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?
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.
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! :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)