Another Reason why Credit Card Budgeting is Broken and Confusing.
The following numbers are changed to make math easier.
So here's what happened. Near the end of Month 1, I owe $2,000 on a credit card, all from budgeted spending. On the 1st of Month 2, I pay that $2,000 off. However, a few days before, near the end of Month 1, I unknowingly received a large refund of $3,000, creating a positive CC balance. So when I make my $2,000 payment, YNAB puts this as -$2,000 in the CC budget for Month 2, causing my "To Be Budgeted" amount to go up $2,000.
As others before me have said, CC budgets cause a lot of confusion and aggravation for a lot of people, especially for those who use CC's only for budgeted spending and pay off the balances every month. The reason is simple: CC budgets do not behave the same way as other budgets, and furthermore that behavior changes depending on whether the spending was budgeted or unbudgeted.
Please allow us to disable CC budgets!
I use my credit cards only for budgeted spending and pay them off every month (ie, the statement balance) and I personally think the way YNAB handles credit cards is one of the best aspects of the program. I had "budgeted" for 20 years using Excel, QuickBooks and Quicken and it wasn't until I started using YNAB that I discovered I had been riding the credit card float for all of those years...
You should either just pay your statement balance (which will include any credits) or be sure to reconcile your card before you pay it.
I find ynab credit card budgeting/reconciliation to be confusing as well. I don't think it's broken, but only because I've gone line by line with statements several times to understand that something else was wrong. Have you tried the classes? The online instructions are lacking. Also, some credit card payments autopay two months after the transactions: i just paid December transactions with a February payment. That's a problem with the credit card though and not ynab.
Should YNAB automatically rebudget the money so that the CC payment category is zero? Yes. Should they, as in past versions (including the alpha version of this web iteration) require deliberate action from the user before new debt is in incurred? Yes. Is it broken? No. It does exactly what it says on the box.
Silver Android I agree: in this case, I think YNAB should budget the money back to the Credit Card Payment category automatically.
A credit card overhaul is something that's on our radar, and I hope (and expect) this issue will be addressed as part of that.
Here are a couple of other improvements I'd especially like to see:
- Ability to turn on a paid-in-full status indicator—in other words, if I pay in full, YNAB should warn me if there isn't enough money in the Credit Card Payment category. (You can achieve this now using goals, but it's a bit of a workaround.)
- A warning about overspending last month, to catch those instances when overspending creeps in silently because you imported or entered a transaction dated late last month.