Credit Card Refunds and Available Credit Card Payment

Hello YNABers!  I've been using YNAB for 2 months now and truly LOVE this platform.  I've never felt so in control of my money before!  I'm really struggling with a credit card discrepancy (which I'm sure I did something wrong) and would greatly appreciate any suggestions on how to fix.

My credit card balance is correct, my YNAB transactions match my bank's transactions - all good in that realm.  I did receive 2 refunds totaling $334.03.  I moved them to TBB and then I think I messed up where I assigned the dollars.  As you can see in the pictures I've shared,  my available payment number for my credit card is $334.03 MORE than what I owe so it appears that I have more money in my budget available than I know I do.  I understand the right way this should look is my working balance - $639.41 and my available payment should ideally break even.

I've reconciled both refunds a while ago and now realize I can't "undo" that damage.  Does anyone have an idea of how I get my "payment" number to match my "working balance"?   My credit card is not linked to the actual account so I do have the ability to manipulate this as needed.   Do I do a fake an outflow transaction for -$334.03?  Or maybe when I make real future charges, do I only move money from my budget to even out the numbers (i.e., if I have a real $500 transaction, only move $165.97 from my budget to my credit card)?  Maybe there's something I need to adjust when I make an actual payment?  I understand it may make things wonky for the rest of May but I really don't want to keep carrying this "extra" $334.03 in my available payment each month.  

Thank you so much for your time!

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  • You have $973 reserved to pay a debt of $0 (working account balance screenshot), which $973 too much. The other numbers you mention don't make any sense to me, but the bottom line is the Payment category Available should cover the entire debt.

    Select the CC Payment category and hit the Available to $0 quick-budget button. Then budget TBB to $0 across whatever category (or categories) you wish.

    (For the record, in the rare case of a positive account balance, the Payment Available should be $0, as there's no debt.)

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    • dakinemaui If you click on the 2nd photo, it expands to show the full image which includes "working balance" of -$639.41.  Where do I "select the cc payment category"?  I don't fully understand that direction.  Thank you so much for offering to help me!

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    • dakinemaui Oh I see - in the budget view!  Yes, OK!  I'll do that now.

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    • Green Kangaroo My mistake, I was going off the thumbnail. Yes, with an account balance of -$639.41, you should have a Payment category Available of +$639.41. You can do the math, but I would just hit the Available To $0 button then type "+639.41" to get it fixed via the inline-calculator.

      Edit: make sure you've got the category on the refund transactions correct first.

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    • dakinemaui YESSSS!  That was the solution!  Oh thank you SO much for your quick and helpful explanation.  I certainly was overcomplicating a simple solution.  I really appreciate your time!

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  • Green Kangaroo said:
    Do I do a fake an outflow transaction for -$334.03?

    Fake transactions are rarely the answer. Transactions should match the real world so that account balances match the real world.

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  • Green Kangaroo said:
    I did receive 2 refunds totaling $334.03.  I moved them to TBB

    Return/refund inflows should be categorized to the original spending category in order to "undo" the previous spending. This would have decreased the Payment category as well in lock-step with the reduction in debt (account balance).

    If you categorized them as Inflow:To Be Budgeted, that lowers the debt but not the payment. Usually only purchase rewards are categorized as TBB and will require a manual adjustment to the budget in order to move those funds to the TBB area.

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  • Green Kangaroo said:
    As you can see in the pictures I've shared,  my available payment number for my credit card is $334.03 MORE than what I owe so it appears that I have more money in my budget available than I know I do.

    The pictures show $973 more than you owe is available.

    Also understand that the money in your budget will always match the amount of cash on-hand. YNAB assures that (in fact, that's the basis for how TBB is computed). Obviously, negative cash isn't a thing, but if there are no red numbers in the budget, then you have every penny shown in every category and TBB.

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