards the card is, so the amount of the original transaction should directly affect your category.

      The payment (overpayment in this case) moves money between accounts and caused a positive balance, which showed in your To Be Budgeted. The overpayment doesn't go back to the credit card category because that positive amount is seen as new dollars that need jobs.

      Like 1
    • Faness I think I understand it now, thanks for your time! 

      Like 1
    • Anytime Move Light Sound Life ! Sorry it took me a bit to get to the end there! :)

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