I will give up on YNAB if I can't understand credit cards.

Seriously, I am about to give up on YNAB because I can't figure out the credit card function. I pay my card off every month.  Why do I have a positive amount in activity? My actual payment was about $2,000 so why is the payment showing only $833.43?

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  • If you click on the activity figure, it will tell you what is going into that number. In general, the activity number is not of great importance, so if that's the only part of credit cards that's confusing, it's safe for you to just ignore it and keep using YNAB.

    The activity is the sum of spending and/or payments and/or returns.  This is what shows up for me, when I click on activity, for two of my cards:

     

     

    It looks like the number that shows up in the activity column is the sum of the positive funds that have transferred to available (funded spending) minus any payments made this month (which would subtract from available).

    Like 1
  • Your screen shot shows the budget view of your credit card. It is showing in the activity column that $833.43 has been assigned to that payment category in the selected month, due to transactions you have entered for that credit card. The Payment column shows the net of that Activity plus the $0 in the Assigned column, meaning that you have $833.43 ready to pay your next bill.

     

    If you want to see past activity, go to that credit card's account register (select it from the column on the  very right of your screen, assuming you are NOT on mobile). There you can all the activity on the card (including your prior $2,000 payment). That view will also show the $833.43 available for paying your next bill, up at the top of your screen.

     

    If you haven't yet, it would be worth reviewing the supporting materials on how YNAB handles credit cards.

    Like 3
  • Gold Jackal said:
    My actual payment was about $2,000 so why is the payment showing only $833.43?

    Your screenshot is telling you that at the moment in time that it was taken, you had $833.43 set aside in your budget to make a future payment to your credit card. The amount in the right hand column does not reflect the amount of a previous payment.

    Like 4
  • Hey, there! As @jenmas said, right now, it looks like you have $833.43 set aside in your Credit Card Payment category that can go toward a future payment. That money got there through what we call budgeted spending. That is, you made purchases on your credit card, categorized those purchases, and then assigned money to the categories—when you do that, the money will automatically move to your Credit Card Payment category to be set aside for payments.

    If you want to see what activity your credit card has already had this month, click on the Activity number as @fuzzballmeows suggested. You'll see all of the transactions that told YNAB you have that $833.43 available.

    I just sent you an email to ask if you'd like personalized one-on-one help. I'm happy to look at your budget and answer specific questions over email. :)

    Like 1
  • So many people struggle with this - you're not alone. And LOTS of people have figured it out, and I know you can too.

    So here's what happens when you make a purchase and enter the transaction in YNAB:

    When you enter a purchase on a credit card, you assign it to a category, say you spent $50 on groceries.

    As long as you have $50 available in your grocery category, YNAB will automatically deduct $50 from the available funds in the grocery category, and move it up to the Credit Card Payment category under the appropriate credit card that you spent it on. You'll see $50 in green next to the credit card (where you currently have $833 in your budget). Each time you make a purchase this happens, the money moves from the category you applied the transaction to up to the credit card payment category, which is how your $833 got there.

    When you are ready to make a payment, you simply make the payment and enter the transaction as a transfer between your bank account and your credit card. YNAB will deduct the funds out of the Credit Card Payment category and they will leave you budget. Your account balance (on the left on the budget screen, at the top on the individual account screen in a browser) will show the reflection of the money applied to the credit card account.

    The only time you need to add funds directly to the Credit Card Payment category is in the instance of outstanding debt. If you have outstanding debt from prior to beginning YNAB (or spending that you were not able to cover completely) then you need to move funds from Ready To Assign directly to the Credit Card Payment category. Otherwise, all of your payments for your credit card will be automatically calculated according the what you have funded in your budget when you enter the transactions and categorize them.

    So if you have paid $2000, but your credit card payment category says you have $833 that has been applied from your budgeted transactions, and you have entered the payment transaction correctly in your budget already, then you likely have applied money directly to the Credit Card Payment category instead of allowing the budget to transfer the money there for you.

    This would be a good time to reach out to the help support and double check what you have going on to figure out how to correct the situation. You may be able to move the $833 back into your budget, but to be sure you don't over budget yourself it's probably a good idea to check in with the help support to make sure. Just click the little question mark in the bottom right hand corner of your screen, and you can live chat with someone who can help you get it straightened out.

    Like 3
      • Debt Free Take 2
      • Divorced at 57, starting again
      • debt_free_take_2
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual This is my first month of active use and I have 2 transactions to 'categorize' - the payment in the bank account and the payment in the Credit Card Category in the budget (or maybe it is in the CC Account too???).  Please can you tell me what your statement mean (maybe in T accounts or the order and location where I open a transaction to change the category to Transfer) - you simply make the payment and enter the transaction as a transfer between your bank account and your credit card
      I found one document that said I need to change the Payee (but didn't say what the payee should be).  I found another that said to create a scheduled transaction (but didn't say how to fill it in).   This is NOT intuitive for a newbie.  Please help with specific instructions to get me through this as I will have 2 more credit card payments this month.  TIA!

      Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view
    • Debt Free Take 2 

       

      When you click Payee the group at the top is all of your other accounts. Selecting one of them will allow you to move funds from one account to another. If you are in your credit card account, then you select your checking account, and then enter the amount of the payment in the inflow category. (The reverse is true if you are working from your checking account, it would be recorded as an outflow to your credit card)

      Like
    • Debt Free Take 2 You'll use the built-in transfer payee, as Vibrant and farfromtheusual showed above.

      I'd encourage you to check out our new credit card video

       

      for an overview.

      Like
      • Debt Free Take 2
      • Divorced at 57, starting again
      • debt_free_take_2
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual  THANK YOU!   This description was the best and your picture was helpful.   I selected the credit card account and changed the payee of my imported transaction to "Transfer from Bank".  When I went to the Bank Account, the update had already been made to my automated entry.   In regards to the suggestion to make a scheduled transaction, would I input as payee Transfer and amount as the full payment (which I pay in full every month)?  Thanks again for explaining and showing it to me.

      Like 1
      • Debt Free Take 2
      • Divorced at 57, starting again
      • debt_free_take_2
      • 2 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Marisa   I will watch it again.  It will probably make more sense now that I have some experience.  I had signed up for the Wednesday Credit Card class but it was cancelled.  I'll try that again next week.

      Like 2
  • Hi. I just looked and there are several upcoming FREE webinars for credit card handling. I recommend you sign up. Credit card handling in YNAB is next level awesome. But it does take understanding how it works. I haven’t attended this webinar but I am sure it will be helpful. Here is the week schedule. 
     

    Like 1
      • Yes I can
      • yesican2020
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I have done the credit card webinars @MXMOM (although I may have just watched the recordings) and found them excellent. But I'm actually someone who likes how the credit cards work in the new YNAB. 

      Gold Jackal it is a bit of an effort to get your head around it, but you'll get there! 

      Like 1
      • Debt Free Take 2
      • Divorced at 57, starting again
      • debt_free_take_2
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM That was my plan.  I had signed up for the Wednesday Credit Card class but it was cancelled.  I'll try that again next week.

      Like 1
  • This answer might be cheating, but I would use the web version in these instances with the YNAB Toolkit installed.  Then you simply need to:

    1.  Select the credit card category

    2.  Click 'rectify difference'

    3.  De-select the credit card category or select another category

    Works 99% of the time for me.  Granted, understanding how it works under the covers is, I think, valuable to learn so you truly understand what is going on and why.

    Honestly, it works so well I'm not sure why YNAB does not have this feature natively.  Perhaps the new auto-assign feature has a function for this (I simply have not used auto-assign yet).

    Cheers!

    Like
  • You mentioned you pay your credit card balance every month.  If you are indeed a payed in full CC user then you might consider converting your credit card accounts to checking accounts, this will bypass all of the CC babysitting performed by YNAB.  A lot of us old time users that used the previous desktop version of YNAB have adopted this work around as that is how the older version worked.

    I do not like how credit cards are handled by the new YNAB either, it can get real wonky if you overspend a category in cash that had a previous CC purchase and have already paid the credit card off.  You would expect the category overspend to turn red but it turns yellow, YNAB assigns that overspend to one or more credit cards.  The reason for this is that YNAB prioritizes cash spending over credit spending, this would be OK if YNAB had the fidelity to differentiate transaction order but it does not, it only has a monthly fidelity.  By converting them to checking accounts all over spending is red, all under funding is yellow-simple.  I like to think of my credit cards as debit cards, I only use them for protection and rewards.

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

      I concur. If you really don't care to learn how YNAB handles credit cards then just convert them to checking accounts and be done with it. I do understand the credit card handling but as a PIF user, I prefer to run without the middleman and the babysitting required to keep the payment category in sync.

      Like
    • This works IF you are not on the credit card float, which I don't think the OP has clarified if they are or aren't (my hunch is that they actually are running the float and just don't know it yet, having just started with YNAB, and the "pay the cards in full" comment...)

      Like
  • Debt Free Take 2 said:
    maybe in T accounts

     Hi as a (fellow?) accountant I would say you have to not think of YNAB as an accounting application. There are no debits/credits.

    Are you using the web application or the mobile version? 

    Like 1
  • I'm still trying to get my head around this. If a category is at zero, and you use a debit card, why does it show up as yellow/credit debt? It should show as cash debt regardless as whether you used a credit card in the past for that category or not, because you didn't actually add that debt to your credit account, you paid with cash. 

    Like
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      JR because it isn't based on the last transaction that made you go over.  If you've spent in that category using a credit card, ynab has set the amount aside to pay the card.  If you then go over, it takes that money back from the credit card because you no longer have it to make the payment.  

      Like 1
  • But the charge hasn't been added to the card, so how would you "pay the card" for that amount?

    Like
  •  A more thorough explanation of my problem with this:

    YNAB is "choosing" to cover that cash spending by showing as being covered by credit, when that charge was not actually added to the credit account "in real life" for lack of a better term. If nothing is done about this debt in YNAB, that charge will still show as added to the credit card debt but won't match up with the actual credit card debt. If it's a cash/checking debt, that mismatch would be obvious - you have overspent that amount in cash, and that cash is gone from your checking account. And then if it wasn't covered it would show as a reduction against "ready to assign" for the next month. 

    I guess I don't see the logic, and I also don't understand the connection between the fact that there had been previous credit spending in the category. If there had not, this would have shown as a red cash debt?

    Like
      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      JR It can help to think about what's actually happening with your physical cash in the real world. 

      You set $100 aside in the envelope (category). This represents $100 of cash actually in your account, just as it would if you put a $100 bill in an envelope. 

      You then spend all $100. Let's say you spend $50 using debit (transaction #1), so $50 of the paper cash goes. Okay, that's understandable. Then you spend $50 on your credit card (transaction #2). YNAB helpfully moves that $50 from the "buy things" envelope to the "pay the credit card back for buying things" envelope.

      Then, by the magic of electronics, you're still able to use your debit card to keep buying things, even though the "buy things" envelope is empty. But before you can do that, you need to first get cash from somewhere, because you're back spending cash this time. You could have stopped and told YNAB where the cash was going to come from by moving money from another category before you spent. But you didn't do that; you chose to just say to YNAB "Spend cash." (transaction #3) So it claws back some of the $50 it had set aside to pay the credit card until you tell it if/how it should take the cash from somewhere else, because it has to prioritize the physical cash if you're going to spend physical cash. You're allowed to be in debt to the credit card, so it makes sense to take the money from that envelope until such time as you decide to solve that issue. 

      In this scenario, you still owe the card for the whole $50 you spent in transaction #2; the debt doesn't represent something new you owe the card because of transaction #3. But now less money is set aside for making that payment, because you told the budget that transaction #3 should be cash-based, so it took some of the cash out of the "pay the card" envelope.

      Like 3
  • Right, that all makes sense - it works better for me if it shows as a potential overdraft/borrow from the future, as it would if there were no credit spending in that category. I wish this were a function we could enable/disable. 

    Like
      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR If you'd like to do it manually, you can always choose the credit card payment category as the one to reduce before you do the cash spending. Same difference but it won't show the overspending in the category. 

      Like
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      JR You can use the YNAB toolkit. It has an option to show all overspending red, whether it's cash or credit.

      Like 1
      • WordTenor
      • Can we agree that goals are dumb and immature? Sure.
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses Turning all overspending red when the differences between the two mechanisms isn’t understood could be dangerous because it will obscure when overspending has been occurred using credit and won’t be covered by next month’s RTA  

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      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      WordTenor I read the comments from JR as saying the yellow is not prominent enough and doesn't prompt them to correct the overspending. But I could have been wrong.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses I just think that cash overspending should always be shown as red. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR in your scenario, you haven't overspent the cash yet. It wouldn't be until you go to pay the credit card back and pay more than was in the card payment category (the amount which was reduced by the additional cash spending) that you would have actual cash overspending.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule No, that category was at zero. There was no credit debt. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR But as soon as the next transaction spent cash, you no longer had enough cash held in reserve to pay back all of the credit spending that also was in the category, so YNAB removed the funds from the credit card payment category since it could no longer be used to pay back the credit card spending since you spent the cash.

      Or to put it another way, by spending the cash, you could no longer pay back the credit card for all the credit spending, so YNAB adjusted your credit card payment to only include cash that hadn't already been spent.

      Do you need to re-read WordTenor 's previous example or should we provide you with a new one.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I guess the point is, I understand the concept, but I find it unhelpful for YNAB to do that. I would rather that it show as a cash payment for that category, because that's what it was, regardless of previous credit activity in that category. The argument that the money has to come from somewhere isn't compelling because if there was no previous credit activity in that category it would still have to come from somewhere if there was nothing assigned, so it shows as a red overpayment, and if that doesn't get fixed it takes it from the future.  I  think It would be more helpful for that to happen regardless of whether there was credit activity in that category. Does that make sense?

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR overspending, not overpayment... 😑

      Like
    • JR Many people seem to like this argument. It's not how YNAB thinks about the situation, so it's likely not going to change.

      As long as you understand how YNAB thinks about the situation, you can disagree all you want. If you don't understand, then we need to keep trying to find a way to explain it that will allow you to understand. 

      The solution here is really just to move money from other categories to cover the overspending. Then you don't have to worry whether it's cash or credit overspend.

      Like 2
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows Ha, as I said I do understand it, I just find it unhelpful. And arbitrary - there's no real connection between whether there was or was not previous credit spending in a category. 

      Like
  • Fuzzball Meows said:
    The solution here is really just to move money from other categories to cover the overspending. Then you don't have to worry whether it's cash or credit overspend.

     JR This. If you are properly using YNAB according to the budget method  you should be covering your overspending as it happens... right away, shortly after or even before you actually spend the money. And one reason you should try to cover it before spending is that if you can't figure out where the money will come from, you still have the option to not spend the money at all.

    Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I don't believe there is necessarily a "proper" way to use YNAB. I just don't really use it that way, and after years of using it this is the first time this has happened, so something has changed. I just haven't heard a reasonable explanation of why they are choosing to do it this way. Again, not saying I don't understand the concept. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR well, there is a proper way to use it with some level of tolerance, because it's software built to support a specific budget method. if you don't follow the rules of the method, you'll find yourself butting heads with the software.

      The software has worked this way when overspending in a category that has a mix of credit and cash spending since the online YNAB was originally soft launched in Novermber 2015.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR 

      JR said:
      I just haven't heard a reasonable explanation of why they are choosing to do it this way.

      I would argue that either way of handling it could be reasonable, so that the current behavior is not unreasonable.

      That said, the  reasonable explanation is that the credit card feature has to support people paying down debt on their credit cards while still actively using them. And you can't pay money toward your credit card if you spent some of the cash that would have otherwise been used to pay the credit card.

      By pulling the funds back from the credit card payment category, you are actually keeping your budget in balance with your cash on hand, rather than waiting till the end of the month for YNAB to fix that imbalance.

      Since that logic is also applicable for people not carrying debt, they made it universal behavior.

      Like
  • The point is, my credit card payment isn't due for weeks. I haven't allocated funds yet. The transaction I made had nothing to do with a credit card. It was a simple cash transaction, and I knew I had cash to cover it and because that category was at 0 I expected it would show as a cash transaction (as YNAB support actually said it would). So when it pops up and labels it as credit card overspending, it simply isn't true. I think it's an arbitrary decision for YNAB to pull from the credit card than to pull from future spending. Which if would do if I hadn't made an earlier credit transaction in that category. That is the part I find especially arbitrary. Anyway, it's actually not that big of a deal (😂) I just find it kind of dumb. 

    Like
  • JR said:
    after years of using it this is the first time this has happened, so something has changed. I just haven't heard a reasonable explanation of why they are choosing to do it this way

     Hi JR ! It sounds like you understand that YNAB prioritizes spending from cash accounts, before chronology when moving money out of a category. This isn't something that has changed, but if you'd like to submit feedback, our product team is all ears!

    Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Marisa Thanks, I did suggest to a team member to make it something that one could enable/disable and they said they'd pass it along. Thanks! Really it isn't a big deal - I'm aware that I use YNAB differently than most so sometimes the features don't always fit exactly. This one just seemed especially arbitrary to me. 

      Like 1
  • JR said:
    The point is, my credit card payment isn't due for weeks. I haven't allocated funds yet.

     The way credit cards work in YNAB is that every CC purchase is intended to be backed by cash. You only allocate to your CC Payment category if you're paying down debt.

    In your case, you spent money in category X on a credit card. YNAB moved the money from category X to the Credit Card Payment category. 

    Then, you spent money from category X in cash, and it was more than was available. To align with reality, YNAB realizes that you didn't want to pay off the card yet, so instead of red (cash overspending), category X turns yellow. YNAB also converts that past credit spending that was funded into unfunded credit spending, increasing your debt.

    Unless in extreme situations, I'd recommend not ending the month with any negatives, yellow or red. Negatives mean that you're adding debt (credit) or you have less to work with the following month. 

     

    JR said:
    than to pull from future spending. Which if would do

     Why is this something you do? What's the benefit? Why not pull from another category this month?

    Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life It's not really "something I do". When I say future spending I just mean To Be Assigned that I haven't assigned yet. Or yes, another category. I'm trying to address the argument that people keep making that is "the money has to come from somewhere".  What I'm addressing is the "decision" that the money comes from credit rather than cash (or, "future spending") in this situation. Hope that makes sense

      Like
    • JR 

      JR said:
      I'm trying to address the argument that people keep making that is "the money has to come from somewhere".  What I'm addressing is the "decision" that the money comes from credit rather than cash (or, "future spending") in this situation.

       The money has to come from somewhere now. Not tomorrow, not in ten days, not in a month. YNAB doesn't arbitrarily decide to move money around your categories, so they're not going to cover cash overspending - that's why the RTA in the future goes negative with cash overspending.

      However, they've built in the mechanism to fund the credit card payment category. So they're comfortable using rules to define when that category is covered and when it isn't. Thus, the logic that they cover cash spending from the credit card payment pile when there is both cash and credit card spending in a given category during the month that resulted in overspending.

      Either you actually understand this, in which case it's time to throw in the towel and say "I don't agree, but fine," or you don't understand this and we can keep trying to explain the developer's logic to you as to why they made the choice they did. Just let us know which.  As nolesrule says, this is not new logic - this is how this version of the program has always functioned.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows I believe I said "I don't agree, but fine" a long time ago! 😂My main argument is that moment when the money has to come from somewhere, NOW, as you say, and that transaction isn't actually on the credit account, but it "decides" to allocate it to credit instead of showing as cash overspending. I understand your explanation of WHY. I'm asking, what would happen if, in my scenario, it would show as cash overspending? How would it complicate the system? 

      Like
    • JR It wouldn't "complicate the system." The system could have been designed that way. But it would be a less true reflection of reality, and is just not the logic the developers went with. The WHY here is "because the developers think the way they did it is a more true reflection of your money's real world jobs, and/or because they decided so." You can go with either the trying to explain version before the and/or, or the authoritarian we-know-best version after the and/or. They both get you to the same place. 

       

      Also, it doesn't "'decide' to allocate the transaction to credit instead of showing as cash overspending". It reallocates the money it previously allocated for you to the credit card payment to covering that transaction from a cash account.  Leaving your credit payment category underfunded from transactions in that category.

      Like 1
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows of course it "decides".  It's following a rule. That rule could allocate it to whatever category the developers want it to. As you said, "the system could have been designed that way".  And would operationally work just the same. 

      Like
    • JR I'm not arguing the "decides". Of course there's a decision involved. I'm arguing that you don't understand what that decision is.  Which is to reallocate money it has control over, rather than falsely relying on future money that may or may not come in.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows I don't see how "it" has more control over a future credit card payment than a future checking account payment. It doesn't feel any "safer" to me to allocate it to credit rather than have it show as a checking deficit. 

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR but like I said, I use it differently and don't necessarily always keep spending categories funded. But, I kind of rely on seeing those small spend categories in red so I can quickly fund them. 

      Like
    • JR So use the toolkit, as was suggested elsewhere in the thread. 

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows The only toolkit function I saw that is related is the one that turns all overspending regardless of credit or cash red, which obviously isn't helpful. 

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR perhaps there's another one I missed 

      Like
  • An example of why this is problematic is a recent suggestion I saw to someone who had neglected their budget for a while, which was to fund everything in red first, as these are the cash transactions, and at least the yellow transactions will be covered by credit if you can't fund them yet. So I think a lot of people, as I did, have the understanding that checking/cash transactions will be represented in red so as to be able to discern them easily and fund them first. 

    Like
    • JR Cash is fungible. Red represents money that actually left your accounts, which spending on a credit card doesn't until you pay the card. The transaction doesn't matter, the amount you spend from the category vs. the amount that left your account for that category does.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Fuzzball Meows 

      Fuzzball Meows said:
      Red represents money that actually left your accounts,

      The money that left my checking account in my example is not represented in red. That's the whole point!

      Like
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR the overspend in yellow HASN'T left your checking account yet. THAT'S the whole point. You spent some of the money that was reserved for your credit card payment, so now you have *potential* cash overspending - if you send your credit card company more than you have reserved for the payment without covering the yellow.

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant so the money hasn't left my checking account but I spent the money? Ok.  

      Like
    • JR "so the money [I'm sending my credit card company] hasn't left my checking account but I spent the money [on the cash transaction]"

      There. Fixed it for ya.

      Like 3
      • Vibrant
      • No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars
      • vibrant
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR It helps if you read ALL the words. 

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant to simplify, I think of it this way. I am standing there contemplating a small purchase. I know I am at zero in that category in YNAB. I can either use my debit card or my credit card to make the purchase. I know I have the money to cover it in checking, so I use the debit card, thinking it will show in red prompting me to fund it right away. If I wanted it to be a credit debt, I would have used my credit card. I just think it's unhelpful and needlessly complicated to apply it to credit before creating a cash debt. 

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Vibrant who knows, I may not send my credit card company any money. That's something I determine in the future. The cash from the checking account is, indeed, gone. 

      Like
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

       Vibrant one thing I should add that might be the thing confusing you all is that I often leave some money in Ready To Assign rather than assign to categories for everyday spending, as I've found it just creates more work moving stuff between categories. Perhaps this is heresy in YNAB world but 🤷‍♂️

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      JR Heresy, yes. But it won't make a difference. You'll have the cash overspending if you make a credit card payment in the amount greater than what's in the available due to YNAB pulling the money back to keep your budget and cash in balance, and it'll end up working out the same.

      Like
    • JR yep. 

      Create an Everyday Spending category. Or Stuff I Forgot To Budget For (SIFTBF).

      Like 1
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule yes I realize it works out the same in the end. I guess I'm talking about the everyday usability of the design. Creating a credit card overpayment and creating a cash debt are both essentially taking from the future, but since the transaction came from my cash account it makes more sense to me to have it represented as such. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Stealing From the Future fix is an improvement but is incomplete....
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      JR It's "optimized" for debt management of the person who is carrying or possibly accruing new debt. Think about it from the point of view of someone who doesn't have the extra cash laying around.

      Like 2
  • I'm responding to this (screenshot at bottom of reply), though I know the forum will thread it in a confusing way, so 🙄.

    And also this bit you just wrote:

     

    JR said:
    I am standing there contemplating a small purchase. I know I am at zero in that category in YNAB. ... I know I have the money to cover it in checking,

     Ok. Easiest things first: when using YNAB with multiple accounts, you have two levels of questions to get through at (or before) POS. 

    1. Do I have enough money in the category? No? Then determine a *category* (not RTA, present or future) that you can move enough money from.

    2. What account can I pay with? This simply looks at where you have money stored. If there's not enough in a certain account, either transfer or use a different payment method.

    ETA: don't conflate jobs (budget categories) with account (location) in your decision making process.

    Ok, now regarding the fact that you'd rather pull from RTA in the present or future - AH!

    Rule 1 is "give every dollar a job." Therefore, there should be no money sitting in RTA unless you just got paid and are sitting down to assign in right now. 

    But, why not just let RTA go negative and deal with it later? 

    In order for YNAB to work, there can be no negatives. Anywhere. 

    I'll deviate from support here and say that for credit overspending there should still be no negatives, because if I intentionally increase credit debt, this is how to do it: Move money from the credit card payment category to cover the credit overspending.

    That is what YNAB essentially does at the month turn over anyways.

    Just like cash overspending, I really recommend against leaving negatives lying around in the budget. I mean, in a worst case scenario, how else will you easily see that you're about max out your credit limit with scattered negatives? I'd rather see the difference all in one category (which, incidentally, won't go negative unless you send more to the credit card company than is available).

    Like 2
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life good advice. I guess that, if I know my credit card isn't going to be fully paid, it doesn't bother me to have the negatives in credit overspending *if it all actually represents credit debt*. As you said, YNAB basically takes care of this at the end of the month anyway. But point taken. 

      Like 2
    • JR I know that my credit card will not be fully paid if my CC payment category is not the positive equivalent of the account's negative working balance.

      I hate leaving negatives around the budget because it means I haven't defined a plan for how to pay them off/what the rest of my money can actually do.

      Besides, yellow already has other meanings like underfunded goals. It's really easy to miss a yellow negative and be surprised at how short my cc payment category is. That's why I turn all negatives red to easily find them.

      I'm glad you got some food for thought. I think it always helps to know how tools work and fit together with other things so that you can use them to your fullest advantage.

      Like 1
  • JR said:
    who knows, I may not send my credit card company any money. That's something I determine in the future

     Also, that's simply not how YNAB's credit card mechanism works. 

    If your spending category is funded, YNAB assumes that you intend to pay that credit purchase off.

    It may also be helpful to note that the budget page on YNAB has the fidelity of one month. So, the budget page treats any activity within the month as simultaneous, mathematically, and sees that cash spending that's gone is gone. Credit spending that's gone is not gone.

    Perhaps it seems a bit complicated for us humans who operate chronologically, but once you know that that's the rule, it's pretty simple. Elegant, even though we can't see the behind the scenes calculations.

    Like 2
  • I am going to go with an unpopular approach here. It sounds like YNAB is not the right app for you

    i have read most (not all) of the posts including your response to many wise longtime YNAB users. Many of those people (I’m looking at you norules and wordtenor) are known for pushing back against YNAB developments. However, they have longtime use of the product and the philosophy.
    You have not bought into the fundamentals of YNAB like giving every dollar a job. This has nothing to do with the app’s credit card process.  
    Your initial post stated you’re ready to give up on YNAB if you can’t figure this out.  I believe you actually haven’t given YNAB a try at all. That’s ok. There are many people (myself included) that needed to take several stabs at it because the philosophy is so very different than any other approach. That approach is key to YNAB success, even if you implemented the philosophy with pen and paper. 
    So I recommend you find something that fits better with your approach or create something in excel. Trying to fit your philosophy into YNAB functionality will only continue to frustrate you. 
     

    Like
    • MXMOM I'm confused as to whom you're talking. The OP hasn't been on this thread in a month.

      The thread has been brought back a couple times, since it's really a very broad title.

      The last person was trying to wrap their head around why YNAB prioritizes cash vs. credit spending in the same category. They also had a few assumptions about why aspects of the method are/aren't useful, the fidelity of a month/chronology, the process for deciding on a purchase, how to represent various aspects of their plan on the budget page, and of course the CC mechanism. If there's a misunderstanding in one (or many) areas, the other areas will not make sense consistently until all the understandings of the connected areas make sense.

      Even if they still aren't ready to use YNAB in a textbook way, I think they at least have a better understanding of the textbook fundamentals + use cases. 

      Why push them out if they've only just started realizing there's a reason for parts of the YNAB method? You know people often accept paradigm shifts while kicking and screaming. 😉

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life sorry my bad. I do see that the OP is not who I thought was still continuing the discussion. My comments were for JR (for some reason when I try to tag a poster it doesn’t work). 
      I am not pushing them out. But not all software works for all people. That is why there are so many different ones. As you know, YNAB is a huge paradigm shift for many people (myself included). I’m an accountant. I “know” how this stuff works. But until I embraced the concepts (aside from the software functionality) it would not work.
      One of the things that JR stated is not assigning all the money in Ready to Assign. Rule 1. That “breaks” YNAB right there. I believe you even called that out. 
       I am not kicking them out. I actually think staying on the forums but not using the software is a great idea. Not sure how that works (can you be a forum member if not a paying YNAB user?) but there is also a great Facebook group which has YNAB staffers posting as well. I just think trying to use YNAB in “my own way” will only lead to frustration.

      JR stated “I use it differently and don't necessarily always keep spending categories funded”   Also a whole bunch of other things that are contrary to the underlying philosophy of YNAB  And then stating that the design is flawed  

      it’s not really the software that is the problem. I liken it to wanting to use my  new 2 door car in the same way I used my pickup truck. It won’t go well. But that is not because there is anything wrong with the car. I just have to stop trying to make it be a truck. 

      Like 1
    • MXMOM 

      MXMOM said:
      (can you be a forum member if not a paying YNAB user?

       Not really. There is a trick, but I think some YNAB 4 users have their own place to be, as they'd have to jump through hoops to be here.

      Anyone can read the non-journal part of the forum, though.

      As for JR, my bet is that by the end of the year, they'll figure out a more efficient way to use YNAB without leaving money in RTA or pushing negatives forward. It may already have happened. 

      Like 1
      • JR
      • Turquoise_Thunder.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM I've used YNAB for a few years and it has really helped me. I still think this very specific aspect of it is dumb but I can work around it. And thus I don't think you have to buy into every little aspect of the YNAB way to use the software in a helpful way. So, respectfully I think you're kinda overstating things here. Which, is fine. 

      Like 1
  • Move Light Sound Life said:
    You know people often accept paradigm shifts while kicking and screaming. 😉

     I don't mean this in a bad way, though the phrase is exaggerated.  Truly, if two people have differing paradigms, perspectives, etc., one person should never change their mind simply because someone else disagrees. 

    The disagreement can be a catalyst for examining the components, ideas, and assumptions of each view. I don't understand how someone can change their mind without poking at all the implications. I also don't understand how people can blindly change their mind based on authority that flies in the face of reason or otherwise disconnected emotional appeals.

    Luckily, the YNAB forum doesn't have too much of the latter two options, and we most often are able to actually define terms and discuss things usefully. Honestly, the process of defining terms is usually the bulk of any disagreement, though the "why" part is the most interesting.

    But I like philosophy. 

    Like 1
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