Handling credit card payments from more than 1 checking account

I have 3 different checking accounts for various reasons so I have created a separate budget for each one in YNAB. At times, I might make a payment to my credit card from any one of those accounts so I guess I need to list the credit card account 3 times. I wish there was a way I could just list the Credit Card account 1 time and then just post payments from different accounts to it.

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  • I suggest you put all three checking accounts and the CC in the same budget. It will then act as you wish. 

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      • Shara
      • Budget_master.1
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui  So, in one budget, I would link 3 checking accounts and the total amount of combined money in my budget categories would be a combined total of what is in the 3 checking accounts? Having a hard time wanting to combine all those dollars.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Shara it's all your money, what do you want to do with it? I can't see any reason to intentionally leave a bunch of money out of your financial plan. If it's an Emergency Fund, for example, put it in an Emergency category. Annual property tax? Auto insurance? New Furnace? Vacation? Eating out? You get the idea.

      The fact it's in separate piles is probable a coarse attempt to define purpose via location. YNAB is quite a bit more granular via categories.

      Like 2
    • Shara What is the purpose of wanting them separate? 

      Make separate categories to protect your money. :)  In YNAB, the accounts just hold money - it's the categories that define purpose.

      If you have one for monthly bills, great - make bills categories.

      If you have one for longer-term bills, great - make categories to support them.

      If you have one for discretionary funds, great - make discretionary categories (and look at the category balances the way you used to look at accounts to see if you have money to spend).

      Same with savings accounts - make categories for whatever you're saving for.

      :)

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      • Shara
      • Budget_master.1
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Move Light Sound Life Got it! Thank you!

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      • Shara
      • Budget_master.1
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Thank you!

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  • Thank you, then I guess I need to list (2) Grocery categories under each checking account section in the same budget since I sometimes pay for those items from 2 places.

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  • The place you pay from and the purpose of the expense are 2 different concepts. If it's a grocery expense, it goes in THE grocery category, which account was used for the expense does not matter to the budget. 

    Read this: https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/1679-why-doesnt-my-category-balance-match-my-account-balance

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      • Shara
      • Budget_master.1
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ceeses  Thank you, very helpful! So, if I use 1 budget for the 3 checking accounts, I can do a Category Group per checking account and just put a "Groceries" category under 2 Category Groups since I pay for groceries sometimes from 2 different checking accounts or am I creating a complicated situation? I always like knowing what I have in each checking account separately so I can see that in the Category Group total.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 3 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      Shara No, one single grocery category. Which account you pay with is up to you. The budget doesn't care. That single category takes the hit regardless of which account you use.

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  • Shara said:
    under each checking account section

     Do not do that! You do not organise your budget per account, you organise your budget per purpose: what do you want to do with your money? Buy groceries? So you need a groceries category. Buy a plane? Then you need a New plane category. Go on vacation? Then you need a vacation category. Those can be founded by any and all your accounts at once.

    Like 3
  • Shara said:
    I always like knowing what I have in each checking account separately

     This, you know from the separate account balances which are present on the left sidebar.  But how much you have in each account separately does not tell you how much you can spend from each account on groceries. Your budget tells you how much of ALL your money you can spend on groceries. When you buy groceries and you need $100, you need to also check your account balances to know from which account you can pay. If you don't spend more than what your budget categories tell you you can spend, it means you have the money for the spending. But you need to separately check the accounts' balances to know from which account you can pay. If no account balance is large enough, it means you need to transfer money between accounts to consolidate your money in one account and pay from that account. The budget tells you if you have the money for an expense. Your accounts tell you where you can take the money from.

    Like 3
  • I would like to refer you to this article on simplification, it explains a lot about basically divorcing your accounts from the budget categories and may actually lead you to simplification by using just one checking account if the reason you have 3 is only to keep your categories under control.  

    https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/1132-simplify#fewer

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      • Shara
      • Budget_master.1
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
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      ynaber2613 Thank you!

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