CC showing "Available Amount For Payment"

Some context: This is my second week using YNAB. I started in the middle of the month so some things, like rent show $0 activity(Not sure if that's where my problem comes from. I pay off my CC balance every month usually by making 2-3 payments throughout, and try to use it for most of my purchases to earn rewards. All of my accounts are currently reconciled and my starting balance on my CC was -$690.75.

On 3/12 and 3/17 I made payments of $79.78 and $731.71 respectively,  from my Discover Checking to my Apple Credit Card for a total of 811.49. There's also inflow of $1.18 from my cash-back, and a refund  from Adobe both reflected as an inflow-TBB on the Apple Card. Two transactions are currently pending on the Apple CC so I have a working balance of $55.41.

The issue comes when I look to my actual budget, it shows an activity of -$617.88, I am so lost on where this number came from. I tried adjusting the 'budgeted' for my Credit Card to reflect the 2 payments I've made this month, -$811.49, but when I do that I see the correct Current Balance of $55.41, but it then shows a "Available for Payment" of $193.61 in the Credit Card menu.

The info drop down on "Activity" for my CC shows the correct payments made this month and I see its subtracting $193.61 from the "Budgeted Spending" category to get the -$617.88(Pictured above). I am not sure how YNAB is calculating that.

Shouldn't the activity total be the same as the total payments, less the $55.41? So the "Available for Payment" should equal $0 or am I misunderstanding what the "Available for Payment" means?

or

Should I budget the total payments made this month, $811.49, and leave the the "Available for Payment - $193.61" if so, what would I do with that balance?

or 

Should I budget for the amount that the activity category($617.88) is reflecting? I fear this option would mean my budget would no longer be trustworthy. 

Thank you in advance!

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  • No. Activity is based on Budgeted Purchase transactions and Payments within the current month only. It's also the least important column shown in the Credit Card Payment categories.

    What is important is that you want The Available amount to be the exact amount necessary to pay off the CC balance as shown in YNAB. You should remove $58.42 from the Budgeted column so that the Available and card balance align.

    One thing to note is that Inflows to TBB in a credit card reduce the balance of the card but don't change anything  in the payment category. If you want to make that money available for your budget, you have to remove it from the payment category because you no longer need to reserve that money for payments. Which goes back to removing the $58.42 from the category.

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  • Hey there! These are great questions, and I definitely understand how that window can get confusing. While the "available" column is going to be your north star - this dictates how much cash you have set aside for you payment - I'm happy to dig into the activity window a bit! First, you might find this article helpful.

    Cornflower Blue Cartridge said:
    Shouldn't the activity total be the same as the total payments, less the $55.41? So the "Available for Payment" should equal $0 or am I misunderstanding what the "Available for Payment" means?


    The "total activity" is calculated based on movement of money into an out of the Credit Card Payment category - not the credit card itself (not super intuitive, I know!). So this number comes from the amount of money that got to your Credit Card Payment category by way of budgeted spending, and money that left your Credit Card Payment category by way of payments or returns. 

    All that said, as far as budgeting goes: much of the time, you won't need to budget directly to the Credit Card Payment category at all. Once you've budgeted for the starting balance on the card, money will automatically move as you spend budgeted funds. Like nolesrule mentioned, if you pay your card in full, you'll want to be sure your green available amount always matches the red negative balance on the card. As long as that's the case, you're golden! 

    I hope this helps, but feel free to thread any other questions that come up.

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    • Rachel nolesrule

      These answers helped me out a lot, thank you!

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