Credit Card balance not zero

New user here.  I pay off my credit cards each month.  I recently posted a payment (from my checking acct) and credit (for the credit card) which were the same amounts (since I paid it off in full).  But I now have a negative balance that it is asking me to fund.  Did I do something wrong?  Or are those new charges since my payment?

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  • CC Payments should be recorded as transfers (check the Payee field). If you've imported transactions, YNAB won't know it's a transfer, so edit the Payee in one account and delete the non-transfer in the other account (if you also imported there).

    You also need to reserve money to pay that CC bill. YNAB will automatically do that for budgeted purchases (those made against a category with a sufficient Available amount) made after starting to use YNAB. If you plan to pay off any of the starting balance, you need to reserve additional funds by budgeting to the CC Payment category. If you ever send them more than was Available, the category turns red as a warning that some of the money you sent was earmarked for other uses in the budget. That money is gone but is still being shown as Available elsewhere in the budget -- a problem you should rectify ASAP.

    Bottom line is a card with paid-in-full status should have enough available in the Payment category to cover the entire debt -- which is the account balance -- even if you only send them the statement balance amount. The point is you could "pay the account in full" if you wanted to at any time without impacting any other categories.

    If you can't make the Payment category match the account balance (as a positive number) without leaving yourself short in other categories (or driving To Be Budgeted red/negative), you are riding the CC float, which is just the middle stage in the process:

    • interest-bearing debt -> interest-free debt (float) -> paid-in-full

    Budget what you can and gradually narrow the gap between the Payment category and account balance over time.

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