Best way to record individual credit card charges?

I use a credit card to pay a lot of my bills and expenses including groceries, utilities, etc. I have separate envelopes created for Groceries, Utilities, etc. I’ve been creating an expense transaction for each credit card charge and assigning it to the appropriate envelope so I can track my spending by envelope in the Reports section.

I pay off my credit card in full each month. Since the credit card charges are already recorded as individual transactions, I can’t figure out how to record my monthly credit card payment without the money getting deducted twice from my funds.

Does my monthly credit card payment even need to be recorded? Is there a better way to record individual credit card charges?

I do the same thing you do, pay all my monthly bills and daily expenses with my credit card and then pay that off each month. You have the first part right, assigning your expenses to the appropriate envelope by using the expense transaction. When it’s time to pay your credit card do a transfer transaction from your bank account to your credit card account.

Envelope transactions and account transfer transactions are actually independent of one another and therefore can get out of balance. It’s good to make sure the amount you have in all your envelopes is the same as you have in all your spending bank accounts. You can see your envelope total on the website on the envelope tab. Same for the bank total on the accounts tab.

People approach things differently so someone else may chime in here and explain how they do it.

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wrbird’s response above is what I would have suggested – the typical route for recording payment of credit card balances is to do an Account Transfer from your Checking Account (or other payment Account) to your Credit Card Account.

The only wrinkle I would add to that direction is if you’re only using a single Account, the Credit Card Account, to track your budget in Goodbudget. In that case, what I would recommend is “paying off your card” by either recording an “Income” into that Account or by manually editing the balance to its new paid-off amount.

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I came here with the same type of question…We have been using the free version for several years and love it. We use it with our debit card/checking account. Recently, we got a rewards credit card that we want to use for pretty much all our purchasing and pay off monthly. Since we will be using it for most everything, we would like to still track envelopes. But we will likely still use debit for some transactions. First, is there a way to make this work with the free account? Second, if not, would the upgraded version work like this? Allow one budget to have 2 different accounts work jointly? So I keep my budget exactly the same, but sometimes the purchase is made in one account and sometimes in another? Would I then be able to import transactions from both banks into the same budget?

I use the Premium version in exactly the way you describe. I have several accounts: some banking, some credit and some debt. Each time I record a transaction, I’m given the option to record both the envelope (e.g. Gas) and the source of payment (e.g. Mastercard). When I make a payment to the card, I do an Account Transfer from my checking account into my Mastercard which keeps the balances in both accounts correct but doesn’t affect how I’ve spent my money on the Envelope side of the budget at all.
When you import transactions, you import them into the appropriate account, so you’d import all your Mastercard transactions from the time period you specify. It will match up the ones you’ve already entered (but allow you to confirm or change them if necessary, which is rare) and let you assign any that were overlooked to the appropriate envelope before adding them into your ledger.
(I added screen shots of a Transaction entry where you can choose an account and an Account Transfer when you make a payment on the card.)
Hope that helps!

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Great to know! And transactions from all your accounts go into the same budgeted envelopes? Also, when I make a payment on my credit card from my checking account, does that make things weird, or works ok? Do you feel like the premium is worth it for this it would it be worth trying something like the original post?

Yep; the accounts and the envelopes are obviously related but separate from one another. The budget doesn’t change whether you have one account or 100 (well, I don’t actually know if you can have 100, lol). I used the free version for a while but upgraded after about a year and it was a GREAT decision. I’m now tracking 23 envelopes and 26 (!) accounts and I recommend GB all the time.

Oh, and paying the credit card from the checking account works flawlessly. It’s just an account transfer; if I have $100 on my Discover card and $500 in my checking account, I transfer the $100 and it shows a Discover balance of $0 and a checking balance of $400, but nothing changes in the budget itself.
You can even set up your cards to be “pay every month” or “run a balance” and it will treat them differently.

Good Day, I hope I am not reviving a dead discussion.
I have been a user of Good Budget since it was called EEBA. Love the app and what it has done for our finances. The only downside is we are having a hard time keeping with putting transactions into the app. It has lost its functionality for us because we are never up to date. I would like to update to the Premium version but I have a question.

Does anyone use the premium version to download transactions instead of entering them manually? I watched the videos, and I am just not sure how well that function works. It wont do us much good to import bank info if I have to sit down and manually check off every transaction as I would do a reconcile. I wish I could see that functionality in action.

I use downloaded transactions a LOT and it works fine for me. I have several credit cards and bank accounts In GB and I typically download every time I reconcile just to be sure I haven’t overlooked anything. It’s more steps, and I only do it from the web, but it works well and is fairly straightforward. It might be cumbersome as a daily task but the software is solid.
Hope that helps!

Hi Josh—in re-reading your post I’m not sure I entirely addressed your concern about checking off each new transaction. In short, the software will attempt to match everything you’ve entered with an imported transaction. By doing nothing you accept these matches, which are color-coded by level of reliability, or you can decline and reassign any of them. That algorithm is excellent. If there are unrecorded transactions you can drag them to an envelope or drag/match them into their associated recorded transactions that didn’t meet the automatic matching criteria.
It’s very straightforward and works well.
Hope that’s more helpful!

Great topic. This helped me understand how this works in GB. I looked for this info in the help section (Help Docs) and didn’t find it. I have been budgeting for a long time, but am a new user of GB.

I’m confused. I tried to make a credit card payment as shown above in the Transfer tab, but a message showed up that said to use the debt transaction tab. That’s fine, but I’m wondering if recording the payments to the credit card via debt transaction (which creates a new $ amount based on interest rates and such) is the reason my unallocated funds won’t match?

Goodbudget will calculate the expected interest and principal based on the values you’ve previously entered and your payment amount, but you can change them. If for example you make an extra payment on a card and it all goes to the principal, you can manually change the interest and fees fields to zero. That should make your payment match reality and keep your Unallocated funds accurate.
Hope that helps!