how to use credit cards if you pay them off every two weeks

My husband and I use our credit cards as the primary way we buy things.  (Points!)  Before I started using YNAB, I kept track of our purchases in a Google Spreadsheet, assigning each charge to a category.  At the end of our two-week pay period, I paid off all the charges that corresponded to that pay period.  I liked YNAB because it seemed to automate this process.  However, it doesn't seem to be working that way.  Since I never carry a balance, I don't have anything to "budget" for a credit-card payment.  I've been reconciling my transactions as they appear in YNAB, so they appear correctly in the right categories (groceries, utilities, etc.).  But, my "amount to be budgeted" figure in the top right-hand corner seems to vary wildly.  As far as I can tell, it's due to changes in my credit-card balance.  For example, right now it says I have close to $4,000 to budget, which is just not true.  (I wish!)  Since everything adjusts automatically, I can't go back to see what changes changed that figure, since it was $0 before I started reconciling.  Does anyone recognize what I'm doing wrong?  Or is there a way I can go back and see how the reconciliation process changed the "to be budgeted" figure?  Thanks!

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  • When you started YNAB what was the balance due on your credit card (should be in YNAB as your starting balance). Budget that amount to the credit card payments line.  After that you should not have to budget anything as long as you are making budgeted purchases. You always want the amount in credit card payments available to equal the total due on your card. 

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  • Ensure that your credit cards aren’t showing a positive balance in YNAB.....

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  • Also, YNAB doesn't automatically budget for you. You need to budget to the categories in which you're spending. YNAB will then say, "Hey! You spent that money using a credit card. Let's automatically reallocate to your credit card payment to make life easier for you."

    If you're using the credit card functionality on YNAB as a paid in full (PIF) user, you should never have to budget directly to the card after you get the cycle going by budgeting for the starting balance.

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  • Also, check out the 4 Rules (YNAB Method). It sounds like you've just connected to the auto import and are letting YNAB do everything else... But that's not how it works. 

    Your To Be Budgeted should always equal 0 (unless you just got paid, in which case you are sitting down to budget and make it be 0) because Rule #1 is Give Every Dollar A Job.

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    • In fact, if you're not following the 4 rules, expect that the calculations will be off, because reconciling accounts is only half of the math that happens.

      YNAB also conveniently takes care of math with regard to category available balances, category overspending, and it will even calculating goals over time. Thing is, it's a computer program, so you have to tell it what and how to do it, otherwise it has incomplete information. :)

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  • Thanks all!  I promise I watched the two hours of introductory videos!   To explain a little more clearly, I had successfully reconciled credit-card balances previously without it affecting the "to budget" figure, which remained at $0.  Also, the individual categories (groceries, restaurants, etc.) are correct:  I budgeted x amount, I assigned categories to the credit-card charges, YNAB deducted y amount from the categories, and YNAB correctly shows me as having x-y available.  But, the "to budget" amount in the upper-right corner and the amount I owe the credit card are wrong.  I think you're all right that I might have the existing balances (pre-YNAB) off.  I'll play with it tomorrow and see.  Thanks again for taking the time!

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Gazelle definitely reconcile your accounts (which you should be doing at least once a week when you start) and see if that helps. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 7 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view
      Forest Green Gazelle said:
      I had successfully reconciled credit-card balances previously without it affecting the "to budget" figure

      Nor should it. The budget is the plan for your cash, the amount of which is unaffected by how much CC debt you hold.

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    • Forest Green Gazelle If you're still having trouble after taking another look, please don't hesitate to let us know! We'd be more than happy to take a closer look at things if you enable Support Access for your account! If you choose to do that, just let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead. :)

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    • Forest Green Gazelle Oh, good! I know someone who literally just imported and categorized transactions for 2 years, then tried to go back and "budget" by setting all categories to 0 each month, trying to get the TTB to look right... They described their situation nearly exactly like you did... Sorry I jumped to the wrong conclusion!

      You're in a much better place. :)  Good luck to finding the missing link! Fiddling with historic numbers to make things correct now can be unnerving, especially if you've not encountered all of YNAB's invisible calculations/implications before.  Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not.

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  • Hi,  anyone knows if rossendales debt will a warrant of execution affects my credit rating?

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    • Hi Mary Cruz !

      Warrants of execution are usually used to enforce judgments. I'm not sure the details of your history, but if you have a judgment for a credit card account, that is already affecting your credit. The Warrant of Execution shouldn't further affect your credit, but would allow Rossendales to enforce the judgment so they can use further means to regain funds owed to them.

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      • Domi
      • domingo001
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Hi Mary Cruz 

      No. A warrant of execution does not result in a county court judgement against you and does not affect your credit score. Read more here https://www.scottishtrustdeed.co.uk/creditor-details/rossendales/

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