Credit on a Credit Card - not as easy as it sounds

I have a credit card that had a large refund to it. That caused the credit card balance to go positive. That's fine. When I enter new spending on the card, the card balance goes down and the category the spending is from goes down. However, the budget balance on the credit card does something I can't follow. Once it didn't change, another time it jumped up to twice the amount of spending I put in. Not sure what's going on, but it all started when the credit card balance went positive. 

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  • Right now YNAB is not sending anything to the payment category as your card doesn’t need to be paid....

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  • Usually when a CC account is taken positive, TBB will increase and the CC Payment category will go negative (red). You should budget those seemingly new funds back to the payment category. As long as your CC is positive, your payment category Available should be $0.

    The above is assuming you categorized the refund back to the original category used for the outflow. If you instead categorized the refund back to TBB (not recommended because it distorts spending averages & reports), you probably need to reduce the payment category to $0.

    Either way, budget whatever is necessary to make the payment category $0 and TBB non-negative.

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

    I budgeted the refund to TBB and then to the category is came from. I've been doing what you said each time I add new spending to the credit card. I thought I might be doing something wrong, but it sounds like other than the TBB step, I just have to made due until the real balance is negative again. Thanks!

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

    I'll just add, that is really confusing when I spend money I have money to budget. 

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    • Hi Khaki Storm !

      We made a video of what happens when a credit card has a positive balance. There's also this Help Doc - Positive Balance on a credit card.  The positive balance should have initially appeared in your To Be Budgeted, once budgeted towards your spending categories using the credit card should take away from your categories just like using a checking account. :)

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

      Faness Well, I think I didn't understand what was going on and tried to adjust the credit card category to make it right, which didn't. 

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    • Ben K. How are things looking now?

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

      Faness It's broke. I'm not sure what I did, but I seem to have found a way to create money out of thin air. I'm still at a positive real life balance. Once that goes down, may just create a new cc account and hide the old one. 

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

      Ben K. One thing I did, since this spanned a month, was reconciled the cc account. It seems like the reconciled balance just assumes you're negative, because if I put in say 75.07 as my balance, it assumes it is negative. Also, if I put in -75.07, it takes it as negative as well. I'm back to owing the cc money, so we'll see how it behaves now.

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    • Ben K. We can take a look if things still seem off! We'd just need you to enable Support Access for your account. However, if it's a reconcile issue, we won't be able to get to the bottom of things since we can't pinpoint missing or incorrect transactions.

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

      Faness Looking back, I think the reconcile is when it went sideways. If it doesn't straighten out when I pay it down to zero, then I'm going to add a new card account and close this card account.

      Reply Like
      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Ben K. I think it's back on track. Here's what I think the main issue was: You could say the refund paid the cc (or I paid the cc, either way) and still had credit card purchases from other cat. driving (negative orange) categories. It was a bit of a circular game to re-budget it all. I'd re-budget money from category A to B to cover the cc purchase, which turned it orange and zero bal in cat., then the cc cat. bal. would increase, which wasn't reality either because I already paid it down to zero, so I'd re-budget money out of that cat. into another cat. that didn't have a cc purchase in it. Bottom line: I entered three new cc purchases and the cc cat. balance increased by the amount of the purchases and the cat. balances each purchase came from went down. I think I'm back on track, but I'll be calling support if I get another refund!

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    • Ben K. It sounds like you were able to get things ironed out, which is great! If you need us, we'll be here! :)

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

      Ben K. FYI, put +75.07 (including the +) if you want the reconciliation to use a positive balance on a liability account. The vast majority of people put 75.07 when they really mean -75.07.

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

      dakinemaui Thanks!

      Reply Like 1
  • I have the exact same issue. I'm not a fan of the new way YNAB handles credit cards as my balance is never what I actually owe (or what the surplus is).

    Reply Like 1
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Tomato Captain Your cleared balance in YNAB should always match the cleared balance of the credit card.  If you are a paid in full user you should also have that same amount set aside in your payment category.  When your statement comes, then you can just pay it.

      Reply Like 2
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  • 2 mths agoLast active
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