Credit Card Question

Okay, I'm trying YNAB again. One. Last. Time. I just really struggle with understanding credit cards.

I just created a budget and entered my credit card balance as of today. 

Then I went to pay off that balance. I did that by making a payment, and "moving" the money from my savings account. The amount zeroed out in my "Credit Card Payments" line in the budget, but the exact same amount is now being listed as "to be budgeted." 

Can anyone point me in the direction of clarity? What am I missing?


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  • What do you mean by ‘moving’ the money?  Your payment should be a transfer to pay off the card. 

    the steps are:

    set up the budget, enter all account balances. 
    Credit card has a balance due of $1,000. Enter that as the starting balance in your credit card account. 
    then budget $1000 to the credit card line to reserve the money to pay it off. 

    enter the payment as a transfer from savings or checking to the credit card. 

  • Can you look at your account list and let me know if the credit card is showing a positive or negative balance?

  • Hi Ruby Maple ! I'm glad that you reached out. When you click on the credit card register, is the payment transaction an outflow or an inflow?

    The Record Payment button in your credit card register is handy to help entering a payment, and does some of the steps for you! This Credit Card Payments article has steps (and visuals) of what that looks like in your budget. Let us know if you have questions. 😄

  • The starting balance was an outflow and then the payment button was an inflow. 

    The credit card is now showing a zero balance over in the budget panel.

      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Ruby Maple Ruby Maple date the starting balance for 6/23. Because the payment is before the balance it is making your card go positive. 

      Like 1
  • So the transaction aspect looks right but I am curious about your budget. Where did that money come from and how was it accounted for in your budget?

    • RIP_MSMoney the statement that the payment zeroed the Payment category suggests the budget was all in order. I think this is just an artifact of the transaction order rules.

      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui I don't use CC all that much but seems weird for the CC amount to be zero'd out but yet results in a TBB appearing.

    • RIP_MSMoney it makes sense once you realize the increase in TBB is balanced by the decrease in the category balance. The account of cash you have hasn't changed.

      It is true that a positive CC account isn't the typical situation, but math is math and YNAB gets it right.

      You can do a similar thing by negative-budgeting an empty category ($0 Available). The category goes negative while TBB increases. The net impact on the budget is $0 because the amount of cash is unchanged.

    • RIP_MSMoney just read your post again... The *payment* would have reduced the category. The fact it is now $0 indicates there must have been funds available for the payment beforehand.

      The fact TBB increased is a separate issue. Much like if you bring a checking account on budget, TBB increases and stays there until you budget those funds, regardless of whether you spend the money before you make a budget entry.

  • satcook has the right of it due to the order that transactions are applied. A positive CC account balance increases TBB. (It's effectively cash, since you don't need to pay it off.) Adjusting the date keeps the account from going positive.

    Alternatively, you could leave the dates alone and budget those seemingly new funds in TBB to the overspent CC Payment category.

    Like 2
  • I made the date adjustment for the starting balance and things seem to be in order now. Thank you for the replies, everyone!

    Like 2
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