How to reflect Amex Plan It feature?
So I somewhat impulsively made a $600 purchase, knowing I was not going to pay it off in one go. Instead, I used American Express’s Plan It feature to pay it off over the next 12 months at a fixed rate. YNAB pulled the transaction in as a full -$602, so I was wondering how I’m supposed to categorize this transaction? I already have a separate goal to meet my monthly $50 payment that is required for my new plan, so it doesn’t make sense to put it in that category because it will be “overspent” even though it actually isn't. Also, my CC is set up for paying off the full balance.
Silver Robot Hey there! If my understanding of AmEx's "Pay It/Plan It" feature correctly, then I assume the entirety of the initial purchase is still reflected in your overall AmEx balance owed - is that right?
If that's the case, I believe the simplest way to move forward here will be to:
- Categorize the purchase to the spending category it belongs in, letting that category have uncovered credit overspending.
- Budget directly to your AmEx's Credit Card Payment category for the monthly payments. If you want to leave that goal set on your budget category as a reminder, that could work! But ultimately, you'll want those $50 to land in your Credit Card Payment category every month.
Does that plan sound like it could work? Let me know if I'm not quite understanding the feature, and we can definitely keep digging into this!
The truly YNAB way to handle this is to budget the $600 in the appropriate category. Make the transaction. $600 moves to your card payment category. You are not obligated to send that $600 to the card, but it is now reserved for that purpose. Each month, you'll send only what Amex asks for.
Using a 0% loan to gain interest on money you already would've spent is a great strategy (within reason—I personally wouldn’t do it for $600 but would with say, a car). Using a 0% loan to try to pretend you didn't spend any money is a mind game that YNAB won’t let you play.