When You Pay Your Card in Full


YNAB is designed to help you pay your credit card in full each month!

Here are the three main steps:

Overview

Here's an overview of managing a credit card you keep paid in full: 


Setting Up a Paid In Full Credit Card in Your Budget

When you first add your credit card to your budget, you'll want to be sure to budget for your "pre-YNAB" balance on that card. 

After following the steps to add a new account, pick the Budget for my entire balance option.  This ensures your budget has the amount of your balance set aside so you can pay that in full when you send your next credit card payment. 

Add Unlinked Account popup with the second option, budget for my entire balance, selected.

Next, you'll see a Credit Card Payment category for your credit card in your Budget. There will also be a yellow alert in that category, prompting you to budget for your Starting Balance. Budget for your Starting Balance directly to the Credit Card Payment category, and your Available amount will update.

$1,500 has been added to the Budgeted column of the Credit Card Payment category, and the Available column reflects the change.

Using a Credit Card for Day to Day Spending

After you budget for your Starting Balance, you'll now budget for your day to day expenses in your spending categories--not in the Credit Card Payment category. 

As you spend on your credit card, the money you budgeted to your spending category will automatically move to your Credit Card Payment category. Here, the money sits, waiting for you to make your next payment. 

Thirty-five cents moves out of the groceries category and into the credit card payment category.If you ever overspend with a credit card in any of your categories, you'll see a yellow credit overspending alert:

The Household category has a negative yellow amount in the Available column, indicating credit card overspending.

Cover this overspending with Rule 3, or your Credit Card Payment category will not have enough in it to pay your card in full. Check out this Help Doc about Credit Overspending for more details. 


Sending Your Payment  

If you are a paid in full credit card user, your Credit Card Payment category Available should always match the account balance owed. If it doesn’t, budget more to the category until it matches like the screenshot below:

The example credit card balance matches the amount shown in the Available column of the Credit Card Payment category.

Can you budget for it all?

If you aren’t able to budget for the full starting balance of your credit card and all of your current month's expenses, you might be riding the credit card float.

When you set up your budget, you’ll see the account balance on the left, but the Payment amount won’t update automatically to cover that balance. Budgeting for it lets your budget know that you plan to take some of the money you have right now and use it to pay off the Starting Balance on the card. 

What if I pay the statement balance?

Can I keep paying only the statement balance? Does it matter when I pay my card? (like weekly or once a month on the 10th or at the beginning of the month..?)

Yes! You don’t have to actually pay the balance on the card down to zero. You can pay the statement balance and still consider yourself paid in full, as long as you have the money set aside to pay it off completely at any time. Set aside where? In the Credit Card Payment category!

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us