Credit Card Refunds
If you’ve recently returned a purchase you made on your credit card, you might be wondering—which category should I select for the refund? To quickly determine the answer, ask yourself the following: “Is this inflow to my credit card offsetting an expense that’s in YNAB?”
If the answer is yes, because you’ve received a refund from a purchase return, you can categorize that refund right back to the original spending category.
When you do this, dollars will automatically move from the Credit Card Payment category back to the spending category - opposite how they moved when you made the original purchase.
This will also help keep your reports happy since your spending will be offset by the amount of the return.
If you paid off your card between your original purchase and your refund, you might see that your payment category is short and goes red. To get things back in line, move money from the spending category to the Credit Card Payment category, and you'll be back on track.
If the answer is no, because you’ve returned something you bought before the date your budget started, there’s no spending that needs to be offset in your reports by the return. Choose To be Budgeted for the category.
Since it's an inflow to a credit card account, though, you won't see To be Budgeted increase—unless it created a positive balance on the card. It simply reduces the balance owed on that card. This accurately reflects what happened in your account, too: the credit is applied, and now you owe less money.
If you're working to pay down debt, you're that much closer now!
But what if you had already budgeted for the entire balance on the card? Let's say you owed $475 before receiving a refund for $75—and you already had the full $475 set aside in your Credit Card Payment category. Now you only owe $400.
You have $75 you can move to other categories of your choice.