Can I turn off Credit Card Payments?

I signed up for the free trial of YNAB about three weeks ago and have been getting used to the system. I like the functionality of importing credit card transaction and easily assigning the transactions to budget categories. However, the whole process of entering a credit card payment and how that payment is recorded is overly complex, confusing and just annoying. I want my partner to use this and if I am annoyed by the credit card payment process, there is no way that they will be willing to use it use it. Can I just turn off the credit card payments so they do not show up on the budget? That would make this function more like a more straight forward envelope system. We pay our cards off everyone month in full (and have enough savings to do it immediately so we are not "floating" the debt).

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  • No, you can't. It's very annoying but the developers think it's a great feature. 

    Like 1
  • Set up your CCs as a checking account. It will do what you want.

    Like 4
  • Slate Gray Battery said:
    We pay our cards off everyone month in full (and have enough savings to do it immediately so we are not "floating" the debt).

     Having enough savings and having the payback earmarked while still funding all your savings categories is not the same thing. Understanding the difference is key to understanding how the CC categories work.

    But you can set up credit cards as checking accounts with negative balances and you will implicitly have cash reserved for the entire card balance, assuming you do not have any overspent categories or an overbudgeted TBB.

    Like 3
  • You can make it a checking account and, as pointed out, you will instantly find your savings (really your total money, it’s not specifically the savings) shorted by the appropriate amount. But there’s no way to float your card with your savings in either method. You have to account for the money one way or another if you pay the card in full. 

    Like 1
  • Let me rephrase- We have money in our bank account to pay off all our credit card transactions immediately as we make them. However, no sane person would do this. We therefore wait until we get the statement and pay the full amount due and thereby avoid paying any interest, etc. Why can't I just assign budget category amounts, use the imported transactions from my credit card accounts to easily assign transactions to each budget category and then YNAB can show me how much I am over or under my budget and how much savings I truly have left in my bank account(meaning subtract the recorded transaction amounts from my bank account balance to show me how much money I actually have saved)?

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery ynab does show you exactly that. Why do you think it doesn’t?

      Like
    • satcook I'm sorry but no it doesn't do that. The balances shown are incorrect and the credit payments are shown additional negative transactions.

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      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery if your payments are coming through as negative transactions then definitely contact support. They can fix that!

       

      if your balance is wrong then you need to reconcile your card. 

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 3 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery if the credit card payment category available amount does not match the working balance of your credit card (except the available balance is positive and the working balance is negative) and you are in your first 3 weeks of using YNAB, the most likely culprit is that you had the wrong starting balance and/or you didn't explicitly budget to pay the starting balance. This often happens when a credit card charge that you made before you started YNAB clears after you started. Or if the timing of the imports gets a bit off. If you start on the 4th of the month, YNAB won't import transactions on the 1st-3rd.

      Like 2
    • We pay off our credit card purchases daily (though I can’t vouch for our sanity, haha). In YNAB’s system, we find it really straightforward, though I’m sure it does take some getting used to. I’d hate for you to miss the cc functionality if it’s only a matter of adjusting to the feature. 

      Like
  • Slate Gray Battery said:
    how much savings I truly have left in my bank account(meaning subtract the recorded transaction amounts from my bank account balance to show me how much money I actually have saved)?

     To see how much money you have saved, look in your budget categories. 

    It doesn't matter what account your money is living in for it to be in categories, but that's another conversation for later when you're ready. It's only indirectly related. 

    Having the stock credit card category available amount equal the negative cc balance does just that - separates out the money reserved to pay off your card so it doesn't get counted as other savings.

    The same dollar can't be in the cc category and in your vet fund.

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  • Slate Gray Battery said:
    YNAB can show me how much I am over or under my budget

     And then you immediately apply Rule 3. 😆

    Like 2
  • Thanks to everyone who responded. I really appreciate the help. I was hoping that this would be much simpler. and to be honest YNAB just doesn't seem like the right fit for me and my partner to use. I really hope that in the future YNAB addresses the unnecessary complexity and rigidity in the system. For now does anyone have any other recommendations for budgeting software that allows for  easily importing transactions(like what YNAB does) but is much more straightforward in the budgeting process and tracking?

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery Why does it not seem like the right fit? The budgeting process is as straightforward as you can get. It's not a hope-for-the-best forecasting budget, but rather a budget based in reality. I encourage you actually review the budgeting rules and the training materials before you dismiss it.

      Like
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 wk ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery I don't know if you missed it or what but the answer to your thread question is "Yes, you can." You do this by making your credit card accounts checking accounts instead. Either start from scratch by choosing checking accounts for their type or convert existing credit cards like this:

      Convert Credit Card to Checking

      1. Create a new account to replace the current one by clicking Add Account > Unlinked.  Select Checking, give it a nickname (it will need to be slightly different than the original account), and enter 0 for the balance.
      2. Go to the original account, select all of the transactions, and move them to the new account using the Edit menu. The next step will be to delete the original account. First check the Notes area for the credit card payment category in case there’s anything there you want to save.
      3. Okay, it’s time to delete the original account. Click the Edit icon next to the account name in the left sidebar, and you’ll see the Delete Account button. Be sure to save any text in the Account Notes field if needed.
      4. Now, you can edit the name of the new account and/or link the account if you'd like.

      As to your last question, no, there is no budgeting software that comes close. If you just care about automatic direct import, go with Mint (free) or Simplifi (no ads).

      Like 3
      • WordTenor
      • Not throwing away my shot.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery Personal Capital is also great! It would absolutely let you pretend that part of your money really is there as emergency fund money without acknowledging that it's technically reserved for the next credit card payment. 

      Like 2
    • WordTenor Thank you for the very constructive response. I could also pretend that you read what I wrote and understood that I actually want my cash balance to reflect the amount minus all credit card debt accrued. . . .

      Like
      • Nelly
      • nelly
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery I understand you because I had exactly the same problem (I think). I am the same as you - pay off the full balance monthly (which obviously doesn't actually clear it because I'll have made more purchases since then). I followed Move Light Sound Life 's suggestion, kicking myself for not realising this myself. Of course that will work better, because effectively that's how I use my card - like a checking account that's constantly overdrawn. My budget values now make so much more sense because my TBB is not artificially inflated any more because it now incorporates the negative value of my credit card. Like I want it to (and I think you do to). So much simpler!

      I thought it was going to be a pain to do because you can't just change the account type, but actually it was really easy. Just create a new checking account then go to the credit card, select every single transaction in one click at the top  and then edit > move to account > select your new account. Bingo. You can now delete the credit card from your YNAB and the budget category will disappear too.

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      • Nelly
      • nelly
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      and now I'm a bit embarrassed because I've just seen that Superbone has said exactly the same (but with much clearer instructions) already. If fact, I *really* wish I'd read his instructions first because I did forgot to copy the 'notes' across too. Grr.

      Like 2
      • WordTenor
      • Not throwing away my shot.
      • WordTenor
      • 2 wk ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Slate Gray Battery 

      WordTenor said:
      You can make it a checking account and, as pointed out, you will instantly find your savings (really your total money, it’s not specifically the savings) shorted by the appropriate amount.

       Maybe it’s you who isn’t reading my posts rather than the other way around. 

      Have you actually tried any of the things suggested in this thread yet? People get understandably frustrated with other posters who arrive, say “I have a problem!” are given several ways to address the problem, don’t do any of those things, and go, “Nevermind this software is bad and broken!” So yes, I was short with you because you specifically did not read exactly what several of us said to do.

      And PC isn’t a joke recommendation—it sounds like you want a passive tracker. That one is great at that—it even gets about 85% of your categories correct based on the vendor name without you doing anything. It’s rubbish for budgeting compared to YNAB but if having to learn to use YNAB is making you upset, try that app instead. 

      Like 2
  • I also say 'change your CC account to a checking account'. It is much simpler. No need to 'budget' to pay your CC off each month. I was on Ynab4 until recently and that is how it worked there if you always cleared your account in full every month and only spent money which you had budgeted in advance. When I moved over to nYnab,  I made sure that my CC was treated as a checking account.

    Like 1
  • I also appreciate the desire to have your partner on board with the budgeting process. That’s way beyond what most couples even hope to do, so we’ll done there! It can be frustrating to lack that, for sure. YNAB *can* help with that, but for some of the couples I see in therapy, that can only work if there is first a level of trust and commitment in the relationship. You’ve evidentially done a lot of work to get where you already are. 

    Like
  • Slate Gray Battery said:
    I actually want my cash balance to reflect the amount minus all credit card debt accrued. . . .

    Which is exactly what you will get if you convert your CCs to checking accounts.

    Like
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