YNAB Assumes Category overage is covered by credit card... why?

YNAB is making some assumptions with category overages are covered that is new, and I don't understand.

I over spent my Grocery budget by 18.53 this month.  Okay, no biggie.  I can cover it by under utilized budgets categories no problem.

The problem / Issue:

I have two CC's onbudget.  I use them for FUEL and travel (work etc) for the kickbacks and they are paid off monthly.

For some reason, when I entered this grocery purchase, which was made on my BANK account (checking) YNAB is assuming the transaction was landed with my Citi card, and now shows a negative balance for the CC, coupled with the overage on the category.

I have triple checked that the transaction is entered in checking, and doesn't show up on the CC register.  

Why is YNAB assuming I chose one of my two cards to make this purchase, and decide that I now carry a 18.53 balance on that card? 

As soon as I cover the category overage, the citi card activity goes to zero, and the flag goes away.  

I am a YNAB toolkit user, and this behavior is present with, or without that enabled.

 

What gives? THis is new behavior.  It used to steal from next month until I rectified it.  February doesn't register this negative carry over.  Fully funded (still).

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  • After playing with this, I found something very interesting.  There is only one spending category that does this.  Groceries.

    I created a ghost transaction for 100 bucks for groceries, and another for auto maintenance that would put me 100 OVER on that category.

    The grocery category was the ONLY one that defaulted to the CC, the Auto maintenance one just went red like it should.

    This looks like a Bug with YNAB to me

    Reply Like
      • mamster
      • mamster
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Tan Koala This is not a bug. YNAB prioritizes credit card overspending over cash. You probably have both credit and cash spending on your groceries category but not your Auto Maintenance category. Whether YNAB should do this is up for debate, but it's intentional.

      Reply Like 2
    • mamster  I do have a single transaction for this category on that CC. 

      I wasn't aware it prioritized it in that way.  Good to know, thanks for the feedback.

      Reply Like 2
  • I am still new to trying to figure this mystery on things all out... thanks for this post ....it is explaining some of why I could NOT reconcile or figure things out...

     

    like right now my bank account is reconciled...but my CC is in the red..and when I add a transaction the number goes DOWN instead of UP...  I am more messed up then ever..... Thoughts?

    Reply Like
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Tomato Drill Have you covered all overspending in your budget? If not, do that and see what happens.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Tomato Drill The CC Payment category is independent of your account balance, so the fact you've reconciled your CC account is a bit immaterial. (Although, it's good you have done so, because it ensures YNAB agrees with reality.) 

      Right now that Payment category is red/negative, which is a problem. Budgeted purchases always increase this payment Available, and increasing a negative number takes it closer toward $0. It looks smaller, but it's actually not.

      You really need to clear all red categories. (Same for TBB is that's red/negative.) Click on the red/negative Available value and select a category from which to reallocate.

      Reply Like
  • If you are always a paid in full credit card user then you are probably better off setting your credit cards up as checking accounts.  YNAB does prioritize credit over cash and the software does not have the fidelity to differentiate the order of spending.  I have had the same thing happen but it assigned a cash overspend to 2 different credit cards, talk about confusion.  I also like all of my overspending to show up as red.

    Of course if you always immediately cover overspends then you will not have the problem either way.

    Reply Like 1
  • YNAB is prioritizing the cash purchases in the interest of keeping categories backed by cash. Therefore, it will short the CC Payment category (if it can) before letting overspending go red. It will only do this within a single category, which is the part I find inconsistent. 

    Personally, I'd prefer this was not automatic, but then I also detest the automatic debt growth they've switched to. I'm clearly not part of the target market for whom such features would be useful. The trouble is, once people have started on a better path, those very features demand additional effort (as you're finding). The business logic is clear -- convert trials to subscriptions -- and the design reflects this.

    Reply Like 2
  • ynaber2613 said:
    Of course if you always immediately cover overspends then you will not have the problem either way.

     It may not be obvious to everyone, but if you want to finance a purchase, you can cover that overspending from the CC Payment category. (It's still new debt, of course.) This turns off the warning, but more importantly, effectively keeps this confusing behavior at bay. An even more pernicious scenario occurs when you've used multiple cards as well as cash -- it's not obvious to me, at least, which card it will choose to short.

    Reply Like 1
  • so am I really not in Debt? with the RED in the Credit Card Category? and yes my goal is each month to pay it off...and sometimes it works that way.. but I am truly and utterly confused....

    Reply Like
    • Tomato Drill Red in your credit card category means you paid more towards your credit card than you had available in your credit card category. Here's a video explaining the reasons why this can happen. That red doesn't necessarily mean you're in debt, but your budget is out of line. You'll want to budget enough towards your credit card category to cover that overspending. :)

      Reply Like
    • Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I'm new to YNAB and not following the problem. I have multiple types of credit and this hasn't happened yet. I enter the spending directly on the credit card  or paypal credit account. 

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  • I experienced this yesterday and was thinking it was a bug. I paid for groceries with my debit card after having charged them to Discover earlier in the month. I knew I had overspent the Groceries category by a few dollars, so after entering the transaction, I went into my budget to move dollars around and was told I'd overspent on credit and I had better assign $3.24 to my credit card payment category. I was totally baffled (having just paid the Discover balance in full the previous day and NOT used the card since) and wound up deleting the transaction and re-entering it *after* moving more money into the Groceries category. 

    It's easy enough to avoid this problem in the future now that I know what triggers it, but I don't understand why YNAB needs to do this at all. I'm three months in and haven't had much trouble with the credit card handling in general - it has mostly made sense to me so far, but this part is mystifying.

    Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Olive Branch If you had overspending, the available amount in your payment category would have been less than the amount you owed. If you ignored that and paid the full amount anyway, of course it will turn red. Paying more than is available -- in any category -- will result in overspending.

      You didn't have to delete the transaction. Simply correcting the overspending in Groceries would have flowed into the CC Payment category and fixed things. YNAB doesn't care when during the month you edit the budget.

      Reply Like
      • Olive Branch
      • Librarian/Info Pro
      • olive_branch
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Yes, I realize that now...Seeing red in unexpected places tends to freak me out. 🙂

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