Automatic credit card transactions

I have had YNAB 4 for years but have just started fresh with the newer YNAB. I used to handle credit cards differently - more as the credit card bill as a category not as a budget account, it worked but did mean it was a credit card float at times so I'm trying to be better at only using what is already budgeted when I put charges on the credit card.

 

My main issue is wrapping my head around monthly automatic charges to my credit card which I always have  budgeted for but when I'm plugging them into my scheduled transactions for the next month  it says I need to budget more and has gone orange. For example I'm scheduling a charge of $170 for 17 October which is from a category that has than money budgeted for it. It doesn't transfer the money to the credit card payment category yet but I'm guessing because the transaction hasn't actually occurred yet. The confusing thing is I have an automatic bank transfer to pay that amount off the card the same day the credit card is charged so I tried to make a scheduled payment for the 17 October but then the credit card payment category changes to orange and says I need to budget $170 more to cover an upcoming transaction. Is this just something I have to put up with/ignore despite the money is actually already budgeted for it or am I missing something?

 

My other issue is another repeating monthly charge on the credit card but is then actually paid by another person directly to the credit card. I wanted to set those up as scheduled transactions but have no idea how to do that when the credit card charge is not something I take into account with my budget categories because technically I don't pay it so I don't know how to log it in and same for how I log the payment from the other person directly to the card? I have baby #2 on the way so just trying to log as many scheduled payments as I can!

 

I'm sorry for the rambling!

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  • Refreshed Ynaber said:
    I'm scheduling a charge of $170 for 17 October which is from a category that has than money budgeted for it

    The important question is how much is in the available column for that category in the October budget area.

    The budget is the plan for your money. It reserves money for various purpose. Since you know you will have an outflow of $170, it would be a really good idea to reserve funds for that in the plan -- that way you don't accidentally spend it on something else! That category will remain yellow as a warning it needs money.

    The warning on the Payment category is similar. You don't have enough in the payment category to support the scheduled outflow right now. IF you put enough money in that other spending category, the CC payment category will increase when that transaction goes live next month.

    I can understand paying off a purchase immediately to reduce interest if you're carrying a balance, in which case you'll have to ignore the warning. However, if this is a paid in full card, I'd suggest you pay it off after being billed for it to avoid this weird warning. (That will be due 4-8 weeks after the purchase.)

    Reply Like 1
    • dakinemaui 

      Yes full $170 is in the available column for that category. Eg $170 is budgeted each month in insurance category and that is showing as available. My scheduled credit card transaction has that category selected. It's just interesting that the credit card payments section takes the UPCOMING charge of $170 into account but doesn't include UPCOMING PAYMENTS in that calculation to cancel the charge out.

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Refreshed Ynaber  Do you also have a Monthly Funding Goal? Otherwise, I don't see a reason to turn the category orange since the Available covers the scheduled outflow.

      Reply Like
    • dakinemaui  Yes the category has a monthly funding goal but that has been met and is green and still shows the money as available in that category. The part that goes orange is the credit card payment although it stays at $0 while orange and if I hover it I get a message to budget more to cover the upcoming transactions but those upcoming transactions are already budgeted for. I'll attach a screen shot.

      Reply Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Refreshed Ynaber The implicit goal has dreadfully simple logic. Is Available right now less than the scheduled outflow? Warn if no.

      Let me ask, does this CC have a zero balance right now? If so, you might consider dropping the built-in CC handling since it's overly complex for the manner in which you use the card (i.e., immediate payments). Instead, I would use a checking account type to represent this card, which would eliminate this warning.

      Reply Like 1
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Refreshed Ynaber you say here that your payment has that category selected. The payment should not have a category, it should be recorded as a transfer from one account to another. 

      Reply Like
    • satcook Sorry trying to find where I said that, I can't but I may well have because I waffled on! Didn't mean the payment has a category just meant the automatic transfer to the credit card payment isn't taken into account. So in scheduled transactions the actual charge as the insurance category selected and then payment is Payment: everyday acct, category not needed.

      Reply Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Refreshed Ynaber It won't until the scheduled transaction is added to the register. That will be based on the date of the transaction.

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  • Assuming you're not tracking reimbursements from that other person, that payment by someone else should be entered directly in the CC account and categorized as TBB. 

    In spite of reasonable expectations, it will not affect the budget. Realistically, they should simply display "Debt Management" instead of "Inflow: To Be Budgeted" in any credit based account.

    Reply Like
  • Hm that makes sense adding their payment in the cc account as an inflow TBB but how would the transaction of the credit card charge be handled?

    For example let's say it's a $20 charge each month for membership. I just tried to play around then and if I add it as a transaction that occurred to in the cc I have a category for membership that I have it as an outflow from, obviously I don't have any money budgeted there because it's not my money paying that $20. So then my available for the membership category changes to -$20 and is orange. The credit card is then showing -$20 in red on the left hand side column. If I then add in a transaction from the person paying $20 as in flow TBB it changes the CC balance on left column back to $0.00 but the membership category stays as -$20 and orange.

    What does work is if I actually just make that person's transfer of money into the CC as an inflow in the membership category. That's what I guess I'll end up doing and I'll just have to ignore the orange -$20 for a few days until that person pays. And it means making more categories that I personally am not putting money into.

    Reply Like
  • Refreshed Ynaber said:
    What does work is if I actually just make that person's transfer of money into the CC as an inflow in the membership category.

    So it actually sounds like you ARE tracking reimbursements with the CC payment merely being a way to pay you back. In that case, both outflow and inflow should be categorized to the same category. (Often a category dedicated to that person is created.)

    There are two approaches to what happens in the budget:

    * Budget $X to keep the reimbursement category non-negative. The CC Payment category takes care of itself. A balance less than $X means you are owed. Works well for relatively small amounts.

    * Budget nothing and let the category go overspent. Works well for large amounts on a CC. If the reimbursement category ever turns green, you must move those funds to the CC Payment category. Search for the category in All Accounts to see the pending reimbursement amount.

    In the later case, your choice to ignore the orange credit overspending or to move funds from the CC payment category, turning off the warning. 

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