Using Your Card While You Pay It Off

Option 1: I pay off my credit card in full every billing period…

That’s great! Take a look at how you can pay off your monthly debt in full in Goodbudget.

Option 2: I pay off my debt partially each billing period…

Want to work on paying off your debt completely? If you’re not paying off your credit card in full each month, it’s best to stick to cash or a debit card while you work on paying off your debt. Here are two reasons why you should:

  1. You’ll get out of debt faster!
  2. It’ll be a lot easier to manage in Goodbudget.

However, we know that using your debit card is not always an option. If you plan to use your card while you make payments on its balance monthly, there are two different ways you can track that card in Goodbudget. There are pros and cons to each method, so we’ve listed how to do each method and what’s best about them so you can compare and choose what fits your needs best.

Method 1:

In this first method, you will track your credit card in Goodbudget as a Debt Account.

    • Payments on the card’s balance will be made using a Debt Payment transaction
    • Other expenses will be recorded using a two-step process to add to your card’s balance and also take money from your non-Debt Envelopes.
      • First, make a New Charge to your Debt Account for the amount of the purchase.
      • Then, make an Envelope Transfer from the Envelope you want to use to your Debt Payment Envelope.  For example, if you made a purchase at the grocery store of $20, add a New Charge of $20, then transfer $20 from your Groceries envelope to your Debt Payment envelope.

Pros of this method: you’ll keep your credit card balance in one place, so you can always check how much you have left to pay off at-a-glance, and can also Reconcile your Debt Account with your real-life card’s statements to ensure you’ve accurately reflected all of your expenses.

Cons of this method: this method requires two steps to track each expense, and expenses recorded in this way will not show in your Reports.

Method 2:

In this method, you will track your credit card in Goodbudget as two separate Accounts. A Credit Card Account will be used to track your active spending, and a Debt Account will be used for the balance you’re trying to pay off.

  • Record payments on your Debt Account’s balance as a Debt Payment Transaction.
  • Add regular spending, like on groceries, to your Credit Card Account.
  • Then, record an Account Transfer each month to show the payment of the non-debt balance you accrued throughout the month on your card.

Pros of this method: recording different types of expenses and payments is easy. Non-debt expenses show up in your Reports.

Cons of this method: if there is a month where you don’t pay off the full balance in your Credit Card Account, it will become difficult to balance out the “two” accounts. Reconciling your Accounts will no longer be possible, as your real-life statement balance will not match up with either of your Goodbudget Account balances.

If you have questions about your specific debt situation, feel free to email

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