I paid my credit card balance twice resulting in a credit balance.

I accidentally paid my credit card balance twice, once through the credit card website, and another time through my bank's bill pay.  It resulted in a credit balance of $88.94.  I tried spending the credit by charging things on the card, but when I do that, it deducts money from my available budgeted categories.  Any suggestions on what I should do now to fix this would be appreciated!

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  • A positive CC is exactly like a checking account, because you don't have to pay those purchases back. So yes, money leaving spending categories is exactly correct.

    Additionally, your CC Payment category should be $0 while the account is positive. Fortunately, TBB was also increased, so you have funds to cover any negative in that category.

    Like 2
    • dakinemaui Thanks!  That helps me a lot. I thought I had messed everything up. 

      Like 1
  • This is NOT how it is working for me.  I paid my Amazon twice :(    I followed the instructions on the help which says this: 

    "Because this account is now behaving like a cash account, when you make a purchase on a card with a positive balance, no money will move to the Credit Card Payment category. That’s because YNAB is smart enough to know you don’t have to pay back that spending on the card.

    Once the balance is negative, YNAB will start moving money for budgeted purchases to the Credit Card Payment category."

    So my available balance was zero and the account itself was correctly showing the $332.21 credit, HOWEVER, I made a purchase and now the available balance is a red negative number -$21.22.  YNAB is NOT smart enough to know I don't have to pay that, apparently. 

    Any way to fix this?

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      FmrMSFan If you mean the CC Payment category is now red after it was $0, that is due to a return (categorized inflow), not a purchase. Additionally, TBB would have increased, so use those funds to clear the red, setting the Available back to $0. (If you already budgeted those funds elsewhere, reallocate from the lowest priority category with funds.)

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    • FmrMSFan Is it the Credit Card Payment category or the spending category that's red and negative?

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      • FmrMSFan
      • 56north
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      FmrMSFan Edit:  I was able to fix it.  I had recorded another purchase prior to transferring the money to cover the second payment.  I deleted purchase and the money transfer and did them over in the correct order and now it is acting as it should  The Available amount for the Amazon category is zero and the overage in the Account gets reduced as purchases are made.  Eventually I'll use up the overage, and everything will be back to normal. 

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      • FmrMSFan
      • 56north
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      FmrMSFan Edit2:  Although the Available amount for the Amazon category is remaining zero and the overage in the Account is getting reduced as purchases are made, I feel like I'm "paying" for purchases twice!.  I moved the money to cover the second payment from my 'Cash Reserve' category, and all seems good.  However, I just made a purchase of eyeglasses for $100.35 and, although that amount was properly removed from the Amazon Account balance, it was also removed from my Medical category.  So, I've essentially paid twice.  Once from the Cash Reserve (which funded the overage) and then from my Medical category. 

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      FmrMSFan YNAB increased TBB when you took the account positive. Effectively, it moved funds from the payment category (turning it red) to TBB. You should have moved it back at that point, in accordance with Rule 3. If you didn't notice and put those funds elsewhere, it was money you didn't really have in the first place.

      TLDR; yes, you budgeted twice, but one of those times was with fake money.

      Like 1
      • FmrMSFan
      • 56north
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui AH!  No it did not increase the TBB!  And yes, I understand that the first payment was fully funded by the appropriate categories as purchases were made, and the second payment had to be covered from somewhere....That's why I moved money from my cash reserve category to the Amazon category.  But at no time did the cash for the extra payment appear in TBB.  This is another reason I really, really wish YNAB had a more complete audit trail, move money log.  

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      FmrMSFan Guaranteed a payment that results in a credit balance (positive account balance in YNAB) will increase TBB and decrease the Payment category.

      Create a new CC account and record a payment to it from checking as a quick test. Undo afterward.

      Like 1
      • Scott
      • In the beginning the budget was created. This has made many people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move
      • Scottgoeshiking
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      FmrMSFan Think of an over-payment to a credit card like a balance transfer between two accounts. The account the money comes out of will decrease in funds, while the account the funds are paid into will increase, always resulting in a net zero change in wealth.

      YNAB is another layer on top of this. When you made the second credit card payment, you either recorded, or YNAB imported, the negative amount in your checking account and a positive amount in your credit card account. If those didn't show up as a transfer, you should change them to be a transfer. Once this part is done, your TBB should be unchanged, your account you paid from should be lower by the total amount you paid from both payments, and your credit card, if you overpaid the total balance, will show a negative dollar amount available (meaning it's carrying a balance) as the difference between what you owed and what you paid.

      The next thing you are doing is using your credit card to make a purchase. When you purchase something, you assign it to a spending category, not directly to the credit card. For example, clothing bought on the card would be assigned to a clothing category, and YNAB will apparently work it's magic, recognize the payment occurred on a credit card, see that the credit card has a positive balance, and make no change to the budget category.

      However I think it depends on whether you're making the cc payment in the same month that the over-payment occurred. Right now I have a positive balance on a CC that I over-payed, and I have no budget, no actuals, and no available on the cc category because the over-payment occurred in a previous month. YNAB will see that cc balance just like it would a checking account - as dollars that are allocated to something in your budget. This means, when you spend from the over-payed credit card in a category like clothing, the balance on the credit card would go down - much like if it were a checking account - and the available amount in the clothing category would go down as well. Because you spent money.

      If, on the other hand you make the credit card purchase in the same month you over-payed, YNAB will basically do the reverse of what it does when you charge to your card and incur a debt. It will recognize that you made a purchase to the clothing category and effectively transfer that same amount from the available credit card spend to the clothing category, which remains unchanged. Within that same month, the CC available amount will show as negative in the amount you overpaid.

      I think the missing link is in the monthly rollover. At that time, I believe, the negative available amount on a credit card that's overpaid is rolled into TBB so you can allocate it out to other categories.

      Edit: made about 1 trillion edits. But I'm done now.

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  • Scott said:
    an over-payment to a credit card [...] always resulting in a net zero change in wealth

    This is right.

    Scott said:
    Once this part is done, your TBB should be unchanged

    Intuitively, this is right, but it's not what YNAB does.

    Since the amount of cash in the budget hasn't changed, there must be a net zero change in the budget as well. The issue is the payment will decrease the CC Payment category. That mandates an increase somewhere else to balance, so TBB goes up.

    One should immediately cover the overspent Payment category (generally recommended for any category). This results in the intuitive situation where TBB and the Payment category ARE unchanged from their pre-payment values.

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  • Scott said:
    If, on the other hand you make the credit card purchase in the same month you over-payed, YNAB will [...] effectively transfer that same amount from the available credit card spend to the clothing category, which remains unchanged.

    I'm afraid this is not accurate, and whether the purchase was in the same month or next doesn't matter.**

    The key to remember: a credit account with positive balance acts like a checking account. An outflow in checking categorized as Clothing will decrease the clothing category. That's it. Nothing else in the budget (e.g., a credit card payment category) changes.

    (**) outflow transactions on the same day as the overpayment are deemed to happen first and would shift funds to the Payment category if funds were Available in the spending categories. That's the only timing-related thing to consider.

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