A credit card payment in YNAB is recorded as an uncategorized transfer, usually from your checking account.
Step 1: Click on the account that you will be making the payment from.
Step 2: Click the Make a Transfer button at the bottom of the register.
In the dropdown that appears from the Payee field, select the name of the credit card that you are recording the payment to.
This activates YNAB's transfer feature and ensures that the payment shows up in your YNAB credit card account.
Step 3: YNAB skips the Budget Category field.
All spending on the credit card is either categorized when the account is set up (Pre-YNAB debt) or at the time of purchase in the appropriate category. When you make the payment, you are not spending from the budget. You are just changing the location of the money and that has no impact on the budget.
Step 4: Enter the payment amount in the Outflow field. To figure out how much of a payment to make:
Step 5: To see the payment in the credit card account, click on the Transfer icon in the Payee field. This will take you to the credit card account where YNAB has entered an inflow in the amount of the payment.
Remember! You still need to make the actual payment to the credit card company if you haven’t already. What you enter in YNAB is just a record of that payment.
If you want to pay something toward toward this old balance, make sure your budget for it in the budget column. Entering a number in the budget column is what changes the balance column.
In this example, notice that the credit card balance on the account is lower than the Pre-YNAB debt balance on the budget:
If we look in the credit card register, we’ll see that a payment was sent for $600:
However, if you look at the first screenshot, you’ll see the payment was never budgeted for. The money was sent, but the budget was never told about the payment.
Once we budget for the payment, this is what we see:
Now the balance on the Pre-YNAB debt has been reduced.
This needs to be a transfer transaction. Double click on the transaction in the payee field and then start typing the word transfer. Select the account the payment is being transferred to, so the payment shows up in the credit card account.
In Payee Settings you can teach YNAB to recognize that payee as a transfer, so in future imports YNAB will handle it correctly.
You will budget for those expenses with money that you have. So regardless of when the bill arrives or is due, you know you have the money set aside to cover it! As far as the budget is concerned, it doesn’t matter when you pay the bill.
If you don’t carry a balance on your credit card, think of the spending the same way you think of spending on a debit card. The only difference is that with a credit card the money temporarily sits in your checking account after you’ve made a purchase until you send it to your credit card company.
When you receive your bill, you have two choices:
1. You can pay the amount your credit card company says that you owe. This may be less than the actual outstanding balance on the card, since you likely used it after the “closing date” of the statement.
2. You can pay the current balance that reflects your statement and everything that has happened since. This is the total balance on the card.