Credit Card Says Overspent

I'm new to this, but I've read about 30 different posts on the topic of credit cards this week, however, I still can't quite figure this out.  So apologies if this is posted elsewhere.  

 

We use our miles credit card for all purchases.  We carry the balance for the month, but it is automatically set to pay the balance in full each month.  So we carry no debt.  I have gone through and appropriately budgeted for all credit card purchases that have posted to the card and I have allocated my 'to be budgeted' money into the categories we intend to spend it on in the future of the month e.g. on groceries or gas, etc.  

 

However, as transactions get added to my credit card - even as I categorize those transactions into their appropriate bucket, it is telling me that my credit card has been over spent in the budget. 

 

Why should I have to allocate budget money to my credit card when all purchases are accounted for elsewhere in my budget.  Isn't that double counting?  I'm so confused!  Appreciate the help.

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  • Purchases made on the card prior to starting YNAB are by definition  unbudgeted purchases. In order to make the payment on those purchases you must budget money to the credit card category to reserve the funds for the payment of those pre-YNAB credit card purchases. If you make the payment without having done that, then your payment category will show as overspent.

    Like 1
      • Pink Mixer
      • Pink_Mixer.7
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule i went back and budgeted the entire previous month though.  and have reconciled the entire balance of the card and transactions.  am I missing something? sorry for being dense.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mixer Did you budget money directly to your credit card payment category when you started using YNAB? If not, you did not budget for paying any of the credit purchases you made prior to starting YNAB.

      Like 1
      • Pink Mixer
      • Pink_Mixer.7
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I'm not sure I know what you mean.  i went backwards through all of december and accounted for december's payment and categorized for all transactions.  Even if it has to do with a balance prior to when I started YNAB... i'm not sure why it would continue to change now.  for example, if I enter a new transaction onto my credit card account and categorize it into the right budget bucket, it makes my credit card account go negative even further.  

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mixer 

      Pink Mixer said:
      if I enter a new transaction onto my credit card account and categorize it into the right budget bucket, it makes my credit card account go negative even further.  

       Charges on a credit card account do make the account balance go negative. Credit card accounts are the opposite of bank accounts. You start at zero and spend money on it. The negative means you owe money. When you pay it back, the balance of the credit card account moves closer to zero.

      I'm not sure we're talking about the same things here. I've been talking about the Credit Card Payment category on the budget screen. That category is what tells you how much money you have on hand to make future payments against your credit card balance.

      Like
      • Pink Mixer
      • Pink_Mixer.7
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule thanks for sticking with me.  :)  

       

      i am talking about the budget.  i'll try to better explain. 

      i have $20 budgeted for groceries

      I buy $10 in groceries on my credit card

      I enter the transaction in my credit card account and label it as "groceries" 

      The amount available in my groceries budget goes down by $10 - makes sense.

      But at the same time my amex credit card says -$10, you spent more than you budgeted.  

       

      why would i need to budget money for the amex card if i am budgeting for each individual transaction in my budget elsewhere?  am i missing something fundamental here?  either my amex budget will always be underfunded until its paid, or I am double counting by budgeting for this $10 transaction in both locations.  

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mixer Based on that description something's not right. If you had money budgeted in a category and then spent from the category, there shouldn't be an issue.

      Like
      • Pink Mixer
      • Pink_Mixer.7
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule i must be doing something wrong then.  but I am truly not sure what.  I will have to see if there is technical support to help me out or something.  

      Like
      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mixer also, sometimes things get whacky for no reason and magically get better if you log out and log back in.

      Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mixer when you look at your account list, are your credit cards showing a negative or positive balance?

      Like
      • Pink Mixer
      • Pink_Mixer.7
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook negative

      Like
    • Hi Pink Mixer -


      I know you've already done some investigating and adjusting, so it might be a good time to take a look!

      If you’d like, you can enable Support Access for your account, which will allow us to take a peek at your budget. Let me know if you decide to do so—and the name of the budget—and we’ll take a look!

      Like
  • Are you talking about the orange message that pops up in the header of the credit card  account page?  You will need to go to the budget page & double check the things suggested by the others. 

    If the money wasn't in the category it won't get added to the credit card payment category and you will see that overspending note in the header of the credit card account page and the sidebar of the overspent category.

    Like
  • I'm having this issue - did you figure out why this is happening??

    Like
    • Hi Purple Dragon !

      When your Credit Card Payment category is red, it means you made a payment for more than you had "available" in your Payment column. Here's a video explaining the following reasons why this can happen:

      1. Overspending. If you had any credit card overspending in your budget (in the current or a previous month), the Payment amount would be lower than the balance due. If you still paid the full amount, you’ll have spent more on your credit card payment than you had budgeted.
      2. Starting Balance. If you had an outstanding balance on a credit card when you set it up in YNAB, and you paid that in full but didn't budget for it in the Credit Card Payments category, it'll show your Credit Card Payment category as overspent. Budgeting for that balance in your Credit Card Payment category lets the budget know you plan to take some of the money you have and use it to pay off that existing balance. Here’s a video explaining how this works. 
      3. Overpayment. If your payment created a positive balance on a card, the positive balance is treated like cash and is added to To be Budgeted. Budgeting those dollars directly to the Credit Card Payment category will bring it out of the red.
      4. Returns/Refunds. If you had any returns/refunds on this card, and you paid off your card between your original purchase and your refund, you might see that your payment category is short and goes red.  

      For all of the above scenarios, the solution at this point is to budget directly to the Credit Card Payment category until the Payment number matches your next payment amount. If you don’t have any dollars To be Budgeted, you'll need to move money from other categories.

      Does that help you track down the culprit in your budget? If not, let me know and we can take a closer look at things! :)

      Like
  • I have the same situation: My credit card shows overspent, but I can't figure out why! Every transaction on my card has been entered and none of my categories are over budget. I've looked at it a hundred times and can't figure it out...

    Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steel Blue Dragon When you started YNAB did you budget for the outstanding balance?

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steel Blue Dragon Why the CC shows overspent is obvious -- you sent more than was reserved in that category. The better question is why didn't you have enough reserved in the category?

      @satcook  gave a very common cause (failure to reserve funds to pay the starting balance). A close second is credit-based overspending. If the Payment category is overspent this month, the overspending is likely in last month or even earlier. (I'm not sure you looked there.) It's quite possible you've been riding the CC float (caused by overspending) for many months without realizing it.

      Confirm zero overspending by clicking on the CC Activity value (for each CC in each month). If the top two lines differ (Spending and Budgeted Spending) then there was overspending on that card in that month.

      One remaining cause that occurs surprisingly often is making a return shortly after making a payment for the full contents of the category. This return lowers the category into negative territory. You should budget for the additional debt reduction that occurred in reality. Alternatively, budgeted purchases will raise it, but YNAB will take it out of next month's TBB if you don't make it before the end of the month  

      Like
  • I'm obviously missing something really basic here. Since my CC account is linked, I assumed every charge was entered. But, as I look back I do, in fact, have some overspending for 3 of the last 4 months. But it is far less than the negative Available Payment amount.

    I did do some weird stuff this past month: we bought a hot tub on the CC (have been saving for it in a budget category!). I was just creeped out having that huge balance on the CC even though it was budgeted for and we had the money, so I made a couple of payments during the month. But, I didn't pay (in total) more than was on the CC...and if every transaction was entered...

    I'm so confused.

    Like
  • Oh boy, it gets better. Soooo, I came from YNAB Classic in June. I haven't reconciled anything since I migrated :( I guess I thought, since all was linked, it was automagic!

    At this point, I think I'm gonna do a fresh start - and watch some of the intro videos!

    Like
      • satcook
      • satcook
      • 11 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Steel Blue Dragon when you came from YNAB4 did you budget for any balance due on your credit card??

       

      if you do the fresh start you will need to budget for any money currently due on the credit card when you start the new budget. 

      Like 2
    • Hi Steel Blue Dragon !

      Sorry for the trouble! Credit cards work in an entirely new manner in the online version of YNAB vs YNAB 4. While direct import can help with keeping track of your transactions, it doesn't track whether those expenses are budgeted for - that information is only available in your budget. 

      If you reconcile your credit card account, budget enough towards your credit card category so that your Available amount in that category matches the balance due on the credit card.

      To learn more about how credit cards work in YNAB, take a look at our Quick Start Guide to Credit Cards and consider taking our Master Credit Cards with your Budget workshop!

      If you'd rather give a Fresh Start a chance, budget for the starting balance of your credit card like Satcook mentioned. As long as all of your purchases are budgeted for going forward, YNAB will move funds to the credit card category for you to keep enough Available to pay off the card.

      Like
  • dakinemaui said:
    Every charge probably is entered. But that's a totally different thing than having money reserved for each of those charges. That is the function of the budget which is not really automatically managed.

     This is so key for people to understand about credit card management. One must pay attention to all of the categories in the budget, especially any that are red.

    Like 1
  • But, I assigned every transaction a category and left no categories underfunded. I think it had something to do with the interim payments and a couple refunds. At this point, I'm not going to beat this dead horse. I *did* budget for the existing balance on CC when I started fresh. And, I will reconcile monthly.

    Like
    • Steel Blue Dragon It's very possible that a refund caused your numbers to fall out of line. If you received a refund that caused the account to be positive, those funds are added to your To Be Budgeted.

      Going forward, keep an eye on your credit card category Available amount. It should always be at least the amount of any payment you plan to make - if the card is paid in full, the Available amount should match the amount needed to pay the card balance off.

      Like
  • I have the exact same problem. All of my CC purchases get funded because they get a category-- rather than just an account. There are no unfunded categories, but the account is still reading red-- overspent.  For goodness sakes, the CC balance in the bank is 0 and YNAB is still holding money aside in the budget for CC with no attached category. This seems to me to be a YNAB flaw. I don't know where it is getting the $1800 set aside that it thinks I owe my credit card when the account is at a zero balance. 😂

    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sea Green Falafel The CC Payment category is not what you owe, it's what is reserved for your payment. 

      A screenshot would be really helpful to troubleshoot your issue. It's difficult to tell, because while talking about categories, you say your account is red overspent. However, only categories can be overspent. Then you say YNAB is holding money aside, but there is no attached category. (Not sure where it's holding money aside, then.) Also, if you do have a CC Payment category, and there's $1800 in it, it shouldn't be red.

      Like
    • Sea Green Falafel I see you've been in touch with support. I hope we've been able to straighten things out with your card.

      Like
    • dakinemaui From left to right column 1, 2, and 3. YNAB is telling me to add $ to column 1 to cover expenditures in column 2. Anything added to column 1 is subtracted from my "to be budgeted"  balance. Since I know that my credit card balance is 99.19 rather than 1814.08, it does not make sense to me to budget that money into a credit card payment. I've already categorized all of my credit card charges into other budget lines. So, for instance, if I know my balance is nowhere near 1800, why would I give those dollars more than one job? Spoiler! The actual solution was to reconcile my credit card. I turned on the "balance" column in Views and discovered that I had entered a credit card payment that actually went to a different credit card to this account. After correcting that error, my accounts came back into focus. 

      Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sea Green Falafel Nice work! Making sure accounts are correct first is a great practice when anything in the budget looks screwy.

      Like
  • Yes, thanks. I got a great video in email made by one of the staff. It explained that an overpayment to the card can show up as a negative balance, so the fix was to enter a positive number in the budget column in the case of overpayment. As I examined my account further I determined that there was a double payment entry causing the erroneous balance. Turning on the balance column also helped me see how YNAB was tracking things. Thanks again YNAB for keeping my budget real. 

    Like 1
  • So I was having the exact same issue and read this article and most of the replies were not about what I was running into. Reading your topic made complete sense to what I was running into. It seems like YNAB was wrong or I had to double the budget (one for the category and one to cover the credit card payment).

    Here was my scenario.

    • Start
      • Credit card: 0 balance
      • Bank: $100 balance
      • Category Groceries: $100
    • Purchase $50 in groceries on Credit Card (mark it as Groceries transaction)
    • Transferred $50 in groceries from Bank to Credit Card
      • YNAB: Showed Bank transaction below the Credit card purchase
    • YNAB status
      • Groceries category shows: $50 spent, $50 available
      • Credit Card Account balance shows: $0
      • Credit Card in the budget shows: $50 overspent
    • So even though I have not overspent it shows that I have
    • What I did to fix this
      • I changed the transferred $50 from bank to have a date greater than the grocery charge
      • Then YNAB does not show that I had any overspent.
    • Based on this description this looks like a BUG within YNAB for how it tracks credit card spending when we pay off our balances close to when we pay the charge.
    Like
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid  Can you please show screenshots of the transactions you described above?

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid This problem is easily solved by paying the balance due near the due date. The balance due is the statement balance which is generated once a month. It is typically due about 3 weeks after the statement has been generated. This gives you a delay of 3 to 7 weeks between putting a charge on the card and actually paying for it.

      Like
    • dakinemaui Does YNAB have a sandbox budget, if they do I could, I don't want to screw with my current budget and/or take screenshots of it.

      Like
    • nolesrule I was stating the problem with YNAB. This is just an issue on how it sees something as overspent when it clearly is not. I stated exactly what the issue is, how YNAB shows it (BUG), and what the workaround for their BUG. Until YNAB addresses it, just do the workaround that I state and then you don't have to double the budget.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid It's an issue inthe order YNAB applies transactions that happen on the same date on the same date.

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid 

      Orchid Mermaid said:
      Does YNAB have a sandbox budget

       You can create as many budgets as you want in your YNAB account.

      Like
    • dakinemaui Attached are the screenshots

      • bank1 - View of Bank1 with 1 transfer to the credit card for the purchase of groceries.
      • credit1 - View of the Credit card with 1 purchase of groceries
      • budget1 - Budget showing that I have overspent on the credit card but showing I have only spent $50 on groceries with $50 remaining.
      • credit1_with_fix - I changed the transfer to be after the credit was charged and it shows no payment necessary any more
      • budget_with_fix - Shows the budget not showing it as overspent anymore.
      Like
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid YNAB orders transactions on a given day from largest to smallest (i.e., largest inflow to largest outflow). Because the payment is an inflow, it is ordered before the transaction, which is an outflow. 

      If you make a full payment on the same day as the transaction, this ordering screws up the way the budget operates, because the card goes positive when you make the payment, affecting the credit card category, and putting money into TBB. So the best solution is not to pay the same day you make the transaction in YNAB. Most of us wait until we get the statement to pay, and then pay the statement balance on the due date, because YNAB has ensured we have the money to do so. 

      The second solution is to rearrange your budget manually after you pay on the same day, but this means rearranging the budget every time you do this.  

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

      Orchid Mermaid The issue is simply that you sent the CC more money than was Available in the category. It's not a bug to turn the category red in such cases, it's by design.

      You're also missing the fact that TBB has increased because you took the CC account positive. The correct "fix" -- without fudging the dates -- is to budget those additional funds to the CC Payment category. 

      Your Grocery purchase a day later is effectively a CASH purchase because the CC had a positive balance. Funds are not moved to the CC Payment category for cash purchases. (You hardly need to pay it off.)

      Bottom line: pay off your CC debt after you actually have CC debt.

      Like 2
    • dakinemaui I was showing an example when you transfer to cc and post something off , you don’t actually know the exact dates until you do an import of the accounts. This example was with unlinked accounts. So it can be confusing with the YNAB bug as stated when it’s showing overspent because of the order it applied the items based on when the cc and bank1 processed those transactions.  If it’s not an issue for you, that’s great. For  others it can be. Also can you clarify what is TBB. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid

      Orchid Mermaid said:
      I was showing an example when you transfer to cc and post something off , you don’t actually know the exact dates until you do an import of the accounts.

      You can avoid this by waiting for the statement, or at the very least waiting for the transactions to actually post.

      Of course, this issue manifests itself in other ways, for example returning something for a refund after you've made the payment.

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Mermaid Why would you send the CC company more money than they've asked for?

      Like
    • nolesrule sure you could, but until then YNAB shows you that you overspent while  technically You haven’t, look at original statement or one with my screenshots. I don’t want to open YNAB to see It complain about something that’s not overspent. I know how to fix by what I stated originally. Nothing further to discuss. Just for YNAB devs. 

      Like
  • Orchid Mermaid said:
    until then YNAB shows you that you overspent

    No it wouldn't.

    Like
    • dakinemaui with waiting for a statement before you pay it off and you don’t yet budget additional for credit payment it would based on my experience, otherwise we’re not in the same page. Can you provide screenshots of what you are referring to?

      Like
  • Orchid Mermaid said:
    you don’t yet budget additional for credit payment

    Why are you doing this? The fact the purchase was budgeted AUTOMATICALLY increases the Payment category when you record the transaction. That money will sit there waiting until you send it off to the CC.

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

      To put it a different way, the ONLY reason you had to budget to the Payment category was because you sent them money BEFORE incurring debt. Don't do that. (*)

      Once you make a budgeted purchase (incur debt), and enter the transaction, funds move to the Payment category on their own. Some time later, the CC statement period closes and you get a bill. Roughly 4 weeks after that is the due date to pay off the statement balance which includes that purchase.

      (*) The only reason to "pre-pay" is because you have a big purchase that won't fit inside your credit limit. After the payment takes the account positive, the To Be Budgeted (TBB) will be increased, and you should use those funds to clear the overspending warning.

      Like 2
  • Following this thread, I think I understand how the YNAB Credit Card feature is meant to work, and for many months I have been using it without issue. I make budgeted purchases with my credit card, the funds accrue in the Available column under the Credit Card Payments category, I pay my bill when due, it all lines up. 

    But for one recent month, YNAB shows me as having overpaid on my CC, leaving me overspent in the Available category. For the life of me I can't figure out why, since all my CC purchases were to funded categories. I reconciled my Credit Card statements to see if I had missed logging some transaction, but didn't find any discrepancies. (My account is set to import transactions automatically, so this shouldn't happen.) Can anyone shed any insight into why this might happen? 

    As the screenshots below show, all my spending was budgeted, yet somehow I overpaid according to YNAB. This has not happened in any preceding month. 
     

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

      Cornflower Blue Boa Yes, this is one of the issue with the feature. There are various ways it can get out of sync:

      • starting balance on a paid-in-full card - category is lower
      • overspending (typically yellow, but possibly red) - category is lower    
      • outgoing transfers to other on-budget accounts (e.g., gift card account, immediate reimbursements, mixed funding splits) - category is lower
      • purchase/cash-back rewards (should be categorized to TBB) - category is higher
      • categorizing item returns as TBB (should use the original spending category instead) - category is higher
      • reconciliation adjustment - category is lower for an outflow adjustment, higher for an inflow adjustment
      • taking the account balance positive - category should be $0 in this case
      • errant budget entry - category is lower for a negative budget entry, higher for a positive entry. 
      Like 2
  • Superbone thanks for the reply. I have worked through all those possibilities and none seem to apply. (I do have like ~ $32.00 of overspending in the previous month, but nowhere near $671.65.) The balance has lined up for many months prior, so I don't see how a starting balance could be the issue. The only thing I can think of is an errant budget entry, but I compared with CC statements going back several months and couldn't find one. 

    It's making me a little bit crazy, but I'm tempted to just move on. 

    Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cornflower Blue Boa Not a bad idea to just fix it and move on but if it’s really bothering you, you could work with support to get to the bottom of it.

      I wish I could be more helpful but I changed all my CCs to checking accounts a couple years ago which makes them act like they did in previous YNABs and cuts out the middle man of the CC payment categories. This functionality is unneeded for PIF CCs.

      Like
    • Superbone not a bad idea to covert CCs to checking accounts in YNAB, might make things simpler. The credit card functionality in YNAB does make me a little bit crazy. 

      Thanks for your help!

      Like 1
    • Cornflower Blue Boa If you'd like us to take a look at things, we'd be more than happy to! :)

      If you’re up for it, go ahead and enable Support Access for your account. Once you’ve done that, let me know—and mention whether you’d like to continue the discussion here or via email instead.

      Like
    • Superbone I have the exact same problem as Cornflower Blue Boa  but no idea how to "fix" it. Seems like I need to use real budgeted dollars to correct the erroneous overspending. I can't just add dollars to the available category because then it pulls the next month negative. 

      Like
    • Sky Blue Crab That's right. If you've already made a plan for all your dollars (meaning they're all in categories), then you need to change the plan for some of them to be "Pay the CC bill". The overspending isn't erroneous -- you either send them more than was available or a later return resulted in an increase in a spending category without cash coming back. Either way, one or more other categories in the budget are overstated relative to the amount of cash you actually hold. This is true when any red is showing (categories or TBB), so your instinct to not have next month's TBB negative is sound.

      To fix it, you need to reallocate money between categories, and an easy way to do that is to click on the source category's Available and then select the destination category (the overspent CC Payment category) and amount.

      Like
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