CC overspending with no other categories overspent
My credit card account is showing overspending (or not enough set aside for payment) but I'm unable to find a corresponding budget category that is overspent or drawing on credit, even after going back over many months.
From what I have been able to find here, if my CC balance becomes positive it can stop acting like a CC account and this can cause some issues. I had a large refund on my credit card back in November that I assigned back to the budget category the original purchase came from. Should I have handled it differently?
Is there a way to get more information about which transactions have had their amounts moved to the credit card account to cover the next payment and which ones have not?
Unfortunately there isn't a way to track exactly how this happened, and where the money went. I don't believe that you handled it wrong, YNAB just handles things oddly sometimes.
I expect you found the culprit with the large refund in November. Here's my understanding of what would have happened at that point. (No, I haven't done it myself to make sure I'm right; I don't want to risk causing issues in my budget, since there's no restore points that I know how to access)
When you received the refund, it would have added the money to your category, but also subtracted that much from your CC Payment category. If it was near enough to the end of the month, and your CC balance was low enough, it could have thrown your CC balance positive, and simultaneously put your CC Payment category negative.
YNAB won't let negative categories roll over into the next month, so the fact that you had a negative CC Payment category - which was correct, since the balance was positive - got wiped out when December rolled over, and then there were problems.
Honestly I don't know exactly how YNAB handles the minutia of returns on CCs, all I know is that their CC handling is far more fragile than I think makes sense. I know that there's issues with returns, but only sometimes. I know that there's definitely issues with the CC balance going positive. There's also problems with turning in rewards for a statement credit or cash back that gets credited to the CC. Especially if it gets categorized as TBB.
Personally, I use a workaround where I have my CC set up as a checking account so far as YNAB is concerned. This makes the things mentioned above behave, but if I ever need to carry a balance because of truly unbudgeted spending - I dunno, the car explodes and I have to put a new engine in - I won't have the stock CC handling's capability of handling CC debt and not making the negative balance subtract form my TBB each month.
Honestly I don't know exactly how YNAB handles the minutia of returns on CCs, all I know is that their CC handling is far more fragile than I think makes sense.
Agreed 100% I had a large return that sent the whole card positive for a month. I couldn't track down how to fix it, the behavior was odd ever time I charged something. I was all the time running in circles, I'd charge something in a category and the cc balance wouldn't budge. I'd fix that manually (don't recommend) and it would stay fixed until the next charge. It worked it's self out after the balance was neg again and I made a payment.
Hi Gray Projector !
Here's a quick article on what happens when you have a Positive Balance on a credit card. When there's a positive balance on a credit card, there's no debt to cover when you make new purchases - so funds aren't moved to that category until the card goes back into the negative.
Depending on your card and category balance when you received the refund, you may need to adjust the category balance. If you didn't do that in November, you can do it now to get things back on track. :)
I'm getting more convinced that YNAB is counting the CC refund twice and this is making the amount reserved for next payment incorrect.
Here is the budget category with the refund for the month of the refund ("Interior Nov 2018"):
There are only two credit items in this category, one is spending and one is a refund. Combined, -kr 8460 + kr 2790 = -kr 4670 was spent on credit. But YNAB has only recorded -kr 1090,44 of credit spending, and so has only reserved -1090,44 for the next credit card payment.
Where did 1090,44 come from? If we look at the running balance of the CC account for November we can see the account did temporarily go positive and cease to be a credit account:
From the 12th of Nov to the 21st the balance of the account is positive. When the kr 8460 transaction comes in that is enough to tip the balance negative, the running balance of the account is kr 3579,56.
So then YNAB takes the -kr 4670 credit spending, looks at the CC account and sees the current balance is +3579,56, and decides it only needs to reserve -4670+3579,56 = -1090,44 for the next credit card payment.
But that's wrong! The balance of the credit card is not -1090,44, it is -4880,44. YNAB has double counted the kr 3790 refund - once to reduce the total amount of credit spending in the Interior budget category, and then again when deciding how much of the credit spending has to be reserved for the next payment! It should do one or the other, either would be fine, but not both of them!
The result of this, at the end of the month, is that the total debt on the credit card account is 13880,36 but YNAB has only reserved 10050,76 for the next payment.
This looks like a bug to me. I think that maybe if I assigned the refund transaction to the Inflow budget category first, and then allocated the amount back to the category the item came from then this would have been avoided.
Refunds or reimbursements received in a later month for spending in a previous month, should be categorized as Inflow: To Be Budgeted.
This makes absolutely no sense. If I have a Kitchen Reno category and I buy a faucet on October 31 but then realize it is not right for the farmhouse sink I want and return it on November 1, the refund should be to the Kitchen Reno category because otherwise my spending reports will always reflect that I bought that faucet - which I didn't because I returned it for a full refund. The fact that YNAB's credit card handling makes this an arduous process that requires fussing with credit card payment category should not be the reason to do something that makes no logical sense when trying to track how much I am spending on a reno project. It's situations like these where it is glaringly obvious that the credit card handling was thrown together in 2 weeks in order to get this product on the market at the end of 2015 in time for people dealing with their New Year's resolutions to be better about finance.
I am with you guys 100%. I'm in the same mess because I just returned expensive shoes after I paid the last statement. And then I bought even more expensive shoes. I don't need that showing up twice in my Shoes & Accessories category. I've already beat myself up enough! I'm going to figure out a workaround if it takes me all day. This is lame.