This problem has plagued me for years with the new YNAB. It used to work great in old YNAB, but their changes to credit card rules means I run into this problem all the time. I have a few support threads with YNAB dating back to 2016-2017, and their answer has always been “this isn’t possible the way you want to do it.” I figured I’d start this thread here in case anyone else has this problem and wants to try to badger YNAB support until they fix it.
Here is a simplified example of the problem:
You are at dinner with 2 friends and the check comes. The total is $60, and the three of you want to split the check evenly. Rather than giving the waiter 3 credit cards, you offer to pay the whole bill on your credit card and your friends each give you a $20 bill. In YNAB you enter a $60 transaction on your card, and split it $20 spent from your “eating out” budget and $40 as a transfer to your cash account. Now the problem is only $20 was budgeted towards the credit card payment and there is magically $40 more in your “to be budgeted” amount. In reality, it should have put the $40 cash towards the credit card payment.
Here is a sequence of screenshots from a brand new budget that illustrate this.
We start with a fresh budget with $1000 in a checking account, budgeted to rent, groceries and dining out.
Next, we enter a split transaction spent on the credit card, $60 to the bar, split $20 to my dining out category and recording the $40 cash I got from friends.
This should result in $60 budgeted towards my credit card payment, but instead we have this:
Notice that it budgeted only $20 to my credit card payment category, and there is $40 in “to be budgeted” now. YNAB’s answer to this is that I am actually holding on to $40 cash that I didn’t have before, so I now need to budget that into categories.
My argument is that if I don’t budget this towards my credit card payment, everything falls apart, so I have to do that anyway. And now I need to manually add the $40 from “to be budgeted” into the credit card payment category.
I think YNAB should be doing this automatically, otherwise I end up with phantom money appearing in “to be budgeted” and I have to go figure out which credit card is underfunded and move money there. As soon as this happens with less friendly numbers than “$20”, and when it happens a couple times a month across different accounts, it becomes extremely hard to track down.
Anyone else have this problem and want to see it fixed? Please chime in!