Credit Card Confusion

Hello All

I need some clarification around numbers that are not matching up for my credit card accounts.  An example is my card balance on 11/1/2019 is zero.  I charged $993.55 and assigned to categories.  I paid $421.26 leaving a balance of $559.90 yet my credit card payment amount is showing $543.23 and $16.67 is placed in Overspending for Nov.  Why is that?  See picture.

If I was to pay the remaining balance then my payment would reflect -$16.67 instead of zero.

I pay off my credit cards each month in full.  I use three credit cards with cashback and use them to my advantage.  This is just one example, however none have the payment amount matching the actual card balance.  I don't understand why is that the case.

Thank you for any guidance here.

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  • At least one of the transactions was recorded against a category that does not have enough cash Available for that purchase. This causes yellow/negative overspending. Move funds from a green category to cover the yellow overspent category.

    This should also fix the CC Payment shortage.

    The bottom line for a paid-in-full card, the Payment category needs to cover the entire debt shown in the account balance.

    Like 1
  • That is showing that you have $543.23 available to pay against the balance of $559.90 and that the remaining $16.67 is credit overspending. You have $16.67 of credit overspending (yellow) somewhere in your budget.

    The credit card payment category in your budget is the amount you have reserved i.e. budgeted to pay for your credit card in the same way that the amount in the groceries category is the amount you have available to buy groceries. For a truly paid in full card (i.e. one in which you could pay off the full balance at any point), the credit card payment category should match the balance on your credit card account. The credit card payment category will be positive while the credit card account will be negative.

    If your credit card account balance is always negative (or possibly zero) then the main cause of any issues is not budgeting for the initial balance at set up or any unbudgeted spending. YNAB will automatically transfer the balance of any budgeted spending into the credit card payment category.

    However, if your credit card balance ever goes positive (e.g. returns, cashback rewards directly to the card), etc then this transfer doesn't happen (deliberately) and things can go awry if you don't handle it correctly. I see dakinemaui  has posted while I was typing this so I'll leave this explanation here. He is one of the gurus on this topic and I only understand them theoretically since I simply pay the statement balance on the due date and rewards come in the form of vouchers so I don't hit any of the issues.

    Like 2
  • First off thank you for the responses. 

    I am still confused.  None of my categories used for the credit card charges are yellow or red for the month of Nov.   All are fully funded.  Any cashback I received I have entered as an inflow back to the original category I assigned that charge.  

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jswistek Are any of them (probably groceries) yellow in October?

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      • jswistek
      • jswistek
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger No everything covered in Oct too

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jswistek Well somethings gone wrong somewhere. Did you budget to cover the initial starting balance when you started using YNAB? Have you taken your CC balance positive at any point? Lots of reimbursements or rewards posted as a credit directly against the account balance?

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      • jswistek
      • jswistek
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      monkeyhanger been using YNAB since 2016 and this credit card account is first month with transactions so initial balance was zero. Balance never went positive. Not a lot, $19 worth total of four transactions. 

      Like
  • I messed around a little with my budget though all are fully funded to the amounts spent.  I increased my budget on one specific category "Groceries" see pictures below.  Though that category was fully funded for Nov, not until I put in more than $16.67 amount in the budgeted amount for Groceries did the credit card amount adjust to match the outstanding balance.  

    That seems like a glitch in the program, am I wrong?

    Like
  • I am having same problem. Pay off credit cards monthly, showing overspending NOV yet all categories are covered. I am thinking a glitch. Any solutions?

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orange Cup It's highly unlikely to be a glitch. 

      How long have you been using nYNAB? Did you budget to cover the initial balance when you started? Does your credit card balance ever go positive? Lots of reimbursements to the card or rewards given as a credit directly to the account?

      The answers to the above will narrow things down to help people help you.

      Like
  • OK, I've been using Ynab since 2016. I budgeted the initial balance.  I rarely use this card maybe 5 times since 2017.  To my knowledge hasn't gone positive.  Only 1 other refund on the card. since 2017.

    I had a transaction on a card for 107.00 on 10/29 returned an item for 78.11 on 11/10 everything is fine until I enter this refund. if I go back and enter it in Oct it all works if I enter in Nov under the correct category that I entered the transaction in and then try to add that back into the amount to be budgeted it causes two other credit accounts to give wrong balances. I am confused. What have I done wrong?

    Like
      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 11 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orange Cup Refunds that cross the month boundary are problematic. I'm aware of issues where refunds are made in categories where more than one credit card has been used because of the way things are allocated. If you move money between the 2 credit card payment categories are you able to correct both of them? If so, it's just a consequence of the allocation system, manually move the money to correct it and move on.

      And yes, that could be called a glitch, I guess. It's expected behaviour if you know the way YNAB allocates things but it's not particularly helpful to you.

      Like 1
  • Yes, I entered the refund in Nov. It messed up 2 other credit accounts. I had to add funds to those accounts which corrected the issue to the correct credit account and then subtract the refund from that account to be added back to be budgeted. 

    I believe I had this happen one other time in the past. Cant figure why it wouldnt do that on all refunds just certain accounts. Sure creates a mess for credit accounts.

    Its correct now, so thanks for your help. Even with this issue. still couldnt live without Ynab.

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      • monkeyhanger
      • No animals were harmed
      • monkeyhanger.1
      • 11 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orange Cup The response from Nicole in this thread may help.

      https://support.youneedabudget.com/t/364ndw/credit-card-going-red

      YNAB seems to struggle when you have used multiple credit cards in a single category and then have a refund against one of those categories. Refunds that cross month boundaries are worse.

      Like 1
      • Orange Cup
      • Orange_Cup.6
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orange Cup Actually when I did the above it did not correct. It still showed under the account that I had overspending for Nov, even though the budget showed everything was covered. I wound up entering the return in Oct  and not on Nov 10th when it was actually made and I believe this time it corrected. Will this impact anything in November budget? And is this an issue that is not able to be solved? 

      Like
  • jswistek said:
    That seems like a glitch in the program, am I wrong?

    Did you by chance have an Inflow into that category? This can mask the overspending, as you only see the commutative total. Somewhere during the month the category was negative (overspent), but is now positive because of the inflow.

    The current implementation allows you to budget after the fact, but order matters for transactions.

    Like 1
  • Hi jswistek !

    Were you able to get to the bottom of things? If not, we'd be more than happy to take a closer look at things for you! If you’re up for it, go ahead and enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead. :)

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  • Hello specifically to my original issue, adjusting the budget corrected the issue at hand.  However I am with Orange Cup that I have other credit cards that the payment balance is not matching the actual balance of the credit card account.  Would appreciate a closer look at things as to what has to be done to avoid this in the future.   I have enabled Support Access.  Still have two other credit card payment balances that do not match actual balances on the credit card accounts.  Also to answer dakinemaui I am not sure how to determine if the Groceries category was positive at some point in the month because of an inflow.  Yes I did have an inflow into that category.  When I get cash rewards back from my cards I take them in as in inflow into a category, groceries is one I do that too.

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  • jswistek said:
    how to determine if the Groceries category was positive at some point in the month because of an inflow

    You're actually trying to determine if it went negative. That would have been the case if the current Available is less than the inflow.

    Like 1
  • jswistek said:
    When I get cash rewards back from my cards I take them in as in inflow into a category

    I suggest you bring them in as TBB, then budget them to Groceries (or wherever). This avoids the overspending issue you are seeing.

    Like
      • jswistek
      • jswistek
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thank You for your suggestions but unfortunately doing this made it worse.  Not sure what difference it makes if I apply the cash back to a category or TBB.  I have the bank credit my card my cash back rewards, so the credit is hitting my credit card account not being issued as cash to my checking or a check.  

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jswistek budgeting those funds effectively puts them in the category before any outflows are considered. 

      In what way it is worse?

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      • jswistek
      • jswistek
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui The balance discrepancies got worse.  For example, the Apple Card payment balance increased by the amount of the cash rewards that I changed to TBB.  I increased the grocery budget by an equal amount with no change to the payment balance.  

      Like
    • jswistek I took a look and the credit card category available amounts have been adjusted to match all of the credit card balances - which is great! One of the credit cards did go positive back in August (I used the Selected Total feature to find that positive balance) but now that those category balances match the credit card balances, they should stay in line moving forward - as long as future transactions are budgeted for.

      Here's a quick video that goes over returns on credit cards in different situations. After receiving a refund, category balances may need to be adjusted to keep those balances in line. I did notice overbudgeting in past months, which can inflate category balances. When To Be Budgeted is negative, remove funds from your categories until it's back at $0.00.

      Like
      • jswistek
      • jswistek
      • 11 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness Thank You . Yes it should all match as I made the adjustments manually to get them there.  My concern was if everything works then I should not have to make these adjustments to get things to match.  I am going to use the suggestions presented by dakinemaui and monkeyhanger next month and see how things work. 

      Like 1
  • jswistek said:
    Still have two other credit card payment balances that do not match actual balances on the credit card accounts

    Shift funds from one or more green categories (or TBB) until they match.

    Like
  • I don't understand if I budgeted the charges to a category why I have to take a budgetary hit yet again.  That math does not make sense.  What am I missing?  Every transaction in my accounts is already applied to a category and money budgeted to it.  Sorry but this does not make sense.

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  • jswistek said:
    the credit is hitting my credit card account not being issued as cash to my checking or a check

    Right, so you owe less. Therefore you don't have to pay as much as you were planning and can therefore reduce the CC Payment category by the same account, moving those funds to TBB (or anywhere, really).

    Like
      • jswistek
      • jswistek
      • 11 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thank You for helping.  I just decided to move the excess money from the payment balance to a category.  Ultimately my concern on this is why it gets out of whack to begin with.  I must be missing something.  Either way thank you for the help and suggestions.

      Like 1
  • But that is not what happens, see my response above.  The payment balance actually increased.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      jswistek the CC Payment category is reduced when overspending is present and cash transactions are present. The overspending is no longer there, so the CC category is no longer reduced.

      Like
  • jswistek said:
    if I budgeted the charges to a category why I have to take a budgetary hit yet again

    The problem is that NOT all charges were against a budgeted category. You know that YNAB keeps up with those. The most common cause is overspending, and YNAB already told you that you have overspending. The other common cause is failing to budget for the starting balance.

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