Goal does not seem to account for payments
On a credit card I have a starting balance of $4,413.36.
I have a goal set up to pay it off every month.
I received a payment of $2,058.32. The working balance is now $2,455.04
However, the goal thinks I must pay $4,413.56. Why? Shouldn't the goal take into consideration the payment that came in?
A card with "paid-in-full" status has money reserved to pay the entire account balance. That way, you could pay the account... wait for it... in full. 🙂 The Payment category Available should match the account balance (as a positive number) in this case.
If you only have enough reserved in the category (the Available amount) to pay the statement balance, you're riding the CC float.
By definition when riding the CC float, you CANNOT afford to pay the statement balance when it's first received. You use the next 4ish weeks worth of budgeted purchases to raise the Payment category enough to pay the bill. But in a limiting case, that's only about HALF as much as you actually owe. (You owe the entire account balance.)
You don't have to pay more than the statement balance (what they asked for). However, you should be able to do so (and certainly can if you wish).Reply
Slate Blue Saxophone said:
it still feels like the Payment/Available column should drop if a payment comes in
That Payment/Available is how much you have reserved for your next payment, and it does drop when you make a payment. (Just like the Electric category Available drops when you pay the electric bill.
The problem is you didn't reserve anything to make the payment you made. (Those charges were made before starting YNAB, so YNAB cannot automatically reserve funds for you. You must do that.)
Having the entire account balance reserved (i.e., paid-in-full status) isn't keeping you 2 months ahead, it's keeping you 0 days ahead -- just as if you had used a debit card for that purchase. In actuality, you are currently ~2 months behind.
I would say, though, it's not YNAB's doing. Being 0 days ahead is how a paid-in-full CC setup operates. It's becoming apparent that you cannot treat this card as paid-in-full today, so configure the budget so you can meet your upcoming obligations, budget what you can to the CC, and then pay what is Available. Keep doing this and work toward paid-in-full status over time.Reply
Slate Blue Saxophone said:
I also see now that the TBB amount doesn't drop when a transfer happens. That also seems strange,
TBB is the money that doesn't have a job yet. Normally you would send the CC the money that has been assigned the job of paying the CC bill, so it doesn't need to reduce TBB. In this case, you're in a bit of "limbo", because you sent the CC money that had other jobs, but you haven't yet changed the job descriptions (moved money from other categories to the CC Payment category).
YNAB will not let this condition persist past the end of the month, and will reduce next month's TBB to correct the situation. The idea being when you do get more money, enough to deal with this situation is taken "off the top". (You can see this in the "Overspending" header entry in the March budget area.)
In your case, you haven't assigned any money to any jobs yet. Your first order of business should be to budget $4058.32 to cover the red category. Then make a plan with the rest. That means allocate dollars to categories in accordance to your future spending needs until TBB = $0.Reply
There is a detail that I think is adding to my confusion in this thread. I happened to start YNAB at a point when the credit card's account included a payment but the checking account hadn't yet cleared, but did so later. YNAB originally saw $2,355.04 for my Credit Card when the transactions downloaded, but later I manually adjusted it to $4,413.56 because I thought that was necessary.
To reiterate, here's the situation:
- Jan 31 – Credit Card balance: $4,413.36.
- Feb 1 – Credit Card auto payment occurs, $2,058.32 is paid.
- Feb 2 – YNAB trial begins. Starting balance is $2,355.04.
- Feb 4 – Payment in Checking clears. YNAB shows $2,058.32 transferred to credit card as payment.
If I did nothing, it appears that the starting balance already includes the payment and then the payment is applied a second time once the transaction finally clears in the checking account.
What should I make the starting balance for the Credit Card be? Or is it correct as it is on Feb 2? Or should I delete the Checking transfer since it's technically a duplicate?
Slate Blue Saxophone Sorry for the delayed response here, but you've been in good hands! :)
The others are exactly right! Since that spending came in before YNAB, you have to budget for it directly in the credit card category. Since you made the $2,058.32 payment, that needs to be entered in the Budgeted column of your credit card category. When you plan to pay the remaining $2,355.04 off, you'll need to budget for that as well.
Your checking account had a starting balance of $7,957.73, but only $5,602.69 should have been budgeted towards your spending categories - the remaining $2,058.32 needed to be budgeted towards your credit card to cover that payment.
Also, manually adjusting your credit card Starting Balance was the best way to go! :)Reply