Refund Transaction Amount Doesn't Go to "To be Budgeted"

Yesterday, I had $0 "to be budgeted." Today, I received a $200 refund to my credit card. I categorized this as an inflow "to be budgeted." My "to be budgeted" amount still says $0. Where did my $200 go?

11replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • It's probably down in your credit card payment category. If the original purchase occurred while you were using YNAB, don't classify it as TBB, classify it back to the category that it came from (clothing, electronics, etc). This will keep your spending history more accurate. This will increase the category available balance and if you need to, you can reallocate from there. If the original purchase happened before you started YNAB and was included in your starting balance, I would say leave it categorized as TBB and just sweep it out of the credit card payment category.

    Reply Like 1
    • jenmas thanks. Can you explain why it would be applied to my credit card payment after I explicitly told it to apply to TBB? (The original purchase was from before I started using YNAB.)

      Separately, I hope the YNAB finds the time to work on useabiliy a bit. This is clearly a great product; there are just a lot of quirks that make it difficult to use effectively without lots of troubleshooting. 

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Lavender Wildcat Do you want the official explanation, or the real explanation? 

      Reply Like 4
    • WordTenor Both.

      Reply Like
    • jenmas Also, it's not in my CC payment category. I just deleted it to see. No change. Then re-added it. No change.

      Reply Like
      • WordTenor
      • Your lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned.
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Lavender Wildcat It is in your card payment category, and that's exactly why you are seeing no change. 

      Official explanation: credit card cash back reduces the amount you owe on your card. The budget operates independently,  and so you end up with more money set aside to pay the card than you need. You can move this money yourself. 

      Real explanation: the existing credit card handling was put together very quickly and tested only for a short time so that the software could drop in time to capture the January 1 New Year's Resolutions sales.There are a bunch of aspects about it that needed more sophisticated programming but which weren't caught. It works fine for spending on a credit card and paying the amount that is marked as available to pay the card, but just about anything else causes strange behavior. Now the company is in a bind because they have to admit it doesn't work well in order to fix it. There are signs they have been willing to do this with other features, so hopefully they will work on/are working on the credit card handling. 

      Reply Like 1
    • Lavender Wildcat Thanks for letting us know you got stuck here, that's really helpful feedback. We won't ever stop improving YNAB (and credit card handling!), so all of this helps when doing our research on what improvements to make. 

      If the original purchase was already budgeted for/spent, then any returns on credit cards can be categorized right back to their original spending category. When you do this, dollars will automatically move from the Credit Card Payment category back to the spending category. This will also help keep your reports happy since your spending will be offset by the amount of the return.

      However, it sounds like the original purchase wasn't in YNAB at all? Since it's an inflow to your CC (and therefore a balance adjustment), but a credit card isn't a cash account, you'll need to move money on the budget side of things to reflect that balance adjustment. Now that the balance decreased, do you see more money in your Credit Card Payments category than before? It's not that your CC Available amount would've increased by $200, but since your CC balance is now $200 less, you can feel free to move $200 out of the Available column for that CC (and put it wherever you want). 

       

      I hope that helps!

      Reply Like
    • Patzer
    • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
    • Patzer
    • 4 mths ago
    • 2
    • Reported - view

    Your $200 reduced the balance of your credit card without changing any budget category.   If you owed $1000 and had $1000 in the card payment category before this transaction, after the transaction you will owe $800 and have $1000 in the card payment category.  One would think that there would be a way to record an inflow to a credit card that has a payment category equal to the balance in a way to reduce the payment category and increase TBB.  One would be mistaken.

    This is a bug.  There is no way to make a deposit to a credit card that goes to TBB without making an adjustment on the budget page.  I believe the official recommendation is to go to the budget page, and move $200 from the card payment category to TBB.

    Interestingly enough, if you record the $200 refund as a split transaction in a cash account - total $0, inflow $200 TBB, outflow $200 transfer to credit card - you will get the result you would expect from simply recording a $200 inflow to the credit card categorized as TBB.

    Support will be along shortly to explain that this is not a bug, it's an intentional feature.  But it sure looks like a bug to me.

    Reply Like 2
  • Chiming in months later because I'm having the same issue . . . Just started YNAB a few weeks ago and had difficulty working out credit card issues, but was finally able to make it work (available amount at CC Payments category matched the amount in my account). 

    I pay off the CC that I use for monthly spending (viva points and rewards!). Pre-YNAB, I made some purchases that I had either paid off prior to YNAB, or were included in the starting balance - - which has since been paid off. Then I got some refunds (canceled the reservation for a cabin at a state park and returned some things to Amazon). This left me with a positive balance on my card. Yay for me! But uh-oh . . . YNAB won't work.

    I'm not entirely sure how, but thanks to some info and inspo in forum threads I was able to move money from TBB and from CC Payment category (Budgeted and Available) and got the Available amount to show the same amount. I thought the problem was solved, but when I entered a fictional transaction just to see what would happen when I go back to red in my CC account, the numbers got all jacked in my budget. It was able to calculate properly in my account, but when I went back to my CC Payments it showed a positive number in the Available amount that was nothing I could decipher, and was unable to fix when I tried adding and deleting various amounts from my Budgeted or Available amount.

    Any ideas of what to do? I'm happy with my budget but dang, this CC stuff should not be this hard. Good to know about the bugs and other issues, but what's a good workaround? Just ignore CC category and keep paying what I know I need to pay? Can I trust the available amounts in the rest of my budget categories? I'm loving YNAB for everything but CC Payments . . . :(

    Reply Like
      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 10 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Hot Pink Yeti If you are capable of paying the outstanding CC balance at any time, a good workaround is to tell YNAB your credit card is a checking account.  This eliminates the CC payment category, and reduces TBB by the amount of the (normally negative) CC balance.  Then the budget works right, and you don't have to worry about all the bugs and wonkiness of the standard credit card handling.

      Unfortunately, this will not work well for carrying a a balance on a card or for riding the credit card float.  People in either of those situations are better off learning to deal with the bugs and wonkiness.

      Reply Like 1
    • Patzer Thank you! I can definitely switch my monthly spending CC to a checking account, and then keep my CC that I'm trying to pay down as a CC Payment (bugs and all). What a great idea!

      Btw, congrats on retiring at 60! I turn 47 on Monday and, at this point, can't imagine retirement until my 90s (or so). :/ YNAB to the rescue....? 

      Reply Like
Like2 Follow
  • 2 Likes
  • 10 days agoLast active
  • 11Replies
  • 636Views
  • 6 Following