Issue Editing Credit Card Payment Category

I got the free trial, and I am really excited about YNAB. Everything is great except for the way Credit Cards work. When I add a credit card, YNAB forces it into a "Credit Card Payment" category, and I cannot edit the name. I also notice that if I try to add another loan that is not a line of credit as a liability, it puts the loan account into a "Tracking" section and does not let me categorize transactions. I guess I am confused as to how liability accounts work in YNAB. I would like to be able to categorize my own liabilities, and I would like to be able to set a category to the transactions I make on the liability accounts that are not lines of credit. Is this not an option? 

19replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • The Credit Card Payment category is hard coded and can't be changed. It just keeps track of what you've spent on your card so you set aside enough to cover it in your CC payment. You track the CC spending categories in the normal categories.

    What kind of loan are you trying to add? You should only have accounts that you spend from in your budget accounts. When adding accounts, the interface will show you what types of accounts will go into your budget and which will become tracking accounts. If you want it in your budget, pick one of the budget type accounts. You can only categorize new transactions. You can't go back and categorize pre-YNAB spending. You start from now.

    https://www.youneedabudget.com/ultimate-get-started-guide/

    Like 1
  • Hi Cadet Blue Sidewinder !

    Credit cards are handled a special way in YNAB (money is moved between those categories for you based on budgeted spending), so the Credit Card Payments category is just for credit cards and lines of credit.  To learn more about how credit cards work in YNAB, take a look at our Quick Start Guide to Credit Cards and consider taking our Master Credit Cards with your Budget workshop.

    Tracking accounts are for accounts that you want to keep track of in your budget. For instance, you don't budget with your Mortgage account, however, you may want to keep track of the balance, so you can add it as a Tracking account. Here's a blog post that goes over The How and Why of Tracking Accounts

    If there's a certain account you have questions about setting up, let me know and we can walk through it! :)

    Like
  • Thank you for your prompt responses. The more I use YNAB, the more understand it, and the more I love it. Thank you for creating an amazing budgeting tool. 

    I have some suggestions as a new user. Could the "Credit Card Payment" category be renamed "Debt Payment Category," and could all debt be programmed the same way as credit card debt? The reason I am making this suggestion is that I like to track the fees & interest I paid on all of my debt. I discovered I can do that on credit cards by adding a category of "Fees & Interest" and adding an outflow on the credit card account once the fees & interest are assessed. 

    However, non line of credit accounts get tricky. Let's use a mortgage for example. If I add a mortgage as a line of credit, I can add to the Fees & Interest, but my mortgage is lumped into a "Credit Card Payment" category. I do not like this as technically a mortgage is not a credit card. I tried to add a mortgage as a non line of credit account, but the account goes into the tracking section and I cannot add a category to any transactions. This means I cannot easily add to Fees & Interest for non line of credit accounts. Also, not all lines of credit are credit cards, for example a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Currently, if I add a HELOC it gets lumped into a "Credit Card Payment" category as well. 

    A simple solution would be to just make the "Credit Card Payment" category be a catch all "Debt Payment" or "Liability Payment" category then program all debt to act the same way. This would allow users to calculate things like Fees & Interest on all of the debt no matter the type of debt.

    Again, I want to emphasize that YNAB is an awesome tool. I believe this simple change would make it even better! I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and I thank you for creating such a valuable product/service.

    Like
    • Cadet Blue Sidewinder There are a couple of reasons we don't recommend adding your mortgage as a credit card/line of credit in YNAB, although if it works for you, do it!

      The main reason is that we've built credit card handling in YNAB with a number of features that are really only useful for when you're spending directly from a line of credit. Specifically, as you know, when you make budgeted purchases on a credit card in YNAB, money automatically moves from your spending category to your Credit Card Payment category.

      That's very handy for credit cards, but much less useful for other types of loans. You don't need a special category to keep track of how much money you have set aside to pay your mortgage—a regular category can handle that just fine, with or without a tracking account to keep track of the remaining balance.

      Like
  • I want to clarify my last post. I track AND budget the Fees & Interest on all of my debt. I believe in budgeting for Fees & Interest to really get a concept of how much debt costs. This is why I would love a good solution for including Fees & Interest on all types of debt specifically as a budgeted item.

    Like
    • Cadet Blue Sidewinder 

      I will say that I track interest for mortgage/student loan in the tracking accounts - just make a transaction for them. 

      If you really want to include them in the budget, you'll likely need to do a workaround like you described and list them as budget accounts. Though, I think LOCs are put in a Debt category group automatically, if I recall correctly. 

      I'm just curious - will the interest amount change your budgeted amount?

      Like
  • Sorry, the more I mess around in YNAB, the more I discover. Really, my suggestion is to rename "Credit Card Payments" category to "Liability Payments." As far as programming debt. I will just add all of my debt as lines of credit whether it is or not. I do not see much use in adding any liabilities as a tracking account only, so I will elect to never do that myself.

    Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Cadet Blue Sidewinder 

      Cadet Blue Sidewinder said:
      I will just add all of my debt as lines of credit whether it is or not.

       You do not want to do this. Just don't.  Don't be stubborn about this.

      You can create your own category group for debt payments that are to accounts other than credit cards.

      Additionally, if you never actually plan to make purchases on a credit card, then you don't even need the card in YNAB, and like a loan can have it as a liability account outside the budget or not in YNAB at all.

      Like 3
  • Move Light Sound Life , I agree with you that I will just add all of my debt as budget accounts. I do not see much point in the tracking account feature to be honest. I would still like it if all budget debt was not labeled as "Credit Card Payments." I think "Liability Payments" is more appropriate. 

    To answer your last question, the interest amount does change my budget amount. Depending on the type of debt and the compounding of the interest, the Interest & Fees can fluctuate. When I make my budget at the beginning of the month I calculate what I expect the Fees & Interest to be on all of my debt, and I budget them out first. Budgeting Fees & Interest first really lets me see the cost of my debt.

    Like
    • Cadet Blue Sidewinder I use the tracking accounts to keep on top of what I pay my kids (3 kids in college). They have scholarships and we made a deal to pay them half of their scholarship money in cash minus expenses they incur each month. So, for example, eldest gets $650/month from us. But he has a subscription to YouTube Red (whatever that is?) for 12.99/month, charged to my credit card. So I put 650 in his tracking account and deduct 12.99. I can keep track of what we owe them in reality that way, and send a payment at the end of the semester once grades are in, since they don't get paid if they flunk and lose the scholarship. 

      Like 1
    • Cadet Blue Sidewinder It's my turn to make myself clear - my mortgage and other loans live in tracking accounts.

      I would echo Superbone   in saying that if you want to track interest in the budget, make a split transaction when you pay your mortgage. Payee: To Mortgage, top line: total leaving checking, 2nd line category: mortgage (the amount going to your principal), 3rd line category: interest (the amount going to interest). 

      I don't see the point of having the mortgage/loan on budget, since you don't spend money from those accounts, nor do they hold money. Why is it important to you to have them on budget?

      Like
    • Also, if you have them as tracking accounts, then your reports will show payments made to that debt. If you put all of your debt on budget, the reports don't include those payments and the only way to tell is by looking at net worth (which has CC debt reduction bundled together with savings, so you still have to get the data and calculations yourself).

      What you're trying to do with tracking interest can be done in YNAB, but the most fully-featured way is with the tracking accounts. Make a slight modification to your desired workflow and you reap rewards in data because you get to use the program as intended.

      Like
  • Matthew said:
    That's very handy for credit cards, but much less useful for other types of loans. You don't need a special category to keep track of how much money you have set aside to pay your mortgage—a regular category can handle that just fine, with or without a tracking account to keep track of the remaining balance.

    And I'll add to that since Cadet Blue Sidewinder wants to track their mortgage interest, that they can have a Mortgage Interest category and they can make a split transaction when it comes time to pay the mortgage so they can track the interest from the rest of the payment separately if they so desire.

    A mortgage should be a tracking account or not in YNAB at all. I have mine as a tracking account as well as a House asset account only since I want to track my net worth in YNAB.

    Like 3
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Superbone My take is YNAB is principally a planning tool. Since mortgage interest is going to happen regardless, the "planning" is effectively out of your control until maturity. So my recommendation is for a category for the entire payment. KISS is usually a good strategy.

      Like 4
      • Annieland
      • YNABbing every day since 2009!
      • Annieland
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I totally agree.  When I started YNAB 10 years ago I didn't for a second consider abandoning regular personal finance software and still haven't.  And these days, with more software choices, every brokerage having tools and apps, spreadsheets in the cloud, Personal Capital, etc. there are so many places to easily track assets and liabilities and get a generally accurate picture of net worth.

      I use YNAB for everything that requires making a decision.  Actionable items.  And that's actually what sets YNAB apart from at least 90% of other financial apps out there.  

      Like 2
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Mine as well and is exactly how I handle it. I was just giving the OP options since that is what he was looking to do.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      If I want to see how much mortgage interest I paid, I can go to my mortgage website and see every little detail.

      Like 2
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I agree. I do the split transaction, but it's really not necessary and does create some additional work to make sure the budget lines up with the actual payment split.

      Like
  • Wow. Thank you for the awesome feedback. I had not even considered split transactions for tracking accounts. That is how I will handle non line of credit debts. Thank you for the wonderful ideas and insights. 

    For line of credits specifically though, is it possible to have non credit card line of credits be their own category? As it stands now, if I add a credit card it goes into the "Credit Card Payments" category. If I add a HELOC it also goes into the "Credit Card Payments" category. I do not mind putting all of my credit card debt in one category, but HELOCS and other non credit card lines of credit are not credit card debt. Just having a "Line of Credit Payments" category would be great. 

    Otherwise, now that I am aware of split transactions and how I can use them for tracking accounts, YNAB is perfect! Thank you YNAB team for making an awesome product! It was also really cool to see how different users are applying YNAB in different ways. Keep rockin' everyone :)

    Like 1
Like Follow
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 19Replies
  • 100Views
  • 9 Following