Summary for Credit Cards and 'Payment'
Please help me understand why the $104.55 is green and positive??? If I follow correctly, I spent $5,622.79 (which is negative bc it is spending on the left side of the summary). Then why does it switch to + positive $5662.79 and make my Payments and returns negative leaving a Positive +$104.55? Wouldn't this mean my card has a credit of $104.55 on it when instead it should be a negative number (meaning I didn't pay the total amount on the card per the spending and payments I made)?
Howdy! Your Chase card is in the Credit Card Payments part of YNAB, and is counted as a part of your budget. Let's say your purchase was for groceries... (only YOU know what it really was) As such, when you purchased using your Chase card, the money in your checking account that you gave the job of buying groceries (you had budgeted it as "groceries") has now been given a different job - to pay off your Chase card (that you used to buy groceries). In this way, YNAB tries to help you from going further into debt!
Hi StartingOver !
You made $5,622.79 worth of budgeted purchases. Since those purchases were budgeted for, YNAB moved the full $5,622.79 to your credit card category so you could pay the amount in full. However, you only made a payment of $5,518.24 - leaving you an additional $104.55 that can still be paid towards the credit card.
It’s important to understand that the budget doesn’t have anything to do with how much you owe or what the card balance is.* It is about how much of your money is reserved for the purpose of paying the card. You can reserve money for paying the card by spending budgeted money, or by budgeting money directly to the card’s category. In your case, you spent $5622 of budgeted money, and between returns and your payment, you took $5518 of those reserve dollars and “spent” them on paying down the card. Just as would happen if you had $5622 reserved for groceries and spent $5518 at the grocery store, you now have $104 left.
*this is a slight oversimplification but is the crux of why most people struggle to understand how this works—they are expecting the category to show something other than what it shows.
The left column is from the viewpoint of the account. Spending is negative because it's an outflow.
The right column is from the viewpoint of the budget. Budgeted spending on a CC means the cash backing that purchase needs to move to the CC Payment category for a net increase (thus a positive number for CC charges).
A reminder, that CC Payment category is the cash you have in your cash-based account(s) that is reserved for your payment, similar to the Electric category being what's reserved to send to the Electric company. It is not intrinsically tied to your CC account balance. That said, if the category match the account balance (as a positive number), you have enough to pay off all your debt, meaning "paid-in-full" status.