With some of the clients I use regularly (Multibit, Bitcoin for Android), I’ve noticed that, after I send bitcoins to an address, I have 0 BTC available to spend despite having perhaps a several bitcoin balance.
Looking more closely at the transaction details on Blockchain.info or Blockexplorer.com, I observe that the client sent my entire balance back to myself in the same transaction.
For example, my balance in my wallet before the transaction is 1 BTC. I send 0.5 BTC to address C from my wallet, plus 0.0005 BTC for transaction fees. I should have 0.4995 available immediately to spend on another transaction. However, the clients show 0 BTC available, but a balance of 0.4995 BTC.
When I look at the transaction, I see two input addresses, addresses A and B. The outputs are 0.5 BTC to address C, the destination of my payment, and 0.4995 to address B.
Why then do I have 0 BTC available when I clearly should have 0.4995 BTC available?