Credit Cards with Balance Transfer

Hi Tiller Team,

Here is an example I need help understanding. I am sure to some it will be pretty basic but, for me, I’m struggling to grasp it.

Credit Card Balance (carried over from last month - bad I know): $500

I do some spending on the card and the balance goes up to $750. Later in the month, I transfer over $400 out of my checking account to the credit card making a new balance of $350.

How is that recorded in categories and transactions? Is it a split line item – $250 transfer (to cover the spending), then a $150 on the balance? Or just one $400 transfer?

Thank you all!!


Hi @brandonscottgardner, the payment is going to show up as a single $400 line item. Generally we recommend categorizing with a Transfer type, unless you’re trying to pay off high balance credit card debt, in which case you’d want to review our Debt Progress workflows.

I sort of figured that, but still trying to wrap my head around this a bit…thank you Heather! :slight_smile:

@brandonscottgardner if both accounts (Credit Card and Cash Account) are connected to your spreadsheet… then the transfer category would be helpful. Purchases that were made during the month would be expensed with the categories you have set up (food, groceries, etc). So $250 in expenses for the month.

When you make a payment from your checking account to your credit card account ($400), both sides of the transaction can be categorized with the transfer category. So the credit and debit with net to $0. Essentially, the only expense showing up in your monthly report would be the $250.

Hope that helps.

1 Like

I’m with Warren, only categorize the actual spending outflows in spending categories. Transfers between your checking and the credit card shouldn’t be categorized as spending.

However, I’d offer one extra suggestion if you want the added visibility. Since you’re carrying a balance from month to month, you could think about splitting the transfer from your bank account into two categories: Transfer, and Interest. The transfer is the amount of principal paid in the period and interest is obviously how much interest you paid. Interest is an expense that wouldn’t be represented in your payment otherwise and can be a significant amount of the payment in some instances. I do this with my student loan payments and mortgage so I can see how much interest I’m paying over time and like to see how it’s decreasing.


I think I understand what you’re asking Brandon:
IF you already included the prior period’s $500 in spending in your Tiller account/reports (ex: you paid $400 groceries last month and $100 shopping last month on the credit card), then you don’t want any payments on this balance to show as an additional expense because then you’d be double counting it - so it is just a transfer. Last month you made the expenses but it was on credit, not cash. This month, if you were to pay the $500 balance, it’s you exchanging cash and credit - which is not an expense, but cash flow. So I think that’s why you’re possibly confused - things do get a little confusing when you’re budgeting and income v expense and then cash flow. These are separate things. So your whole $400 is a transfer, assuming you already recorded expenses from prior months.