Paying off a pre-existing cc balance over several months--why can't I get my mind around how YNAB displays this??

I just started a new YNAB budget 2 months ago, and even after reading post I can find about credit cards, I still can't figure this issue out. 

I've used YNAB for a long time, and typically never carry a credit card balance from month to month, so its always been easy for me to understand how transactions get transferred from budget set-aside categories to "available" money for credit card payments. But in this new budget, I started with a balance of about $6,000 which I'm paying off by $1000-$2000 per month, while also covering any new spending on the card. 

I don't understand how to comprehend how the app displays this. Take this month: the remaining CC balance was $3,322. I had budgeted $1000 in the category for that card, and paid it. After the transaction processed it is listing the CC balance as $4,322 - basically it transferred the $1000 from my checking account to the card, and is still listing that $1000 as a part of my total available cash. But it isn't available! I spent it paying off the card! The balance should now be $2,322, not $4322! Also, new transactions on the card are not being added the available "payment" column for the card--shouldn't they be there, indicating that money being set aside for next month's payment? 

I hope this question makes sense. I'm super confused. Starting for a 0 balance on a credit card is easy to do in YNAB, but now that I started with a balance--and am not paying it off completely each month--I'm totally lost. Many thanks!!

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  • Look at your accounts list. Is your credit card showing a positive balance in that list?

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      • Tan Banjo
      • Tan_Banjo
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      satcook Yes, it is. But the balance keeps growing when I make a payment, which is really confusing to me. Shouldn't it be shrinking?

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Tan Banjo But your credit card account's balance should be negative, so if it's positive, of course making payments will make the balance get bigger (more positive).

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      • Tan Banjo
      • Tan_Banjo
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      bevocat Right, so it's displaying as positive instead of negative, I assume because I started the budget with an existing balance. How do I make that existing balance a negative one, so that when I make payments it's reflected accurately?

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Tan Banjo edit the starting balance transaction to an outflow rather than an inflow.

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      • Tan Banjo
      • Tan_Banjo
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      bevocat ah, that makes sense and is so simple! Weird that YNAB doesn't automatically interpret credit card balances as negative. Huh.

      Reply Like 1
    • Tan Banjo It's odd, because it should! When adding a credit card account, if you enter a positive balance it should revert to negative on the following page. Strange that didn't happen, but changing that account balance to a negative should fix the trouble. :)

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