Credit Card Payment is higher than account balance

I pay off my credit card every month. I use the Credit Card category in the budget to make sure that I have enough budgeted each month to pay it off, so I'm only really paying attention to my (newly named) Payment amount in the budget and the Credit Card Account balance.  When I make a payment I pay the total listed in the account balance, not the payment amount. 

 

I've noticed over the past few months that even though I'm paying down the account balance down to $0 each month the payment amount in my budget is going up. Currently, the account balance is fully reconciled - I have no uncleared balance. I do have a working balance, we'll say $80 for the sake of discussion, and a payment amount of say $200. I have no scheduled transactions. Where is this $200 coming from? If I paid my credit card using the $200 then I'd be overpaying my account balance, right? I feel like I'm missing something about using credit cards in nYNAB. 

Also, note that this is not new for me. I've always seemed to carry a higher budgeted/payment amount than what I actually seem to owe on the card so it's something I've been doing from square one. 

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  •  Are you budgeting to the credit card payment category? If you are only doing budgeted spending, and you're not overspent, then each month  you should be able to pay the card to zero  and your card category should zero as well. 

     If you are a PIF user ( which you are according to what you described in your post)  then at all times your credit card payment category should equal the opposite of the working balance on your account.  Anything above this is excess that you have somehow budgeted to the category over time and can safely be moved. 

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    • WordTenor I am not budgeting to the card payment and I am only doing budgeted spending. So I agree that I would expect the credit card payment category to be the positive equivalent of the negative working balance, which you point out. It's reassuring that you also see it that way, so I don't feel as nervous about moving that positive payment dollars to other budget items. Thank you for your input!

      Side note, what does PIF user mean?

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  • We should probably migrate the post from the old forums about ways the account and category balances can become different.

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  • Original post by Turf_Hacker in the old forums

    Credit to @dakinemaui for the list and @Joel for suggesting a sticky post on this topic.

     

    For your reference, here are the reasons I've found that the credit card account & payment category balances diverge (paid in full cards):

    • starting balance on a paid-in-full card - category is lower
    • overspending - category is lower
    • uncategorized transactions - category is lower
    • outgoing transfers to other on-budget accounts (e.g., gift card account, 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

    To correct the problem, budget whatever is needed to make them agree. Some of them can also be fixed other ways (e.g., overspending).

     

    If you're carrying debt on your card, your card balance and category balance will not, and should not, match. You can see the amount of debt being carried at any time  by clicking on the card's category and viewing the inspector: You'll see a line which reads, "If you pay [credit card payment category available] your account balance will be $X." That "X" is the amount of debt that is not presently budgeted to be paid off. 

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  • Hey Salmon Screwdiver (6492d5a43f8a) ,

    The list in this thread is a great resource for pinpointing the cause of that inbalance. If paying the full Available balance would put a positive balance on the card, you can use the move money tool to put those funds where you actually need them.

    If you can't pinpoint where those extra funds are coming from, you can always email support ( help@ynab.com ). With your permission, we can take a look at your account to find those details for you.

    P.S. - PIF stands for Paid in Full in thise case. :)

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    • Faness at YNAB  that list did it! I had a return back in May that I sent to TBB instead of back to the category. Now all my numbers match up as they should. Thanks a bunch nolesrule !

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  • I would like to second the motion this entry be made a sticky.  Having fought credit cards for so long and this makes it easier to understand what happened when things go wrong.  

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  • I'm still confused.

    My cleared balance is 0. Uncleared balance 0. Working balance 0.  Actual credit card -- paid in full (every week). All payments go to credit card payment category.  Everything categorized correctly (I've had this budget for less than 2 months, so it's easy to check).

    But: Payment due = $17.48. Only in reality I have zero due. I've tried to create a work around but anything I do to get rid of the $17.48 also changes the cleared/uncleared/working balance categories. Any thoughts?

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Coral Rhythm To be clear, that's not Payment Due, it's Amount Available for Payment. It's an important distinction because it means that as of right now, your budget has set aside $17.48 to pay your credit card; it isn't telling you that's how much you owe. If you have no red/orange entries in the past, present, or future (including hidden categories), and you credit card website tells you that the current balance is 0 and there are no pending transactions on their end, then in your budget go to the payment category and in the right hand column column click on the green $17.48 and move that $17.48 wherever you like in your budget. If this action turns the bubble in the Available amount in the Credit Card Payment category orange or red, then somewhere in your registers is a transaction that is associated with that available for payment amount. If it is just a gray 0, you are fine.

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    • jenmas Thanks!

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