Based on your feedback and testing, we’ve made some tweaks to improve the way that YNAB handles credit cards. The reason that credit cards are tricky is that your budget is about giving every dollar a job—it’s cash-based, which we talked about last week.
When you introduce debt to the budget, it creates challenges (on so many levels, but I digress). So, we scratched our heads for a year, give or take, and came up with some solutions to better support you. Testers were pleased, and we hope you will be, too. Let’s dive in!
A Bug Fix
If you ever received a refund on your credit card that, mysteriously, landed as a credit to the wrong card in YNAB, this one’s for you. It didn’t happen to a large percentage of users, but on the rare occasion that the stars (and math) aligned under just the right conditions, this glitch created budget confusion. Nobody wants that, especially not us. Fixed. Our apologies to those of you who were affected.
To make credit card management as easy as possible, we’ve revamped the credit card payments category. Now it’s sticky, and it’s located at the top of the screen. You can collapse it so that it’s out of sight, but it’ll always be up top when you need it. But, why, you ask? We found, with our testing group, that the sticky category reinforced how credit cards work in your budget.
Now, when you set aside dollars for your credit card payment, you’ll be able to see those dollars in your credit card account view (you won’t have to flip back over to the budget to look at your payment category!).
The new account view will also tell you if your card is overextended or, in other words, you don’t have dollars to set aside to pay the balance. (Don’t feel bad, if that’s you. Just work your plan, you can do this!)
Visual Money Movement
Let’s wrap up with a fun new feature. Say you have $50 set aside for groceries, and you spend it on the card. In this scenario, the cash hasn’t actually left the budget, yet. When this situation occurs, now YNAB will visually shift that cash from your groceries category to your credit card payment category.
It’s very, very effective at reinforcing how credit cards work in your budget, and users seem to love it. We tested this extensively with brand-new users (that didn’t know anything about YNAB) and veterans, alike. It’s been received well.
Watch for These Updates in Your Budget!
We’re still working behind the scenes to spruce up categories, and there’s more on the way. For example, we want to make it easier to make your actual credit card payment. There are also some special touches we’d like to add, to improve your budgeting experience. So keep an eye, out! These changes will hit your budget, shortly.
If you can’t wait until next week for more whiteboard wisdom, subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you have a question or an idea you’d like us to address in a future Whiteboard Wednesday episode, we’d love to hear from you: [email protected]