Consolidating categories into one for CC spending?
So, I've been using YNAB for a few months now and I've found my categories have continued multiplying, which I realize will happen, but I feel like I need to simplify in order to keep me on top of things.
One thing I've noticed is that I fund about 4 categories every month with the same amount, and inevitably move that money to my credit card category (unlinked account) and then track my monthly credit card payment from my Accounts tab. I feel like this adds extra steps.
I put all 4 of these charges on my credit card because I don't like giving out my debit card number for anything. So, today it occurred to me that I could save some money moves each month by just combining these categories into one with the total amount combined, but I'd like input from the wise YNABers here -- are there benefits to keeping it granular?
Are the actual charges related in some way that they should be in the same category? Categories are for the types of things you are spending money on.
I mean, I put everything on my credit card that I can, but I don't combine unrelated bills like electricity, internet, and Hulu just because they all go on the credit card every month. On the other hand, I combine electricity and natural gas into a single category.
But ultimately you can do whatever you want.
Pineapple Gal said:
and inevitably move that money to my credit card category
The question is... Why are *you* manually moving the money to the credit card category? YNAB should do that for you if you're budgeting to the original category.
Did you perhaps not budget for the starting balance of the card at the beginning of your YNAB time?
Pineapple Gal said:
categories and I think I have about 40 in total
Heehee. I just counted. I've got 109, counting Wish Farm/List, but not counting deductions.
Some are for holding, some are for priorities I would like to afford someday, some I hardly interact with because the bills just go, some I hardly interact with because I save the money and hope to never need it, and only a few are high-frequency.
If you want to be granular, I don't understand why you wouldn't want the CC on budget. It actually saves work if handled correctly.
I would suggest either taking a class to learn how the mechanism works or (only if you don't carry debt) adding your CC as a checking account on budget.
If reconciling is an issue, file-based import is quite handy. It often saves going through transactions line by line.
Don’t do this. Put your credit card on budget.
just making sure that point doesn’t get lost in the discussion of categories. If those are 4 separate types of expenditures they should be 4 categories. It is a bad idea to have categories that are related to either the account of the transaction (you see this more often with “savings account” categories) or the payee (“Amazon” is another unhelpful category).
Your credit card is a type of legal tender and is an account. Make it an account.