Budgeted spending never increases in unlinked Credit Card accounts

This is a problem that's been confusing me for multiple months now and I think I've narrowed down my understanding of it. 

I've been a YNAB user for a couple years and I have multiple credit card accounts setup. Three are used regularly but only one account is linked to a bank. My understanding is that when you record a transaction in a credit card account and categorize it properly from your budget that the Budgeted Spending field will reflect the amount "moved over" from the budgeted category. Thus, when the bill comes due, there is money budgeted to pay the credit card. This worked beautifully on all my credit cards until recent months. 

The card that is linked to my bank works as expected, but both the unlinked credit cards only show zero in the Budgeted Spending fields. This has become more apparent in the last two months of mostly staying at home and not using them as frequently. More than enough money is budgeted in the categories I am using, so that is not the problem. 

My Target card provides an example. I have exactly one transaction for July. When I entered the transaction on the phone, I could see the spending categories in the Budget decrease when I chose them for the transaction. But the Budgeted Spending for my Target credit card is still zero. If I click on the spending categories in my Budget and look at activity, I see the Target transaction. If I click on the Target credit card in the Budget and look at activity, I see the list of transactions with the proper spending category recorded.  BUT.. the Budgeted Spending is $0. In fact the Activity column shows $0 in the budget too. The only way to have enough budgeted to pay the Target bill seems to be explicitly budgeting a payment amount in the Budget screen which makes me feel like money is disappearing in some virtual way. 

I don't know whether I should just delete these two credit cards and start them over from scratch.  These cards used to work as expected and I found it very useful to keep track of my spending this way. Now things are kind of confused. 

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  • If the transaction takes the spending category Available negative, the full amount won't move to the CC Payment category. 

    • dakinemaui  Yes, but these spending categories are positive and budgeted sufficiently to cover the purchase.

  • Is your credit card showing a positive balance in the accounts column?

    Like 3
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 4 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      2nd this. If your account balance goes positive then it will stop moving funds to your payment category since it looks like you don't need to pay anything. YNAB would treat the account like a cash account until it goes back to a balance owed.

      Like 1
    • satcook I am seeing a positive balance - which is inaccurate as far as the bill for my actual credit card is concerned. It's possible that I'm seeing the result of an error made long ago. I'm wondering if it's possible to just start these credit cards over again so they reflect reality. :-(

    • Steel Blue Sun That's the culprit! How long has it been since you reconciled? You can go line by line, or let it create a balance adjustment—no need to delete the account. The adjustment will get it back on track!

    • Nicole Thanks! I'll try a balance adjustment. I've tried to reconcile each month with the paper but honestly I can't guarantee it's happened every month.

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