Credit Card Refund From Before I Started Using YNAB

Today I received a credit card refund for an item that I purchased before I started using YNAB on a card that I am carrying a balance on. I followed this article https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/1090-credit-card-refunds I categorized it as "Inflow: To Be Budgeted" and it shows up in the payment category for the card. The problem is that I cannot figure out how to apply the "payment"?

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  • Categorizing as TBB is correct. Your Payment category should be unchanged, as that's how much cash you have reserved to pay the CC. The return doesn't change that.

    What do you mean by, "it shows up in the payment category for the card"? Screenshot if you're willing...

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  • Here is what the Visa payment is before I categorize it as TBB:

    Here is what the Visa payment is after I categorize the $122.87 credit as TBB:

    I want it to just reduce the balance I am carrying, but not sure how to enter it as a payment?

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      russellds Your credit account balance must have gone positive due to that transaction. (The debt was reduced so much that you now have a credit balance on the card.)

      A positive CC acts exactly like a checking account with a debit card -- those purchases don't need to be paid back, after all. Just budget those funds in TBB as normal.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      The above (positive account balance) is wrong. I was thinking of TBB increasing for some reason, and you clearly are talking about the Payment category. Sorry for that.

      That inflow transaction was categorized to a normal (spending) category originally, right? If so, then it would have reduced the Payment Available. When you changed the category to TBB, it was no longer reducing the Payment category.

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  • My credit card balance is still negative, by several thousand dollars.

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    • Hi russellds ! I see you wrote in about this via email, and I sent a quick reply there. 🙂 Your inflow did reduce the balance, and I have a theory on those screenshots—let me know if that's the case. If you're up for sharing, you can update here too!

      Since the purchase happened before your starting balance, Inflow: To be Budgeted is correct! The Running Balance can be a great way to see the impact of the inflow on your balance. 

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  • I am experiencing this exact same scenario. My question is... if I categorize the refund at To be Budgeted, then my green bubble at the top of my screen increases. I don't want to budget those funds somewhere. I just want that refunded amount to lower my credit card balance. How do I get my green bubble amount to return to what it was before the refund?

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Meg If your credit card account balance is negative, the refund to the credit card will not add to your TBB.

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    • Hey Meg ! Did the refund create a positive balance on your credit card?

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      • ohmoo
      • OMG!
      • ohmoo
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole I got a return/refund credit on my credit card and already made my monthly payment this month before I started the budget on YNAB. Now the available balance is the refund amount. Is there anything I should do to make that $0/grey or green? I don’t understand why the credit/refund is showing on available. 

      Like 1
      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      ohmoo 

      As far as I can tell, everything looks normal. You incurred additional debt with budgeted purchases, so YNAB has reserved another $100 toward your next payment.

      In addition, you seem to have a Goal established that wants you to budget for additional debt reduction (paying off past debt). Your call if you want to do that. Ignore the yellow if you don't.

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      • ohmoo
      • OMG!
      • ohmoo
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui oh I thought the credit spending was the refund total. I think the account balance is positive which means I have past debt to pay still. Is that correct?

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      • ohmoo
      • OMG!
      • ohmoo
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      the account balance in YNAB is negative.  

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      ohmoo a negative account balance is the normal case (you have debt). That was my assumption in my other post.

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      ohmoo was the refund before or after you started YNAB? If after, how was it categorized?

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      • ohmoo
      • OMG!
      • ohmoo
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui the purchase was before I started YNAB. The refund was after. 

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      • dakinemaui
      • dakinemaui
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      ohmoo Refunds should be categorized back to the original category. Since that was before starting YNAB -- part of the starting balance -- use To Be Budgeted.

      At any rate, the Goal looks at the Budget column. You will be warned as long as that is under $250.

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