Money does not move to credit card payment category when purchase is made. Why?
About four months ago I did a reset of our YNAB budget because of an error we had made. We put a hold on our spending and waited for all transactions to clear so that we would be certain of starting with the correct balances. For several months everything continued to reconcile. About a month ago for no apparent reason there was suddenly about $200 less in the credit card payment category than the balance on the card. I could not find a solution and finally made a manual adjustment to the amount. It happened again a few weeks later to the tune of about $175. Today when I went to reconcile the credit card payment account was $45 less than the balance on the card.
What is happening? Where is the money going? It seems like when I make purchases it must not be moving into the credit card payment account as it is supposed to.
This is usually due to overspending. Only budgeted money can move, which makes sense if you really dial in to the idea of your budget as cash envelopes. You can’t move more money from an envelope than was in there to begin with.
Any time you overspend a category in which you’ve used credit, YNAB will preserve your cash position by assuming you intended for that overspending to become carried debt. You have to correct it when it happens, and preferably before.
When I overspend a category it is usually added to a little yellow box next to the amount in the payment category. I can then add the overspent amount to the amount in the payment category and it will match the balance on the card. Then I can go add money to the over drawn categories and the payment amount matches the balance. This is not what is happening. There seems to be no record of the money missing from the payment category.
jenmas that answer makes sense since it has happened to me a few times. I too just load transactions from accounts and rarely enter manually. Yet I've learned that any late month expenditures need to be entered manually or what you describe will happen again. I have a similar problem now though in that my credit card "available" for payment exceeds my credit card account balance and I can't figure out why.
It sounds like you pay your credit card in full on a monthly basis. Is that right?
When you turn on your Running Balance in your credit card account register, do you see your credit card balance going positive in the months in which you see this discrepancy between the balance and the Credit Card Payment category? Or do you see credits that put your card in the positive?
If so, when the card is positive, YNAB will stop automatically sending budgeted spending to the Credit Card Payment category until the card is negative again. The positive balance is treated more like a checking account, in that it's added to To be Budgeted. The solution here is to simply budget that money to your Credit Card Payment category.
Thank you to everyone who gave input into this issue.
I just made an important connection but I am not sure I fully understand where the money is going or why it does this.
March just ended and I had overspent categories with my credit card. My credit card payment category matched the balance on the credit card at the end of March. When the month rolled over there was suddenly a $700+ deficit in the credit card payment category. I went back to March's budget and added money to the overspent categories and the payment then matched the card balance. I'm assuming that when the month rolls over YNAB takes money out of the credit card payment category instead of the to be budgeted category to catch up those overspent categories. Is this correct? Why doesn't it take it out of to be budgeted instead? It's not like the charge on my card is going to disappear, I'll still need the money in the payment account to pay the bill.
Spring Green Sidewinder said:
I'm assuming that when the month rolls over YNAB takes money out of the credit card payment category instead of the to be budgeted category to catch up those overspent categories.
When the month rolls over, any categories with credit overspending's available columns will reset to zero, but those amounts aren't covered from To be Budgeted, or anywhere else. Instead, the overspending is represented by an increased shortfall in the Credit Card Payment category. This means there would now be less in the Credit Card Payment category than is needed to pay the card's balance to zero.
It does sound a bit odd that your Credit Card Payment category matched your card's balance before covering the overspent categories. I'd love to hear a bit more about what you experienced, and what you're seeing now, if you're up for sharing!
The card balance and available funds for payment only diverge for 3 reasons.
1. Uncovered overspending
2. Cash transactions. Transfers to other on budget accounts or refunds or cash back to the card
3. manual budgeting to or from the card.
I have 6000 credit card transactions in my YNAB history. I have never not resolved a discrepancy by finding an issue with one of the above 3.